Player Comments on Graveyard of Empires
I’ll begin with a disclaimer: I’m not a professional writer, nor am I a seasoned reviewer (yet), 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 must say, this storygame piqued my interest. It isn’t everyday we see younger authors doing so well on CYS, let alone joining contests and placing decently. Anyhow, let’s get right into the review.
Starting with sentence fragments is an interesting decision. I suppose it is rather descriptive, and for readers, it sets up the main themes and mood for the rest of the storygame. It was a bit abrupt to transition from illustrating the backstory of the main character running away from Afghanistan to suddenly addressing the reader, although that’s more of a nitpick than a major issue.
This storygame is honest about its lack of proofreading, and for that reason, I probably won’t delve too deeply into any of the grammatical/ spelling errors. There’s nothing that a proofread or two won’t easily identify. Yet, though this issue is prevalent, it doesn’t detract from the story too much, especially given the intriguing premise.
I found the section ‘for nerds’ rather humorous; not sure if that was the tone you wanted to convey. Oh my, I can really identify with the writing struggles. I’ve had so many good writing sessions ruined by a number of different things, from writer’s block to getting easily distracted. And I’ve certainly gotten out of bed at random hours to scribble down notes/ new ideas for my storygames. But this is a review so I’ll stop rambling about my writing practices and actually review the storygame now.
It is certainly written very descriptively. While there were some parts where the description confused me, maybe due to the age of the authors, there were attempts at keeping the reader immersed. There are some shifts between past and present tense, and that breaks the immersion from time to time, so proofreading and correcting tenses would improve the whole piece. One particular thing I liked when playing through the child’s path was how simplified concepts were. For instance, children have such a unique way of seeing the world, and it’s believable that the child would describe the location of a market as ‘right across the street from where the skunk lives’.
The dark undertones of the story, juxtaposed with the innocence of the child, is something that shines through this path. After all, it’s easy for the reader to sympathise with a traumatised child, who witnessed her caring mother’s death. There’s also a good amount of character development as the child is given motives, a moral compass, etc. The recurring motif of the dead mum and the brave man shows that these details weren’t just mentioned for sake of information or shock; rather, they shape the main character and her actions throughout the story. I must say I’m impressed by the use of a snowflake as a metaphor for the child’s mum. For your age, the both of you certainly have a great grasp on literary devices, character development, and writing in general.
Speaking of character development, the use of the soldier as a character foil to the kid was pretty great. On one hand, we have an innocent child who has a black-and-white idea of morality, and on the other, there’s a war-hardened soldier with a blood-stained jacket who knows morality isn’t so simple. I like that both of them have had someone close to them die, since it shows just how easily the kid could have grown up as a completely different person than who she is. This makes the child’s shift to cynicism more realistic in the mango path. Not sure if that’s intended, but it’s certainly thought-provoking.
There’s also a good amount of branching in the storygame near the start and I’d like to see what expansions the authors come up with. More branching in the later parts of the storygame would be great too. I noticed two pages where there was just one enormous paragraph that could be split into several ones, so if you ever get around to editing things, you could make it easier for the audience to read.
Another motif throughout the storygame is nightmares. Both the soldier’s and the child’s path involves this; the story seems to subtly explore the concept of survivor’s guilt and post-traumatic stress disorders in a creative manner. There’s also the constant inner struggle between trying to survive and wanting to just give up for both the main characters. If only all war-mongering world leaders could read this storygame, the world could be a much more peaceful place.
Overall, this is a good storygame despite some aforementioned basic errors. It can be considered a cautionary tale on the harms of war, hidden beneath two very different stories. To the authors, well done! Keep writing, and I look forward to reading your next works.
on 1/13/2022 4:01:53 AM with a score of 0
cool story. There are lots of spelling mistakes but I ignored them for the most part.
on 3/21/2022 12:21:45 PM with a score of 0
It was so beautifully written, pls use grammar. :))))
on 1/21/2022 10:54:20 AM with a score of 0
on 1/21/2022 10:52:13 AM with a score of 0
It wasn't a boring read. There's an interesting premise.
on 1/18/2022 10:43:58 AM with a score of 0
This is a difficult one to rate. The authors are obviously young and it DID hold my attention, many of the things about how the story was written just obviously would not normally be done. The authors ages and style was a weakness as well as the biggest strength because in the end I did enjoy this a lot, you just have to understand where it's coming from.
on 1/9/2022 7:42:17 PM with a score of 0
I am not bias but this is a great story! It truly brings 2nd person to life, although they could work on some better sentence structure. I am not usually into stuff like this but this is great!
on 12/11/2021 7:31:19 PM with a score of 0