Player Comments on Uneasy Lies the Head
After many years of working a dead *beat* job as a potter, you become an important individual in your pseudo-communist governmental system: now that’s more my tune. But fiddle me this, how many more music puns can I skip into this review? Want to hear the one about the staccato? Never mind, it’s way too short.
Things to improve:
-Primarily I’m putting this section first because there is very little plot/worldbuilding wise to improve. What holds this story back is the plethora of SPAG mistakes that pollute its pages. Here are a few I found:
1) On the title page of this CYOA there is a two space gap between ‘one’ and ‘fateful’.
2) On the first couple of pages the sentence ‘There was no need to regret the past\;’ does not need the slash.
3) On the ‘Sinfonia’ page you put ‘ " I remember little about their function," you confess.’ There is no need for the gap between the speech marks and the ‘I’.
4) Again on the first few pages you put ‘This is generally the position lottery winners choose, as it generally leads to wealth and fame, so expet to be replaced soon if you choose it.’ There are two things wrong with this paragraph. First: ‘expect’ is spelt incorrectly. Secondly, there is another weird gap between ‘to’ and ‘wealth’.
5) On the ‘suite’ page, ‘if’ is spelt ‘ig’.
6) On the ‘sequence’ page, ‘purchased’ is spelt ‘purhased’
I’m not going to go into every single thing you did incorrectly, as part of improving is evaluating your own work. These, I hope, will provide a place to start in the editing process.
-That motif of music is really well thought out, the various metaphors you use to expand upon it is genuinely impressive. As someone currently doing worldbuilding about a music-central society it was fun to see how someone else would do similar concepts in a different way.
-worldbuilding here is super strong. In the first few pages you pair information with prose proficiently: I got a good idea of how the world functioned quickly. Especially I liked the capitalistic/monarchistic (maybe) moon people you can marry into in one of the endings. What a cool concept!
-There is a fair bit of branching here, with the three primary branches blossoming from your choice to be ‘key’ ‘tempo’ or ‘dissonance’ (hope I got those words right). Whatever you choose, you get a relatively good experience (though making policies as dissonance was my favourite).
Overall this is a game with great worldbuilding, so much so that I’d like to see some sort of expanded universe based on it, but it is held back by some subpar spelling and structure.
on 12/13/2021 2:02:43 PM with a score of 0
UNEASY LIES THE HEAD: 86%
SHOULD I READ THIS?
Yes, it’s a fun and quick read.
Preview: After suddenly becoming an influential political figure, you must use your newfound power to make changes in your country and your life with the limited time you have.
Basic Plot & Coherence: 5/5
I really like the concept here. There are a number of games on this site that deal tangentially with the concept of running a country, but few that focus on it as specifically as this one. Another thing I liked was the thought put in to the structure of the fictional government. The musical theme is an intriguing organization. The existence of several different governmental branches added an extra layer of consideration when weighing different options, as the player has to judge who is going to pass what.
Overall, this story feels like a good teaser of a much longer game. In a similar but longer game, I would have liked to dive deeper into the lore of the world. It would have been cool to learn more about the tier system, have the opportunity to deal with the long-term consequences of your legislature, and potentially see systemmic changes play out in the governmental structure (such as a continuation of the tier reassignments begun in the dissonance path). However, this isn’t a criticism of the game as it currently exists, the fact that I’m left wanting more is a testament to the engaging nature of what has been written.
Here’s some details I noticed:
-I thought the plot around the war with Veldon was a good setup for player decisions, as the stakes were genuinely important but the right answer wasn’t immediately obvious.
-The musical theme was a clever way of tying the different story branches together. I liked the way each page title was a musical term.
-I liked the way that the endings focused on both the impact the main character has had on the country, and on his new social standing. For example, when you fail to be effective as dissonance, you can still end up happily married (or not), and the key path focuses almost exclusively on your post-governmental prospects (and your increasing corruption). I thought this was interesting because it made the game more complex than just succeeding or failing to optimize your choices. Like in real life, politicians in this game have conflicting personal agendas that may sway their choices away from focusing on what is best for the country.
Characters & Development: 2/3 (usually 5)
In a game of this length, there’s only so much development that can be done. The main character and Tangor both got a decent amount of development for the screentime they had, and I liked seeing the different way their relationship developed depending on the main character’s choices.
I noticed a couple typos. Nothing a quick proofread wouldn’t fix.
Mastery of Language: 2.5/3
The language was effective and communicative.
Mechanics & Coding: 0/0 (usually 5)
This was pretty straightforwards cave of time style game.
There was a wide variety of different endings that could be achieved based on the player’s choices. You can become a moral and well-respected legislator, a corrupt scheming figurehead, or just mildly incompetent.
Player Options/fair choice: 2/3
For a number of the options, there are additional caveats and clarifications to the decision that aren’t mentioned until after the choice has already been made. I understand that this often needs to be done to streamline the story and not overwhelm the player, but it would have been nice to have a little more information when making decisions.
That said, overall, the outcomes seemed pretty realistic. You can change the status quo, but not too much without consequence, just like in real life.
I first got the ending on the tempo where you temporarily increase the production quotas and accidentally make it permenant. Oh well. My favorite two endings were the ones where you successfully defeat Veldon, and the one where you make things better for the lower tiers as dissonance.
I liked the tempo path and parts of the dissonance best because they were focused more on the actual ruling of the country.
CONCLUSION: 19/22 = 86.36%
Overall, I very much enjoyed this. It's a fun concept and it's well executed.
on 9/6/2021 11:15:28 AM with a score of 0
I really enjoyed this. It was beautifully written and the musical themes really added to the style. I'm going to replay this over and over because of how good it was.
on 10/16/2021 12:41:38 AM with a score of 0
This story leaves me with mixed feelings. On one hand, the setting is immersive, and the writing holds a rhythmic flow. But also, like so many contest entries, it suffers from lack of polishing. There are three different fonts, and a typo on the front page. It left me invested enough to crave more, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but it reads as teaser rather than a full storygame. After Vanishing Tales, I really expected something of that caliber, and I'm sure we would have gotten it if not for that pesky deadline.
on 9/7/2021 4:05:37 PM with a score of 0
This was really good! I’m a music theory student so I loved seeing all the music terms. The story was unique and interesting too. 6/8.
on 9/6/2021 2:30:57 AM with a score of 0
I also thought the integration of musical terms in to politics was interesting. I also liked the sensory descriptions of what was going on at the castle. Although it could be realistic, I didn't like how it seemed like the character was thinking about keeping things the same and not helping people in lower tears so soon. I also would have liked to have a complete list of the tears and more information about how people are assigned to them.
— Future1 on 9/5/2021 10:01:32 PM with a score of 0
I like the font quite a plenty. Oh, and the whole music motif is something that's rather unique to utilize. Overall, I feel this story-game was good. I didn't find the length to be any sort of detriment, and the writing's solid for what much of it there is.
on 9/5/2021 8:19:44 PM with a score of 0