Feedback on Space Adventure VN

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queenjessica
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Feedback on Space Adventure VN

#1 Post by queenjessica » Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:48 am

Hi! I'm writing a space adventure VN and would like some feedback on the prologue and part of the first chapter (you don't have to read all of it). Any feedback is really appreciated! I'm wondering if this could potentially be released or if the quality isn't good enough to do so.

Here's the prologue:
(R = Reese, E = Elk)

"Year 2287"
"Orbit 5 of the Solar System of the Earth's Dominion (Between Mars and the Asteroid Belt)"
"Aboard the Virus P, battleship of the Earth's Dominion Police Department (EDPD)"
"..."
R "Hey Dad,"
R "There's an unregistered ship on the radar."
"Reese sat next to his father aboard the police ship, watching the complex radar on the screen in front of him."
"There was military-grade technology all around them in the spacious cockpit, blinking different colored lights at them and showing all sorts of different information."
“Reese’s father piloted the spacecraft during their patrol, flying with a yoke, steering-wheel-joystick hybrid.”
“He looked through the front window and at all the screens as well. One screen showed their engine status in an image display of the engine, another showed their speed and acceleration,”
“Another showed all their contacts in their communication systems, allowing them to connect to any police member in the solar system as well as any local vehicles or stations, via their Arm Devices, or ADs.”
“And yet another showed all the system statuses in green image displays, saying that everything was okay and ready to go. There were the combat controls, including the gun controls, but those weren’t in use at the moment.”
“While Reese’s father Elk piloted, Reese was monitoring the radar, a task sometimes bland and sometimes demanding for the new policeman."
“The radar had a black screen, it had all of the solar system mapped out with coordinates given to each section of each orbit and with the current locations of each planet and space station in orbit around the sun, but it was zoomed close into Orbit 5 at the moment.”
“Orbit 5 was before the asteroid belt orbit (Orbit 6), and after the first four orbits of Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars.”
“On this radar, a small dot was shown in front of the dot representing the Virus P, 100 kilometers ahead, and upon clicking on this small dot, barely any information was provided about this vehicle on the screen.”
“The display indicated that it was open to a measly level-1 communication, that it was only a single engine spacecraft, and it has its location and speed, but nothing was there about its registration, its model type, or its crewmembers.”
E "What’s that? An unregistered ship?"
"Reese’s father leaned in, peering at the lack of information on Reese’s screen about this small dot."
R “Do you think it’s a pirate?”
“Reese hoped with some anticipation that they’d run across pirates, who often rode unregistered spacecraft.”
E “Hmm, aim the camera towards it and zoom in.”
“Reese did as he was told and an image appeared on the screen.”
“…”
E “It looks like…”
R “A bird?”
E “Yeah, kind of like a baby goose.”
R “Well no wonder it isn’t registered, it’s just a little goose.”
“Elk rolled his eyes at Reese.”
R “But what’re we gonna do? Arrest them? Fight them?”
E “Hold on, we have to talk to them first.”
“Elk tapped into the local communication network on the communication screen in the cockpit and he connected to audio of the unregistered ship.”
E “This is Officer Elk Lethem with the EDPD. You’re flying a vehicle that is not registered with the Dominion and we need to pull you over to do a vehicle check.”
“…”
“…”
“…”
R “Hmm, They’re not saying anything.”
E “Yeah, I can hear that.”
“Elk took a deep breath and repeated:”
E “This is the EDPD. We need to check your vehicle.”
“Reese felt awkward in the repeated silence but wondered with more anticipation if anything exciting would happen.”
“The Virus P flew closer to the bird-like ship during the silence and Reese looked at the radar again.”
“The ship definitely wasn’t abandoned- it was still moving on the radar and it was trying to move away from them.”
“Reese looked at the video that was being captured of the ship to see if it was armed, but it didn’t seem to be a combat vehicle.”
“He wondered what the small ship was doing all the way out here in Orbit 5 by itself.”
“Elk spoke to the ship again.”
E “If you do not communicate with us, we will disable and board the vehicle.”
“Still no response.”
R “Can I board? Please?”
E “No, you stay here and be ready to assist.”
R “It’ll be safer for both of us to stick together.”
E “I told you not to come! It might be dangerous for you.”
R “Isn’t that why I’m here though? To get experience in these kinds of situations?”
“Elk was silent for a moment. He was clearly frustrated at Reese.”
“Then he sighed.”
E “Fine, I suppose you could come.”
“So the two of them went to the changing room where their suits were stored to get ready to go out into space. It was customary to put on suits when going into unknown ships, especially if a fight might occur.”
“The suits were standing in their own tubes against the walls. They were blue police spacesuits with the EDPD logos on the right arms.”
“They climbed into the suits and zipped or buckled everything up. The suits were thick yet tight to their bodies with a texture that was shiny like plastic.”
“They then put on their helmets, which were white with the EDPD logo on the side and a transparent front to look through.”
“They connected their helmets to the oxygen packs on their backs with a narrow tube, so they could breathe out in space.”
“Then they each grabbed an EDPD gun: small double-barreled hand-guns; one barrel for tranquilizers and one barrel for plasma bullets.”
R “Are we going to connect the airlocks or fly aboard?”
E “We’ll connect the airlocks.”
“Elk sat in the pilot’s seat again and Reese sat in the copilot’s seat.”
“Elk slowly maneuvered the Virus P so that they were aligned next to the bird ship, and once Reese overrode the system of the other ship and gained control of it, he opened the door of the other ship. He then opened the door of the Virus P.”
“Using a camera mounted on the side of the ship, Reese extended the tunnel coming out of their airlock and directed the flexible tunnel so that it would align and lock onto the other door.”
“The tunnel slowly extended and when it met the other ship’s door, it locked into place.”
E “Good job, let’s go.”
“They went to the airlock, and they didn’t bother to put air back inside. They crossed over from the Virus P to the other ship through the tunnel and they went inside the dark ship.”
“They turned on the flashlights on their guns and they looked around:”
“It was like a combat ship turned into a robotics lab.”
“It was small and cramped inside with a cockpit area in the front, with lots of controls to use for combat, and in the back there was machinery, tools, and robot parts.”
“There was no sign of any people though in the small ship.”
“Reese whispered.”
R “There’s no one here.”
W “Looks that way. Maybe it’s remotely piloted.”
“Reese walked further into the ship and picked up one of the robot parts.”
“It was an arm, shaped with delicate curves and delicate fingers like a woman’s. It was mostly black, but with orange lining.”
“There were also various tools - broken tools - inside and attached to the arm. He didn’t quite know what they were, something new perhaps? Reese didn’t specialize in new technology.”
R “What kind of stuff is this?”
E “I don’t know. This looks like pretty advanced robotics too. More advanced than ED-Tech’s space-station management robots and even the police department’s X Series drones. It doesn’t look like anything from ED-Tech in other words”
“Reese sifted through more of the technology sitting around and a lot of it was broken and looked advanced. There were also tools like welding tools, electrical tools, and common handy tools lying around.”
E “Look at these robot parts. There are guns and rockets here. This leg’s got rockets like our space-suits, but it’s got way more power with this engine and it’s got this metal- it’s lightweight but the heat it can handle must be really hot.”
R “Really?”
“Reese looked at the arm again and when he tried to look inside the broken places, he could see something that resembled a gun. He looked inside a box on the floor and there was another thing that looked like it launched projectiles.”
E “Whatever they’re doing in here, it’s dangerous. They must be making armed robots.”
R “Looks like it.”
“Reese went over to the corner and he thought he heard something, like buttons being pressed.”
R “Hey, do you hear that?”
“Reese tried to be silent to listen, but he didn’t hear buttons being pressed. He heard a beeping noise.”
E “Yeah, that beeping.”
“They shone their flashlights around to look for the source of the beeping noise, but they couldn’t find anything suspicious in this mess.”
E “I don’t like the sound of this.”
R “Yeah, let’s get out of here.”
“They both headed for the door, but Reese froze when he heard another noise, like something hitting a wall. He shone his flashlight towards it.”
E “Come on let’s get out, Reese!”
“Reese caught a glimpse of someone, someone wearing something long and white with darkish hair and piercing eyes and something like a controller in their hands. But the beeping grew faster and louder and Reese was tugged away by Elk.”
R “Wait!”
“Elk pulled him into the tunnel to the Virus P and Reese ran along to catch up, then…”
“The other ship exploded.”
“Reese and Elk stumbled forward at the sound and they felt the ship explode behind them.”
“There was heat for a second before it was sucked away when opened up to the cold of space.”
“The tunnel was torn apart and Reese and Elk fell forward from the blast. Reese was glad he was wearing his space suit as the tunnel was opened up to space.”
“He stumbled up to his feet as much as he could as he floated in space and he looked behind him.”
“There was metal debris everywhere from the ship and from the other end of the tunnel floating around, expanding from the center of the explosion.”
R “Dad! There was someone in there!”
E “What?”
“Reese and Elk looked around in the debris for the person that was inside, but it was no use.”
E “Darn it. They’re dead now.”
“Reese bit his lip.”
R “Do you think he did that on purpose?”
E “He had to have done it on purpose.”
R “But why would he kill himself?”
“Elk shook his head.”
E “He must have been trying to keep something from us. It’s a pity he did that.”
“Reese was a bit saddened that the man he saw had self-destructed the ship. It made him sad to hear of deaths on the job.”
"He supposed he wouldn't know what had happened inside that ship too or what they were planning to do with all of the robotics."
E "Well, try to gather some scraps that survived the explosion as evidence, alright?"
“Reese nodded”
R "Roger that."









Here's part of the first chapter:
(R=Reese, W=Wei-ko, Z=Zhanna)

“The Atlantic Ocean, the state of Nautilus, off the coast of New Virginia.”
“Aboard a police submarine.”
“Reese patrolled the waters of Nautilus, cruising by the underwater structures and households of the city in the Atlantic.”
“The light of the sun shone in dancing rays through the waves at the surface, reaching down through the depths to faintly light the city.”
“Submarine traffic merged with the fish in the ocean, swimming around thick transparent domes sheltering towns from the water and single buildings that faced the pressure of the ocean alone.”
“Reese drove the submarine inside a water-filled interior, wearing his white helmet he wore in both outer space and in the depths of the ocean.”
“Reese was a bit disappointed to be back here on Earth, doing simple patrols of the ocean.”
“His father had only let him join his patrol in space for one trip- he said Reese wasn’t ready to face the dangers of space quite yet.”
“Reese had experience flying in space, he had flown his father’s ships many a time and was a skilled pilot, flying the empty space of the solar system of the Earth’s Dominion, but having the duty of a policeman in space was a different story.”
“Still, Reese knew he had a gift for flying in space, and he wasn’t given the opportunity to put it to use like he wanted to.”
“He wanted to use it to find something out in space, what that was he wasn’t quite sure yet, but he did find something interesting in that previous encounter with his father.”
“There was definitely something dangerous on that strange ship; someone was hiding advanced weaponry on it.”
“Reese knew these people were criminals, but he couldn’t help but feel a pang of sadness when he thought of the explosion.”
“His father was alright - he had a quick visit to a space-hospital - but the others onboard were not. There was no way someone could survive that explosion, let alone being exposed to the void of space afterwards.”
“Something about this encounter triggered an itch for adventure inside of Reese though.”
R “Ugh, when is something going to happen?”
“…” #beeping noise
R “This is Reese.”
“Dispatcher” “There’s a call for 105 Starfish Drive about a pet shark causing trouble for neighbors.”
“Dispatcher” “The caller says it’s been creating noise and damaging the property of multiple neighbors, including minor submarine damage, seaweed lawn damage, and minor house damage.”
“Just a pet, with a noise complaint and property damage. At most, he would have to subdue the shark and create a report on the owners for others to take care of.”
R “105 Starfish Drive…”
“His submarine showed directions to the address, and it was close by.”
R “Alright, I’ll issue an official warning.”
“Dispatcher” “Thank you.”
“They hung up and Reese headed over to the address.”
“The water churned with a trail of bubbles behind his black and white police sub as he sped over to the house.”
“He made a shortcut over the tops of all the domed towns, weaving through the schools of fish that frequented the area and who swam away when he drove by.”
“When he reached the address, he dropped back down and entered an area of un-domed homes, lined up like an underwater neighborhood.”
“Reese anchored the submarine to the sub’s post at the front of the driveway and slid the door open to swim outside.”
“He gazed at the house: it looked like a heavy armored structure but painted and decorated to look like pink coral.”
“He could already hear the shark: It was barking like a dog, so Reese assumed it was one of those AI sharks made to speak like pet dogs.”
“Reese paddled his arms and legs to swim to the front door of the coral-house and when he reached the door, he touched his AD to the ringer.”
“His basic information transferred to the house’s system, telling the family that the police had arrived.”
“As he waited, he could see the pet shark in the backyard; it was caged off so it couldn’t escape, but it was chewing at the bars of the yard’s fence.”
“The shark looked almost real, covered in realistic fish skin and with fluid motions like muscle, but the growling and barking (muffled by the ocean water) and odd chewing of the fence gave away that it was an AI programmed to be like a dog.”
“Shark” “Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark!”
“The woman of the house answered the door, standing on the other side of the glass wall separating the water from the air inside the house.”
“Mrs. Ferris” “The police? What’s wrong? Did we do something wrong?”
R “We received a complaint about your shark, ma’am.”
“Mrs. Ferris” “What? Mr. Squeezy?”
R “Yes, Mr. Squeezy is, um, creating noise and damaging your neighbors’ things.”
“Mrs. Ferris” “But Mr. Squeezy is such a sweetheart! He didn’t really mean those things! He just needs something to chew on sometimes.”
“Reese sighed.”
R “I’m sorry, but I have to give you a warning. Next time we’ll have to do something about your shark.”
“Mrs. Ferris” “But! But! He didn’t mean it!”
R “What do you mean?”
“Mrs. Ferris” “It’s just the way he’s programmed, you know.”
R “It can still make its own decisions, and it decided to chew on your neighbors’ sub.”
“Mrs. Ferris” “No no no, his decision making is influenced by his programming you know.”
R “But…”
“Reese looked over at the shark again.”
“Shark” “Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark!”
“Mr. Squeezy was still barking at him and when he wasn’t barking, he was chewing on the fence to try to get through. His jaws looked very strong, but it still didn’t stand a chance against the even stronger fence.”
“Reese wondered if the shark really was in charge of its own actions or not.”
“It was a complicated AI, but not too complicated.”
“It had the complex capability to think and to make limited decisions based on the knowledge it was given and based on the limited amounts it was able to learn too.”
“It was limited to the thinking of a shark or a dog, but how responsible was it?”
“How much was dictated by his own decision and how much by his program?”
“Reese sighed again.”
R “It doesn’t matter, you’re the one who’s in charge of Mr. Squeezy. I’m sorry, but it’s your responsibility to make sure he doesn’t go out and chew your neighbors’ things.”
“Mrs. Ferris” “But… but… you can’t punish me for this. You know all sharks misbehave.”
R “Then you have to train your shark better and keep an eye on it if you let it out.”
“Mrs. Ferris continued to make excuses.”
“Mrs. Ferris” “He’s too fast. If I let him out he just swims so fast. And if I take him out for a swim with the submarine, he’s really strong and pulls his chain away sometimes. And sometimes if he hasn’t had his breakfast yet, he gets very hungry…”
“Reese tapped his AD, not listening to Mrs. Ferris’ excuses anymore, and sent her an official warning.”
“Mrs. Ferris read through the warning on the AD on her arm and she looked down with a look of defeat.”
“Mrs. Ferris” “Oohhh, I guess I’ll try not to let Mr. Squeezy get into the neighbor’s things.”
R “Ok, thank you.”
“Reese nodded to her and swam back to his submarine and Mrs. Ferris went back inside her home in frustration.”
“Mr. Squeezy continued to bark as Reese swam into his sub and slid the door to a close.”
“Reese drove the sub back into the currents of the ocean with a trail of bubbles and sighed.”
R “That wasn’t very exciting.”
“Reese still wanted to be exploring space. The ocean was cool, but it just wasn’t the same as space.”
“There wasn’t as much to explore like in the solar system- there were different planets with different societies, space stations, space pirates, and even traces of aliens in the Earth’s Dominion.”
R “And when will I get to go hunting for some old treasure?”
“He loved antiques and history, or simply things of the past, especially related to the cosmos.”
“He wanted to see older space stations, the old society on the moon, and old planes on Mars, and everything hidden in the waste fields.”
R “Maybe one day.”
R “Or maybe I just have to ask Dad to let me out there again…”






“The Atlantic Ocean, the state of Nautilus, off the coast of New Virginia.”
“Inside a domed town.”
W “It says here that he likes antiques.”
Z “Antiques?”
W “Yeah, like old stuff.”
Z “I know what antiques are.”
Z “It’s just surprising, you know.”
“The domed town looked like any town- except there was a vast ocean above it. There were streets, cars, shops, homes, and a large transparent dome sheltering it from the ocean water.”
“Wei-ko and Zhanna were standing in a small parking lot of just a few submarines, near an exit of the dome to the ocean.”
“Wei-ko was looking at her AD on her wrist and Zhanna was seemingly contemplating what to do with her large wrench. She also looked at the nearest submarine, which was sleek and silver.”
“Wei-ko closed her AD.”
W “So your idea was to, um…”
Z “We’re going to wreck my submarine.”
Z “But only minor wreckage, ok? I’ve saved up for repairs but not that much repairs.”
Z “According to you, Reese patrols this area. We call the police to say someone wrecked our sub and hopefully they’ll call for Reese to come so we can find him.”
Z “Now is there anyone nearby?”
“Wei-ko looked down at her AD.”
W “Nope, but I’ll keep an eye on the area on the AD.”
Z “Well you’re always looking at your AD anyways.”
“Zhanna sighed.”
Z “Well, I’ll start wrecking.”
“Zhanna took the wrench and slammed it onto the hood of the submarine. It only made a dent, so she slammed it again, making sure to get the front light with it.”
“Zhanna took a deep breath from having to use so much of her strength.”
Z “Remind me what we know about Reese then.”
“Wei-ko scrolled through the screen on her AD as Zhanna slammed her wrench onto her submarine.”
W “Well he has a lot of experience for a 19-year-old: He’s flown in a police spacecraft called the Virus P throughout Orbits 1-7 for five years already, so he can fly at top speeds, can navigate even through the space-town of Orbit 4, and has seen at least one combat situation.”
W “From my sources, he’s interested in space exploration, but he hasn’t said anything about joining a crew, since he’s already joined the police force.”
Z “But what if he doesn’t join our crew? We barely have anything put together yet. It’s probably not very persuasive to say, ‘We don’t really have a ship and we only have two people, but do you want to join us anyway?’”
W “But come on, he’s young like us and he’s up for excitement. I mean, we’re pretty exciting. And we’ll probably be the only ones who ask him to join a space exploration crew.”
Z “I guess.”
W “Don’t worry Zhanna, I’ve got this. You wreck the car like planned and I charm him with my fancy words. We’ll have a pilot in no time. It’ll be great, and we’ll be off exploring the solar system and maybe even the galaxy!”
“Zhanna panted from slamming the submarine again.”
Z “If we can even get a ship.”





“Aboard Reese’s police submarine.”
“…” #beeping noise
R “Another call already?”
“Dispatcher” “Reese?”
R “Yeah?”
“Dispatcher” “We have another call. There are two women attacking a submarine at a parking lot near the intersection of Charles Reef and Second Reef.”
“Dispatcher” “One is described to have long white hair with a green dress and the other has short red hair in a white coat.”
R “Alright, roger that.”
“Reese looked down at his navigation system on the sub.”
R “Intersection of Charles Reef and Second Reef.”
“The navigation system showed him directions to the intersection, and it was inside the nearest domed town, so he turned the sub around to follow these directions.”
“The submarine traffic around the domed town became more crowded from subs leaving and entering the town as Reese approached.”
“He merged into one of the lanes anchored into the sand like rails, following the flow of motley submarines. He could see the tall buildings inside the sparkling transparent dome like an underwater treasure or an Atlantis.”
“Reese had to stop occasionally in the traffic as sets of submarines were allowed inside in intervals. Once he reached the entrance, he drove through the large rectangular gate into the water-filled lobby, lined up in four rows on the road.”
“The gate closed behind the rows of submarines and the water level quickly began to lower. A loud draining noise filled the lobby and drained into the corner, back into the ocean.”
“The submarines lined up all lowered their wheels to start driving on dry ground and they were all dripping wet from the draining.”
“Another gate opened in front of them and all of the submarines drove out into the road inside the dome.”
“Reese drove out with the rest of the submarines and the gate closed behind them as the lobby filled up with water again for the next set of submarines.”
“Reese continued to follow the directions to the intersection, and it wasn’t far off. In no time, he spotted the small parking lot of submarines with only two young women standing there. One made a swing at the hood of the submarine with some sort of tool.”
“He pulled into the parking lot and parked behind the two women and they jumped in surprise to see him pull up behind them.”
“It was just as described- one girl with white hair, who had a large wrench in her hand and was standing near large dents in the front of the submarine, and one girl with red hair, who was speaking into her AD but stopped once she spotted Reese.”
“Reese stepped out of the sub and the girl with white hair looked as if she was about to hide the wrench but noticed that it was too late. The sub next to her had a dented hood and the front right light was cracked open.”
“The girl with red hair next to her continued speaking into the AD.”
W “Um, well, it looks like you already sent someone here, hehe.”
“Reese was confused as he heard what the girl in red hair said into the AD.”
“He heard a dispatcher from the police speak back to her.”
“Dispatcher” “Someone’s arrived? Oh yes, someone already called for the incident before.”
“Reese was still confused. What were these two calling the police about?”
“The one with red hair hung up on the dispatcher with a nervous smile on her face, as if she had just run into a lot of trouble.”
R “Uh, what’s going on here?”
“Reese tried to sound in control, but his voice clearly showed his confusion.”
R “I got a call that you two were wrecking someone’s submarine…”
Z “Uh, well this is actually my submarine.”
R “Then why were you beating it down?”
Z “Um, well, I’m actually fixing it from this damage.”
“She waved her wrench around to show him her tool.”
“Reese eyed her with suspicion.”
R “It doesn’t look like you’re fixing anything.”
Z “Um…”
“The white-haired girl turned to the submarine, then back to her wrench in nervousness, seeing the error in her argument.”
R “And what are you calling the police for?”
W “To um, say that someone wrecked her submarine.”
R “But you two did that.”
W “No, no, we found it like this.”
R “Not according to the report I got.”
W “Um…that report must be wrong then, hehe.”
“Reese continued to eye them suspiciously. What were these two up to?”
R “Is this really your submarine?”
“Reese extended his AD to scan the sub, and with his EDPD permissions, he was able to retrieve information on the vehicle.”
“He scrolled through the information that appeared on his AD and found the owner to be a young woman named Zhanna. The picture provided looked just like the girl that stood in front of him.”
R “I’m going to have to scan your ADs.”
“The two women still looked nervous as he scanned their ADs next, again with his EDPD permissions.”
“The information on Zhanna appeared again, with the same picture that appeared when he scanned the sub. So it did belong to her, but why was she willingly destroying her own sub?”
“He scanned the other girl too, for safe measures, and the name Wei-ko appeared. There were no criminal records for either of them.”
R “So, it is your submarine…”
“Wei-ko and Zhanna looked at each other, wondering what to do.”
“Reese stared back at them, wondering what they were doing.”
R “So…why are you destroying your own sub?”
Z “Well, I um…”
W “It was an idea we had, see,”
“Wei-ko started explaining the real situation to Reese.”
W “We wanted to get the police’s attention, yours specifically, and we needed a reason to call the police to get you to come here.”
“Reese raised his eyebrows in curiosity.”
W “Zhanna’s idea was to destroy a little bit of her submarine and call the police to say our car was wrecked, but I mean, we did it ourselves.”
Z “Yeah…”
W “So we didn’t actually do anything illegal here, if it’s our own sub. You don’t have to arrest us!”
Z “Yeah…”
R “Ok…”
“Reese thought this was all very strange.”
R “So why did you want to get my attention?”
W “That’s a great question! We wanted to give you a very great offer to join us!”
Z “Yeah!”
W “We’re starting a space exploration crew and we’re looking for a great pilot for our great crew! We heard you’ve fought against a violent rogue crew in space; very brave by the way, and you did fantastically apparently.”
W “And you’ve flown all the way to Orbit 11 where Neptune is, which is pretty far to travel.”
W “And we also heard you’re itching for some adventure, according to your friend Alex who said you’re looking to explore all the different cultures and people and places of the ED. Plus you want to find some cool old ‘treasure’ out there.”
R “What?”
“Reese was growing even more confused by the minute.”
R “Where did you even get all this stuff about me?”
“Wei-ko answered as if it was obvious.”
W “Just the AD-net and the Social-net, you know.”
“Reese tried to remember what kind of information about him was on the AD-net, and he couldn’t quite remember all the things he had put, or others had put, about him on the Social-net within the AD-net.”
W “Have you ever received any offers yet to join an exploration crew?”
R “Well no, but-”
W “Then this might be your only opportunity! So far, we have me, Captain Wei-ko, heading our crew and leading our communications systems.”
W “Then we have Zhanna here, our engineer, who can develop some crazy good stuff for our ship.”
“Zhanna nodded vigorously in agreement.”
W “So we’re looking for a crazy good pilot and we’ve heard from the AD-net that you’re a crazy good pilot.”
W “We don’t really have any other crew members; they’ll come eventually…”
W “But anyways, we have an exciting crew so far and if you’re looking for excitement we have it! We’re gonna bring you loads of that fun you’re looking for! So are you in?”
“Reese was silent in astonishment at first. He felt like he was listening to a commercial, trying to sell him a spot in an exploration crew.”
“He was a bit surprised that they were looking for him specifically, and that they had done their research and knew he wanted to go explore the solar system, and even that he was itching for excitement.”
“He couldn’t possibly accept though. These two were crazy; they had tried to destroy their own sub to get his attention.”
“And he didn’t even know these two. He couldn’t join a crew with two people that he met just minutes ago through a call on the job.”
“And lastly, they didn’t even have everything put together. Only two crew members? He heard stories of exploration crews with small beginnings, but did they even have a ship?”
“Simply put: there was no way he was joining their crew.”
R “Um…”
R “No.”
“Zhanna dropped her head down in disappointment but Wei-ko raised her eyebrows.”
W “Are you sure? You don’t have to make a decision now. Here, you can even have my AD-number if you change your mind later.”
“Wei-ko tapped a few buttons on her AD’s screen, transferring her number to Reese, and Reese tried to cancel the transfer, but it was too late to decline as a notification appeared saying the information was already stored in his AD-cloud drive in his contacts.”
“Reese sighed.”
R “I already have a job, ok, and I’m not interested. I won’t arrest you, but I’m going to give you a warning not to call the police for things like this or cause any more public disturbances.”
“Reese tapped his AD to send them both official warnings from the EDPD. Both of them looked down at their ADs with dissatisfaction to see the official warnings appear on their screens.”
W “Just think about it, ok?”
“Reese tried to stay somewhat polite.”
R “Um, no thanks.”
“He started to back away to his submarine.”
R “Just stay out of trouble, ok?”
Z “Ok.”
W “Please think about it! We promise we’re loads of fun to be in a crew with!”
“Wei-ko waved in an excited and friendly manner to Reese, Zhanna shyly swung her wrench in awkwardness, and Reese gave them one final look of wonder at their craziness before he entered his submarine.”
Z “I don’t think he’s going to join.”
W “Come on, think positively, we can still try again.”
Z “Try again?”
W “Yeah, maybe we can talk to him again.”
“Zhanna suddenly gasped in excitement.”
Z “I think I have some ideas!”

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Re: Feedback on Space Adventure VN

#2 Post by Mammon » Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:10 am

One thing I can definately advice you is to write less descriptive, more enthralling. You write very to the point and with adding your descriptions and explanations of the things you're talking about in a very soulless way. It's almost like reading a manual sometimes. 'Open the lid. The lid can be opened with the little handle in front by pulling it up.' If you add explanations like that in a separate sentence right afterwards so often, it comes off as rather bland. In the example underneath, everything that's added too blandly and possibly stating the obvious, unnecessary additions/descriptions and the descriptions that are good, but described too properly and too little like a book.

“So the two of them went to the changing room where their suits were stored to get ready to go out into space. It was customary to put on suits when going into unknown ships, especially if a fight might occur.
The suits were standing in their own tubes against the walls. They were blue police spacesuits with the EDPD logos on the right arms.”
“They climbed into the suits and zipped or buckled everything up. The suits were thick yet tight to their bodies with a texture that was shiny like plastic.
They then put on their helmets, which were white with the EDPD logo on the side and a transparent front to look through.”
“They connected their helmets to the oxygen packs on their backs with a narrow tube, so they could breathe out in space.”
“Then they each grabbed an EDPD gun: small double-barreled hand-guns; one barrel for tranquilizers and one barrel for plasma bullets.”

That's just the descriptions that seem too simple, direct or perhaps even belittling to some readers. I get that you might not have a good grasp on what the audience can and will understand and how you best describe things without losing them, but this is too clinical. Try to build your world in more of an enthralling way where you make your descriptions more of an impression of wonder or another feeling rather than a direct and simple-cut explanation. Be less of a teacher, more of a writer. And rely on the theatre of the mind; you describe enough to let the audience fill in the gaps themselves.
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Re: Feedback on Space Adventure VN

#3 Post by queenjessica » Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:31 pm

Mammon wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:10 am
One thing I can definately advice you is to write less descriptive, more enthralling. You write very to the point and with adding your descriptions and explanations of the things you're talking about in a very soulless way. It's almost like reading a manual sometimes. 'Open the lid. The lid can be opened with the little handle in front by pulling it up.' If you add explanations like that in a separate sentence right afterwards so often, it comes off as rather bland. In the example underneath, everything that's added too blandly and possibly stating the obvious, unnecessary additions/descriptions and the descriptions that are good, but described too properly and too little like a book.

“So the two of them went to the changing room where their suits were stored to get ready to go out into space. It was customary to put on suits when going into unknown ships, especially if a fight might occur.
The suits were standing in their own tubes against the walls. They were blue police spacesuits with the EDPD logos on the right arms.”
“They climbed into the suits and zipped or buckled everything up. The suits were thick yet tight to their bodies with a texture that was shiny like plastic.
They then put on their helmets, which were white with the EDPD logo on the side and a transparent front to look through.”
“They connected their helmets to the oxygen packs on their backs with a narrow tube, so they could breathe out in space.”
“Then they each grabbed an EDPD gun: small double-barreled hand-guns; one barrel for tranquilizers and one barrel for plasma bullets.”

That's just the descriptions that seem too simple, direct or perhaps even belittling to some readers. I get that you might not have a good grasp on what the audience can and will understand and how you best describe things without losing them, but this is too clinical. Try to build your world in more of an enthralling way where you make your descriptions more of an impression of wonder or another feeling rather than a direct and simple-cut explanation. Be less of a teacher, more of a writer. And rely on the theatre of the mind; you describe enough to let the audience fill in the gaps themselves.
Thank you so much for your feedback! I really appreciate it and looking back at my writing, I can definitely see what you're talking about. I'm going to go through the whole thing and edit the descriptions and also try to add more emotion/make it less bookish. I fixed the example for now, how does it look?

“So the two of them ran to the changing room. They definitely needed their suits for exploring this mysterious ship, especially if they got into a fight.”
“Their blue suits were standing like trophies in their own tubes against the walls with the proud EDPD logo on their right arms.”
“They climbed into these suits and zipped or buckled everything up.”
“They quickly put on their white helmets and routinely connected them to the oxygen packs on their backs.”
“Then they each grabbed an EDPD gun: small double-barreled hand-guns; one barrel for tranquilizers and one barrel for plasma bullets.”

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Re: Feedback on Space Adventure VN

#4 Post by Mammon » Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:55 pm

The changes are better, definately, but don't go too extreme into this new direction either. Definately don't make it too flashy and fancy for the sake of it. Not sure if that would happen, but if you were to change every description with such a massive overhaul I can see that happen. Like all good things it's a matter of finding the perfect balance rather than to go in one direction as much as possible. And don't blindly follow my advice or that of others either. Respect it and listen to it when you feel like you need to improve, but in the end the story needs to be written by you. You are the writer, I just hope I gave some useful feedback. I'm not your boss, you're your boss. So while you are making improvement, at least going from the few sentences here, remember that it must be you who writes the story and you who needs to like it most.
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Re: Feedback on Space Adventure VN

#5 Post by queenjessica » Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:37 pm

Yeah, I don't think it'll ever get flashy or have such a drastic change, but I am liking the subtle changes I'm making while editing.

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Re: Feedback on Space Adventure VN

#6 Post by Widdershins » Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:22 pm

First of all, I very much enjoy the world you've created! Drawing a parallel between outer space in the prologue, and then an oceanic settlement in the first chapter, is a delightful, unusual choice, and immediately sparked my curiosity about the world your story takes place in. Using two settings common in classic adventure stories and then melding them together is a perfect way of taking the familiar and making it new, as well as providing an immediate aside to the reader on what to expect: Hey, This is an Adventure Story! Buckle Up!

The second of your choices I appreciate is structural: your prologue provides a very clever hook before moving on to setting the story foundation. By giving just a taste of action at the very start, leading with the mysterious ship, you not only draw the reader's attention, you establish what kind of a person Reese is in broad strokes (because he is the one to call out the small mystery craft on radar, I know Reese is dedicated to his job, and good at it; because he is not the pilot, but wishes he was, I know he still has something to prove; because he volunteers to board the non-responsive ship, I know he is brave; because of his actions and reactions on the craft, I know he is quick-thinking and compassionate). You come in strong with the prologue, give the reader something shiny with the mystery, someone to care about with Reese, and then you ease us into his quieter, daily life, and add the secondary characters outside of his point of view. It's a very smart choice, and makes the intro pop, so very well done!

Before getting into specific suggestions, there's a question I'll offer first-- one I regularly ask myself while writing, as a source of inspiration and personal challenge: How does the visual novel medium best serve to tell this particular story? Which is to say, why is it better as a VN, and not as a film, or a book, or a comic, or a graphic novel? What makes this medium the very best choice? I think your story will make a fantastic game; I bring the question up mainly because it can be a very handy tool, and provides the root of my critiques.

Digging in, then, I notice off the bat you subvert two narrative conventions common in visual novels: you write from a third person perspective, and you use past tense. These are both typical of prose intended for books, but on average, visual novels most often employ first person narration, and are usually written as active and ongoing. So, instead of:

"Reese sat next to his father aboard the police ship, watching..."

It would read:

"Reese sits next to his father aboard the police ship, watching..." OR, more often, "I sit next to my father aboard the police ship, watching..."

There is nothing inherently wrong with your choices here; I mention it because while we read books at a remove, visual novels and choose-your-own-adventures often employ these tactics to make the story feel even more immersive and interactive, further emphasized by providing choices altering the course of the story or the character. If you (like me) are unused to writing in this style, however, it feels very unnatural, so I bring it up in case you aren't making the conscious choice to write your VN as you would a more static storytelling medium. By using a third person narration and past tense, I feel you are signalling this is a story meant to be read passively, instead of the reader playing an active role. Again, there's nothing wrong with this choice, it just puts the reader a set distance from the action. How close do you want the player/reader to be? Is this a game with branching paths, or are you intending for it to be a kinetic novel, with a single, set narrative? Do you want the player/reader to act as an observer of Reese's experience, or to take active part in it?

A follow up to that is Mammon's critique on descriptive writing. Descriptions can breathe life into a scene, but also have the potential to slow things down to a crawl. One of the clear benefits of a VN is that it can help streamline your story by offering visual cues to the reader; when you don't have art assets in place, though, it makes figuring out what is and is not necessary tricky. My rule of thumb on this is to keep descriptions that add value to your art assets, cut the things that ARE your art assets: if your sprite for Reese has a version suited up for space or water exploration, you don't need to list off the color of the helmet or even necessarily how the suit fits, because the player will be able to see that image. Instead, focus on the elements that give the sprite life, especially those that reflect what your character is feeling-- the texture, the movement, the way Reese feels about the item he's interacting with. The more you can tie an object or setting to character experience and action, the better. What are Reese's thoughts, changing into his suit? Does his pride to be putting it on almost compensate for the itchy padding? Does he feel embarrassed because the like-new shiny texture and bright color give away that he's a rookie, compared to the scuffed and radiation-faded exterior of his father's uniform?

This has the added benefit of giving the player insight into Reese's internal thoughts in a fluid, natural way. How do you think and feel about objects and spaces you interact with? What information do you get from them? The more you write your descriptions from that point of view, the more immersive the story becomes. Instead of simply, "the jacket is bright blue", we're apt to think, "that's the same blue as my bedspread; wish I could've slept in later", or "someone has to really want to stand out in a crowd to wear a jacket that blue; I could never wear that". You can frame that in a third person perspective, as well, though I'd caution against is using casual, subjective descriptors in narration (e.g., "The ocean was cool, but it just wasn't the same as space" is an opinion held by Reese, but is written as narration instead). Not every description has to be a mini-story of its own, but all included descriptions should serve a narrative purpose; the more you rely and build on your art assets, the better your pacing and more immersive the player's experience will be.

Lastly, some notes on Wei-ko and Zhanna: you've established Reese is the primary character, and keeping a tight lens on him is a good choice, but don't neglect giving your secondary characters their own moments in the sun, especially during their scene before meeting him. I really enjoy the dynamic you're developing between the two women, and their personalities seem like they'll be very fun to get to know. Even if they've been scouting him online for a long time, though, their dialogue regarding Reese feels very informal and personal for never having met-- discussing details of his job (police patrol route!), interests (antiques!), probable desires (excitement!), and age (19! young like us!). Only the aside not to wreck the sub too badly breaks focus from Reese as a person, which feels a little unnatural, as unless I misunderstand it, he's essentially a tool they are trying to acquire for a larger plan. I understand not wanting to tip your hand too early in the story, but that yet-unknown larger plan seems like it would be taking up most of their mental real estate, especially as they're desperate enough to go to these lengths for a meeting. Additionally, if they already talk about him as if they know him well here, it can read as stalking, and limits development later on when they actually do know him.

The remedy, I think, is to frame their dialogue about Reese more as it relates to their individual points of view and goals. When did his name come up in their search? Is he seen as only means to an end? Does he seem like an easy mark? Has Zhanna secretly had a crush on him since they crossed paths, long ago? Are they both on the same page about him, or is one of them more doubtful? Getting into their big-picture motives can bring the scene more tension and vibrancy.

A really rough example of what I mean (and please forgive my putting words in your characters' mouths): instead of "Remind me what we know about Reese again", let's say Zhanna remarks, "I wish that old caravan pilot hadn't turned out to be a drunk". The follow up from Wei-ko can be roughly the same, after acknowledging her: "Yeah, that guy couldn't navigate out of his chair, let alone orbit. But according to my sources, Officer Reese has a lot of experience for a 19-year-old..." In this, ultimately the exact same information is communicated, but it puts a little bit more focus on the women's goal (get a pilot!) and their experience leading up to this, instead of simply listing off Reese's traits; moreover, we see their story extends beyond the guy they haven't met yet-- and that will enrich not just the characters, but the story as a whole.

I think that about covers it; I hope some part of this proves helpful to you. All in all, I truly think that you're creating something special here, and I hope we get to see the fruits of your labor down the line!

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Re: Feedback on Space Adventure VN

#7 Post by queenjessica » Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:05 am

Thank you so much for taking your time to give me thorough feedback, Widdershins! Thanks for what you said in the beginning and for the critiques. I've seen visual novels use the past tense, but I think you're right about the first person point of view. I'm considering putting it in first person point of view now from Reese's view.

And yeah, I need to work on my descriptions and I need to put more emotion in it. For the Wei-ko and Zhanna scene, I'll try to fix it and elaborate according to your advice, although for it feeling informal, I'm trying to convey that part of Wei-ko's personality. I'll try to make it so that we see this as maybe a flaw in Wei-ko, and Zhanna tries to tell her to be more formal. And they see Reese as more than just a tool, I should elaborate on that. They do want him to fulfill one of the roles necessary for creating an exploration crew, but they also see him as an ideal friend for this fun journey they want to embark on.

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Re: Feedback on Space Adventure VN

#8 Post by Mutive » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:51 pm

Reading through this, I don't think it's bad. But I do worry that there are no choices (that I've seen so far), which in turn limits the interaction to clicking through the story.

I think I like more interaction than a lot of people who play VNs (so this isn't necessarily the Worst Thing Ever). But for me (personally), if there aren't at least quasi-frequent choices, I do feel a bit like I'm less playing a video game than reading a comic (which, to be honest, I'd rather read than click through a game, if that makes any sense).

Even if the choices are just "look at screen"/"look out the window", it gives an illusion of control, which I've always liked in games.
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Re: Feedback on Space Adventure VN

#9 Post by queenjessica » Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:23 pm

Thank you for reading! I did leave out one choice in the first scene in this post so following the script wouldn't be confusing, but I agree, that's probably not enough choices. I think I'll add in more choices throughout what I've written, even if it's a small thing like you said.

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