mystery / thriller
"Too few ratings to be ranked"
Played 102 times (finished 17)
"Run through the jungle"
"A nice jog down the driveway"
"Need to be accompanied by an adult"
Contains content that may not be suitable for persons under age 13. If this were a movie, it would probably be PG.
You are an imprisoned princess in the medieval era, trapped in a tower. Getting small clues on what your life was like in the past, you inch closer to the truth. -entry for Corgi's contest: Lord of the Lands II-
Where to begin… you asked for brutal in your notes and that is what you shall get. But first, the positives: the descriptions weren’t terrible, the dream was believably painted, and the mystery is able to lead some readers to keep clicking.
(1) Why use “pulchritudinous?” No one alive knows what that word means, and googling it interrupts the flow of reading—which is a worthy sacrifice if there is some sort of character development related to it, like maybe showing that you have a pretentious, over educated good-for-nothing character who won’t shut up. I don’t think big, archaic or rarely used words that you have to use a thesaurus to find should be placed in a story unless there is a REASON for it.
(2) As others have pointed out, this is linear. But it’s not just linear, it’s worse: it’s a black hole of spacetime so curved in on itself that once you pass the event horizon, no matter which direction you take your future is inexorably determined. I write linear stuff because I’m a procrastinator and have to bs my way to an end, so I’m not trying to be condescending or judgmental, but if there is something worse than a linear storygame, it’s one in which you have the illusion of choice, where there are numerous paths that appear to be branching, but all come back to the same place—some of them immediately and to the tune of, “Welp, that didn’t work, here’s the other option you had.” This is a great way to aggravate the reader.
(3) I would suggest putting more space to breathe between decisions, and the best way to do that is to SHOW the reader what happens rather than TELL them. That will force you to add more than simply, “You chose this, then this happened, now what will you choose.” Of course obviously that’s a fine line. You don’t want to go overboard with the description and to dialogue, otherwise it will seem like you’re just trying to fill up space.
(4) I went through several branches and never got a satisfactory answer as to why your memory was taken in the first place. And why would your dad kill you after one escape? Maybe the answer is there somewhere, but I did not come across it, being stuck in a single path that looked like ten paths. Maybe it’s all about the first choice.
Anyway, I did like the Zuko reference (“That’s rough, buddy”), however, it was very much out of place. This story did not seem humorous at all. It seemed serious. I wouldn’t utilize immersion breaking humor/fourth-wall breaking in a serious story.
There are opportunities for improvement here, but a lot would be forgiven if you fleshed out the events more and didn’t create long paths that end up as dead ends. If you’re gonna go linear, just make it a right choice or death scenario (except make the death interesting).
on 4/9/2022 6:20:29 PM with a score of 0
General Recommendation: Eh. This game is essentially a linear short story, and one that doesn’t answer any of the questions it raises.
Preview: Can you escape the tower your father has locked you in?
On my first readthrough I was impressed by the wide variety of choices the player is offered, but as I went back through the branches this game turned out to be disappointingly linear. Virtually every possible choice has only one outcome, with only some slight alterations to the sequencing depending on the player’s choices.
This is really just a linear short story, not a storygame. I recommend taking the concept you have and reformating it into a short story; formatting linear stories as storygames tends to just frustrate the reader.
This game raises questions, and then doesn’t answer them. There’s obviously some reason Claire is being held locked in this tower, and her dreams show she has some history with a war of some kind, but we never learn what anyone’s involvement in these events was. No matter what the player does Claire is killed without ever learning the truth about what happened to her, and without ever managing to escape her father.
The father is weirdly evil. His motivations for keeping Claire locked up are never explained, and he seems alternatively deeply manipulative and delusional. Again, it's never really explained why he's like this, and his decision to kill her at the end seems extra weird given how obsessive he's been earlier.
This game just leaves me feeling vaguely confused about what the point of it was. There’s a decent amount of events and action, but none of it matters, none of it is ever explained, and none of it makes me care.
-I recommend changing your page names to more appropriate titles.
-Internal character thoughts should generally be italicized.
-There are a lot of choices, which is nice, but generally makes me question how linear a story is. We’ll see on the re-read.
-The world “pulchritudinous” stands out a bit compared to the rest of the tone. Certainly a vivid word.
-The use of the word “glitch” is odd if we’re talking about a regular human being.
-As I’m going back through the game, I see there are a lot of times with false choices, where both options lead to the same place. I recommend against doing this, since it takes away from replay value and makes the player feel like they’re being shuttled on a single path.
-On the path where you don’t tell Had you’re a princess he finds out anyways. How?
-The lightning thief? Isn't this a medieval kingdom?
All good here!
Mastery of Language:
There are a few repeated words, could’ve used another editing round. The sentences structure is purely purfunctinoary, describing the character’s actions and feelings without much flavor. Some of this is due to the large number of links, which can sometimes break up a game’s pace.
None. The game shuttles the player on a single plotline, to one of two endings which both involve death. There is a third possible ending, but it’s not that different and only accessible from one point.
Player Options/fair choice:
There’s a lot of player options, but no fair choice, since all of these options lead to the same outcomes.
-If you plan to write a linear story, don’t format it as a storygame.
-Try and cut down a lot on the number of links. Players tend to want most of their chocies to be meaningful and to affect the plot. In general, you shouldn’t have two links lead to the same outcome unless the differences in flavor text in between are very important.
-Slight differences in text suggest that many of these pages were copy-pasted. I recommend playing around with the CYS editor and seeing if you can get a hang of how to route pages to one another.
CONCLUSION: A short story about a princess’s futile attempt to escape her absuvie father.
on 4/3/2022 8:04:50 AM with a score of 0
Let's see, there is a lot to discuss. Well, in the afterword the author did say to go full ham with my brutal criticism so let's begin shall we?
Let's begin with word choice and period pieces/medieval fantasy hogwash. Some expressions of language can be very jarring and sound too modern if one writes it into a story that is strictly set in an environment who is not as technologically developed as ours. The most egregious examples are.
"making a 3 by 3 grid shadow on the cement"
"just a glitch in your body"
Seeimg those expressions kind of breaks the immersion for me a little. You know, I don't think that the word glitch was even a thing in the medieval times (and I looked it up, the first use of the word was around the 1940s.) So be careful next time to make sure things are not too anachronistic except if this is really your intention.
Let's see, what the story lacks is setting up the environment and ambience properly. I barely got the impression how the castle and princess's tower looks like. A little more description, emphasizing on the point of the room's coldness etc. would do a lot of wonders to make the setting feel grounded.
Then we go to the characters themselves. Ehh, can one really call these characters when they are mere plot devices? They all feel a little flat and their dialogues with the princess felt very stiff. Let me explain this with the help of one character.
The butler, the character we get to know the most of besides the main character,the only one that faces a real conflict at the end, barely gets any room to breathe. His interactions with the princess are so short that they are only one paragraph worth and barely set up the conflict to come. You know, it is only at the end that we come to know that he has a family although this is the driving force of his character.
Would it not be better to make him babble about how lovely his wife and kids are like a real family man would? He and the princess see each other pretty frequently, so it would make sense that their relationship would be close enough for him to open up about his life. With that, we can more naturally bring up the princess' father into play, let the butler slip up accidentally and reveal some conflicting information. Because, to be honest, the dream sequence is not really that great of a way to hint at the princess' past. Well, let's get to the plot hiccups then!
The dream sequence in general are incredibly lazy ways to forshadow events and hint at stuff. Why does the princess even have them now if it was stated that she completely lost her memories? The dream just came straight out of nowhere.
It's really too bad, because there were so many little tidbits that are so much more gripping sprinkled throughout the beginning: the fact that there was an option to exercise (she had fought in the battlefield after all), the papercut and her reaction to blood etc.
Then the last plotpoint I want to discuss. Ehh, I don't really know why the king wants to kill her after she comes to know the truth. Isn't it just better to kepp her locked up with extra security or knock her in her head again to erase her memories?
Well, I hope that these pointers are useful to you. It is nevertheless always impressive that you have finished a story at all, so don't be too bummed out by the score I gave you. I look forward to your next story and hope that this one is better than the last!
on 3/31/2022 10:04:02 AM with a score of 0
It wasn’t the Best, But it was still great!
on 5/11/2022 6:58:15 AM with a score of 0
well written, but somewhat unrealistic in terms of characterisation. fairly enjoyable though and i would recommend playing.
— jun on 4/9/2022 10:10:16 PM with a score of 0
A brief, linear story that was confusing narrative of an escaping princess, that could’ve been expanded upon and made more interesting so there is some potential. Most of what I would say others have mentioned though I noticed a few things.
One of the links is broken. It’s the page where your listening in to your fathers conversation as the butler comes around to corner near the end. Also, I found the plot to be rather linear, even a simple concept of escaping a tower can have all sorts of interesting encounters if you wanted to make it a more gauntlet style game with different challenge rooms.
on 4/4/2022 11:17:27 AM with a score of 0
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