Player Comments on Arizona Desert
I know this is a highschool project, but that does not give it a “get out of jail free card” for criticism l. Anyhow. It wasn’t a grammatical disaster, but it wasn’t a choose your story, nor did it really have much of a plot. It started out with potential, and then proceeded to railroad every decision to a half baked genie version of Jesus that was the equivalent of story suicide. Just because it took the only portion of the story that could be considered plot (getting to the bridge) and using a Deus ex machina to send it to oblivion. Lazy writing is the best way I describe this story in my opinion.
Anyway, the author has potential, and if they put some more effort into this story, then it might actually turn out to be an entertaining read.
on 10/26/2021 8:27:09 PM with a score of 0
I’ll begin with a disclaimer: I’m not a professional writer by any means, nor am I a seasoned reviewer, so do conduct your own research and bear in mind that not everything here may be correct. As for potential readers, beware of spoilers galore.
I’d recommend using the description box as a sort of blurb for your storygame. By starting off with a statement like the current one, you instantly plant a seed of doubt in the reader’s mind. The first page of the storygame should be moved to the description too since it isn’t a part of the narrative. It’s important to hook the reader from the very beginning.
I was pleasantly surprised after having my expectations lowered from the start. The descriptions are pretty good, there weren’t any grammatical errors I picked up on (except a small absence of a space but that’s a minor nitpick), and the main characters are introduced right off the bat. Then once I made my first choice, the spaces between paragraphs… disappeared. You might want to proofread and check your storygame before publishing.
Perhaps a bit more dialogue and sensory details could improve the immersion of the next few pages? The ‘Haha sorry’ did come across as a slight sudden shift in the narrator’s tone, and I notice that a few other commenters enjoy the humorous scenes. It’s usually better to keep the narrator’s tone consistent. Maybe using a humorous narrator throughout might be useful when livening the slightly duller scenes? This is just a potential suggestion, but as the author, do feel free to use or disregard this comment depending on the kind of storygame you want to write in the future.
It seems description is one of the better parts of this storygame. The scenes are pretty well laid out, especially when you’re painting a picture of the landscapes and the setting. Then I came to the lizard scene, and whilst I would normally take note of the lack of realism, the way you handled this was pretty good. I found myself laughing a bit. It was funny how the main concerns of the characters weren’t about their sanity or whether the Arizonian heat caused them to hallucinate, yet they instantly wondered how they were going to get back.
The narrator’s personality shines through the right and left path options. In fact, I might even say that the narrator has more defined characteristics than the main characters, which is both a compliment but also something you could maybe work on for future storygames (especially if there is going to be more reliance on plot over humour).
Another thing I’ll add is that writers often unknowingly make promises to the readers. Writing does involve some degree of fulfilling the expectations you set in the readers. By involving a choice to buy snacks, and adding a paragraph about how it may come in handy, I thought that this choice might influence whether or not the characters starve later on. Unless I missed something, this isn’t the case.
There is some branching, so that’s a good thing. You also added details for the death scenes rather than just writing ‘you die’ and leaving it at that. I’ll conclude by saying that my main suggestions for you would be proofreading (you can view your storygames from a reader’s point of view before publication), adding a bit more personality to your characters, and perhaps trying to add more choices/ branches once you’ve gotten a good grasp on writing a storygame. A rather solid effort overall, and I’m sure you will only get better over time.
on 10/25/2021 8:33:29 AM with a score of 0
Obviously this is for school and I commend you for it on the basis that it was an exercise in education, but you don’t post things to the internet if you don’t want it to be critiqued.
Travel to the Boner bridge with your friend with a tiny bladder and see everything from a scaly speaker to snacks. This is a short game.
-You made almost no grammatical errors. The only one I could find was “Well, it doesn’t matter what’s wrong. If you need oil, fluids, gas, you don’t have any of it.”
This could be better rephrased as: “Well it doesn't matter what’s wrong, if you need oil, fluids and gas. You don’t have any of of it.”
-The overall humorous tone of the tale was actually very well written, the talking Jesus lizard made me laugh and generally the absurdist comedy was well executed.
-The endings are very varied, this story splits substantially and made me feel like (most) of my choices matter.
Things to improve:
-Anna is an awful character who purely exists for the sake of a poorly executed piss joke. Her single role in the story is to be an obstacle in getting to the mountain and even that is because of her tiny bladder. She gets no kind of development except for learning to drive.
-There’s a Coyote pit that’s 100ft deep. How was this dug? It’s kind of unfeasible to imagine someone took a tractor to the middle of the desert to make a hole in the ground for no good reason. Even then digging that deep might require a drill, depending on sediment or soil density. Did the Jesus lizard do this?
-It’s quite hard to critique anything about the story because it lacks content: the characters have no motivation, there is very little description or depth to the content, hell even the plot seems to have been purged from the pages.
Overall you show promise: you have good grammar and humour which will serve you well in future writing endeavours. I look forward to seeing what else you write.
on 10/21/2021 5:12:46 PM with a score of 0
pretty good game
on 12/4/2021 8:46:27 PM with a score of 0
Found this a bit grating. There weren't very many grammatical mistakes, but there wasn't really anything else, either. I had to give it a 1, cause there's no real ending.
on 11/27/2021 5:35:30 AM with a score of 0
No Mercy. How old are these people suppose to be? Anna is an avid explorer, but driving is a hassle. Why would I be mad about her needing to take a piss? Why can't Anna read maps? That's explorer 101. If we planned this hike, how come neither of us know where to go? Why is Jesus offended by me? Isn't he about love and compassion? Also, if Jesus walks the Earth again, isn't that suppose to be the sign of the end times or something? To render judgement? Lastly, I ain't going to complain about a little extra weight of a gatorade and some candy because once you're 6 hours into a hike, that will be your second wind. Oh yeah, spoilers.
on 11/24/2021 10:41:33 PM with a score of 0
I found that the narrator had more personality than any of the other characters involved. Ended up turning into a rock by a talking salamander.
on 11/17/2021 12:51:13 PM with a score of 0
Could be more exciting, but it's honestly a lot better than what I expected from a school project.
on 11/8/2021 3:47:23 PM with a score of 0
— Mr M on 10/25/2021 12:23:32 PM with a score of 0
there was no way to win
— mystry on 10/20/2021 6:38:46 PM with a score of 0
you could've made the small decisions matter. if you chose to get drinks snacks maybe you could've made it to the end of the one path. Why would you even be looking in your bag for snacks if you didnt buy any...
Another thought, if you're path doesnt lead to anna losing her cell phone, maybe after you make it to the bridge you can call someone instead of wandering how you will get home.
Just a couple thoughts. Just those two small changes alone could've made it feel like your decisions legit mattered
on 10/19/2021 9:30:52 AM with a score of 0
How can left and right both be the wrong path?
Also, I laughed hard for some reason:
“Anyway a bird snatches Anna’s phone out of her hand. Haha sorry. Guess you have no choice but to use the maps and let her drive.”
This was okay for what it was. 3/8.
on 10/18/2021 3:13:34 AM with a score of 0
I thought this was pretty good. It's not often that I can say that about something that is an apparent school project.
on 10/17/2021 9:08:44 PM with a score of 0
Jesus is a reptile? Who would have thought?
on 10/15/2021 6:50:04 PM with a score of 0
— Bobbert on 10/15/2021 5:53:37 PM with a score of 0
I chose the right path if I was turned to stone by Jesus. Can't wait to read my part in the new new testament
on 10/15/2021 1:46:27 PM with a score of 0
Heh... "BONEman Bridge."
on 10/15/2021 12:43:08 PM with a score of 0