Posted by Cloud8521 at 2008-01-18 00:39:10 Voted 8.00 on 01/18/08
hmm.. in light of all the previous comments, i'm having trouble wording my two cents worth (it's really two cents as i've never tried to do a module) so i'll just try to do this objectively (in my own way)
As you said in the module description, this is not an EPIC module but rather a contest module, my expectation was a nice little distraction from an Epic module and this module fulfills that. I do not know the rules of the contest so this comment wont reflect that.
as livingcomforteagle said, it is a well done module that manages to convey the mood and feel of the story to me.
I'll say this in defence of the author, this is just a 4-by-4 area module, you are trapped and hopeless. what can you possibly expect from the gameplay? that somehow this is all planned by a devious black robed wizard who happens to be a victim himself of a powerful higher race that dominates a multitude of planet, that you need to travel to hells and back and then multitude of planes in order to defeat them?!!
Come on the author has told us straight and simple. This is a short module, no combat or spectacular scripting. prove innocence or die trying. you are helpless. so what will you do? what can you do? nothing! nothing epic that is! you do what you can. Again and again. Until you can finally prove your innocence. Or just die trying.
I really think this is a well done module. I have a lot of other stuff to say but i'm running out of time right now. Besides, the author created this as a nice little distraction to test out his skills (and to enter the contest, of course :)) and i took it as such. i really enjoyed it as a distraction. so i wont be wasting more of my time as i need to get ready for RL and i advised you subbassman to do so too. it is short and limited and meant to test your skills so what is this isn't the tea of cups for other people and they voted bad.
Keep cool bro cause you're cool.Thanks for the 10 minutes of fun. Keep up the good work, seriously, you're good.
As a last, last word just to keep the balance. I totally agree with Arik. this module is good but not that good. there's room for improvement in the structuring of the whole mystery solving plot/module-structuring for this type of mystery solving genre kind of module..huh, that didn't come out right.
Anyway, take this module as an experience for your real module such as Tortured Hearts and Tempered Farts. If there are good(or bad) AND constructive comments, take them. Otherwise, just ignore all the rest that won't help you grow.
fun and entertaining. I thought the dialog was good - it wasn't roleplaying, but then again, it wasn't made to be roleplaying, it was for a short contest. I didn't mind the pre-generated-character thing very much.
it was a little obvious - with the dog, I mean - but still well-done for obvious. I actually liked the way the dialog led you around, even if it bothered me that screwing up on the crystal thing damaged all of it, a simple replay got me to see both endings.
I also like how you revealed who the character was through dialog - about being the king's advisor and all. (it was advisor, right? I don't remember now, and I played it mere minutes ago!) the only thing I wish you had revealed earlier was that the dog was bound to you. 'cause the random dog in there was more than a little confusing.
but uh, overall, I think it was a pretty solid 8.5!
Posted by chrisboote at 2007-05-10 03:35:54 Voted 7.00 on 05/10/07
I died the first time, using the 'obvious' spell, then tried again.
I agree with previous posters that the linearity is somewhat broken - you can read the spellbook & call the dog by his name before certain triggers have been triggered
If there was only one correct sequence, which flowed more logically, I would give this a higher score - as a competition module
Posted by Yanos at 2006-08-24 22:11:39 Voted 10.00 on 08/24/06
Very nice, remembers me a interactive fiction (those adventure text games), I would enjoy to play full games like this.
Posted by sa_ffolztar at 2006-04-04 01:56:34 Voted 9.50 on 04/04/06
Damn this mod kicks ass! Good job SubBassman!
Posted by PaintKirby at 2006-04-01 08:38:12 Voted 8.00 on 04/01/06
While the work is done relatively well, there are a few errors. The plot is interesting, and the story is somewhat believable, but there are a few gramatical errors here and there which need fixing. Also, there are some confusions in what you have to do, and the order of the triggers. It took me a few tries before I could get the good ending, mostly because of having to talk to the door a couple of times, as well as not being able to get the crystal until after doing so, even though the book says to, and it is apparent what you have to do. Also, the player calls the dog by name before he or she names it if you look at the book earlier on. Other than that, it is a decent story. If you can find someone to proofread it, then it would be a good piece of work.
Posted by jaz at 2006-03-31 10:04:01 Voted 10.00 on 03/31/06
Posted by Jaz ( 80.99.xxx.xxx ) at 2006-03-31 10:02:49
Good show my man. :))
Posted by krakatoa69 at 2006-03-23 18:18:06 Voted 9.00 on 03/23/06
I have played a couple of completely forgettable contest mods so far and only tried this one, because I played of the author's amazing work. So I tried to switch off from that experience to this one, to avoid any bias.
This idea - Prove your innocence or get convicted - was one in my mind, but I have no scripting abilities at all. So I was positively surprised to see this one coming, limited though it is (understandable, given the submission criteria).
First, I like the fact that you should really feel pressed for your life (the guy who wrote "Black Thorn" had a good system, simply based on the 'space bar', which is one of the few suggestions I'd make to Subbassman). Have some kind of time countdown mechanism. I thought the title indicated that in 100 minutes, if the mistery wasnt solved, you'd be detonated.
Next, the fact that you have absolutely no idea how you're gonna prove your innoncence drives you to try things and think of options. It really feels likes your only way out is that 'evil ending', resulting from option 2 from the grymoire.
As for the appearance of the old man, this could be better. For instance, he could be separated thru bars, it doesnt make sense to me to put them together. The way he naturally presents a way out - more or less like 'sometimes the simplest solutions solve the hardest problems'.
I'd suggest the following suggestions to make this more interesting:
- Include some time coint-down (already mentioend);
- Make the dog's name known only *after* some event, not right in the beginning (there's a weird dialog, where you name him after having already called him by the name);
- Make the dog be somewhat (and strangely) protective against you damaging the crystal ball, until the old man (who happens to be a Druid) joins in. After learning you cannot try anything with the crystal ball, he can kind of charm the dog and then the option of breaking it be available.
Posted by baki at 2006-03-17 09:49:20 Voted 9.75 on 03/17/06
I liked the atmosphere of this tiny mod. Although the restrictions were quite harsh, it managed to draw me in. Good job.
Posted by chris_dr at 2006-03-12 08:27:43 Voted 9.75 on 03/12/06
Interesting situation, believable characters within the boundaries of the rules. Not flawless, but nothing is flawless.
Posted by chris_dr ( 62.68.xxx.xxx ) at 2006-03-12 07:56:21
Interesting situation, believable characters within the boundaries of the rules. Not flawless, but nothing is flawless.
Posted by Arik at 2006-03-07 02:53:38 Voted 8.50 on 03/07/06
I made a huge number of assumptions when writing my review SubBassman - any clarification of your intentions when writing the module would be great, and I'd be happy to amend accordingly. If you've updated your module since I downloaded it, again, please mention it.
Posted by Arik at 2006-03-07 02:47:30 Voted 8.50 on 03/07/06
I strongly suspect that this module was the victim of a last minute design change. On the one hand, it appears that at some point the module had been designed to allow a measure of nonlinearity, allowing the player to use the crystal to cast the spell before the old man appears - the "good end" conversation seems to have different brances for whether or not the old man is there. This would explain why the module allows you to try and cast a spell at any point of the plot, assuming you look at the spellbook twice.
On the other hand, what I assume was the final design of the module is a much more linear affair - the crystal cannot be broken until the PC has had his or her proper conversation with it and the old man appears. This fits overall with the style of the module, which generally allows the PC to do anything that comes up in his or her mental prompting.
What I think is causing so much confusion to so many players is that the obsolete design was not completely eradicated. It is quite possible to try and cast the spell before you do anything else in the plot, well before the old man suggests it as a possibility. I am almost entirely certain that this was not intended by the author, as this branch of the book's conversation tree refers to the dog as Getaway, a name that is only given to the dog part way through the plot. I believe that the author intended this conversation branch to only appear once the player had talked to the old man, but as it is it can be accessed simply by using the book twice. So the spellbook becomes a massive red herring for the vast majority of the plot - it suggests that the player needs a piece of crystal, but the player can't actually take the crystal until later on. Leaving the only valid option to be the old tome route, which prematurely ends the plot with a bad ending. No wonder players are confused!
So I assume this is a bug. I don't think it makes the game particularly difficult to complete, as if you're more interested in the door than the book at the beginning then it's easy to figure out what to do, and I'm pretty sure that anyone who can't complete it can't be trying all that hard. But given that the legitimate route through the plot is also accessed by looking at an object twice (the door) I can completely see where all the confusion is coming from.
As the rules allow modules to be updated for bugfixes, and I believe the above problems to be bugs, I will take none of the above into account in my score. I hope the author is able to clarify what, if anything, his original intentions were. The rest of this review will be written based on the assumption that the final version of the module was intended to be fully linear.
This is probably my favourite module concept in the whole contest. For many players, ascribing a personality to the main character is a capital sin. Not for me. The psychological depiction of slow and increasingly desperate fear of death was absolutely superb. The PC is by far and away the best character.
Which is a bit of a problem, in a way, because it shows the other characters up a bit. The guard is fairly well written, but the old man is just confusing. His presence is never explained, any crime he might have committed is overlooked, and why is he being locked up in the PC's room anyway? I can understand why the PC would be trapped in there, but not why the room suddenly becomes the local jail cell. I'd take him for a guardian angel if the guard didn't recognise him at the end. He just seems like a piece of deus ex machina too far - his role in the story could easily have been given to a better character.
The "idea" to bash the crystal doesn't quite work either - even if the player doesn't choose the dialogue option to smack the crystal, the idea comes across to the player anyway and the crystal is still described as having a broken shard. And if the PC has already broken a shard from it why can't he/she just pick it up in conversation?
All those niggles aside, there's no way anyone should overlook this module, and it's a shame that people are struggling with it because it's undeniably good.
It's a real experience to get voted down by a couple of nice contestants.
Posted by Lance Botelle at 2006-03-05 14:24:35 Voted 4.75 on 03/05/06
Someone sent me a zipped copy of your module and I have now played it. Unfortunately, I have no idea what you have done with this module as I could not find a way out of the situation - and I tried twice! ;)
Maybe its one of those mods that if you get it (and do everything right), then it might be better than my experiences.
I did read some of the other comments after I posted (in case it was just me), but I see I was not alone, which, I have to admit, does make me slightly more comfortable about the vote.
All the best.
P.S. After reading some of teh other comments, it looks like there may be another way through the module. I may come back to this one later and give it another go (following the cheat) if I get the time. :) _________________________ World of Althéa Blog: Link
Posted by Lance Botelle at 2006-03-05 14:17:56 Voted 4.75 on 03/05/06
4.75 A HUNDRED MINUTES OF LONELINESS (178TH TESTED MODULE)
This is my updated scoring system structured around the format provided by Bioware. The final score is still consistent with my old system, but I hope to give clearer feedback within the new guidelines. NB: Judging any material is always subject to personal taste. I have tried hard to be as objective as possible. Remember, this is only my opinion; Bioware’s is the one that counts! If you believe I have scored your module unfairly, or I have missed something of importance, please email me at “email@example.com” and I will consider any comments made.
All nine Bioware points can score a maximum of 1 point each, leaving 1 point for my personal interest/like of the module.
Text of Module: (1.25 out of 3)
The Writing: (I do not scan the writing looking for errors, but if I notice something while reading it, I will note it here.) I noticed a misspelling (inprint > imprint) and poor sentence structure: “This is a mirror that they forgot in the room by chance.” This makes little sense. (0.5)
Characterization: I only spoke to a dog and someone behind a door. (0.25)
Dialog Flow: It took me a while to realise Getaway was the dog’s name. The perspective felt awkward at times. (0.5)
Concept & Execution: (3.25 out of 6)
Originality/Creativity: We were accused of a crime – I could not do anything! (0.5)
Logical Flow: I played the game twice to see if I could do anything other than the spell that gets me killed. Try as I might, I could not get a shard even though I tried with both the mirror and the orb! (0.25)
Drama: Being able to read the grimoire was a nice touch. What was with the dog demon at the end? (0.5)
Pacing: There was urgency from the point of view I was going to be executed. (1.0)
Character Development: The dog changed – but why? (0.25)
Multiple Paths: I am guessing there are other ways, but I could not see them and there were no clues on how to find them. I will assume multiple paths. (0.75)
Conclusion: Technically, this module scored below average in the writing in my opinion. (1.25/3). The story scored average in my opinion. (3.25/6). My personal score is 0.25 out of 1.0 because the arrangement felt quite interesting, but it fell totally flat.
MY SCORE SYSTEM (IMHO):
< 5 Not up with the competition.
5 - 6 Average.
7 - 8 Above average.
> 8 An exceptional piece
PERSONAL SCORING FACTORS (IN ORDER OF MY PRIORITIES):
GRAB FACTOR: How quickly am I involved in the action? Do I have direction?
PLOT: Is the story engaging? Is subject interesting? Varied conversation choices?
CHARACTERS: Are they easily identifiable? Are they rounded/memorable?
SPELLING & GRAMMAR: Is the text easy to read? Are there quite a few errors?
OTHER FACTORS (MINOR INFLUENCE): Design for atmosphere & scenery, including sounds & props. Quality of module stability; does it break easily? _________________________ World of Althéa Blog: Link
Posted by kok_warlock at 2006-03-01 23:14:00 Voted 9.50 on 03/01/06
This mod is good, but a little flawed in some of it's aspects, the fact that you have to speak/click with each one a couple times when there is nothing else to do, the fact you have to break something you couldn't break at the begginning(story-wise) and it's a little boring.
Nevertheless, this one deserves to be among the bests in this contest, because this is a good module, but also because most of the other mods in this contest are pure garbage.
Posted by kok_warlock at 2006-03-01 23:07:52 Voted 9.50 on 03/01/06
Good mod man, considering all the garbage in this contest I played in the last couple days, this one is pretty good, and has a good size considering the little time you had to work with it.
It's something really annoying that you had to speak with everything twice in such a small mod, also, i tried to break the mirror and crystal before for the crystal shard, but i couldn't, so it took me some time to decide to try again when the story was near the end.
Also, this is a contest mod, people are looking to play for like 5-10 mins, not spend an hour looking for a solution, you should really try to give some hints, and avoid having to talk twice with the guard to get something.
Yah, there's a bug. In your mind. Is it difficult to choose the other option, dude? There's a serious problem with your problem solving ability.
Posted by Kenrae at 2006-03-01 09:00:29 Voted 4.00 on 03/01/06
Sorry, but I couldn't finish the mod. I can't get the piece of crystal. Maybe you must do everything in a specific order? I don't know, but when a mod is that difficult to finish because of bugs, it doesn't deserve high scoring.
The writing itself was dull, nothing special. I've played many contest mods and this one is sub-average.
Posted by MikeLM9215 at 2006-02-22 20:19:17 Voted 7.25 on 02/22/06
Had a lot going for it and a lot against. Everything must be done in a specific order or it won't trigger. Took 7 times to get that right. Could never get the shard from the orb in any thread. Never finished after an hour.
_________________________ The road to Ravenloft is paved with good intentions.
"People come to play a character, not to be told who they are."
This from a guy whose mod included such gems of player options as "say nothing" "take it wordlessly", and whose mod's entire purpose was to tell the backstory of your character in relatively great detail. The irony being especially great when said backstory didn't really relate to the matter at hand. Gotta love this guy.
Take all comments with a grain of salt. Especially those from other contestants.
I guess I'll have to give your mod a play and see what all the fuss is about :)
Posted by Lance Botelle at 2006-02-16 15:25:00 Voted 4.75 on 03/05/06
Ah! If that is the case (Winrar splash only), then I will DL and use it myself. I can put up with a splash.
I will DL and review later as it is too late now.
P.S. I will be using my new scoring system that allows for greater feedback ... I hope it helps. _________________________ World of Althéa Blog: Link
No you can keep using WinRar forever. After 30 days it just gives you a splash screen reminding you to register like most freeware does.
Posted by sithen at 2006-02-16 04:16:39 Voted 9.25 on 02/16/06
First, great title. There's so many mod's in this contest, and being on dial up, I ended up just skimming the titles and clicking on what sounded cool. A catchy title is the polish to any writers art.
That said, some small problems, and I had to open it in the toolset to find out why the crystal orb was not giving up a crystal (maybe I missed something, I ended up making it bashable and saving so I could play the whole way through).
The writing is easy to read. Both the plot and the writing are character driven, and give sense of a larger world and possible story beyond the 4x4 area. It's also an achievement and a half (in my opinion) to give a solo player the idea that their pc *has* character.
The story felt dynamic - I was obliged to pay attention to my surroundings (not common in NWN), choices in conversation meant something, and actions and choice had consequences. The only major criticism is there were some problems with conversation choices which seemed to break the plot.
Most of all, SubBassman has managed the impressive task of taking on Bioware's major restriction - one 4x4 area and no area transitions - and exploited it to his advantage. A striking illustration that a good author makes limitation work for them.
Posted by Lance Botelle at 2006-02-14 12:20:21 Voted 4.75 on 03/05/06
Someone has a zipped copy they are going to email me.
It's been a while since I checked, but isn't winrar the one that stops working 30 days after installing it?
That's why I don't normally bother with it.
Lance. _________________________ World of Althéa Blog: Link
Posted by Lance Botelle at 2006-02-14 06:39:40 Voted 4.75 on 03/05/06
I am thinking about breaking from my order to cast a few votes on the top modules to ensure I have commented fairly on everyone before its too late.
However, your file is in rar format. Is there any chance to upload a zip format as well?
If not, I will download a rar prog if need be. It's just that I did not want to do that unless I really had to. (Your mod will be the one that makes me. :) )
I will hold off for a short while to see if you read this message and do add a zipped file. If, however, I come to play your module and it is still only rar, I will sort something out my end. :)
Catch you later.
Lance. _________________________ World of Althéa Blog: Link