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A Collegial Conversation

by alyshkalia profile

Slice of life
2024

Web Site

(based on 4 ratings)
3 reviews

About the Story

The residents of the City of Zelio’s government complex have gathered for one of their regular soirees. The large, gas-lit hall with its gleaming marble floor, columns supporting the mezzanine, tables piled with decadent food, holds a sea of government officials and their guests. Including these four...

Two queer couples from different social classes verbally face off in this standalone game set in the author's Structural Integrity universe. It was written for SeedComp 2024, inspired by the seed "1 link = 1 viewpoint change" submitted by CrocMiam. It also makes partial use of the seed "Palates" by Charm Cochran.


Game Details


Awards

Entrant, All Games - SeedComp! - 2024

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Number of Reviews: 3
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Least Fun Workplace Interaction, April 15, 2024
by Cerfeuil (*Teleports Behind You* Nothing Personnel, Kid)
Related reviews: Seedcomp 2024

I'm fascinated by the perspective switching in this one. It takes the seed and really puts it to good use. You get to see a heated, passive-aggressive confrontation between two couples, and man there's so much tension simmering beneath the surface even though their words to each other are perfectly cordial. Jumping from character to character as the argument progresses is jarring, but also a great way to capture the chaotic back-and-forth of the conversation.

I can't help but think this would be a great writing exercise - a way to illustrate the differences in perspective and how they can vary from person to person. But it's not just about perspective, it's about diving into each character's head and seeing what they want and like and dislike. It's a pleasant kind of whiplash and it really makes you feel like you're seeing the situation from four dimensions (everything at once!). Replayed a bunch of times.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A game from many perspectives, set at a work party with drama, April 6, 2024
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

This was an intricate and surprising game. It uses a seed for color palettes and another for ‘one click=one change in perspective’.

So the way it’s structured is that it has a setting and a list of dramatis personae. All of the people’s names are linked, and clicking on them gives you a view of the soiree from their perspective, as well as links to the three others.

So, I thought, ‘Ah, I get it. There are just four story passages, and you can pick what order to read them in.’ But, it was actually a lot more complex than that. Each link that you click takes you to another person’s perspective, like I thought, but it also advances the time. So there’s actually quite a bit of complexity in play here.

At first, I thought there were 8 or so people, until I realized that every person had a first name and a last name and that which one was used in the text depended on the familiarity of the person who was speaking. This introduced an almost puzzle element for me, as I had to go back and forth between the dramatis personae list and try to fit together the different perspectives into a unified whole. It made me feel like this was a lot of worldbuilding for one game, so I checked the ‘about’, and saw that this tied in with the author’s earlier game Structural Integrity.

Overall, the writing felt natural and the scenario was interesting enough that I played through 4 or 5 times (unlocking the ‘faster read’ mode). The basic concept is that you’re at a work party and two male/male couples that have beef with each other bump into each other with a combo of flirting and veiled insults.

I felt like the ending didn’t really end on a satisfying, conclusive note; it felt like there was either something missing left to be told or that room was being left for a sequel hook.

I also think that the extensive worldbuilding and the ‘one click = one viewpoint change’ concepts had tension with each other, because with such fleshed-out characters I would have liked to have more time with one character to learn names from their point of view and get a feel for them and their worldview before hopping over to the next character.

Finally, the styling looked nice, with well-chosen colors and backgrounds, and a fancy dramatis personae list. I thought early on ‘I wish I could just bring up the list of people more easily’, and then I realized there was a button that does exactly that, which was good design.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Politics and Relationships, always an interesting mix, March 13, 2024
by manonamora
Related reviews: seedcomp

A Collegial Conversation is a short Twine interactive piece, lasting the time of a conversation during a fancy party. Two couples of different social classes, but linked with their workplace, exchanging some... words. While the story is fairly linear, and you may not affect it, it is told in an interesting manner: each scene can be read from the point-of-view of each selectable character. By clicking on the different names, you can switch POV and read what the next character sees, hear, or feels. All scenes can be read from one POV at a time after reaching the end.

It's not just fun to read about an event from different POvs, to see how differently they view one same situation, but explore their motivations for doing a specific action or saying a specific thing, their wants and worries, their pride and insecurities - but it also puts a lot of things into context. You get to understand the relationships between the characters, the politics happening in the workplace, and the tribulations of each characters. Even with so few passages, each character get a lot more depths than you'd expect.

I think I ended up keeping the spiciest of characters for last (it was a treat, I really enjoyed that POV's commentary), that was delightful. I was kind of wishing after going through all possible POVs to be able to get more of Seira's, the commissioner.

A fun use of the seeds too!

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A Collegial Conversation on IFDB

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