Playtesting(?): Blue Moon

Blue Moon isn’t a game, and it’s not a story, really, though I suppose it has narrative ideas. It’s a poem, essentially, in Story Nexus form. It’s fairly unsuccessful, and experimental, but I suspect that the one is independent of the other.

Anyway, it exists now.

[color=#009900]Successful or not, it has some plangent moments, it doesn’t outstay its welcome, and I like what you’ve done with the Qualities. I’d very much like to see more of, or like, this. (though if this 'un were any bigger I think it’d need a more tangible direction.) I wonder if there’s something more you could do with the icons (once we have more of them).[/color]

Well, that was a delightfully odd experience, and that’s all I have to say on the subject.

This was definitely interesting! My one big thing was I wasn’t sure what the pinned card was, and if there was an order I was supposed to follow, and so the first thing I did (with my first character) was die. Not a big deal because I just restarted and didn’t do it wrong again, but apparently I was too dense to catch the implications. Otherwise, very surreal and thought provoking. Nice idea!

Caitydid: That was an accident actually. That card was supposed to be locked off to Key Of Dreams for testing purposes only. My fault.

Bizarre. Highly atmospheric. I have to say I kind of like it. I feel that the choices you can make are significant even if it’s hard to understand what they mean sometimes. Reminds me a bit of the Iron Republic.

wow… just… wow.

What kind of feedback would you like on this, if any?

Any and none Gordon. I’m playing.

Pint Box: I’m surprised that it generated that strong a reaction.

Any and all, even. Pardon my idiomatic incompetence.

Well that was fan-friggin-tastic. I created this account just to tell you that. I was quite wary going in–bad poetry’s a lot easier to come by than decent poetry–but I liked that a lot. Probably helps that I’m a sucker for surrealism and body horror. “Something skitters in his sockets.”

One question: is it always the same ending? I tried again, doing the storylets in a different order and using the different branches that unlocked, but the only change in the ending was that it came much sooner (within 4-5 storylets).

Symptom: Thank you for the compliments! They feel undeserved.

There should be multiple endings. There are 6 opportunity cards, which shouldn’t repeat, with 2 branches apiece, one branch hidden depending on what cards you’ve played before. Their is one pinned card, which should terminate the “game”, and should have different content depending on what card you played first, so the structure is somewhat circular.

I had originally planned a more elaborate structure, but it proved, if not beyond the capabilities of SN, beyond the boundaries of my patience.

Reiterating what others have said here, but I found this enjoyably surreal. There quotations are well-placed and sometimes quite jarring when placed next to each other, and it’s nice to see something that pushes at the structure of SN a bit - it’s capable of creating so many unexpected and odd effects of character and perception. Definitely up for more experimentation along these lines!

I really feel this wants different/better art and some kind of music, to add more depth. I wasn’t getting much emotionally, though this sort of thing that will get very wide reactions based on what the reader is bringing. Did you have any strong intentions going in? I feel like something more directed and focused has the potential to convey a much stronger effect.

My intention was to have reactions vary widely based on what the reader is bringing. Also, to experiment with juxtaposition, a sort of textual Kuleshov effect.

Some feelings, likely loneliness, can seep into the bones, and become part of our identity, the feeling can come unmoored from cause and bind to everything around us. That general sense can be difficult to convey, I think, without giving the reader an anchor. Can we present images that are (hopefully) striking and allow the juxtaposition, the hollow places between to create a personal experience in the reader, without having to fill in the details of why we’re lonely? Can we create a mechanical layer where every choice is meaningful, but the branches are radically contained, and nearly all content is available at all times? Can a we create a complete work that is, essentially, a poem - images and rhythm and sounds more than narrative and explication - in the SN context?

The answer, as I think this little piece of work shows, is “maybe?”

Now that we’ve turned monetization on, worlds like this one that have playtesting threads can request if they’re ready.

You can work out whether a world is ready for monetizing here:

Thanks Nigel. That seems silly for this piece, but thanks.

[color=#009900]Well, if you wanted to add ‘experimental piece’ to the front page and see if anyone wanted to tip you Nex, that would do fine.[/color]