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A jam submission

narrow are the vesselsView game page

an electric zine made out of a story i don't think i'll ever finish
Submitted by d.h. croasdill (@hotlocalwizards) — 4 days, 9 hours before the deadline
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CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score

Ranked from 4 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

Name you'd like to be published under, if accepted
d.h. croasdill

Short bio, written in the third person
d.h. croasdill is a toymaker currently living in Brooklyn. she never sleeps enough.

Artist Statement, about your piece
i looked at some fragments from Sappho & thought: as exciting as it is that the translators can make whatever decisions they want about all this, it's sad to know we won't ever quite know what she was trying to say. i tried to concretely imagine the missing words & only came up with shifting & uncertain things, like when you try to read a book in a dream & all the pages are filled with ink in the shape of words.

then i remembered that i have a story about pieces & memory & context, & that there was no way i would ever be able to publish it for personal reasons. what if i turned it into something else entirely, censoring nearly all of it? there's a brief letter in the piece itself that says more on this.

otherwise, i was also trying to learn the Harlowe 3.2.2 storyformat for twine. this was my first time using it, i usually use an older version of sugarcube. so i tried to do what i can using Harlowe alone, digging into the javascript only sparingly. it was a learning experience for sure, i was happy to have two whole months to work on it.

What do you need from us, when giving feedback on your piece?
is it fun to interact with? how do you feel as you move through the fragments?

Questions, Comments, Concerns?
oh, i think this was a pretty good one overall. i've never been in a jam where i wanted to join the discord before, so i'm already like 200% more onboard that usual. great job folks.

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Host (1 edit)

Hey d! 

As with all of your work, I'm astounded by the beauty you bring to the table. It always takes me a second to get over the WOW and get to the meat of it, lol.

I wouldn't necessarily call this game "fun," because (maybe i was just moving hella slow) it was difficult to read (intentionally so) and slow-paced. That said, I think it's a necessary and honorable text-sculpture to honor the "death"/grief of the short story that will never be.

Curiosity was my strongest feeling while moving through these fragments. I wanted more, and knew I'd have to be satiated with what I was given. It left me with a sense of longing and grief that wasn't at all unpleasant. 

I also really enjoyed all the ways you played with structure, linearity, and echo. The echoes were given form, the museum was transfixed in moments, sensations, not images, and I think this piece taught me a bit how to be content with my hunger. Which I think is what you were trying to do, for narrow are the vessels! Thanks for this, d. 

And thanks for joining the Discord! It's been great just chatting with everyone. 

Here's a lil playthrough vid, so you can see live feedback. It actually crashed halfway through so it got cut short, and I apologize for that! But it's already 19 minutes so I figured it was enough.


I adore the aesthetic and overall feel of the work. It's like interactive found poetry!


As a comment on how sad it is to realize that Sappho's words are lost forever, I find this extremely evocative and beautiful -- so much could fit; in the end, none does. You've captured the anxiety of trying to understand what someone must have meant when they said "X," what the significance of something shared between yourself and another person really was, very well in the layers of text that disappear once your cursor (attention) moves away from them.

I began with "6" and went backwards. I cannot tell you how much I love the fact that the last word one can render visible in the zine is "goad," because that's exactly what it's doing -- "I mean something," it insists, without ever giving it to you. I'm pleased you've linked (what I assume is) the sculpture referenced in the zine, too; I find they're visually reminiscent of each other, and the way the reference fronts a contrast between how stone-forms and words decay is lovely, too. 

Thank you for submitting this! It's a beautiful way to say goodbye to (and to remember) something that meant so much to you.

Submitted (1 edit)

... I forgot it might be useful to explain my ratings.

Experimentation - I gave this 4 stars simply because I've read works with disappearing/reappearing text before that deal with themes of forgetting and memory. I see it done in a way that makes loads of sense here, but I wonder if you could have subverted how tight the form/content connection is in this piece and if that would have (paradoxically) strengthened what you were trying to get your reader to feel/experience. Very much spitballing with this comment, but I hope it inspires something.

Interactivity - The poem's flow is entirely a function of the way the reader moves her cursor. Solid 5 in my book. 

Polish - So clean and pretty. Is there some way you could have hyperlinked the sculpture within the zine itself? I felt it added something important, but not all your readers may find it in the piece's description (due to not reading, not clicking out, etc.).

Poetry - On a sliding scale of game (1) to poetry (5), this is definitely poetry.


what a thoughtful set of replies! i am, perhaps unfortunately, a bit of a formalist, so a tight relationship between form & content is something i prize quite a bit. however, i will consider the use of a looser connection next time i sit down to make a hyperpoem, maybe i'll even drop you a line to hear more about your thoughts on the matter.

thank you so much, i'm looking forward to playing with your submission early this week.