Player Comments on Mission Sunshine
I've reread this five or six times since I first explored it last week, and I like it better and better each time. First of all, I am extremely peeved that you thought of the notion of having the first choice be wake up/don't wake up, and then just go ahead with the story either way, which is brilliant, and I wish I had thought of it. (Especially because the wake up/don't wake up which leads to a game over link if you don't wake up is such a cliche of games and makes certain people irritable.)
What it does here, though, is it casts the whole game into a potential lucid dream, a fantasy, or a half-dream *even without you having to write two different gigantic branches*--just by giving that choice at the start. That's brilliant and I'm jealous.
Even if I didn't know this game was written by a visual artist, I would know, because the game is relentless in its visuals, in its offering light and shape and relative forms throughout, on nearly every page. Hand-like forms, stretched out shapes of light, the unforgettable image of the glass eyes over the eyes from an alien point of view, in which we suddenly reverse the camera and see ourselves--this is an artist's game, or someone used to thinking about form and perspective.
The game is not long, but the choices are really evocative. It's always a good thing for a game when I pause and admire how poetic the choices are--take off the goggles or not? This isn't just a science safety thing, but about connection and distance. That's what this game is about. Almost every choice asks the player to trust, or hedge, or connnect, or make a leap of faith, and when the choices are like that, you don't need a million of them. The endings were lyrical, lovely, and all of them a treat to read.
Then I woke up. Maybe.
Oh, I'm glad I remembered this--there's a choice that says "buy your time" when you in fact meant "bide your time"--I couldn't figure out how I was buying time, or for whom. Then I realized it was just a typo.
on 7/16/2022 3:16:53 PM with a score of 0
General Recommendation: An entertaining game with intriguing scientific concepts.
Preview: After a strange comet lands near your research facility, how will your relationship with the strange new alien life forms develop?
Always good to see the classic “Asshole humans are dicks to aliens” plotline.
I wish this story focused more on the fascinating scientific questions is raises, but that’s a problem with me and my preferences, not the story itself. Though the scientific implications behind light-beings that communiate through electrical charges are fascinating, that’s not what this story is about. This story is not about linguistic meticula, but about the growing bond between the narrator and the aliens. There’s a number of things that are scientifically unrealistic in this story, but the science isn’t the point here, it's the characters.
Unfortunately, I don’t think this story quite hits where it’s trying to hit. The focus seems like it’s meant to be on the narrator’s growing relationship with Konstantine. However, the narrator and Konstantine barely spend time together (outside of her dreams, which we don’t see much of), so it’s hard to believe their feelings for each other are all that profound. Including some details of the sequences where they communicate in Quinn’s dreams would go a long way towards making this progression feel more believable. As things currently stand, Quinn has much more character development with Mickie and Montgomery than Konstantine. I realize this story is limited by the fact that it’s a written format trying to sell a relationship between two characters who can’t communicate, but it still feels incomplete.
My general impression of this story is that it feels like a very good first draft. The concepts are fascinating and original, and it’s clear the author knows what they’re trying to do with this idea. But the execution feels like it falls a little short. The bond between the aliens and narrator doesn’t quite feel believable to me, not in the span of time presented, and not with the limited interactions we actually see between the characters.
That said, take my review of the story with a grain of salt. Romance is not a genre I am well-equipped at reviewing, and others may feel that the relationship between the pair is fine.
-Good first line; asks the reader questions and intrigues them enough to keep reading.
-I like the way this story jumps right into the action; the comet’s collision with earth.
-You should probably make it more obvious what “ETSD” stands for.
-This story apparently takes place on earth, but the astronomy center can brain-wipe employees. This suggests a parallel earth of some sort?
-Montgomery says “Don’t injure yourself”. Is discovering a new planet’s coordinates physically taxing? Or does she simply mean “Don’t overwork yourself”?
-The entire text of “disagree with Mickie” is repeated.
-The narrator’s feelings surrounding the Lightoids are well explored.
-Reminds me of “the arrival” a little, with the importance of establishing communication.
-I like the journal. It’s a good summary device, and the images add flavor to the story.
-“Came all the way from Polaris.” Does this mean Earth has now traveled to and established colonies in other star systems? If so, I’d recommend making this more clear.
-At this stage, I’m having a hard time buying the growing bond between Quinn and the Lightoids. Even if we assume her lucid dreams are a form of contact from them, she still hasn’t established any for m of communication with them, and they only know her as just another scientist keeping them imprisoned. Quinn may be one of the few trying to reach out and communicate, but she’s not yet succeeded, and the Lightoids have no way of knowing her intentions.
-Lol: “You screamed, as a human who has just been thrown out of a window is apt to do”
-The ending where there’s static electricity between your fingers is interesting, suggesting the narrator’s adventures are not over.
-I like the device of additional journal pages appearing in the endings.
Mastery of Language:
-The past tense is kind of throwing me off, but that’s a me problem, I’m used to storygames being in the present tense.
-The grammar in this story is good, but as far as the structure and pacing of individual sentences, I think it could have used another round of editing. There are some places where the wording feels odd, or unrelated to previous clauses, or with repeated words, and distracts the reader from the story.
-“As whatever was colliding with Earth” feels odd, as they know it’s the comet. EDIT: Oh I see, you’re refering to the comet’s mysterious properties that made it not burn up as ice ought to.
Mechanics & Coding: Good, there’s a bit of scripting surrounding the “buy time” choice, nothing too complex.
Initially seems good, with multiple choices provided to the player. However, a replay reveals that most of these choices result in rebranching. Unless these chocies have some scripting behind them that isn’t immediately obvious, this is a fairly linear story, with a major path that splits in the middle.
Player options/Fair choice:
Good, but there’s really only one major chocie in the game up until the endings, that in some playthroughs the player won’t even get to make.
-I don’t think the ocean gets very deep in the bermuda triangle.
I got the ending where you wake up in the hospital after helping the aliens escape.
CONCLUSION: 5/8. I like the premise and I like the plot and characters. But the execution feels like it falls a little short, the sentence structure could use some tidying up, and the game is somewhat restrictively linear up until the end. Overall I liked it, an enjoyable read.
on 6/30/2022 11:25:00 AM with a score of 0
I like the concept here but wish there was more. Perhaps you were consider a more expansive story?
on 8/24/2023 11:48:24 PM with a score of 0
This is really good. I absolutely love this story even though it was a bit weird at first. It's one of the stories that are so far out there that they actually fall through the weirdness scale and come out the other side. My only complaint is that it is shorter than I wanted or expected. Other than that, this is a pretty great read!
on 7/31/2023 9:07:38 PM with a score of 0
Delightful! Solid very "replayable", choices not always leading where you expect. I found it very enjoyable. Would like to see another one or two "winning" endings. Good grammar and style.
on 4/6/2023 9:38:29 PM with a score of 0
The more I read stuff like this the more I realize I'm like basically the exact opposite of a brain-broke aphantasiac retard, and it makes me happy. And so, so smug.
on 7/18/2022 10:51:50 AM with a score of 0
This is the best shit I've ever read, it's like Monty Python meets Roadside Picnic and it's all ive ever wanted from A choose your own adventure game.
on 7/9/2022 11:22:02 AM with a score of 0
This is very good. Your writing is light and pleasant to read. You made sure to engage the senses reasonably well and describe the environment, thoughts, feelings, and actions without relying on cliché or overly familiar phrases. Furthermore you made no errors in grammar or spelling that distract from the content.
While I wanted to know more about the protagonist, you made sure to flesh out a meaningful part of the story. To put it another way, you brought the sunshine to life, but left the mere mammals by the wayside. Who is Quinn? I don't know very much. To counter my own quibble, the journal is a great touch, helps us enter the protagonists headspace, and allows people interested to see more the chance to do so without extending the story for people looking to read through swiftly.
I have a couple more points on the Journal. It should be more convenient to navigate. I want to be able to jump from page I straight to page IV or V. Secondly, letting people miss the journal epilogue details was probably a mistake. So glad you included the tip about it in the description. I've played through three endings and I think you've done a great job.
on 7/4/2022 9:45:02 PM with a score of 0