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About the Story
A story of the sea.
9th Place, La Petite Mort - English - ECTOCOMP 2022
Winner, Outstanding Choicescript Game of 2022 - Player’s Choice; Winner, Outstanding Choicescript Game of 2022 - Author’s Choice - The 2022 IFDB Awards
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Number of Reviews: 3
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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.
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.
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.
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Outstanding Choicescript Game of 2022 - Author's Choice by MathBrush
This poll is part of the 2022 IFDB Awards. The rules for the competition can be found here, and a list of all categories can be found here. This award is for the best Choicescript game of 2022. Voting is anonymous and open only to IFDB...
Outstanding Choicescript Game of 2022 - Player's Choice by MathBrush
This poll is part of the 2022 IFDB Awards. The rules for the competition can be found here, and a list of all categories can be found here. This award is for the best Choicescript game of 2022. Voting is open to all IFDB members....