Uh... Your link is wrong.
Yeah, does not work for me.
Probably since it is unfinished, you will not be able to post that link. I have an idea though.
You need to turn on sneak preview for people to be able to read the link :)
This review turned out longer than expected, but I've taken too much time writing this out, so I suppose I'll leave it be.
I found this interesting and would encourage you to continue making this game. Although it was slightly short, the first chapter drew me in and piqued my interest with the setting and characters. You’ve placed the main protagonist in a difficult situation, surrounded by unique people who have the potential to either become his friends or worst enemies. I would love to see how the child eventually becomes an adventurer, as well as how their relationships with the others will affect their path. Honestly, I’ve always had a soft spot for games that begin with childhood and allow you to basically form the protagonist’s personality and some early - perhaps even important - memories. It’s an innocent, vulnerable time where the world and environment around them has the potential to drastically influence them, as well as play an important role in setting their future paths. It feels as though I’m being invited into a sacred, precious moment where I can play a major role in writing their story and helping them forge their identity (I’m not entirely certain if my words are conveying how I feel, but I hope you understand what I’m saying). I feel even more connected to them, as I’m essentially watching them grow up. In other words, I’m thrilled that this game begins with the protagonist at such a young age. Now that I’ve expressed all my mushy, fuzzy feelings, there are a few other areas that I’d like to focus on.
Your writing style left me with mixed feelings. I like the way you tell the story in a (I’m not entirely sure what to call your style, and this is the best label I have for it) matter-of-fact tone, sticking to the main points and not trailing off into unnecessary details. It’s useful when you’re quickly giving the reader important information without overwhelming them, such as the part where you introduce the characters living with the protagonist. I also realize that diving into deep details for every scene can be time-consuming. However, there are some scenes (that also appeared important) where I wished you had included more description (showing more than telling). For instance, the opening scene leaves me a bit empty. Although I can sense some of the tension, I mostly feel detached from what’s happening. Rather than stating “you feel” or “you hear”, I feel that using stronger descriptions to express the character’s emotions and what they’re experiencing would tug the reader in even deeper. For instance, you might write, “Through the crackle of flames, the crash of steel and yelling erupts in your ears.” Or, when the character wakes up: “Gentle snores and light breathing drift through the darkness. Swallowing back a gasp, you suck in a mouthful of cold air before gently exhaling, struggling to calm your breaths. After a few seconds, you feel your pounding heart begin to slow. The panic clouding your mind is replaced with a prick of worry. I hope I didn’t yell out, you think, as it wouldn’t be the first time you woke other children with your cries. Lifting your head, you glance at the tiny figures curled up in their own beds. Seeing no movement, you slowly lean back against your pillow and stare up at the ceiling.”
I also felt that you occasionally repeated phrases in your writing, and – in my opinion – it might have sounded better if you either combined the sentences or rearranged them. For instance, you wrote (in the opening scene about the character’s father) “You just wish he would come back and get you” and then a few lines later (about the mother) “. . . just waiting until the time is right to come back and get you.” There was another point in the chores scene that I noticed this: “The animals at the orphanage are still waking up, and you have a few minutes before you have to really start your chores. You have learned that if you bother the animals before they are awake, it just makes your job harder. You need to decide what to do while you are waiting for the animals to fully wake up.” In this case, I feel that it may have been better to rearrange the sentences rather than repeating the phrase “waking up.” For example: “The animals at the orphanage are still waking up, and you have learned not to bother them until they are fully awake. Otherwise, it makes your job harder. You have a few minutes before you have to start your chores. What do you want to do?”
Your grammar was almost perfect. It was very easy to understand your story, and you did an excellent job. I only caught several places where commas were either needed or unnecessary.
The choices were amazing. I loved how there were a wide variety of actions that I could choose from, and the unique scenes following each one were pleasant to read. I enjoyed how they were all logical and how my character sometimes didn’t receive the results that they were expecting (for instance, I decided to be a bit mean and attempted to steal Goznart’s lunch, only for Goznart to come in just in time for his meal). I would love to see how those decisions affect my character’s relationships and future paths.
The cast of characters was wonderful. Since the game isn’t finished, it’s difficult to accurately judge the characters and decide whether they were done well or not. However, I think it’s safe to say that I enjoyed the way you introduced them. Within only one chapter, you managed to show that they each had their own unique personality and quirks. It’s too early to determine how well I connected with them, but I can say that I’m already beginning to grow fond of them. However, while the other characters were enjoyable, I felt that I didn’t really have a chance to experience the protagonist’s emotions. As I mentioned before, I felt that several scenes could have used some more description in them, and I personally thought more emotion could have been expressed. I honestly feel a bit detached from them.
As for the descriptions of the relationships and skills, I thought they were presented well. I liked how you used labels such as “neutral” for the relationships or the character’s alignment, as it gives me a better idea of their reputation/closeness with the others than numbers would. The same goes for their skill levels.
Overall, I enjoyed the first chapter of your game. It not only captured my interest but also managed to draw me in. I’m curious about the character’s story and eager to discover his future. It’s clear that you paid careful attention to the paths and connecting them together, and I liked how you allowed the reader to see a rating of their relationships with the other characters. I think the only areas I’d suggest working on is adding descriptions to your scenes and rearranging your sentences so that you aren’t unnecessarily repeating phrases (although this isn’t a huge problem, as far as I can tell). As I mentioned before, the matter-of-fact tone can be useful in certain situations, but it can take away the power and emotion of important moments. I strongly encourage you to continue working on this game, as it certainly has the potential to become a great masterpiece. Best of luck.
No problem! I was honestly afraid that my review was too long, so I'm happy that you found it helpful.
... And that's why I've been featuring your reviews. Good God.
So glad you decided to go ahead and join us here, and oh my goodness, that's a hell of a first impression. :D I look forward to seeing more of your posts and reviews, you really have a gift for analyzing writing on a deeper level than we usually see on this site.
(S)he joined 2013.
I meant on the forum, specifically.
Ogre, I remember you posting the intro to this one ages ago. It caught my attention then and even moreso now that I see the direction you're taking with it. Are you planning for completely new paths to open up based on skills and relationships, or do you have a main plot in mind that players will get through differently depending on the character they've developed?
Oh, and no numbers or direct statements about point changes please, to me they'd be really unnecessary and out of place.
Wow. Your games never cease to amaze me Ogre. I can't wait till it's done, but for now, I think the descriptions are great and you shouldn't change them. And you should probably put the point changes on every milestone or drastic change.
Honestly I still think it'd be better not having any notifications. If a game isn't trying to be an RPG then keeping things as fuzzy as possible there is preferable IMO, it keeps the focus on the story and the character's reasons for doing what they do instead of encouraging players to turn it into a stat management thing.