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About the Story
There's no such thing as fake news, just a well-edited story.
You are trying to submit a story to the Salangrazarian Publishing Department. A rather controversial story. But if you want to be a published author you must write and rewrite to please your editors. Especially the rewriting part.
Gameplay is linear. The player does not choose what to write. Instead, the protagonist writes a sentence and receives feedback from the editor. Interactivity consists of the player choosing whether to accept or reject the feedback. The only way of making progress is to accept the feedback but the publishing company’s response to rejection is humorous. The player can experiment with this throughout the game to find the different responses. Be aware, some of the story contains physical and sexual violence.
Technically, the game does not delve into a full story. It only consists of a paragraph, but for a short Twine game this is effective enough at conveying this idea.
Initially, it did not strike me that the protagonist was trying to write a story based on an actual historical event. The first time I played the game I simply made the editorial changes without question to see how it would end. It seemed like they were reaching for story cliches, futuristic stock answers for a standard fairytale. Rather than an evil wizard or a menacing dragon in an ancient kingdom you have barbaric ogre-like aliens raiding jungle planets. Then I glanced at the game’s description and played the game with the intent of always rejecting editorial feedback. A deeper story emerges.
Regarding the massacre mentioned in the game's title, (Spoiler - click to show) Salangrazar had invaded Tripladin (which I believe are individual planets). In fact, "invading" would be putting it lightly. The capital was ransacked, and the citizens conquered. Tripladin is still under siege. Thus, why the Salangrazarian Publishing Department is so touchy about the protagonist's story.
The editor, I think, seems somewhat oblivious to the protagonist's true intention with writing the story. Rather than critiquing the story with the sole effort of acknowledging and calling out the protagonist’s attempt at sneaking in subversive content, the editor seems focused on critiquing it from the standpoint of merely evaluating a product that will sell, by nipping at small technicalities. The main giveaway is when (Spoiler - click to show) the player rejects the editor’s comments about the prince assaulting the princess. The rejection message reads, "The truth is out there, but we do not permit it to enter our publishing department." Other than that, they prefer to tip toe around the controversy.
There are no characters in the classical sense. The only interactions with the publishing company are through editor notes. The PC has no background, but I found it humorous how exasperated they feel as their story becomes increasingly micromanaged. The player in turn, feels prompted to just give up and give the publisher what they want. The irony (Spoiler - click to show) in this is that once you finally hack out a story worthy of being published you learn that you are only going to make $30 in profit. Even worse, the publisher's postal company only sends out payment ships once every 100 years. Oh well.
It is a nice example of how you can use a small array of text effects in a simple Twine game. There is a mix of formatting, such as bold and italicized text. Different colours are used and crossed out areas indicate corrections made by the protagonist. Everything is neatly organized against a black screen.
This game is extremely short and offers some bite sized humor. The premise of submitting a story to a galactic publishing company is a creative concept and could be classified as a “lunch break length” game. The editor’s feedback also opens a window into a variety of unique alien beings in the game’s universe, such as the (Spoiler - click to show) tribes of Rguzar IV or the Kraskan Fleamen, which adds a layer of creativity and light worldbuilding.
I would recommend this game if you felt like playing a short and humorous sci-fi game that focuses more on a general story idea rather than a richly detailed story.