Stars

by Zoe H

Religious
2016

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Number of Reviews: 3
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Okay starting point, February 17, 2016

The creator acknowledges that this is her first game and not particularly polished, so instead of criticising or scoring it, I'll give some hopefully constructive pointers on future game creation.

The good:

The writing is pretty good, though there are a few clich├ęs, and there is a lack of paragraph breaks. There are also some technical errors that could be fixed with more beta-reading (for example, "here the sound" in the first room should be "hear").

The story itself has a nice dream-logic ambience to it. Especially climbing the tree in the darkness stuck with me. While the game is essentially puzzleless, I like that (Spoiler - click to show)the ending gives you a choice, even if one of the options just lets you replay the game rather than being a true ending.

Now, for problems to fix in future games:

Events in room descriptions. For example, if you walk out of the shed and then walk back, the cat gives you the same speech. Events like this should be put in a "say:" message. Likewise, room descriptions should either be written so as to avoid too much "story" information (for example, writing that the PC is shocked when they enter a room), or else be set to change after the first viewing.

There is also a problem with items being mentioned in the room description. This is not only redundant (since items are automatically listed on their own line); it also becomes misleading when the item in question is no longer around.

Some other implementation problems:

It's possible to return to the tree from the cloud by going down, which I think shouldn't work.

The switch isn't fixed in place, meaning that you can take it. Also, "push switch" or "pull switch" does nothing, but "examine switch" causes the PC to press it.

(Spoiler - click to show)If you choose to return to the garden at the end, "examine switch" no longer works.

At the end of the day, it's clearly a beginner's exercise. The story is simple, but nicely dreamlike; the world model, despite the problems mentioned above, is solid enough to make a winnable game.

We all need to start somewhere. Keep going!