Hi all. Have just completed a new 250,000 word adventure called the Well of Shadows.Would very much like to get some feedback. The game in its entirety can be found at https://dashingdon.com/play/waynedensley/well-of-shadows/mygame/
“Somewhere within the vast temple complex of Allas’nerig resides the mysterious Well of Shadows. Legend holds that it is a device of untold power, but for you it is the key to unlocking an even greater mystery. Serve as one of the Brethren and delve deep into a world veiled in darkness and magic, where one misstep can lead to disaster and success is determined by the choices you make. In this epic fantasy adventure your destiny is yours to discover, you need only survive all that awaits you in the shadows.”
Please be aware that this adventure contains varying levels of graphic fantasy violence and is probably unsuitable for readers under the age of 13. Any feedback/testing comments etc, would be greatly appreciated.
If you would like to discover more about the world of Arborell and the other books and games freely available please go to the Chronicles of Arborell website.
The link doesn’t work for me.
Sorry about that. Should work. I’ll get it sorted.
I thought your name sounded familiar for some reason
world of Arborell
Amazing game so far. Haven’t finished the complete game but finished playing the game twice already but got killed. Hoping to reach the end of the game soon. Thanks for posting.
Yep, that would be me. Have you read any of the Chronicles?
Hi Angel. Thanks for playing. Let me know if you find anything that needs fixing.
In the description of the Sharyah page, the word earthmagic has no space between them. Is that intended?
For what i see in the game whenever the earthmagic is mentioned, it’s always without space between them so I think is intended…
The term EarhMagic is one word. In the lore of Arborell. EarthMagic is the underlying power that governs and sustains all life in the world,
Shouldn’t the shieldstone save me from a death like this? It had done so when I decided to throw an flashstone that caused an explosion.
Is it possible for you to consider adding a save plug-in at least for testers, so when they die, they will not have to go through the tedious work of going back to where they were?
Thanks for that. You are right. You should be protected if you have a Shieldstone. I’ll write that in today and get the save feature added.
Save feature has been enabled and you are now protected from the explosion by your Shieldstone. Let me know if you have any further problems.
Unfortunately not yet. I entered the windhammer comp a few years ago so knew the name from there
@wdensley - I read a session while taking a break from my own writing today.
This is a very deep and broad game that showcases your developed world and characters. There is no doubt that this will attract many fans of Lucid’s games and of ThomB’s games. These are both authors that you should check out if you have not already done so.
The most work, I feel, you need to put into this game now is all editing and formatting related. As an example, some of your pages are very long. Long page lengths do not do well with mobile readers and it forces them to scroll which leads to them sometimes skimming.
Skimming will be hurtful for your game because you pack a lot of information in each paragraph and those that skim will hurt their MC.
Once I get caught up on my million things to do list, I’ll like to return to your game and try a new path to the well. So I do hope you keep the WiP thread open for a bit.
Thanks for your feedback. Page length is something I need to look at. a few more page breaks might help mobile readers manage the pages.
It took liberal applications of a Well of Infinite Possibilities, but I’m finally through!
Overall impressions: labyrinthian, in the best way. Literally mapped out the proving grounds to get through it; gave up in the stone forest. Exactly how many ways are there to cross that cavern?
It takes a lot of patience to read through, but the atmosphere was great. The slow transition from dungeon-crawling into the realm of myths is well done. As suggested above, more page breaks (and maybe paragraph breaks) would help.
Game mechanics: a combination of paying attention, trial&error, and keeping an eye on the stamina bar (aka endurance). Personally I enjoyed most the mazerunning part, where we could solve the puzzle if we were careful enough. The stat system seemed a little vestigial, honestly. They didn’t seem to be checked all that much?
The part about not being able to hold more than three stones or more than one of a kind implies that there would be situations where we wound need to chose which stones to take, or run out of a room when we see a duplicate stone. Is that a possibility?
Some things that were a little jarring:
Pulling the lever did not seem to actually do anything.
During the reaver fight the text said the flashcharge’s purpose was to deafen and blind, but when using it on the Shondalak it somehow blasts ourself to death? Which is it?
Suffocation by smoke I can understand, but why exactly does burning a plant bring the roof down?
Dictionary, please? Why would we leave our ‘First Book of Haer’al’ behind?
PS. I hope that cragrat got out.
Thanks for providing such a great piece of feedback. In answer to your first the Stone Forest has three main paths and about forty cross-overs and intersections that provide relatively free movement within it. As long as you move southwards towards the stairs you will get out. What you can find within it however, can be quite interesting.
The stats system is an adaptation of the character sheets I use with my gamebooks. Most of the stats are accessed in the background by the game code to determine choices and outcomes for the MC. Sometimes those choices can be a bit subtle but very much they determine how hard or easy the adventure unfolds.
The information given regarding the Sharyah is general info that applies to the entire series of stories I have written. There are other Sharyah to be found within the ruins of Allas’nerig but the most important choice regarding these talismans is which one you take to begin with.
Pulling the lever does unlock some of the doors in the Proving Ground but the maze is hundreds of years old and a lot of it has either been pilfered or willfully vandalised. With the Proving Ground you generally deal with it as you find it. I’m glad you enjoyed finding your way through and I’m impressed that you mapped it out. i can’t get through it without a map either.
Regarding the flashcharges. It is actually both. Using the charge in an open area will blind or stun. Using it in a confined area where the explosion is concentrated focuses the blast. In this case along the corridor. The creatures it is designed for are very large and it packs a serious punch.
The roof comes down if you burn out the Oer’daaki because the roots you see are the bottom end of a plant hundreds of metres in length, one that extends from ground level deep into the earth. The plant is highly flammable and the result of trying to burn it out is a fire hot enough to loosen the overhanging rock and bring it all down.
Regarding the dictionary I do provide a glossary with the story but if you are interested in the language of Haer’al, all 4500 words of it, including history, grammar and pronunciation can be found in the First Book of Haer’al at the Arborell website. A few words of the Elder Tongue are used in the story but I decided not enough to warrant loading the adventure with 250 extra pages.
Thanks again for your comments. I will see what I can do about providing more obvious advantages to pulling the lever.
I hope the Cragrat got out too.
I checked the code, and the only thing it does is give out an achievement?