"Too few ratings to be ranked"
Played 85 times (finished 17)
"Trek through the forest"
"So short yo' momma thought it was a recipe"
"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.
A dramatized story about soviet composer Dmitri Shostakovich for the Manifest Destiny Contest..
Play as a piano player during the communist takeover of Russia: try to get the girl or get got by the government in this historical piece of fiction. This game is pretty fun and informative if you want to know what it was life to be a pretty ordinary citizen during the rise of the reds.
-I’m incredibly biased here because I’m a big fan of the period of history this text focuses on, purely from my perspective this earned it another point. You also get most historical events accurate, when they do pop up, so it’s educational.
-Your prose pops when it needs to, especially when describing playing the piano. I just wish this had extended into the rest of the text, it’d have been nice to get some deeper description elsewhere.
-There is a large variety of choices which generally go in different directions, it felt like what I did mattered immensely in the outcome I got. For example you get a totally different story depending on whether you compose a political piece or one that is more romantic right at the start.
Things to improve:
-Grammer is a big issue here, especially punctuation. Primarily the problem lies in the fact that you add additional punctuation when it simply isn’t needed.
-the ‘refuse the party’ page, in which you write ‘you art’ instead of ‘your art’
-the ‘oblige’ page in which there is a random full stop just kind of there
-on the ‘nine years later’ page there is no split between two of the sentences, the full stop does not have a space before the capital letter of the next
-in the first few pages you place a semicolon where there should be possessive ‘ in ‘don’t’.
-This feels more like I’m being told what’s going on in the world rather than shown. Let me see the communist banners starting to roll down in the street, the additional soldiers. That’d be far better than saying ‘in year X, Y happened’.
Overall this is decent story with a lot of merit to it, but it falls flat because if simple mistakes that could be quickly corrected. Good luck in future writing!
on 11/26/2021 6:36:39 PM with a score of 0
Preview: This is an entertaining, short semi-biographical work about the life of a musical composer.
Plot & Characters: 7/10
This storygame is both very ordinary, and strangely unique. The cave-of-time format is pretty straightforwards, but the subject covered by the game (the life of a famous composer) is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before in this medium. You’ve picked a very non-traditional subject, which makes this game stand out in a unique and positive way. That goes both ways, however. Since this storygame is both short, and based on real life, you have very limited options for what you can do with it. The player can only ever have so much agency, and the plotlines can only ever be so interesting.
This game is overall tightly constructed and well-plotted. The choices are all logical and meaningful, the plot makes sense, and the characters are interesting and consistent. The game does a good job exploring the various ways Dimitri’s life as a pianist and composer can intersect with other areas of life, such as his personal life, and the larger political world.
Some of the endings stand out a little abrupt, particularly the ones that end during Dimitri’s childhood, as they are much shorter in scope compared to the ones covering his entire life.
I liked Dimitri’s relationship with his mother and father. Though Dimitri’s father doesn’t spend much time on screen, you get a clear sense of his personality, and his relationship with his son. Dimitri’s mother spends considerably more time on screen, and is accordingly a larger influence on his life, directing him to turn his talents in a certain way, and to push himself beyond his limits.
The size of the game limits it, however. With only 4,000 words, there’s only so much plot development and character development that can be explored in a meaningful way.
There were a few typos.
Mastery of Language: 2/3
The language effectively pulled me into the story, and the pacing was good, given the length of the story. The dialogue seemed realistic and in character.
Given the material being worked with, the branching was pretty good. There are a wide variety of pathes the player can explore surrounding Dimitri’s development of his musical talent. I liked how the choice at the beginning determined the focus of the game. Choose to write a song for Elizaveta and the game focuses on your more personal career and prospects. Choose to write a funeral song for a political figure, and the focus of the game shifts to Russia’s political situation, and your influence on it. These two perspectives added an extra dimension to the game, allowing the player to focus on different goals at different times.
Player Options/fair choice: 2/2 (usually 3)
All choices were well foreshadowed.
The early parts of this game reminded me a lot of when I was learning to play the piano. I had a lot of the same trouble with actually reading the sheet music and not changing up the notes.
I'm curious what the inspiration for this story was. What gave you the idea to choose this as a subject?
CONCLUSION: 18/23 = 78.26%
The general feeling I have walking away from this game is that the game flawlessly executes exactly what it set out to do, it just didn’t set out to do very much. It’s not particularly memorable, but it’s overall a fun read.
on 9/13/2021 4:26:36 PM with a score of 0
Short, but good. Could use some copy editing. The use of the word 'bro' in dialogue early on took me out of the story a bit.
— Joe on 12/3/2021 2:01:31 PM with a score of 0
Interesting read! It does make me want to google his wikipedia page. From what I can see, most of the details were pretty accurate. It would have been fun if you could add a smidge of his real personality into the story.
I read in the wikipedia page that he was very obsessed with cleanliness. That would have made a fun quirk of his if you had decided to include it.
There was also some decent branching in a theme that doesn't lend itself well to this kind of choose-your-adventure structure. It's a shame that the story couldn't be longer as many key details of his life are compressed in just a few paragraphs.
Still, I find this game quite charming!
on 9/7/2021 5:40:28 PM with a score of 0
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