Critique and Advice; the treadmill of adventuring.

Critique and Advice; the treadmill of adventuring.
RE: Critique and Advice; the treadmill of adventuring.
Thirding on the 'don't put time travel in your adventure'. I included it in my old adventure on a whim (and because I wanted to make a joke), and oh boy did it ever complicate things! It did lead into some interesting scenes, but overall in a story that isn't set in stone from the beginning to the end it causes more trouble than benefit to the author.

Also, everything Dragon Fogel has to say about where to end an update. Always give the readers a meaningful choice to make if you want their input.
Quote
RE: Critique and Advice; the treadmill of adventuring.
in my experience if the obvious suggestion is opening a door, literally nobody will suggest opening the door

i know i wouldn't, and i know others wouldn't
signature
Quote
RE: Critique and Advice; the treadmill of adventuring.
Well I'm counting on that, I'll likely be having a lot of doors.

Also yeah, NO time-travel, it's way too messy. While I love time travel stories it's hard to make it new anyway without it being so confusing.
Quote
RE: Critique and Advice; the treadmill of adventuring.
Eh, when it comes to time-travel, you just need to set down the ground rules as soon and as simply as possible when it comes up. It doesn't become a major problem (to me, at least) until the possibility of a paradox pops up. If your time travel circumvents that worry by just setting up rules that say paradoxes aren't a possible result for whatever reason, you should be good to go. Do that, and time travel can be messed around with pretty willy-nilly since you don't need to worry about affecting past events. Maybe you can only travel forward in time from your origin point, or maybe going back in time actually takes you to an alternate universe so the events of your original timeline are unaffected, or maybe you just say paradoxes are able to sustain themselves via magic, or whatever. Just put a rule(s) in place to prevent your version of time travel from spiraling out of control (unless you want that, of course).

Time travel can definitely be tricky, but you needn't avoid it like the plague. It can add so much to a world that I think it'd be a shame if authors decided against it just because they didn't think it could be done easily. You just need to expect readers to try to game the system when you're building said system and add countermeasures. Or just be ready to deny commands on the basis of over-complication when you get them. Time travel can be done cleanly, it just trends towards messiness.
Rootborn AdventureShow
Quote
RE: Critique and Advice; the treadmill of adventuring.
Well, I mean, it's not that it can't be done or should be avoided at all costs, it's just that when you plan on introducing mechanics that already require a lot of keeping track of and a word document full of notes and back up photoshop files for all your assets, time travel would only make matters more confusing.
Quote
RE: Critique and Advice; the treadmill of adventuring.
I don't think that the main problem with time travel is paradoxes, but that the readers eventually arrive to the conclusion "Wait, can't we just let our more experienced more competent future self to handle this for us? They know the answers to these problems since they've already done it once!"

I bypassed this by making the future self a bad guy, a sort of Ghost of Christmas to come who wanted the main character to avoid his mistakes and re-do his past. I realized about two seconds after introducing him to the story that I needed him out, because there was no real reason why he just wouldn't make the main character follow his lead rendering the MC a passive observer - and if he couldn't affect the story then there was no real reason to put him in in the first place!

The bottom line is that the vast majority of stories don't need to include time travel in order to be told, and in a format where your ability to plan the story ahead is limited it just isn't worth the trouble and headache.
Quote
RE: Critique and Advice; the treadmill of adventuring.
I think the issue with time travel is that 90% of the time I see it in a story it's thrown in because time travel is cool not because time travel is needed for this story. Time travel is also confusing. Such as, if you as the author realize you're having a hard time keeping up with your time travel situation / have 4 pages of notes to keep yourself informed on how time travel in your setting works then consider how lost some of the readers might be. I have very little idea how time travel works in ANL even after it was explained, in fact I was a little more confused.

Like everything time travel is useful in situations where it works with the story instead of it being tagged on as something neat and shiny.
Quote
RE: Critique and Advice; the treadmill of adventuring.
Time travel became a thing in You Are About 10 Seconds Away From Execution by Firing Squad, but given the way that particular adventure works, it was mostly a way to get horribly killed.
Quote
RE: Critique and Advice; the treadmill of adventuring.
I find it's also very difficult to come up with a time travel story that hasn't been done before. Paradox problems, butterfly effect, time loops, etc. There are no 'new' stories in anything, but it's very, very hard to stray away from typical time travel-y tropes once you include it.

EDIT:
Also, to anyone wondering my username is pronounced 'so-lek-ee'
Quote
RE: Critique and Advice; the treadmill of adventuring.
Okay, I got the message: You all really really want me to update Jerks In Time. Thy will be done.

Obviously, I stand on the opposite side of the maxim not to use time travel. (Maybe it cuts differently for an adventure where time travel is so ingrained in the premise that it's in the name and the whole impetus for its being?) I really, really love time travel stories, unreasonably so! I've read almost all of this site, multiple times, despite it's no-fun-logic-only, one-right-answer attitude.

I think the mistake that makes a time travel story instantly confusing is having, from the perspective of the reader, the future influencing the present. Instead, what I'm doing is following the "leading edge" of the time travel, from absolutely square 1, so it's always the present folding back in on the past and we're never really lost on what anyone's motivations or experiences are, or EXACTLY how the ramifications of their actions play out. You might think this is a semantic point, since one man's past is another man's present in time travel, or maybe you think it ought to have, somehow, happened "all at once" under a fixed-time model or something. But I'm really just saying to keep the audience informed! Looking back on the past from the perspective of the present, everything's a known quantity, but looking into the future is inherently a mystery. In ANY writing situation, if you've underinformed the audience, you've confused them. An attentive audience can be dazzled by an intricate farce with more moving parts than any time travel story, it just relies on the author's ability to make facts, motivations, personalities, and goals clear. Conversely, the audience can lose the trail of even a rudimentary story if the author fails to emphasize (or worse, even include) the proper information at the proper time. That's almost certainly more important than outright logic. We'll see how this strategy holds up if I ever have to leap over much larger periods of time...

At the same time, I'm not going to sit there and explain to the readers how my implementation works, whether via narration or a character who's Really Smart or having the main characters just somehow KNOW what's going to fly and what's not by guessing and being at least 95% correct. I'm just going to show my simple rules at work and leave the characters stumbling around in the dark because they're idiots and it's funny.

But then, this is the critique thread, not the "ramble on about how ding-darn great your own method is" thread, so before I start talking more about my approach to writing this to the point of spoilers (and believe me, I did before I deleted it from this post,) I'll throw it to the thread: How do you like my adventure, Jerks In Time? Not just its approach to time travel (which really hasn't stretched its muscles yet with just the one jump,) but the whole thing.

edit 2: ok you guys are right
Quote
RE: Critique and Advice; the treadmill of adventuring.
(07-04-2016, 07:29 PM)☆ C.H.W.O.K.A ☆ Wrote: »edit: too self-congratulatory

Jerks in Time is pretty snappy! You use double spaces liberally enough to keep the amount of text readable without becoming straining. The little narrative flourishes that don't necessarily contain plot pertinent info like this paragraph
SpoilerShow
really help flesh out the story, so I think including a few more of these here and there wouldn't go amiss. As for how you're doing time travel, I like it so far. It gives you enough room to play around in without over complicating things too badly. Thumbs up.

Edit: I thought your post was fine.
Rootborn AdventureShow
Quote
RE: Critique and Advice; the treadmill of adventuring.
I saw your post Chwoka and I thought it was fine!

I really liked the part where you said, keep the explanation of the time travel as simple as possible. I know a lot of thought goes in to time travel but I feel for the reader's sake it's better to keep it short and sweet unless the comic is high sci-fi or something.

I've read a few comics where they would bring out charts and all these equations I didn't know to explain time travel and my first thought was "I didn't study for this test."
Quote
RE: Critique and Advice; the treadmill of adventuring.
Art of Domination came back, and now I'm going to bring back another survivor from the old mspaforums: From the Sands. It was a mostly-text adventure chronicling the history of a race of former slaves who then discovered what are essentially Pokemon. I have all the previous entries backed up and going to put all the entries on googledocs, so now I'm thinking if I should write a recap for it as well, or if that would be redundant.
Quote
RE: Critique and Advice; the treadmill of adventuring.
A recap would be good for giving people who didn't read it before a chance to jump right in. They can fill in their knowledge gaps by looking at the previous updates later.

Related, I've raised an idea here of doing voice recordings for text adventures so people can catch up on them more easily.

I plan to start recording Swamped tomorrow, we'll see how that goes.
Quote
RE: Critique and Advice; the treadmill of adventuring.
All righty. I'll write up a recap and then upload all the previous entries to google drive before starting up the From The Sands thread.
Quote
RE: Critique and Advice; the treadmill of adventuring.
S...so...um.... I always get too nervous to ask but I know it's good to know...

Am I doing okay? Y'know. On Wayward? I know I often take too many suggestions and my posts are super long but I'm working on picking and choosing a little more
Quote
RE: Critique and Advice; the treadmill of adventuring.
Yo, I have a question: What's the stance on NSFW themes and up to what degree can I get away with things? I was going to run an forum adventure but I decided to test run it on 4chan's new /qst/ board. Obviously, weird things ensued but I decided to be a good sport and keep going. I got too attached at how it turned out (despite, or because of, the shenanigans) so I was thinking of just porting it over into MSPFA format once it concludes. There's no actual porn stuff (considering how bad I draw), it's mostly just lewd jokes, some dialogue and maybe a fade-to-black.

EDIT: How did I miss a word!?
Quote
RE: Critique and Advice; the treadmill of adventuring.
(07-31-2016, 02:38 AM)Solekii Wrote: »S...so...um.... I always get too nervous to ask but I know it's good to know...

Am I doing okay? Y'know. On Wayward? I know I often take too many suggestions and my posts are super long but I'm working on picking and choosing a little more

Sorry for taking so long to respond.

First impressions (recorded while reading):
-The art style is very pretty. Not my style, but very well done all the same.
-I'm a bit unsure about the whole game thing. A lot of forum adventures start out with a video game theme, but a lot of them tend to either 1. immediately forget about it after the first update or 2. shoehorn it in places it doesn't belong. The only non-puzzle-based adventure I've seen do it well is Fortuna. Obviously it's a bit late to change and I'm writing this before I finish reading, but be careful with it.
-Nice use of simple animation. (Fade in/out, guy sleeping)
-"Object" is misspelled on page 18.
-This may be on purpose, in order to enhance the game feeling, but the text in the boxes isn't as enjoyable to read as the plain text. The game text just doesn't feel as... genuine.
-Ease up on the !. The more you use it, the less effective it becomes.
-That art is really cute. My initial instinct was that I would dislike this, for the same reason I dislike UT and SU, but that face on page 34 is too much for even me.
-Citrus is too friendly, it irks me
-Oh good, something horrible's happeni--and it immediately goes into thinking about his sister.
-Rock is mispelled 79, unsure if intentional
-This is way too fucking sappy
-She... is not really his sister, is she.

Okay, I have to stop there because I really need to sleep.

Review:

I don't think that having long updates is an issue, especially if you read on the mirror like I did. I think what is more important is to keep the plot moving. If you are doing long updates with lots of suggestions, you may have to even add plot in between the suggestions, or perhaps have fewer panels per command.

The art is very good. While I might not like it myself, it's very well done, easy to look at, and shows a real understanding of artistic... stuff. (I'm tired okay)

What I read so far is very good. It's not the sort of thing I would usually read, I am generally a lot less interested in these sorts of cutesy-type adventures. Even so, I enjoyed what I read. Make sure to keep the plot moving along, it stagnates a bit in spots (hugging stuffed animals, picking up junk, etc). Lastly, be careful with the game thing. Make sure to make it part of your plot, and not just a gimmick.

Good job so far though!

edit: looks like I stopped one page before something interesting happened. (94)
I might write some more later, in that case. right now I really need to sleep.
Quote
RE: Critique and Advice; the treadmill of adventuring.
@GT: There's no explicit rules against crass humor or people having sex/doing NSFW things in forum adventures. If you feel the content would get someone in trouble if they loaded it at work, tag the thread NSFW.

I don't know what /qst/'s culture is like, but just covering my bases: Any subject matter that you can reasonably expect to be upsetting for people (sexual assault, graphically depicted gore, racist/homophobic/sexist/transphobic/ableist/etc themes) should be handled respectfully and thoughtfully if present. If any of the above were in the adventure as a punchline or for the simple sake of edginess, your adventure likely isn't a good fit or welcome addition to this forum.

Having said that: if you want to carry on your adventure here, you're free to do so provided existing themes/characters/plotlines don't run into the above problems. If you think the existing archive doesn't really belong on ET but want to use this place going forward, you can always summarise for new readers, make an offsite mirror and give due warning to people who want to peruse it.
Quote
RE: Critique and Advice; the treadmill of adventuring.
Thanks for the swift reply, I figured it would take at least a few hours.

I'll see what I can do, I think I'm confident that I haven't had those problems yet. One of the things I'm worried about is that people might not give me a chance when they learn that the protagonist is a hermaphrodite.
Quote
RE: Critique and Advice; the treadmill of adventuring.
(08-16-2016, 06:50 AM)a52 Wrote: »
(07-31-2016, 02:38 AM)Solekii Wrote: »S...so...um.... I always get too nervous to ask but I know it's good to know...

Am I doing okay? Y'know. On Wayward? I know I often take too many suggestions and my posts are super long but I'm working on picking and choosing a little more

Sorry for taking so long to respond.

First impressions (recorded while reading):
-The art style is very pretty. Not my style, but very well done all the same.
-I'm a bit unsure about the whole game thing. A lot of forum adventures start out with a video game theme, but a lot of them tend to either 1. immediately forget about it after the first update or 2. shoehorn it in places it doesn't belong. The only non-puzzle-based adventure I've seen do it well is Fortuna. Obviously it's a bit late to change and I'm writing this before I finish reading, but be careful with it.
-Nice use of simple animation. (Fade in/out, guy sleeping)
-"Object" is misspelled on page 18.
-This may be on purpose, in order to enhance the game feeling, but the text in the boxes isn't as enjoyable to read as the plain text. The game text just doesn't feel as... genuine.
-Ease up on the !. The more you use it, the less effective it becomes.
-That art is really cute. My initial instinct was that I would dislike this, for the same reason I dislike UT and SU, but that face on page 34 is too much for even me.
-Citrus is too friendly, it irks me
-Oh good, something horrible's happeni--and it immediately goes into thinking about his sister.
-Rock is mispelled 79, unsure if intentional
-This is way too fucking sappy
-She... is not really his sister, is she.

Okay, I have to stop there because I really need to sleep.

Review:

I don't think that having long updates is an issue, especially if you read on the mirror like I did. I think what is more important is to keep the plot moving. If you are doing long updates with lots of suggestions, you may have to even add plot in between the suggestions, or perhaps have fewer panels per command.

The art is very good. While I might not like it myself, it's very well done, easy to look at, and shows a real understanding of artistic... stuff. (I'm tired okay)

What I read so far is very good. It's not the sort of thing I would usually read, I am generally a lot less interested in these sorts of cutesy-type adventures. Even so, I enjoyed what I read. Make sure to keep the plot moving along, it stagnates a bit in spots (hugging stuffed animals, picking up junk, etc). Lastly, be careful with the game thing. Make sure to make it part of your plot, and not just a gimmick.

Good job so far though!

edit: looks like I stopped one page before something interesting happened. (94)
I might write some more later, in that case. right now I really need to sleep.

I was actually worried it stayed too cute too long and that I'd lose my intention. That being that it looks cute and completely harmless on first impression. (Man I'm never gonna forget about the 'too cute' thing now) This art style, I will admit, is far cuter than my usual style, and that I did that on purpose. I really hope it isn't obnoxiously so.

Just...haven't gotten to the good parts yet. I feel like my pacing is too slow but I have a lot to do sometimes and picking up the pace is hard... I have a lot to do and often wind up having to complete an update in a day to keep it going and often... it means sacrificing something I've written. Writing is fast, but drawing it takes much longer, even if I normally draw quickly.

If the text boxes are distracting I can get rid of them. I guess I thought it would be a neat change. But if it's too hard to read or too annoying to look at I can stop. The other use for them would be to tell the difference between 'you' the character and "You" the player.

The video game thing is definitely too late to change. It's very ingrained into the plot and always was. I'm just very worried about not getting anywhere and boring people and if I should start over or drastically change something....


edit: Now that I think about it I REALLY should have introduced a certain character much earlier to balance out Mai and Citrus in terms of 'niceness'. It was the intention in the beginning but forum adventures never go where you expect, eh?

If the text boxes need to be replaced I may do a slight re-write if I don't have to just start over... I'm not sure. I worry I'm too slow and that my pacing is too late to fix, as are other elements.

I guess because I have other ideas I worry I may be stagnating. I'm concerned this one is too complicated and slow right now....I'm more curious if the issues with it outweigh the good. I have some other ideas I want to do, but two hand drawn adventures updating regularly is too much to handle. And I like the idea of wayward still. I'm just concerned I'm not executing it properly and if I should keep going like this or change my approach. To do something else would require putting this one on hiatus or an irregular schedual. But I really don't like the idea of stopping when I've gotten so far.
Quote
RE: Critique and Advice; the treadmill of adventuring.
Don't stop! It's good so far! Most of the things I wrote were just advice if you do another adventure, or for later updates, and you even fixed some of them. The textboxes, for example. Initially I was a bit worried about them, but now that I've gotten further in, I've gotten more used to them, and I even think that they're an important part of the story.

From personal experience, the worst thing you can do to an adventure is try to start it over. It doesn't work. Ever. Especially since what you have so far is already so good, I would just focus on keeping things moving in later updates. Don't worry about the older stuff.
Quote
RE: Critique and Advice; the treadmill of adventuring.
Yeah so I've heard. I guess I'm just a bit of a perfectionist and that I was already worried about a few of those things. Especially the writing, which is incredibly annoying to edit, I'll admit. (Partly why I started a little text adventure to practice because I feel like my writing has gotten lackluster without practice)

I guess I'm just a little worried it isn't turning out how I'd like. But I get that that's sorta the game with this stuff. I know it's fixable in the future but it's hard to ignore the start, yknow?

I think it's time to get the ball rolling then. I'll give it a go and keep going, I suppose.

But I really want to know about nitpicks and errors and other such critiques so I can fix them now rather than let it get worse or go unnoticed.

Edit: Also worried, again, that the 'cutesy adventure' went on too damn long. At what point is misdirection just 'dragging on'. aye. I guess once I start thinking about it I can't stop.

Edit again: it is good advice, though. I think I worry a lot when I shouldn't...
Quote
RE: Critique and Advice; the treadmill of adventuring.
[Image: 7hQZCb9.png]
Quote
RE: Critique and Advice; the treadmill of adventuring.
(08-16-2016, 08:41 AM)GuardianTempest Wrote: »One of the things I'm worried about is that people might not give me a chance when they learn that the protagonist is a hermaphrodite.


There are several reasons as to why people wouldn't respond well to that, and i'm willing to bet a large deal of money that its not the same reasons people would have a problem on 4chan

For starters you should probably do some baseline research into queer terminology
[Image: WEdy1pW.png] [Image: cyTsdj6.png]
[Image: 30058_799389.png]
Quote