Title Love’s a Game Author B.Carlton Description After a devastating break up you enter America’s biggest dating show. How will you survive your new on screen life & fame. (LGBT options and choices really matter )
OK. So I saw the new Episode official story and thought it would be fun to review it before I review the next story in my list, since I always check Episode stories anyway. Maybe you will find it interesting.
Honestly, I don’t expect to like the story, as Episode lately kinda… Well, u know what I mean. But I’ll give it a chance because sometimes they create decent content. To those who might think, that it’s kinda low to bash story mentioning author names, especially since the author didn’t request the review I’ll say - guys, if you release the story in public, just be ready that you might receive critique, just as much as u can receive praise.
So Here we go with Bad Girl Boss by LadyDianna. I will post screenshots as well, to make it more graphic for u folks.
Note: I don’t have any particular opinion about this author. I know that she wrote Deep Attraction (as I’ve been told), and I tried to read it, but never got past 1st episode, for the reason I don’t remember now. So I don’t have intention to bash the story without having a reason to.
Description. Oh my. My favorite mafia stories. But hey, let’s not be judgmental. Maybe they don’t praise and romanticize criminals ^^ #optimism#ineedadrink
OK. We got to customize our character. What’s so hard about putting all the OPTIONS U RELEASED EPISODE? Like seriously. Customization template seems to be dated with 2017 or smthg. I’ll just keep it original.
I. Want. This. Hairstyle. Now.
Lack of punctuation is noticed, but I guess it’s just a typo. Still, no excuse for Episode official stories.
Also. Young MC is named as “Young You”. And yeah, I’m so gonna pay attention to details.
“I’m a criminal like the rest of my family, and I’m proud of that.” ^^ How cute. Love dedicated and passionate characters. #ineedanotherdrink
Another punctuation typo… It’s been 3 minutes into the episode.
And also an astrophysicist, hacker, certified baker, polyglot, world champion in bowling, Guardian of the Galaxy, president of Yugoslavia, the Emperor of Mankind, The Last Airbender, tyrannosaurus, Mother of Dragons, the inventor of a spoon, inquisitor, mammoth hunter, all Pokemon catcher, Paladin…
Use of non-talking animations for dialogue lines, checked.
The Love Interest every girl Loves in school and MC who’s not like every other girl. Cause she’s MC.
On the bright side, LI is not a bad boy. He is kinda cool? Pleasantly surprised, really.
Well, that was kinda short.
4 students in the class. It would take like 2 hours maximally for 1 person to create overlays and add background characters to this scene. Not critical, but kinda… For this specific background, it looks odd. There is another with a single table near the window, where it would look tots normal.
Sometimes directing is good, sometimes it is sooo dang lazy like it’s author’s first story, and I know it is not. Lazy meaning no background characters, that is noticeable, cause the scene looks very empty, and picked animations…
Scars! I so want them for regular authors.
Length seems to get better in this chapter.
I think we have a new animation here. Something like stroking rear.
So there are some romantic choices, that doesn’t require gems, but most of them are. Like kissing a love interest for the first time.
I liked the plotline with MC being in a casual non-serious relationship. I don’t see that a lot. And although MC tends to have some thoughts about LI, that I would describe as dead-cliche, her personality seems to be more developed than Episode usually goes with. But again, it’s initially a user story.
Yummy dresses, that look great but probably won’t be ever released for regular authors.
So MC leaves a party, saying she wants to be alone, and in a few hours, as says Narrator, ends up sitting on LI car somewhere in the downtown… Why is it so random?
MC faints. Dunno a reason behind it, like she hasn’t been drinking at the party, so it seems to be kinda random at the moment like the author just wanted MC to end up in LI apartment. Along with the previous line, this whole night looks far-fetched and poorly developed.
4 episodes into the story and no character except for MC changed clothes. I know, some of you might think it’s not a big deal, but it means something for me. It takes time, to keep changing clothes, even for bg characters, but for me, it kinda shows author’s professionalism, if u know what I mean.
So gang has some sort of dress code. Except for one female gang member, who wears one of the default Episode outfits…
The fight scene between gangs seems kinda poorly done (for me at least).
There is one more fighting scene, that involves more than 6 characters. And spot commands are really off. Characters standing nearby are of different scale, like 6 graders and adults. And done.
So this whole mafia plot line. It’s not like I have everything against it as a plot line. There are specific reasons why I hate it most of the time when done in Episode stories. And that is because - not realistic.
I read all 5 episodes, and nowhere it is mentioned what exactly MC gang does. They talk briefly about warehouse, containers. Might be drugs? Or weapons? How does this make the MC good? I dunno. The subject is covered very superficially (at least for these 5 episodes, and it might be explained and developed in later episodes). As it is, for now, it seems to be romanticizing illegal stuff, and I have zero tolerance for this shit.
Directing is okay. And I think “okay” for an episode released story is not acceptable. I see regular authors doing waaaay better job with the directing. Some typos, with the punctuation, but not critical. Default outfits of other than MC characters with the same outfit for all 5 episodes is a kinda lazy approach.
The overall impression is that the story is really average. Really, really average. It’s not bad. I mean dialogues are fine and seem smooth enough. Directing is “eh, it’s okay” kind of. MC and LI aren’t really cliche. I wasn’t hating it while reading, which happens very often with me. So why I won’t continue it?
Mafia stuff seems to be put to make MC edgy, and add some suspense for the future episodes. But still. My friend, who read this story before, said the gang has weapon business. Maybe. It doesn’t make it better. MC will get her happy ending probably, and gang stuff will be put behind subtly.
Ok, maybe I’m wrong, so let’s put it aside. Because I’ve seen it all. The plot overall is anything but original. I can read the story, and it won’t be horrible, but… It’s like eating 4 days old bread in a pastry store when I’m surrounded by yummy cupcakes ^^ And I kinda noticed that most of the good comments about the story were made about clothes or features…
Some events are put into story just for the sake of romance development. They don’t make any sense at all, like MC fainting.
The story can be summarized as “very average” and not worth the attention. Maybe it will get better. But c’mon, I’ve read all 5 episodes. I don’t give this big of a chance to surprise me with story at all, and it was in vein…
In the first scene, I think the girl who walk to the lockers, like when the first monologue line is, should be going using the walk_rear animation. And all the background characters are dressed in default Episode outifts.
Only suggestion, but maybe when MC falls, and two girls are laughing in the background, you could use different laugh animations?
When MC says “you’re seriously pissing me off right now”; she has no talking animation at all.
I feel like you don’t know about CHARACTER starts animation command, since your directing isn’t as smooth, as it could’ve been.
When MC leaves, she kinda slides out, because u put kiss-blow animation. Just make it before walking command.
Scene with the lockers. I would put MC higher. Now it looks like he’s standing closer to the lockers, than MC, so I can’t help but feel like she’s supposed to be standing rear with these spot commands.
Speechbubble is off in this scene. I think u made a command, once, but then stopped and didn’t put it on reset either.
Um. I don’t think he told MC his name. How does she know it?
To be really honest. The whole conversation is… Weird, unrealistic… MC’c drooling is very cliche. They are kinda rude to each other in the first scene, here they are flirting and he’s basically mildly stalks her… Non-consistent dynamics of their encounters.
Ok. You didn’t change bg characters outfits from default. But doing it for secondary character? I mean Jazz.
I honestly don’t like when Narration is very long, and while that, characters just stand. It works in books, but not in Episode. Her thoughts could be moved to some later scene, maybe while she’s packing or smthg. This way u would put some action behind this long narration.
And btw “They are like my family” and they want her out like today? With a less than a day notice?
I make a prediction, that MC will end up living in LI house. Let’s see.
I think there was only one choice. Not much.
At the end of bonus scene (which was some kind of future projection I suppose). You put some end-credit-music. But you put it as music command, not sound, and as the sound is kinda short (like 3 seconds), it repeats over and over. Change it to sound.
Oh God, she does. Coincidence that she bumped into him, then she makes him take her to his house… They were talking twice. No information on her family, or like… Doesn’t she have other friends? I’m sorry to say, but I think the whole concept of this situation is very very lazy. Not much thought is behind it.
Lucas is walking into her room backward. I suppose the command was smthg like @LUCAS enters from left to screen center and LUCAS faces left while it should be @LUCAS enters from left to screen center THEN LUCAS faces left
OK. So Lucas asks her how does MC know his name. Why he didn’t ask it before when she was calling him Lukie?
Does anyone in this story with high-schoolers have parents? Seems like not.
Directing is really lazy in this episode. Half of the episode they just stand in one room and talk.
Ok, so directing. U know how to do average advanced directing. You could’ve done way better if you would spend more time on it. That’s what I think at least.
Their conversations are really unrealistic. Their mood can change like 3 times in one conversation. Plus to that, most of the time they just chit-chat. Like talking non-important things. Dialogues don’t show the essence of characters, just snarky comments mostly.
The plot is very cliche, and in my opinion not developed at all. I got an impression that you just wanted a theme of MC and LI to fall in love, while living together, so the rest of the details were picked kinda sloppy, to get characters in this situation.
Anyway, the review seems to be negative, but I didn’t have any intention to upset you or belittle your work. My judgment is obviously subjective, so remember it. But again, judging based on my standards, I’m not sure what you can do with this story to make it interesting for me. I say for me because other people can like it because they are different.
Before writing I suggest to go through with the proper plot development, and character development using real writing guides and questionnaires, and I feel like it wasn’t really done here.
Title: MC: Mr. Stole My Heart
Description: 1 drunk night, 3 years later…he starts chasing after her! Skyla is still looking for the guy from that one night and after some shocking news, he is looking for her too! Why?
What is the main concern about your story? The author’s notes and the fact that I am a new author…
First of all, I like your main post it’s great, you had me laughing. The episodes in this story are long, just so you know.
Title: Daughter of the Blue Dragon
Description: Lena is the daughter of a Yakuza boss, who is being set up for an arranged marriage. She decides to run away when tragedy strikes within the Blue Dragon gang.
What is the main concern about your story? Directing in certain parts, grammar possibly though I hope I caught everything on it. I guess the overall pace of the story.
Your intro is kinda cute. Although I would make it shorter somehow. Dunno if you intend to put it into every episode. If you do - better make it shorter. I felt like sound bg was put for good 10 seconds and bg with the title (before characters appear - for another 10 seconds). Maybe make it more dynamic.
And yeaaah. Author introduction, which is not technically author’s, cause characters are speaking. I don’t appreciate this approach, just the same as it would be with author character instead. They break this illusion of being “in the story”. After watching it till the end, I gotta admit that this one was kinda cute.
I am customizing Prince. Eyes customization is a bit messed up, cause on the second page of eye shape “Done” button is in the upper left corner for some reason, also I don’t think you included every eye shape. Same with the face shape and “Done” button. There are some lip shapes, eyebrows absent… Ok, u got the picture. Try @Dara.Amarie customization templates, she recently updated them with new content, that was released last week.
Second narration line containing “(your parents)”. Not sure it is the best way to tell it. This is kinda breaking the fourth wall, meaning, that you give information like MC doesn’t know that these people are his parents. I would remove it, especially since it’s the logical conclusion, as MC is the prince.
The first scene with Ophelia. She is saying her lines, and other two characters are on looped talking animation. And their animations, before Ophi starts speaking are taking too long.
It’s a bit funny. “I thought I heard carriage” and then we see it literally two meters away. I think that “Look, the carriage” would make more sense.
Btw, look at the characters compared to a horse in the background. The horse looks like a pony. Consider making them smaller.
I’m not sure about guards outfit. All the citizens and Prince himself are dressed in medieval (?) clothes. So guards look kinda out of place.
MC “I’m in no rush…”. I always mention it I think. It is way better to put dialogue lines with talking animations. Sigh, wink, admire aren’t talking animation, even remotely. If u want to add this sigh animation, maybe put it after the dialogue line, and for the line use some legit talking animation.
George line “Thank you, my prince”. If the title is used as a noun, like for example “We expect the arrival of princes and princesses,” it goes with the small letter. If you use the title as in your case, when a person directly addresses royalty, or if the title is followed by the name, like “Prince William” you start it from the capital letter.
When MC approaches guard. You put like 6 (approx.) seconds for the walk to spot command, then he is simply standing, while you zoom for another 3 (?) seconds. I’d advice u to put it like this to make the whole thing smoother: & PRINCE walks to spot xx xx xxx in T and PRINCE does it while walk_neutral_rear @zoom on xx xx to xx% in T
This way you will get zoom going simultaneously with his walk.
When he says “Home sweet home”. You can do it with him walking at the same time. So he doesn’t have to awkwardly stop and say this line. To do this: &PRINCE walks to spot xx xx xxx in T1 - where you put the spot, where is supposed to end, outside the screen, on the right. @pause for T2 - where you pick the time, enough for MC to get somewhere in the middle of the screen (basically half of the T1). PRINCE (walking-talking animation) Home, sweet home. - I forgot, but I’m not sure if you put the coma in this sentence. @PRINCE starts walking-animation.
Abigail says her line with the bow, and her mouth is closed. Use bow beforehand, and then add her dialogue line. And then after she finished, she stands with the weird pose, with her hands slightly raised. Put her on shiftweight-animation.
The problem with using stands screen left/center/right in Limelight is that females are higher than males. I don’t say that guys can’t be shorter than girls, but I doubt u meant to do this with the prince. The scene with Abigail and Cathleen, he looks like a teenager. Use spot commands.
When Abigail says that king and queen would like to have a word with them, I think King and Queen are supposed to go with the capital letter. I noticed some mistakes, more punctuation and use of the capital letters, although ur English is very good. But still, I suggest you find a proofreader. With this, I won’t comment on grammar/punctuation anymore.
When Kat and MC stand with the King and Queen, MC is layered behind Kat, although it looks like he stands closer to the reader. Dunno if you use layer commands here, if you do - check them, if you don’t - do.
It is very weird, that when King is talking to them, he speaks about Kat and MC in the third person.
I suggest u add more to the customization template. His family and sister look nothing like my customized character. Additional commands for the family in skin color and hair color will do. It’s not much.
When MC remembers that event on the island, the background (“I could see glowing orbs…”) is a bit off, meaning I see the white line on the left.
After the fight scene between MC and fairies, there is the next scene, and characters appear after the transition. I guess you put their commands after transition command, so this happened. You can just remove the transition in this scene while keeping transition-out command in the previous. Not a big deal.
When MC and 3 fairies are talking, at some point they just stand there, while narration goes on. Looped talking animation on one person + some shiftweight + listen + nod or idle_handsonhips animations for the rest of them will do.
Very weird background choice for Sapphire CC. Visual consistency is always better. You could use the same bg, as you used for MC CC.
-Check speechbubble positions. I noticed that they are off in the scene where they write an announcement, but maybe it was before.
Marabella seems to be talking a lot to herself. Is it a personal trait, or because it was easier to make her talking than thinking?
More scenes where characters pop-out.
When Kat is walking in the scene right after Marabella.
I mean, that when you have one character put with the spot commands, and then use another with the enters/walks to screen r/c/l, this character, despite the layer you might’ve put it on before, will appear behind the rest. If you put one character with the spot command, do it with the others.
On the shop-street scene, I noticed several characters put on listen-nod animation, but they don’t talk to anyone, so it looks like they are insane X_x
Like you use non-talking animations for dialogue lines, u use speaking animation when the character doesn’t say anything. Check it.
It looks weird when you have two people coming, and both of them on looped talking animation, like in the scene where Priscilla says to her mother, that Marabella wants to go to the ball.
Dang, that horse is funny
Why would u ask if I want to see credits if there is no other option?
Dang, the episode is so long, you could split it in two, one following Prince POV, and other Marabella’s.
I dunno if you should tell about the story pace since it’s a fairytale basically. It is not supposed to be really realistic. And here I would point also that I don’t see a point in mentioning time.
I will leave this here, cause I think you may not understand how these commands work.
When you simply put spot commands like @CHARACTER spot xx xx xxx you put @ . Animations:
If you want the character to perform animation before anything else happens you put it like @CHARACTER is animation
If you want the character to start performing animation, while something else coded in the next line continues you either do it like @CHARACTER starts animation or &CHARACTER is animation Walking to spot
If you want your character to walk before anything else happens you do the regular @CHARACTER walks to spot xx xx xx in T
If you want the character to keep walking/moving, while something else coded in the next line continues you do it like &CHARACTER walks to spot xx xx xx in T
I don’t think I ever saw u using @zoom on xx xx to xx% in 0. Always non-instant zooms.
I love their names. I think you did a great job with them.
Yep. U see, u have this dragging directing, where you try to show every single movement, and add to this that you don’t do well (or don’t do at all) & and starts commands, it is dragging a lot, and makes the whole story more boring, despite interesting plot.
That horse is so crazy-hilarious :DDD Can’t get over it.
Ay-ay-ay. The characters placed in the royal ballroom is very wrong. Just because u place characters higher, doesn’t make them look like they stand further. Check the guide below.
OK. Sry I won’t finish the 2nd story, since due to my 2 hours of sleep I’m not very productive today, but I got the idea.
Overall I liked the plot idea. It’s a nice fairy tale, with few MCs, which is totally fine, especially when they come together. There are some cliches, like evil step-mother and whole Cinderella vibe, but I’m cool with it, as it fits the story well, and as I know there will be more characters from other types of fairytales, I see nothing wrong with these cliches, I’d even say I find them kinda cute.
Now to the things which I think might be improved.
OK. Directing first. Directing is not bad. It is clean in some way, there aren’t major mistakes.
I would suggest you check my Help Thread, wherein the first two posts I mention most common mistakes I meet in stories in regards to directing. I noticed 1/3 of them in your story. Just go through those tips, and note to yourself, if you agree with them, and if you do - fix them. If you don’t know how - seek help on Forum or write here or in my DM.
While your directing is decent, it is not smooth, because I think you don’t use/use very limited &commands.
Note that when I mention some specific mistake, it means you should check it everywhere in your script, in all episodes. I can’t write them all down.
I have more problems with the way you’re telling the story. Especially at the MC memory of fairies. You use this type of narration, that is usually used in books. The difference between Episode and books is that while in the book we can stop action/dialogue at any time in our head, and it won’t disrupt the illusion of being “In the book”, it doesn’t work in Episode. When you put narration, when it is possible to put dialogue, your directing goes slow and interrupted. The whole scene would work much better if you’d put dialogue instead of narration. It would make the scene more dynamic at least. Now it looks like MC is the story narrator, and take into account that you used another narrator at the beginning of the story. Get a grip over narration ways, because now it is very messy, and screws your directing. Get some kind of system, maybe read writing guides (not Episode guides) about the use of different types of narration.
What I also didn’t quite like. Sometimes you go too much into details, that aren’t adding anything important to the scene, but feels more like a filler. These things make the story more boring. I suggest you go through all the story and think, what are those moments that don’t add anything interesting or important to the story. One example is the grocery list. I think there were like 6-7 items mentioned, and it was totally unnecessary.
I would make the intro shorter, at last in the next episodes.
I would suggest splitting the first episode into 2 parts as I said before, but if you will remove all the unnecessary content from your story, the first chapter might get the decent length, so maybe it is not necessary.
Check customization definitely, and overall just go through the everything u find reasonable in my review.
Also, if you can, I’d be glad to hear from you, like if you took my suggestions, and which ones, what you decided to change etc. I ask it, because although I mentioned a lot of things in a negative light, I don’t think your plot is bad, and I liked the characters (although check the girls, as I’m afraid Sapphire’s personality might be too similar to Marabella’s, but I dunno yet). So yeah, I would read it if u’d fix those things I mentioned.
Thank you for taking the time to make such a detailed review!
Thanks and it’s alright. The warning at the beginning of the thread told me that the review might be a little heart wrenching lol, but I appreciate your honesty and I’m glad I filled out the form anyway. I’m happy to hear that you didn’t dislike it at least lol
I thought it may be a little too long. I kept it there for 7 seconds actually but maybe that’s still a bit too much. I wanted to do something other than a intro splash because everyone has intro splashes in their story lol.
Should I present it in some other way or just cut it out completely? I couldn’t think of any other way to introduce the choices and stuff,
I’ll definitely fix this! They started adding a lot of new features for LL so I guess I forgot to keeping updating them
I noticed that too. If you ask me, I honestly don’t know what era they’re in. It’s sort of Victorian, Medieval-ish? But, no one’s ever caught it before so I never had to explain lol.
I put that in my script but I guess I’m not doing it correctly. I’ll look over it again.
I usually always use @PRINCE is animation. I’ll start using starts animations as well.
I didn’t even notice that. I always tried to use “You” words for the King’s speech. I know that he does say their names a few times.
I put them all having the same skin color, but I’ll go back and change the eye color and hair colors, maybe?
I’ll make sure to check that. When I re-read it from the App and the previewer they didn’t. My code has them appearing before Marabella gets there and before the scene starts.
That’s weird. I thought it was a pretty good length. It’s only around 2000 lines (including customization). But, I’ll definitely see what I can do
EDIT: Oh, crap. I just looked again it’s 3620 lol. I’ll take out some unnecessary stuff lol
Thanks! My inspiration came from a variety of fairtytales: Cinderella, Barbie, Aladdin, and etc.
I’ll definitely look this over!
When I was introducing the fairies, I wanted the introduction to be super quick. That’s why I used narrations as opposed to using the speech bubbles. I just wanted the readers to know Sapphire’s backstory since she’s one of the main characters and will be in the story frequently. I also, didn’t have any lines I really needed them to say.
Now that I think about it, they probably are. I intended to make them both kind. Sapphire is more dedicated to her people though and Marabella is a little bit weaker b/c of her circumstances.
I guess I just like how the non-instant zooms look lol. I’ll go back and change them to 0 for when I’m zooming in on characters and events.
Yeah, I was thinking about your story after the review, and you know, I kinda felt nostalgic? Like I remembered myself reading fairy tales when I was a kiddo. So it gave me this warm feeling, but with little details, like step-mother hitting Marabella (which kinda broke my heart a little), that make the story more mature. So, no, I liked the story. I just tend to pay more attention to where the author can improve the story, so it might just seem like it’s a bad review. Directing is waaaay easier to fix, than the whole story concept or characters
Look, it is my personal hate for author’s introductions. If you want to keep it - keep it, it is your story, so u gotta love what you did. I would put splashes, character-less narration, or readerMessage.
OK. So I kinda offer to do a drawn intro-art for your story, plus sound+language overlays, so u can make a short cute intro. If you are interested and find my art-works suiting your story, DM me.
Yeah I’m a bitch for details. I forgot to send you screenshot of how their outfits could be. Take a look. Well, this is just one option, you might think of something else as well. If u decide to go with this, you might wanna change Prince outfit in the fairy-memory scene, as I think he was wearing it.
Title Stars & Scandals Author Ella Description Becoming an actress for the next big-hit TV show is every girls’ dream, right? How will you manage fame and relationships when every move you make is being watched? Small cover What is the main concern about your story? I would just really like to know how I can improve.
Please be honest, if you just want reads, but u don’t intend on changing anything, and I will read your story, without asking u to read mine.? Because actual review writing takes few hours, contrary to simply reading.
Honestly, I am not asking for a review just for reads, I didn’t even realise it could come across like that and I’m so sorry it did. I really would be interested in hearing a brutally honest review on my story, and I want to make sure that the first three chapters are the best they can be before starting a 4th chapter. Once again, I’m really sorry if it came across that I was only using this for views that is not what this request was for.
I temporary close new requests, until further notice.
I will continue reviewing stories in the waiting list in usual pace until I finish them.
I feel a bit tired of reviewing at the moment, as I point on the same directing mistakes over and over again.
I made a Tips&Tricks thread so that people could improve by themselves, and I put a lot of effort there. But in 19 reviews I’ve done since the Help thread appeared, I only saw one story that didn’t contain more than half of mentioned in the thread mistakes. Which is a bit sad and frustrating for me.
I honestly enjoy helping this community, but I will do a little break after I finish the waiting list.
In the meantime, I suggest, if you are a new author, or even not new, just check this help thread, cause even without any review it is a lot of help, at least in the directing department.