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A jam entry

The Death of the Countess of Cosgravia GroveView game page »

A three-move, choice-based interactive fiction.
Submitted by Tim White (@TimAlanWhite) with 4 hours, 45 minutes before the deadline

Amateur or Pro

Do you want to be judged by our jury?


Thanks again for the video coverage Jupiter :) There are many endings, but they do not break the loop. The only ending that breaks the loop is to destroy the will, which can be done at any location. I wouldn't necessarily call this the 'right' ending - it is simply the only way out.

Jupiter_Hadley · 1 year ago

Nice story, though I failed to find the right ending. I included it in part 2 of my WAG Challenge compilation video series, if you would like to take a look :) https://youtu.be/nU71CM_eL8Q

Hi Felicity, thanks for taking the time to play the game. I'm sorry to hear you didn't get on with the experimental structure, and thank you for your kind words about the characterisation. I'm just managing to eke out some time now to play the other entries, so I'll be sure to check yours out too :)



On my second decision, I thought the game was glitching because the protagonist has placed the will somewhere, and then was led to place it elsewhere. It doesn't make logical sense. I gave up and destroyed it, which I assumed meant I lost the game (since I'd been told there was one "right" ending).

I'd recommend altering the text a bit so it looks more like indecision instead of a technical problem... and I felt annoyed and tricked when I discovered that the game was intentionally pointless.

But the writing and characterisation was really, really good.

As a quick summary, I'd say I was expecting some frustration from the experimental structure, since I'd placed more emphasis on metaphorical meaning than a smooth play experience. My other main goal was to create a well-realised character and setting, which hopefully lead to emotional impact.


That's a good idea. I had an earlier design that was similar, where after so many loops it would turn on extra options. I didn't use it in the end because I hoped the player would choose 'destroy' at their own realisation. This would then leave them to ponder why destroying it was the way out. I also liked the neatness of the reset loop, where the countess isn't aware she's stuck in limbo, thus creating dramatic irony.

For a bit of background info, the game was part-inspired by Aisle, where after one move you get an ending, and are encouraged to replay to see other endings. I wanted to incorporate this format, but change it so the looping is part of the narrative itself, unlike Aisle. This can cause frustration in Countess though, as you found, since the player can feel like they're stuck forever, due to Countess having a fixed closure (unlike Aisle) which needs a leap of faith (or an inquisitive player) to reach.


Oh, so destroying the will is the only ending? Ok, that makes a bit more sense; I assumed destroying the will was a bad ending, and that there was a better ending somewhere...I guess that's not the case.

Now I can sort of understand what you were trying to do, but I think it doesn't really work-- perhaps because the player isn't given a reason to destroy the will. I didn't see a reason to do it while I was playing-- I only did because I saw the option, and I wondered what would happen if I did it. Maybe you could make it so, after 2 or so rooms are explored, the Countess realizes how little chance there is of her husband finding the will. Then, after a few more rooms, she says more about that, and so on until the player catches on that their quest to deposit the will is hopeless, and realizes it should be destroyed.

Well, that's what I might do. Just an idea.

Hi Tophat,

Thanks for taking the time to play the game and write a review :) As you've found, the structure is unusual.

To 'end' the game, the player must choose to destroy the will.

This is of course counter to the game's objective. It is intended to represent a permanence of death - by destroying the will, the player is acknowledging that they can no longer affect the world. When the character dies at the start, although they think they still have some time left, the game is saying that they are wrong - they are already dead and so can't change anything.

While ever the player tries to deposit the will, the game loops, and gradually layers up backstory and character, as you found. My hope was that after so many loops, or perhaps once the player has run out of new locations to visit, they would choose the 'destroy' option. But clearly you have proved my thinking wrong, which is valuable feedback :)

Thanks again, and I'll be sure to check your game out too.



I'm sorry to say this, but I didn't enjoy your game. At first, I thought each location to deposit the will would reveal a different ending, but I soon found that the game loops, seemingly endlessly. It looks like the will has to be deposited in the right place for the game to end, but, since there aren't any hints about where this right place is, the game becomes a pattern of "guess and see if the room's right, and if the guess is wrong, rinse and repeat". Yes, the descriptions of each place are written, but that doesn't stop the game from becoming quite tedious after depositing the will in quite a few places, to no avail.

So, while the writing is nice, the overarching plot and its structure is done too poorly for me to enjoy the game.

I also did the WAG challenge. My game is Literate, and you can find it at http://itch.io/jam/wag-challenge/rate/29610

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