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by Travis Moy profile


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(based on 5 ratings)
3 reviews

About the Story

A story of the sea.

Made in four hours for the La Petite Mort category of EctoComp 2022.

Story adapted from the Byzantium and Friends, episode 40, "Byzantine tales of horror and the macabre." Cover image generated by DALL-E 2.

Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: October 31, 2022
Current Version: Unknown
License: Freeware
Development System: ChoiceScript
IFID: Unknown
TUID: wavvld9skzhi72rp


9th Place, La Petite Mort - English - ECTOCOMP 2022


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Number of Reviews: 3
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
The Rhyme of the Byzantine Mariner, November 21, 2022
by Draconis
Related reviews: Ectocomp 2022

This is a ChoiceScript game set in Imperial Constantinople, which I think means it’s somewhere between ~400 and ~1400 CE—my knowledge of history is unfortunately much weaker than my knowledge of historical languages! You’re a sea captain named Peter, a guest at a high-society party thrown by your friend Demetrios, entertaining “merchants draped in cloth and woman with intricate veils, scholars sitting straight, Imperial administrators proudly sporting their badges of office”.

All of them speak exclusively in rhyme, and look down on you for not being able to do the same. Your goal is to tell them a story that will satisfy them. (The rhyming seems to represent some sort of linguistic difference: at one point a friend of yours abandons rhyme and “shift[s] down into the common register”. It’s a neat touch, because it makes the high-prestige register sound both difficult to execute and faintly absurd, which is presumably how Peter sees it.)

The story you tell them is, unfortunately, very short. You get one real choice to make during it—which is an interesting one! And the writing is certainly engaging.

But even after a couple different playthroughs, I was left wanting more. The four-hour deadline puts tight limits on how much writing can be in a Petite Mort game, but I wish a little more of it had been dedicated to the story itself, and a little less to the frame narrative. Both the high society of Constantinople and the strange affairs happening out at sea are fun and engaging, yet the overall impression I’m left with is that I want a proper serving of either one, rather than just a little taste of both.

P.S. I was tempted to write this in rhyme, but decided it’d take too much time. I might have to try again later, when I’m done with my duties as rater.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A brief Choicescript tale about a troubled ocean voyage, November 14, 2022
by MathBrush
Related reviews: less than 15 minutes

This is a speed-IF written in 4 hours or less, written using Choicescript (which is a hard engine to do speed-IF in). It features a dinner party in old Constantinople, where you, a ship's captain, have to tell the story of a fated ocean trip that leads to the title of the game.

The story itself is bizarre and perturbing, and well done. The opening setting is also solid. Other parts of the game are a bit patchy, as is usual for speed-IF, since time runs out; the main things here are the quickly-sketched out endings and the fact that some parts of the game are written in rhyme and others are not.

Still, the story itself is very solid, and I like this setting and would like to see more. The only Byzantine/Constantinople game I've seen before is Kyle Marquis's Silverworld, also in Choicescript. Overall, I'm glad I played this short Ectocomp game.

Worse things happen at sea, November 4, 2022
by jakomo
Related reviews: ectocomp2022

Choicescript tale of the nautical and the supernatural. You're a Byzantine-era ship captain at a party (where everyone talks in rhyme), recounting a weird event where your ship inexplicably stopped moving and a female passenger seemed to be the sole cause. The story is compelling, the moral choices you're given are interesting, and it wisely leaves the biggest mysteries unexplained. It's only disappointing that the rhyming gimmick set up in the framing device isn't carried over into the main story: would have loved to read this tale entirely in verse.

If you enjoyed THROW. MARIA. OVERBOARD....

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