Custody Case

Player Rating4.15/8

"Too few ratings to be ranked"
based on 49 ratings since 01/09/2018
played 488 times (finished 61)

Story Difficulty6/8

"wandering through the desert"

Play Length2/8

"So short yo' momma thought it was a recipe"

Maturity Level5/8

"aren't you a little too old to be trick or treating"
Some material may be inappropriate for persons under age 13. If this were a movie, it would probably be PG-13.

You play as Jack, an honest poet. After experiencing plumbing issues in your house, you discover that your wife Jill has been keeping a child you were unaware you even had hidden from you in your boiler room. A custody case ensues.

Note: This story is based in a fictional country and thus is not meant to replicate an real court system.

This is my entry for the first anniversary of the December Ballad Contest. Enjoy!

Player Comments

A very original take on the prompt you were given!
The opening verses had a definite rhythm which, by and large, was faithfully kept to. The intricate rhymes were well done, and when skilfully coupled with humour made for a very enjoyable read. As a lover/writer of poetry myself I particularly appreciated this.
The plot itself was rather simple, but again original, avoiding many typical fairy-tale/fantasy cliches that the author could've been tempted by. The narrative writing and dialogue between characters was interesting throughout, although a little more description could perhaps have been utilised to create a little more atmosphere inside the courtroom. I thought the pace of the story was commendable, as the plot moved forward at a rate that kept me interested, but not so quickly that it failed to create an impression or lost effectiveness.
The story was a bit short (appropriately marked by the 3/8 length), and this along with the lack of scene description was were the story was most lacking, I think. The entire story pretty much consisted of a single scene in a court room. It was unclear whether the first few pages were a discussion between Jack and Joan before the hearing, or just as it was starting. It seems that the latter is the case, which makes no sense - questions to ask to etc. would be sorted out long before the hearing itself (perhaps Joan is a really budget lawyer.) If the former is true however, there is nothing to suggest a switch of scene, which is a serious omission. That aside, the plot should simply have had more content. Perhaps flashbacks during the hearing would've been effective?
Although choices that the player made did impact the storyline, I felt as though the experience of playing the game was not affected by the choices you made very much, since the general pattern of events remained the same either way - there was little "plot deviation". So in some sense it was rather linear in addition to being short - this limited its interest as a CYS.
The quality of writing was very good, I saw no mistakes nor evident clumsiness of expression.
In summary, it was certainly a fun read, but would've benefited from a little more description/imagery in order to build atmosphere, and from being a good deal longer (although of course this was written to a strict deadline.)
-- llImperatorll on 1/16/2018 10:50:30 AM with a score of 0
Well, this was certainly a strange way to take what you had, although it was ultimately a very strange prompt. It mightn't have been a very accurate court drama, but ultimately I think it was quite a good story.

The writing was good, no real complaint there. There wasn't exactly much expansion of setting, which I just assumed was contemporary, or the characters, who we never really got a look at, but I get that you weren't going for some massive, all-encompassing story here, but just a short little bit. It could've benefited from a bit more length even though it was the type of the story that worked better short than long, just so that failing a question wouldn't lose you the case. Plus, a few more choices wouldn't go too badly, as so far it never expanded past two, even though it definitely could've had a few more options. Hell, given the more absurdist leaning of it all, I feel all choices could've had an additional "Just nonsensically spew poetry to the chagrin of your lawyer and confusion of the court", which would've been fun.

I thought that the idea of Jack just casually talking in ballads in poem form was pretty fun, anyhow. It wasn't some grand story or particularly emotionally-wrenching, but as a short, fun, strange story it was pretty enjoyable. I was certainly entertained for the short time during it, so well done, and best of luck in the competition.
-- Steve24833 on 1/12/2018 9:55:04 AM with a score of 0
I don't think I've ever seen a mixed poem/story before, so that was interesting.

The poem itself was the best part. The meter was in perfect ballad form, and the rhymes and line breaks were handled skillfully. I would almost have liked to see this whole game written as a ballad! The prose part was handled a bit less skillfully. A law drama is a good setting for a branching narrative, but it was unclear exactly how and why the choices link up to the ending, or, at times, was exactly I was choosing.

For example, when asked if I "press my ideologies" on others--I didn't understand precisely what was being asked. I found that a genuinely weird question--and it's a shame, because when it turned out that the question was actually about Jack's tendancy to make *ballads* out of things, I thought that was really funny and interesting. I wish there had been more exploration of that throughout.

This game has a great deal of potential, but I think the ends need to be set up more so the reader has a sense of *why* they are tilting the verdict the way they are.

Some basic sentence issues show up, but nothing huge--just typos and such. Stuff on the order of "you don't have time at all the call up a plumber?"

you don't have time at all the call up a plumber?
-- Gower on 10/4/2019 6:57:09 AM with a score of 0
The author of this story did an incredible job. I hope the author makes more like this story.
-- Iquarius on 6/6/2018 4:34:08 PM with a score of 0
Good work on this one. I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did. I lost custody the first time tho :/
-- ultraoverlord on 1/27/2018 4:50:52 PM with a score of 0
You fight for custody of a kid. I still have no idea why Jill hid the kid lol, but great I got Jenny.
-- Earmuffsred on 1/14/2018 12:00:10 AM with a score of 0
Written alright, but with no character development or real narrative. The plot is nonsensical, and written by someone who has obviously never stepped foot in a courtroom.
-- Malkalack on 1/11/2018 11:42:12 PM with a score of 0
It's an alright short story (I won and got full custody) All you really have to do is choose two questions and answer two questions and see what the verdict is.
-- Euel on 1/10/2018 3:58:59 PM with a score of 0
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