Player Comments on Knights of the Phoenix
Church hunters from New England hunting werewolves? I always friggin love these paranormal hunter type of stories.
I have to say, from all the contest entries I have so far read, this story has the best intro overall as it really starts in the midst of a fight.
We have in the beginning such a fun dynamic with Jonathan and Quincy that I was a little bummed out that Quincy was replaced with the more collected Cyrus haha. Yeah, I also
Wouldn't like Quincy if I were to meet him in person, but holy hell he makes for some entertaining banter material.
It also plays with some old superstitions like inviting supernatural beings in your house and such while mixing in original stuff like the whole sun and moon kingdom drama.
One small detail I really liked were these little mundane tidbits that allude to Mark's daily life. For example, him complaining that the awarded land wasn't really any good for him, because his job requires him to travel a lot.
Mark also owns a housecat and said while describing the animal, that it could live and eat there in his absence. These little things really grounded the setting for me and made it more immersive.
The action scenes were fun and easy to follow, something I always appreciate. The prose was also easy to read. I also like to mention that I find most of the humorous actually very funny. Take that how you will.
It was only a little bit disappointing to see that so many routes have been cut short and that it was ultimately a gauntlet style game with one ending. The ending was also very rushed with the fight and defeat of Quincy, the whole sun king stuff and the soul deal with the supernatural woman all crammed imto a few paragraps. I recon that these shortcuts were due to time constraints.
(The exact deal Mark had made is still yet to be explained for example .
Alas,because I honestly think that this story could have automatically won the competition if it was fully completed in the way the author had intended to.
on 3/31/2022 8:54:10 PM with a score of 0
I really enjoyed the beginning to this story. Both the characters and the world seemed very well developed and really helped me get into the story.
However, I had some issues with the way some of the choices were presented. For example, one of the first - to side with Quincy or side with Johnathan - seemed like a choice to either let him off without any consequence or to kill him. After the choice, it seems you are able to provide some conditions on letting the kid go. Perhaps a third option to compromise would make this area more clear.
Similarly, the choice to either letting the moon representative into your house or kicking her out. The story stated that letting her in was unwise, but you immediately die if you choose caution. Placing condition on entry is not even mentioned until after you choose to let the Moon rep in.
I found it interesting and would have liked more detail on what kind of deal the knight used his soul for. Does this give him some kind of edge? Does this align him more with the moon than the sun faction?
Overall I thought the concept, world building and characters were great. Unfortunately the choices seemed very limited and their execution needed more details.
on 4/13/2022 1:14:24 PM with a score of 0
General Recommendation: A fun game with intriguing worldbuilding concepts, if a linear one.
Preview: Can you, a medieval knight combating the supernatural, deal with the various challenges that you face in this profession?
First off: The worldbuilding here is excellent. Alternate histories are always fun, particlarly when they involve fantastic elements weaved in with historical ones (like the reference to the sun remaining in the sky with Joshua). The main character’s holy affiliation raises interesting questions about religion in this setting. All the supernatural elements were fresh and original takes on traditional fantasy concepts. They also meshed well with each other, which can be tough to do when combining disparate folktales. I also thought you did a good job with the worldbuilding-to-story ratio; you understood it was interesting and focused on it to its benefit, but never focused on it so much or went into so much depth that it overwhelmed the plot or got boring.
I also liked the characters in this game. Short games can have trouble establishing characters, but this game quickly establishes a dynamic between the three characters in the first scene. That said I’m not really clear on Quincy’s motivations for trying to kill the protagonist at the end.
I think this would probably be a better short story than a storygame. There’s only a couple choices, and only one divergent choice that leads to anything other than instant death. The death ends obviously didn’t have much effort put into them either.
-The beginning is a little info-dump-y, with the narrator directly telling things to the reader instead of showing. Most of the story’s background information is conveyed through narration rather than action or dialogue. I would recommend trying to shift some of this to conversations or action sequences to prevent info dumps.
-The narrator’s speech patterns seemed a little out of place considering the historical context. I don’t mind modern swears and slang in most fantasy, but since this is supposed to be an alternate medieval earth, it kind of stuck out, especially since your revolutionary war story did so well in that area.
-Ooh, communication mirror!
-Would’ve been nice to learn more about the deal the narrator made with his soul. Why are Cyrus and the other knights okay with him being compromised in this way?
Generally good, though there are a couple typos.
Mastery of Language:
Fine, no sentence structure issues.
None, this is a very linear game.
Player Options/fair choice:
Ehh, not great. The first choice implies that “Siding with Quincy” means “arrange for the boy to do community service”. Making it a little clearer what was actually meant would be helpful. The choice between inviting the woman in and kicking her out was also a little convoluted, it seems like it’s a choice between naively inviting and obvious fae into a dwelling or not, but after the choice it’s revealed that you can add conditions to the invitation.
I would recommend rewriting this as a short story.
CONCLUSION: Rated 4/8 for linearity.
on 4/8/2022 12:21:54 PM with a score of 0
I'm sorry, FREEZE YOUR BALLS?
Now that's a good ending. The main character passing out just trying to reject someone outta their house is my sorta stuff. After all; this game needs more ratings to be fairly ranked, so keep going!
on 4/8/2022 11:46:00 AM with a score of 0
Good: You have some solid characters. The world is interesting, along with the magical communication through a mirror (a trope, but one I love; I love magic mirror tropes, and was delighted to see one in Mizal's contest entry as well). What you describe of the Moon Kingdom/Sun Kingdom culture and conflict is interesting as well. And overall, I'd say one of the bigger strengths of this storygame is the rules of magic you've created, insomuch as the reader is given information about them.
Criticisms: If you're going to have your first choice end in a death (understandable given that all of us were hauling ass to finish on time after procrastinating for two months), you ought to at least flesh out an ending. Give us a bit of a story about how you met your demise, rather than just, "side-character mad. Side character kill you."
Another thing related to this: I don't know if I like the "breaking the fourth wall" stuff in a story that on its surface appears to be more drama than comedy.
Less important criticism is there were some places where commas were needed by they weren't used, making sentences a bit less readable.
Lastly, I would have preferred to hear Ignatius Flare's "cringe back story." That was a good opportunity to further paint the world and conflict. I suspect this was done for the same reason we all cut corners: time constraints. That's understandable, but in an ideal world we'd get Ignatius' monologue.
So, I'd say there were some good pieces, and some that need work. If you clean it up, and better flesh out the endings, you'd make it much better.
on 4/3/2022 1:28:50 PM with a score of 0
This game has pretty much a gauntlet-style structure, in which there are choices that immediately are capped off with deaths/bad ends, which is not a *terrible* way to write a game that you want to have a handful of choices in, but the bad end choices feel oddly perfunctory.
Maybe it's me. When I get to a bad end in which the author evinces disdainful shock that I clicked that link, I'm not crazy about that--I would rather the author actually explore what happens in that branch. But of course that would make a much longer game. Still, it rankles a bit.
I thought the setting was original and cool here. The writing was quite at odds with that ("She then proceeds to freeze your balls literally" or "that escalated quickly"--the narrator's tone feels cringily immature compared to the savage battle of the story. I don't think you need that. But you do need commas. The prose was hard to read, because all of the clauses felt breathlessly banging up against each other. This was my biggest comment--a lot of time should be spent on the prose, polishing these sentences.
I did think that the branches that were pursued (the real path through) often had interesting bits of detail and moments of vivid battle and tension. There's something cool in here--I can see it and hear it.
on 4/1/2022 4:58:36 PM with a score of 0