a Sci-Fi by Ogre11

Player Rating5.35/8

"#232 overall, #24 for 2015"
based on 73 ratings since 02/15/2017
played 1,245 times (finished 38)

Story Difficulty1/8

"no possible way to lose"

Play Length5/8

"Not going to lose any sleep"

Maturity Level5/8

"aren't you a little too old to be trick or treating"
Some material may be inappropriate for persons under age 13. If this were a movie, it would probably be PG-13.

This is a short story that is was an entry for playa988's 4-week long contest. Yes, I wish it was longer, too, but this was intentionally short for the purposes of writing a complete story in the short time frame allowed for the contest. There are, however, 18 endings, so feel free to try the story more than once and follow different paths. The theme of the contest was "gray vs gray," so don't look for a "winning" ending. When it's all grey, no one wins.

The year is 2016 and a series of nuclear bombs have been detonated in dozens of cities across the United States in the population centers. The country is destroyed and many people are dead.

While many cities (and surrounding areas) have been destroyed, there are various areas, far from the population centers, where people have survived. The people are trying to make sense of what happened and are trying to rebuild their lives and their country.

This story takes place in Western Montana where you follow the adventures of Jim Thompson, a survivor of the massive attack, trying to make sense of what is left of the world. Your choices will decide what happens to Jim, and perhaps what happens to the country...


Player Comments

I think at this point I've read several of Ogre's stories, and so far this is one I like the best, because it lived up to the way it was described. I didn't mind the shortness at all, since 18,000 words is a reasonable length to allow multiple read-throughs without a major time commitment, and the story wasn't quite weighty enough in its current form to support a longer story.

There are basically two primary branches to this story, and although there are an admirable 18 endings, there was some redundancy to them, as well as a bit of predictability. For instance, at multiple points I had the option to actively resist a unit of armed soldiers, or to attack a fortified armory, and in each case the consequences were just as horrible as I expected. Having read a bit more than half of the endings, I saw the pattern developing and decided to go ahead and click one of those End Game links.

Which is not to say I thought the story was bad, only that it was becoming binary: either I joined the military and was ordered to raid my home town, or I stayed in my home town and defended it against the military. This is fine for 18,000 words, but if there are plans to develop this into a longer story (interesting idea, by the way) then I would hope there would be more scenarios, more characters, and more developed plotlines to sustain that additional storytelling. If by lengthening the story we just mean twice as much of this back-and-forth, then I'd be less interested.

Overall, the basic elements of the story seemed more or less plausible. The "join the army" branch had a few elements that made me raise my eyebrows, especially the maps of the invasion plans that were just lying out where any old non-com could mark them up. Also, as a sergeant, Jimmy has way too much authority when his unit goes to the town. Sergeants execute orders, but they don't necessarily give them.

On the "defend the town" side, I was amused by this line:

"The army and people need this food. You people can get in line at the nearest government facility and get your share there."

I found this line--in which the "New American" army was confiscating private property and directing citizens to go get handouts from the "nearest government facility"--fraught with satirical political commentary. I hope it was intentional, but fear that it was just some apocalyptic trope.

Either way, I thought this was a good story, and I gave it a 6/8.
-- Bill_Ingersoll on 6/30/2019 7:04:42 PM with a score of 0
Apparently I read this one before (Since I rated it) but upon going through it again, I’m bumping that up a bit. This is an underrated post apocalyptic story. Probably due to it being short mainly because of the contest time length.

Despite it being on the short side, I think there was a lot of detail here with the characters and background. There was also more than enough endings and branching to do a few playthroughs. Writing is fine in general. Obviously major effort was put into this compact story.

Definitely would have liked seeing a larger version of this story, but even in its current form it’s pretty good.
-- EndMaster on 6/24/2018 12:31:06 AM with a score of 0
Fantastic Work. I'll list the main reasons why I liked this:

1) The layout looked great giving it a real book feeling.
2) The writing was error-free, concise and very descriptive. The benefits and consequences of the choices made sense.
3) The sheer variety of endings makes this a very re-readable story, playing through it a few times I've read about half the endings so far but I'll definitely come back to this to read the others later.

You mentioned the length limits and it's true there are only six or seven choices in a complete story but if you're going to have a story with eighteen different endings that's a lot of branches and a lot of pages. I think this is a story that could be developed further quite easily by branching again and again, I'm giving this 7/8 because I think it could potentially be improved by more branches and endings but this is a small issue, even if this only had eight endings this would still be excellent because of the writing quality.

If Playa988's competition is still going this story is so good as to be practically certain of a place in the top 3 with a very good shot at number 1 :D Definitely one of the most impressive stories of the year so far.
-- Will11 on 8/13/2015 11:37:43 PM with a score of 0
This was a really good apocalypse game by my standards. As usual, my nitpicks are as follows:
Pretty good, actually. When I saw you used past tense, I took it as a challenge to find a spot where you broke and used present tense. I found no screw ups, so bravo to you. I did catch a few grammar errors, but barely any.
Better. I got a decent description as to what was going on, and you didn't just drop me into THE WORLD IS DYING OH MY GOD WHAT DO YOU DO. I understood character motives pretty well also.
Decent, with multiple endings. I do like the multiple endings thing, and your story wasn't too short nor too long.
In conclusion, you deserve a colorful sticker.
-- ultraoverlord on 2/15/2018 7:56:48 PM with a score of 0
Man you have to think really hard to get the right ending! 8/8
-- Creepyguy735 on 12/29/2017 12:25:32 AM with a score of 0
I loved it
-- Stormfeather on 11/15/2016 7:25:25 PM with a score of 0
Nice. Wish it was longer
-- Tyrant44 on 7/26/2016 7:37:27 AM with a score of 0
Great job ogre! This storygame made me feel good about the character, even if I didn't get a "happy ending". I felt like the game was one of the rare cases where it is actually a STORY and a GAME. Again, great job.
-- Jimmysutton on 3/31/2016 12:01:56 PM with a score of 0
Overall, the story was really good. A lot of the choices had me sitting back and really weighing down my options. Jim's morality places a huge role here, and it sucks having to think about the well being of others when you are dealing with starvation, a lack of supplies, and a sense of danger yourself. I've played through about 4-5 endings, and while each of them didn't really have a "happy ending", I was pretty satisfied with all of them.
-- AppDude27 on 9/10/2015 2:50:33 PM with a score of 0
Huh, interesting. Your writing was pretty descriptive, though a little jolting at times -- you should consider using some more conjunctions in your writing -- and there were several grammar mistakes, but they didn't really detach from the experience. All in all this was a unique, quite replayable story and a nice addition to the contest. Also, what you did with the background and format certainly helped.
-- FazzTheMan on 8/18/2015 8:23:33 AM with a score of 0
Show All Comments