Attack of the Clockwork Army

I’m getting lots of 1-star and 5-star reviews, which is absolutely fascinating to watch!

Yep, it’s steampunk.
Yep, with magic.
Yep, an original magic system (someone compared it to Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn, which is just fine by me!)
Yep, set mainly in Australia.
Yep, I’m Australian.
Yep, your character can be mauled by the wildlife, the creations of mad scientists, or both.
Yep, the land itself will up and try to kill you (more than once, now I think of it). Because Australia.

I’ll keep an eye on this thread and answer any questions I’m qualified to answer, but otherwise I’ll leave you alone to talk freely about whether the game is terrible or great.


Question is can we be mauled be by clockwork wildlife created by mad scientists?

On a serious note, I’ve downloaded and gonna give a whirl


Yep :smile:

1 Like

You sold it to me. 10/10

1 Like

How does it feel getting negative reviews, hopefully my game is releasing this coming Friday and I do not know what to expect? Any advice? (sorry if its kinda off-topic)

I’m used to getting a lot of rejection for my writing, since I’ve been writing novels for fifteen years (and, to put that in horrifying perspective, the first is coming out in 2016). I can only assume I take some kind of perverse joy in such things.

It’s frustrating when someone gives the book one star because they think it should be free… but it’s nothing to do with me.

It’s frustrating when someone hates the setting… but at least that means I really have managed to be original (especially when there are two 5-star reviews for every 1-star review). I’m absolutely embracing the controversy, since I know it gets people talking…and buying. At the same time, it’s sad to see an average rating of under 4 stars when I know the book deserves better.

It’s painful when there’s a genuine mistake and someone points it out and now the entire world knows - that’s the worst, because it’s my fault. But all I can do about that is write the best gamebook possible, and then make my next gamebook even better.

In a way, reviewers are free beta readers. I’m always grateful for free editors (even the morons, because they can give me ideas of things that might make the next book sell better).

So yes, it hurts sometimes - especially when I know I’ve screwed up - but it’s worth it.

Have a look at the apple store for some furiously negative reviews (the heading at present are “Offal” and “Nothing good here”). I guarantee someone out there will hate your book that much, but don’t worry - you’re not alone.

Oh wow that’s harsh. I don’t think there’s any way to even get through your book in 15 mins. I’m thinking maybe there needs to be a bigger notice on google play about it not being completely free. (It’s there but down the bottom under in app purchases, google doesn’t make it really obvious, because there does seem to be complaints on most of the hosted games about them not being free which leads to bad reviews which are kind of unfair.)

Glad to hear you’re taking a philosophical approach- Any attention is good attention and hopefully the mixed discussion gets people interested enough to give it a read and make their own decision :slight_smile:

(It’s kind of got me a bit concerned that there’s complaints about the the use of UK/Au english spelling being annoying as well since mine’s written entirely in UK english as well >.< )

The complaint on mine is the opposite - I used all-American (even the technically incorrect “aluminum”) and that annoyed someone. Fair enough, in an Australian setting.

CoG usually wants American spelling, and I bet it does make a difference on reviews :frowning: For better or worse, the CoG audience is mainly in the USA.

Whoops misread that reply, I read it as being the other way around.
nods I might need to change it across, it generally doesn’t bother me which type of spelling is used either way, but it does seem to annoy some people. I only write in UK/Au english since that’s what I’m used to and what my spell checker is set to at the moment (Because I need my spell checker, I don’t know how I ever coped without it :laughing: )

As you should. Americans should learn how twitch-inducing it is to see all the dropped letters from their words. All you need to do now is offer them some chips and biscuits and the confusion will be complete : D

I wrote Life of a Mobster using US English . . . seemed fitting, for some reason. :smile:

But Lost Heir uses Canadian English (UK/Au/etc).

Can’t worry much about those bonehead reviews. That’s right up there with “it’s nothing but words!” :smile:

Anyone for Vegemite?


The game was nice @Felicity_Banks I love steampunk, magic and Australia (even if everything tries to kill you). 5* for me.
3.5 rating on googleplay was really annoying :triumph: those people don’t have the slightest idea how hard it is to create a story in choicescript the chances for mistakes and bugs are high (also the chances of getting a migraine is high, still studying the choicescript to use it properly and it’s hard).
I saw some of the reviews and most are harsh and not really a constructive helpful review, some even just rate one star and don’t bother to explain why? I mean if they hated the game then at lest give a decent review and point their reasons so you can improve it.
Don’t worry about those people our COG community has your back and are here to support you, learn from those mistakes,reviews and next time dazzle them with gripping words from your next story. :sunglasses:

Thank you Obsidian! Yeah, a 3.5 average is harsh but I can clearly see from the graph that most people love (or at least like) the game, and those who do hate it, usually hate it for the setting (ooh, controversial! I never thought I’d be that kind of writer and I’m perversely pleased with it). Plus it has over 1000 downloads (not necessarily sales) there now, which means a lot of people are taking a look. That blows my mind!

Another game I wrote (Scarlet Sails) is more straightforward and trope-y and it just placed 7th in the IF Comp with (and this is the relevant bit) a VERY low standard deviation…which is to say, no-one hated it. So that supports the theory I’ve had all along - the 1s are a comment on my originality, not on my poor writing (which doesn’t mean I can’t do a better job of gently & thoroughly explaining the setting next time :wink: ).

1 Like

Well at least you are taking the low scores quite well, then again they are to be expected. Getting good reviews on an interactive novel on app stores or steam is a rarity I’d bet. Still a little sad though… Then again in this case the bad publicity comes from it being an interactive novel which is something that can be used to your advantage.

Taking a look at it… Well it looks like something I will enjoy when I have the time. Certainly like the idea of getting mauled xD

Minor rant:
Whenever someone says a book or interactive novel should be free I just think them crazy. Heck some people believe that if you like making video games you should make them for free.

I’m not sure what they think is the cost of living but I’m guessing they live with their parents so they just can’t grasp the concept of actually needing money to live. But that’s the expected attitude from most gamers these days, just as a 7/10 being considered average.

I’m fond of living in a house and eating food myself. The people leaving negative reviews over the entire system (“lost of words” “should be free” etc) are annoying, but nothing to do with me.

I’m planning to finish it up tonight, but thus far, I’m really enjoying it. In my opinion, it is really well-written, with vivid (but not overdone) descriptions of settings, creatures, cool Australian-centric terms, etc.

EDITED TO ADD: Okay I finished and my opinion is pretty much unchanged that this is a really strong addition to Hosted Games. I sent in a review on App Store. My “wish” would have been for more analysis and discussion of the whole England/Australia conflict because I find diplomacy really interesting. As a reader, I wanted to know if other steps been taken to avoid a military showdown, and I wasn’t clear why a relatively small battle determined the outcome of the entire conflict. But I understand that we have limits as to how much story we can tell, or else we’d never finish anything.

As a whole, I really enjoyed this (especially the robot dingos!) and look forward to reading more of your stuff, Felicity! I dig your style.

1 Like

@Felicity_Banks Truth be told I found reading it a bit strange since I’m so used to American English. I’m not done, but from what I’ve read so far I’ve enjoyed it honestly. So far it’s been a good read and I’m glad you’re not taking all the bad reviews to heart. Honestly when looking through all the reviews for interactive novels I’m trying to find a good low review for once. One with constructive criticism not just “This should be free” or “Game is misleading doesn’t let you play full game unless you pay” and the ever favorite “WTH this isn’t a game it’s just reading!”

1 Like

Alright. Here’s the more in-depth review I’d promised.

I really like the world and the setting you’ve created here, especially the metal magic, and the writing was generally pretty good, but I had some issues with the romances.
In the whole they didn’t feel all that important, and rarely had any emotional impact, which I think is a real shame. Below are my main issues with the romances.

It feels a bit odd that James throws in a casual remark that Mark is in a relationship already (and in some cases about his own relationship), but those people are still shown as selectable options on the next page. It feels illogical. I’d rather have those options grayed-out or something. Also, the first time I played the game I felt the choice for someone to romance came pretty much out of the blue. You’ve only had one chance to talk to someone before, and asides from Mary I felt like you’d barely been introduced to them.
The only reason I really made a choice at all was because why not, which probably isn’t the kind of motivation you should have when presented with such a choice.

Also, ending up kissing the person of your choice feels a bit random, but that’s still within acceptable boundaries with the uncertainty of the situation and all. What bothers me more is that after one of the dingos took a bite out of your foot you go and coolly discuss it with someone (haven’t played through it often enough to know for sure if it’s always the person of your choice) the person you’re dating doesn’t comment on what happened to you personally. No expressing worries, not being upset, not even yelling at you for being irresponsible enough to head outside in the dark on your own. Just coolly discussing politics, basically. That bugged me a lot. Just a few lines dedicated to something like that would’ve made it feel a lot more meaningful to me.

Another thing I was disappointed about is that if you pick some other side than the one the person you’re dating is associated with he or she doesn’t try to talk to you to try and convince you to pick their side anyway. It makes it feel like your relationship isn’t all that important to that person. That feeling also creeps up on me a bit when William confronts you while you’re taking care of the wounded (if you’re dating him), but I guess that could be attributed to it being in the middle of the battle.