Some writing for my first little game... Critique please ^_^

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Some writing for my first little game... Critique please ^_^

#1 Post by ebi brain » Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:35 am

You dont have to critique both if you dont want to...
I just... need some feedback, so I can work on improving^^
You can be as harsh as you want, just as long as you're polite about it.
I try to get out most of the errors, but sometimes my speech recognition software likes to plant random words in my text. I apologize in advance.

I'm mostly concerned about the dialogue though.... Especially about the actions that the characters do in between the dialogue like picking up a cup of coffee, twirling her hair.... Etc. I really suck at inserting those types of things:/
And also whether it actually sounds all right>< And also whether it's boring or not.

Thanks in advance! I really appreciate it!
Intro:

Code: Select all

"It all started with a single snowball."

K "Incomiiiiiiiiiiiing!!!!!"

"I was on my way home from school. Just minding my own business."
"When all of a sudden I found myself caught in the middle of the most brutal snowball fight I had ever witnessed."
"It all started with a single snowball."
"But one became two, and two became three, and three became so many...."
"There were snow balls whizzing past me from all directions...."
"....and all I could do was fall to my knees, pray, and cower in fear."

"Crawling around the field like a spastic crab, blinded by the snow around me, I wondered if I was going to make it."

"In mere seconds, the attack of snowballs had turned into a true avalanche."
"I  felt it was hopeless, and crawling around didn't seem to improve the situation."
"So I decided to just stay put, and squeezed my eyes shut until this ordeal was over."

M "Oh dear God! When will this end?! I'm too young to die! I still want to go to the 10th anniversary Pretty Priscilla Poppet doll convention!"

"As soon as I said those words, as if I'd summoned a guardian angel,I could hear footsteps running towards me."

K "Seize your fire! Seize your fire! We've got a code TCR-f! I repeat we've got a code TCR-f!"

"A boy's voice echoed across the field."

"And as if by a miracle, the never ending rain of snowballs started to slowly diminish."
"The footsteps closed into me and finally came to a halt."
"And then there was silence."
"Was this the end?"
"Was I dead or alive?"
"I was too afraid to look and find out."
"Suddenly I felt  some fingertips gently touching my cheek, they brought a little warmth to my otherwise half frozen face."

B "You can open your eyes now, you know..."

"Crouching in front of me was a boy roughly my age, his eyes showed concern and..."

B "Are you all right? You look a bit..."

"I don't know whether it was from the shock of nearly getting killed, or the fact that my jaw seemed paralyzed from the cold..."
"But for a while, I couldn't get a single word across my tongue as I stared bewildered at the boy."

"In the background, some  boys were complaining about me being in the way."
"How could these brats be responsible for the horror I had just survived?"

"The boy took my hand and helped me up."
B "Why don't we take you to a safer place."

"As he gave my hand a little squeeze, I could feel my cheeks starting to burn..."
"Now that I'd been able to catch my breath again, a sudden feeling of complete mortification crept up on me as I was surrounded by all these boys...."
"Some of them were smirking at the scene playing in front of them..."
"They must have thought I was a moron for freaking out like that."

B "I'm so sorry we-"
"To the boy's surprise, I let go of his hand."


Some dialogue:

At some point, the girl meets the boy again and because she's so embarrassed about last time they met, she tries to run away from him.... But he runs after her and soon catches up with her....

Code: Select all

  "Just seconds later, the boy came to a halt next to me, and dropped to the ground, gasping for breath as if his life depended upon it."
    B  "I.... thought... you'd ....never... stop running."
    B "What are ....you anyway? Some... prof...professional sprinter?"
    "I reached my arms towards my toes, hoping that would get rid of the stitch."
    M "Actually, I'm the first in my school's running team."
    B "Ah...."
    "The boy let himself fall backwards into the snow."
    B "That.. explains...it.."
    "For a while, we both stayed silent, huffing and puffing the run."

  M "So, what  do you want from me?"
    "I looked towards the boy as he was still panting."
    "He really seemed in bad shape."
    B "Can't... Talk now. Need... Drink."
    "He took one deep breath and then quickly scrambled up,  brushing the snow off his jeans."
    B "Lets find a café and get a drink or something."
    M "Uh..okay."
    "He didn't seem too bad. And besides, I didn't have anything better to do"
    
    #at the café
    B "So, you're not celebrating Christmas either?"
    M "Nope."
    "I sprinkle a couple of packets of sugar into my tea."
    B "Wow, I think you're the first person I've met that doesn't celebrate Christmas either."
    "He drank his iced coffee in one go."
    B "So, that's why you're out here."
    M "Well.... Not exactly."
    M "You see...."

    "I started to tell him about the past couple of days..."
M "....and so dad basically shoved me out of the door this morning. He said I should be outside on such beautiful day and I couldn't come back until I've had fun."
"I felt my mopey self coming back  and quickly took a big sip of my drink."
B "I see..."
B "Well he's right. Today really is a nice day."
B "And, if you'd stayed at home, you wouldn't have run into me."
B ".... Or... Well.... You actually {i}ran{/i} away from me..."
B "But those are just minor details... Right?"
"He gave me a wink as he said that."

B "Ah!..."
B "Before I forget..."
"He started to search in his pockets."
B "You left this behind... That day..."
"He dangled something in front of my face."
"It was a keychain, with a little kitten."
M "........"
M "That's... not mine..."
B "....."
B "I could've sworn that...."
M "Never seen it before in my life..."
B "So... You're really not missing a key chain?"
M "Nope."
B "Oh... Because, that's the whole reason I was chasing you around."
B "And... "
"Averting his eyes from me, he twirled his cup around a bit."
B "I still wanted to apologize, we probably shouldn't have held a snowball fight there."
B "After you left, some old man came to scold us.."
"Then, with a little sparkle in his eyes he looked up me again."
B "But we found a new spot, where the chance of a code TCR happening is almost zero."
M "TCR?...Anyway..you're forgiven.  Let's just forget about it"

"We both smiled at each other and fell silent for a moment."
Since I have our site RSI, I used speech recognition by, sometimes this means I'll make some mistakes. :D

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Re: Some writing for my first little game... Critique please

#2 Post by DragoonHP » Sat Dec 31, 2011 3:49 pm

It is quite good... ^.^

I actually quite liked the starting... I was intrigued... :D
But I found the whole code thingy confusing; I mean who goes to such degrees... but that could be just me...

There were some grammar errors here and there, but nothing that can't be fixed...

And i really lied your dialogue writing... it is quite fun to read... ^.^

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Re: Some writing for my first little game... Critique please

#3 Post by ebi brain » Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:18 am

I write my stories directly in renpy, it's easier to keep track of things that way:) And I can directly test the game for errors each time I add something.
or did you mean the code that the boy uses in the story? That will be explained later on in the story:D

Regarding grammatical errors, did you mean the couple of words that are missing in a sentence (Sometimes I don't catch every mistake my speech recognition software makes...e.g. the missing at's in some of the sentences) or was there something else?

in any case, thank you for reading all of that! I feel a bit more confident in continuing my story^^
Since I have our site RSI, I used speech recognition by, sometimes this means I'll make some mistakes. :D

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Re: Some writing for my first little game... Critique please

#4 Post by CheeryMoya » Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:27 am

It's interesting enough, but there was just one thing that really bothered me...
ebi brain wrote:K "Seize your fire! Seize your fire! We've got a code TCR-f! I repeat we've got a code TCR-f!"
I believe you were looking for "cease," as in stop.

But I think you blend dialogue and narration very well. The main character's thoughts flowed with the action IMO, but those parts are a little choppy. Nothing a quick revision can't fix though.

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Re: Some writing for my first little game... Critique please

#5 Post by ebi brain » Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:29 pm

Gahhhh I always make such stupid mistakes with Dragon NaturallySpeaking><

Some time ago it actually turned "tell me" into "kill me" ... I mean what the heck.

But thanks for pointing that out! I totally missed it.

Ciampi in what way?
chubby in what way?<---This is what I have to deal with every time :p
choppy in what way? Do I use too many periods in places where I should use a comma or a word that connects one sentence to another? Or...
Since I have our site RSI, I used speech recognition by, sometimes this means I'll make some mistakes. :D

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Re: Some writing for my first little game... Critique please

#6 Post by CheeryMoya » Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:16 pm

ebi brain wrote:choppy in what way? Do I use too many periods in places where I should use a comma or a word that connects one sentence to another? Or...
Yup. Too many periods makes me feel like the story is constantly stopping and going, lurching me forward and back when I want to cruise along. My 6th grade teacher gave me a good analogy that I think makes a lot of sense; imagine that a story is like a taxi ride, and the author is the driver and the reader is the passenger. The passenger hopes that the driver knows where the destination is and how to get there smoothly without too many stops. A lot of periods in a rapid succession of sentences stop the passenger from comfortably following the story since it's a like an unpleasant bumpy road and the driver keeps stepping on the gas and stomping on the brakes. Ever had that experience before? It makes me a little nauseous :C On the reverse end, overly-flowery language and extremely long and winding passages feel like times when the driver is accelerating at high speeds, which is not a nice feeling either.

So the key is to find the perfect balance between the two. You could use a few more transition words to make it feel more cohesive, but again, this is all stylistic preference.

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Re: Some writing for my first little game... Critique please

#7 Post by purple_pockets » Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:27 pm

I liked it. The word "suddenly" was used a bit too much, and you should have said "cease" instead of "seize" (cease=to stop; seize=to take ) I imagine that it is going to be fantastic when you add pictures.
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Re: Some writing for my first little game... Critique please

#8 Post by ebi brain » Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:27 pm

CheeryMoya wrote:
ebi brain wrote:choppy in what way? Do I use too many periods in places where I should use a comma or a word that connects one sentence to another? Or...
Yup. Too many periods makes me feel like the story is constantly stopping and going, lurching me forward and back when I want to cruise along. My 6th grade teacher gave me a good analogy that I think makes a lot of sense; imagine that a story is like a taxi ride, and the author is the driver and the reader is the passenger. The passenger hopes that the driver knows where the destination is and how to get there smoothly without too many stops. A lot of periods in a rapid succession of sentences stop the passenger from comfortably following the story since it's a like an unpleasant bumpy road and the driver keeps stepping on the gas and stomping on the brakes. Ever had that experience before? It makes me a little nauseous :C On the reverse end, overly-flowery language and extremely long and winding passages feel like times when the driver is accelerating at high speeds, which is not a nice feeling either.

So the key is to find the perfect balance between the two. You could use a few more transition words to make it feel more cohesive, but again, this is all stylistic preference.
Thanks, that seems to be a good way to put it, the taxi ride^^

i usually don't really like the overly flowery language when I read works from other people...
but at the same time I *love* using commas and making really long sentences...
So while writing this, I was really focused on keeping the sentences short.\ But as you say, I guess I should focus on finding a balance, instead of focusing heavily on one or the other.

Purple_pockets, thanks for catching that. I have a tendency to overuse words><
Once I've written everything, I'll go back and revise and see if I can find an alternative for "sudden"( and the other words that I will have most likely used too much).

Once again I apologize for writing "seize" instead of "cease". I know the difference between the two, but sometimes my speech recognition software doesn't recognize what I'm trying to say >< But I will change it once I revise everything.

Thanks for the encouragement! :D
Since I have our site RSI, I used speech recognition by, sometimes this means I'll make some mistakes. :D

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Re: Some writing for my first little game... Critique please

#9 Post by ebi brain » Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:01 pm

Okay I'm a little stuck on this part....


There is a girl, and she hung out with the boy at the park...
But then it gets dark and so they decided to go home and split up..


M = heroine
K = voice
S = Mischa

Code: Select all

    "As I was making my way out of the park, the sun had completely set. One by one I could see the streetlights turn on." 
    "I always felt a little bit creeped out, walking outside on my own in the dark like this."
    "You always read those stories in the news.... Body of a young female found dead...."
    "I shuddered as I thought about what could happen on an ordinary night like this."
    M "I should have probably asked if that boy...Mischa.. Could walk me home..."
    "I wrapped my arms around my body and started to walk faster, taking in every sound of the night."
    "Then, I started to hear footsteps behind me...and before I could even turn around, I could feel a hand planting itself onto my shoulder."
    M "AAAAAAAAHHHHH!"
    "I started to hit the person with my paper bag."
    M "Leave me alone! Help! Help police!"
    K "Woah, calm down!"
    K "It's me!"
    S "It's Mischa..."
    "When I took a closer look at the person in front of me, I could just make out his facial featuress."
    "His eyes were wide open with shock."
    S "I'm so...so sorry.."
    S "You're trembling..."
    
    "I sniffed and brushed away a tear that had fallen onto my cheek, then I lunged forward and I started to hit him."
    M "You bastard!"
    M "You stupid... stupid stupid...stupid."
    "With each \"stupid \" I could feel the energy drain out of each punch I gave him, until I could feel myself crumble and I slid down into a hopeless heap."
    "As I rested my palms on the cold ground, I couldn't help but let out a big sob."
    M "Don't scare me like that."
(after this, the guy apologizes a bazillion times and offers to walk her home lol)

now, I let my friend read this part.... And he says the girl is overreacting.
I say that, she has a right to be so upset because she thought she was going to end up dead or something + this girl is a bit more emotional than most I think...
and I've seen girls get upsets over way less scary things.

but even so, do you think she's overreacting?

I'm also not sure if I'd describe the hitting that she does correctly... Because it's not really punching or hitting as in something that will leave an injury but just, you know, those does little punches that you sometimes do out of frustration? There more of a firm pat.


The rest is still a bit choppy, since this is just my first draft but ><
Since I have our site RSI, I used speech recognition by, sometimes this means I'll make some mistakes. :D

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Re: Some writing for my first little game... Critique please

#10 Post by AriaAi » Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:23 am

ebi brain wrote: ...now, I let my friend read this part.... And he says the girl is overreacting.
I say that, she has a right to be so upset because she thought she was going to end up dead or something + this girl is a bit more emotional than most I think...
and I've seen girls get upsets over way less scary things.

but even so, do you think she's overreacting?

I'm also not sure if I'd describe the hitting that she does correctly... Because it's not really punching or hitting as in something that will leave an injury but just, you know, those does little punches that you sometimes do out of frustration? There more of a firm pat.


The rest is still a bit choppy, since this is just my first draft but ><

It sounds pretty good to me. * ^* There were a few run-ons every now and then, but it's nothing you can't fix. I'm still a novice at writing so... can this really be considered good feedback? :'D /hithit/
I think that to make it seem like she's not overreacting, you should add somewhere in there "You scared me..." or something around those lines. <-- Uh, The MC saying it of course. Having her state out that she was frantic. (But I think that anyone in a situation like hers would react that way too, especially since she was thinking about being murdered like in the news and etc. beforehand pff--.)
/coughs/ Maybe emphasizing how she would've liked for him to walk her home too? /cough/
I thought it could've been added in around here:
"You stupid... stupid stupid...stupid."
"With each \"stupid \" I could feel the energy drain out of each punch I gave him, until I could feel myself crumble and I slid down into a hopeless heap."
"You scared me..."
#Then he would probably reply back at the very end with
s "You... Don't scare me like that."
Adding more emphasis on the "you" because he's talking about how she scared him.
Also, maybe a way to describe the way she's hitting him is to add an adjective before "hitting"? Such as "...then I lunged forward and started to softly hit him."
Meh, I don't know. This might not be good feedback. (Since I'm still a novice. //mansobs) They're just suggestions from my point of view. ^ ^;;
AH- Question, are you making this a VN or is it just a small story you're working on? :'D //is really interested in it after reading this. <3

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Re: Some writing for my first little game... Critique please

#11 Post by ebi brain » Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:07 pm

Thanks so much for your input! It doesn't matter if you're a novice at writing as well, if something doesn't sound right to you, then it probably isn't:)

Since this is my first game, I'm trying to keep it simple so it will just be a short visual novel, but the choices you make won't have that big a difference on the endings (I'm putting a big emphasis on keeping it simple:)).

I haven't been able to work on it much lately as I am swamped with deadlines for school.

I tried to work on this scene a bit more, but I'm still not satisfied... At all. I'm also afraid that I'm writing way too much unnecessary stuff, while I could keep it a lot shorter.

Code: Select all

  "As I was making my way out of the park, the sun had completely set. One by one I could see the streetlights turn on." 
    "I always felt a little bit creeped out, walking outside on my own in the dark."
    "You always read those stories in the news.... Body of a young female found dead...."
    "I shuddered as I thought about what could happen on an ordinary night like this."
    M "I should have probably asked if that boy could walk me home..."
    "I wrapped my arms around my body and started to walk faster, taking in every sound of the night."
    "Then, I started to hear footsteps behind me..."
    "Before I could even turn around,  a hand had planted itself onto my shoulder."
    M "AAAAAAAAHHHHH!"
    K"WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!"
    M"LET GO OF ME!!!"
    "I started to hit the person with my paper bag."
    M "Leave me alone! Help! {w}HELP POLICE!"
    K "Wait wait wait! No! Stop hitting me!"
    
    K "Stop it!...{w}Please?"
    "I was about to start another series of pummeling, when I froze."
    "By now, he was crouching, covering his head with his arms."
    "Carefully, he let one arm down and peeked up at me."
    K "It's me!"
    "In the darkness, I could barely make out his facial features."
    S "It's me...{w}Mischa..."

    S "I'm so...so sorry.."
    "Bit by bit, he started to get up again... making sure I wouldn't unleash a second dose of rage upon him."
    S "Forgive me?" 
    
   
    
    "I sniffed and brushed away a tear that had fallen onto my cheek, then I lunged forward and I started to hammer my fists against him ."
    M "You bastard!"
    M "You stupid... stupid {w=.5} stupid...{w=1}stupid."
    "With each \"stupid \" I could feel the energy drain out of each punch I gave him, until I could feel myself crumble, as I slid down into a hopeless heap."
    "Resting the palms of my hands on the cold ground, I couldn't help but let out a big sob."
    M "Don't ever do that again."
    M "I was so scared."
    M "I thought you were going to-"
    "The words got stuck in my throat as I let out another sob."
    S "I'm so, so, so sorry."
    "He bent over and stretched his arm out to me, offering to pull me up, but I crawled up myself, leaving his arm hanging awkwardly."
    S "I wasn't thinking. {w=2}At all."
    "I brushed the last tears from my face and looked him in the eye."
    M "Why did you come after me, anyway."
    S "Ah...well..it's.."
    S "It's funny that you ask."
    S" You see....."
    S"I just realized...you're a girl..and.."
    M"You {i}just{/i} realized?"
    S"Ah! No..I mean.. I mean.."
    "He took a deep breath."
    S"What I mean is: I thought it'd be better if I'd walk you home."
 

(but now she seems really....mean (I mean when she calls him a bastard and stuff)? .... maybe I can make both of them feel sorry for the other?:p)

and this part doesn't really sound right either:
"I brushed the last tears from my face and looked him in the eye."
M "Why did you come after me, anyway."
It just seems too sudden.


#After this, she'll agree with him walking her home and I think I'll let him make a lame joke like:
Well, to be honest I don't really think you'd need anyone walking you home/you kind of scared me as well....
since you pack quite a punch with a paper bag. I thought I was going to die! (omg alliteration ftw lol)
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Re: Some writing for my first little game... Critique please

#12 Post by yukipon » Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:33 pm

"As I was making my way out of the park, the sun had set and the streetlights started to turn on."
"I always felt creeped out walking alone in the dark."
"You always read those stories in the news: a body of a young female found dead..."
"I shuddered as I thought about what could happen to me on an ordinary night like this."
M "I should have asked if he could walk me home."
"I wrapped my arms around my body and started to walk faster, taking in every sound of the night."
"Then, I started to hear footsteps behind me..."
"Before I could turn around, a hand was already on my shoulder."
M "AAAAAAAAHHHHH!"
K "WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!"
M "LET GO OF ME!"
"I hit the person with my paper bag."
M "Leave me alone! Help! {w}HELP POLICE!"
K "Wait wait wait! No! Stop hitting me!"
I edited a bit of it, but where to start? Hmm.

1) I like how you're using ellipses to convey the heroine's uncertainty, but try not to overdo it. Also, keep it consistent. Ellipses are three periods/dots in a row, keep it that way. Don't suddenly change it.

2) Try to squash your sentences down a bit too. Using modifiers such as 'a little' or 'too much' is okay, but don't overdo it. It's usually better to write, "I always felt creeped out," instead of "I always felt a little creeped out." The words "a little" don't do much to modify the meaning of the sentence, and it just makes it a little wordy to read. I'd say, unless you're describing something concrete with a definite quantity, I'd avoid using modifiers with abstract nouns and verbs in general.

That's about it for this part, I think. I'll read more and comment on the story later, but so far, I like it. I feel bad for Mischa, but he has to learn not to sneak up on girls like that!

I blame real life for getting in the way. (-_-)

Before I get to the story, there are a few things that did bother me quite a bit. I'll bold the examples in part of the first excerpt:
"It all started with a single snowball."
(1) "But one became two, and two became three, and three became so many...."

...

"Crawling around the field like a spastic crab, blinded by the snow around me, (2)I wondered if I was going to make it."

"In (3) mere seconds, the attack of snowballs had turned into a true avalanche."
"I felt It was hopeless and crawling around didn't seem to (4) improve the situation."

...

"And as if by a miracle, the never ending rain of snowballs started to slowly (5) diminish."
(1) You use this particular phrase a lot. Try and substitute something else, or limit the amount you invoke this phrase.

(2) Does she actually "wonder" or does she "think" she isn't going to make it? It's in first-person, so use something else or rewrite this part of the sentence. It's kind of a red flag for a real editor too.

(3) The word "mere" is too strong of a word for the context it's written in. Use "few" or an actual number. Other substitutions work too~. I guess it works if she frequently exaggerates whatever happens to her.

(4) Same thing as (3), but for different reasons. I don't know how old the heroine is, but "improve the situation" seems a little off. It's like the heroine speaks like a young girl and suddenly knows how to use "big" words. Keep it if she exaggerates a lot/is older; remove it if she doesn't/isn't.

The second excerpt is better... except... for all... the ellipses... all over... the.......................... place. Also, I like "mopey". That definitely sounds like the heroine, from what I've read.

Now, I don't have much to say about it since there isn't a lot there to read, so I'll just highlight what I liked:

I like the first excerpt though the whole outburst with the 10th Pretty Priscilla Doll Convention was random. The snowball part was my favorite out of all of them.

I'm not too fond of the second, even... though... it's... better written... except for the... yeah. It's not bad, just not as exciting. Also, shota-con route?

The third sort of makes Mischa look like a stalker. I think you should add more of her over-exaggerating her situation and making really extreme life-and-death scenarios which all involve a hand on the shoulder first. Then, a hand appears on her shoulder.

That's about it~. Now to my dreary life of making charts.
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Re: Some writing for my first little game... Critique please

#13 Post by ebi brain » Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:37 pm

I know that my response is, like, three months too late....
It's just that a lot of horrible things have happened in the past months that made it hard for me to focus on things like Lemmasoft/my game >_<

But, I did read your post!

Thank you for your feedback.

I'm a bit overwhelmed, though I do agree with most of the things you said. Except, I didn't quite understand what you meant with the "red flag for a real editor" thing. Nor did I understand where the shota-con thing came from >_> (please enlighten me lol).

And you're right, the girl is young ( well, early teens? ) but she has this godawful tendency to overreact and make things sound worse than they really are. :mrgreen:

I'm feeling overwhelmed, because, looking over everything again, it kind of feels like I'll have to re-write everything.
This time I'll really have to plan out all of the branches, because I have a feeling that this whole story is kind of going nowhere :(

Or... It's going somewhere, but like you said some parts don't seem very exciting. They come across as the type of background noise that you would hear on the bus or something.

Even if this game is intended to be a simple test game, I still want it to be a good test game.

So, while I'm not abandoning this project (I will finish it even if it takes me years), I will probably throw it around completely ( though, keeping some parts, I guess).

Hopefully having taken a break from it for so long, I can see my mistakes and improve.
Since I have our site RSI, I used speech recognition by, sometimes this means I'll make some mistakes. :D

My sketchbook - Come yell at me :D

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