"Too few ratings to be ranked"
Played 23 times (finished 3)
"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..
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
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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