Playtesting: This Rising Darkness.

Okay. Fool me twice, shame on me: I’ve inadvertently let This Rising Darkness go live. coughs

This is not such a bad thing: I’m so completely unsure of what people will make of this one that I’d be very, very happy to receive some feedback about it. So I’m leaving it live and InProgress, and I’ve marked it several times as being in a beta state - heck, a pre beta state. g

So far there are precisely two areas available: the introductory area and the sorta introductory area. There are things to do, people to meet and a few difficult choices to make.

My concerns:

  • I’m pretty new to SN formatting. Have I broken things? I’ve probably broken things. Yell at me if things come crashing down around your head.[/li][li]See the above, but this time in regards to pacing. There’s a time-limit involved. You mightn’t have time to explore every available option. If they’re dull as rocks, that’ll be a relief. If they’re not and the effect is irritating, please yell at me.[/li][li]It’s wordy. I’m a fan of wordy, when it’s good words. If you think that these aren’t, please yell at me.[/li][li]The sidebar. I’m not sure that it hasn’t become cluttered. If you feel it’s a mess, please - well. You know.

I promise a future treat to current testers, but anything that I gave you now wouldn’t be useful for a while yet anyway. You’ll see why. So instead I can only offer you my very, very deep thanks. I welcome your abuse. I welcome your critiques. I welcome your abusive critiques.

Thank you. g

ETA: Whoops. A link: . I didn’t forget it on account of nerves. Really.

edited by ArianeEmory on 1/12/2013
edited by ArianeEmory on 1/12/2013

Eee! I love this!

The prose is incredible. Very terse, very mysterious. My heart’s pounding, and I’m fairly certain it’s not just because it’s one in the morning while I’m playing it. The situation is enticing, and you’ve done a great job at setting up the story. I’m so glad this has gone live.

It’s not all gushing, though. On the card “A matter of security” under the option “The Doors”, there is no result text. But that’s the only problem I could find in my play-through.

I can’t wait until you add some more!

… I am a little overwhelmed. Thank you! grins You are way, way too kind, and I am so glad that it’s been working for you so far. Although I totally agree that late-night playthroughs probably help it along enormously. g And thank you double for catching that: I was certain that a blank had snuck in somewhere even though I’d double-checked, and there it is. Fixed now, with thanks! I hope to be pushing the next installment live in the very near future.

I most definitely second Charlotte’s Eeee! :] Even at the current short length it’s well on its way to becoming one of my favourite SN games - I absolutely love your writing style and look forward to more!
As for the sidebar, it looks pretty much like most SN games, maybe a bit less cluttered than most :]

One query - on the Lorelei pinned card Ask the easiest question, Ask about your shared history and Ask about her all seemed to have the same Unlock requirement (Unlock with Your recollection . You have Your recollection Memories like cobwebs.) but only the easiest question was unlocked? I wasn’t sure whether this was a bug or I needed to change my Recollection quality somehow to unlock the others.

An extra eeeee! for good measure :]

… oh, my blushes. Thank you so, so much. I am really just floored. laughs You guys have made my week.

Again, that’s my oversight: I’m still trying to get a feel for pacing. As a result, the Memories quality - one of the several around which the game will very much revolve - has only two named ‘stages’ and they’re spaced very far apart. I don’t want to imply that the player’s hitting a peak of revelations, so to speak, during what’s essentially the prologue … but on the other hand, I do want to signify steady progress, if the player does choose to unlock some of those recollections. The two choices are separated by maybe three levels of recollection … but obviously that’s not clear to the player. Thank you very much for pointing this out! I’d never have realised, and will play with that a bit tomorrow to see if it can be sorted out nicely.

Again, thank you so very much! You are both far too kind. g

I played your intro, and it’s very good! I especially like how you disregarded the Header-Body Header-Body limitation of the cards and made the prose read very smoothly.

My only question - on the story about the train, it almost seems like I should have made a choice there. One man, twelve man, which way do I switch the tracks? Even if it doesn’t affect anything that felt like a natural choice I would make if I had a dream.

Oh lord, the train. laughs

That was actually one of the reasons I threw this into playtesting at such an early stage. I agonised over the train question. SN isn’t just about interactive stories; it’s about stories that are games. So is it ever appropriate to include a string of prose that doesn’t actually offer the player any choices to make? No button to click, no consequence/reward/result? I’m still undecided.

Enough of my rambling. g No, there’s no choice; at the same time, the player’s making one in his head regardless of whether there’s a button to click. At risk of sounding obscenely pretentious, I want to confront - with a question that the story/game returns to repeatedly. There’ll be plenty of opportunities to physically make that choice. But not at that point.

I’m still not sure it’s appropriate. So I appreciate so, so much that you’ve mentioned it. g And thank you very much! Layout is my obsession; my other game doesn’t ignore the formatting like that, but this one’s gotten so wordy. I’m glad the effect is smooth instead of disruptive!
edited by ArianeEmory on 1/15/2013

There’s nothing wrong with an open ended question that will tie itself into the story, especially in a way that has us more immersed in the scenario than a simple hypothetical.

Very well orchestrated. It kept me clicking to find out what was going to happen next.

I didn’t say there was anything wrong with it, I was just curious if it was a placeholder. I like the idea that it will become significant later.