Continue Online and Video Game Plot Line Tester

Discussion in 'All Things LitRPG Discussion' started by WildAzazel, Aug 11, 2017 at 9:18 PM.

  1. WildAzazel

    WildAzazel Death's TP Supplier Roleplaying Shop Owner Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    I finished Continue Online this week and started Video Game Plot Line Tester.

    First, my thoughts on Continue Online. It was well written. It has a good story and character progress. I just don't think the story is for me. If I ever continue reading it, it would be because I have finished my uber long list of books to read and I am bored. With that said, at least I would be willing to continue it at some point. Some, I would hesitate to even pick up another book by them. That isn't the case here. And I am a very harsh critic. While I may rate it as a 3.5, others may give it an entire point more. It just felt slow to me. Again though, it's the character's story. He's got personal issues he is overcoming and that has everything to do with his drive to play the game. For me, there needs to be something more on the line than overcoming a mental block. There may be, but it wasn't shown in the first book. I mean, it does work at intrigue with an underlining conspiracy, but that wasn't enough to keep my interest. The game play was okay, but the leveling was slow. I did like the ability system though. That was creative. That would be one reason I would continue reading. For now though, I'm gonna listen to the rest of the genre and see if we have any more that really stand out like Way of the Shaman or Awaken Online.

    Now, on to Video Game Plot Line Tester.

    So far, I've enjoyed it. I've got about 4 hours left in the audio version. I think the majority of my complaints come down to the narrator having a bland voice. There isn't enough personality put into the characters although they are written to be distinct so you aren't going to confuse them. I'm not sure if this is the author's first book or not, but some of the characters need more fleshing out but over all, I am liking the leveling process. I have one complaint with the story/characters but it may not be valid for everyone. And that is that they seem kind of one dimensional. This is another one that I am aiming at giving a 3.5 because it is a decent story, but the driving points aren't anything major besides trying to make a living and raising his little sister. I will finish it and see where it goes before I say whether or not I would read further if it is a series or not. Like Continue Online, the writing seems go, with the exception of the Goblin's lack of english due to a low intelligence, but even the way that is done, it is creative so I wouldn't avoid this author's work based on the writing. I think with a new narrator, I would be more into it.
     
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  2. Felicity Weiss

    Felicity Weiss Musey Muse Muse Shop Owner Citizen

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    I almost didn't read the 2nd book in the Video Game Plotline Tester, but I read it and no regrets. Still have yet to check out Continue Online.
     
  3. WildAzazel

    WildAzazel Death's TP Supplier Roleplaying Shop Owner Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    I am beginning to worry that I've already finished all the great LitRPG there is and everything else is bland, boring, repetitive or terribly written. These I would categorize as somewhere between bland and boring. That imo is better than repetitive and terribly written. It just means I'm not liking the story. Since I am just one person, I don't count that as a bad thing. I am just not the target audience. Does that make sense?
     
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  4. WildAzazel

    WildAzazel Death's TP Supplier Roleplaying Shop Owner Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    I will add that there are some that I want to LISTEN to but aren't on audio. Now that I am finishing school up though, I do plan to up my actual reading.

    Do you mind if something seems terribly written? I don't want to out anyone but there are a couple of authors whom I like on a personal friendly level but I can't read their writing for the lack of editing. It's almost like second drafts getting published. I can't get past 15% in a book that has a story I wouldn't mind reading. Another, I made it to maybe 10%. Some authors just need to slow their roll, build their characters, build their stories slow. I know they are anxious to jump right into their idea, but the lack of care I have for the character causes me not to care about the story. You have to make the reader invested in the character. Character comes first. Stories HAPPEN to them. Which is ironic because the two books I am reading build the character first and foremost but spend more time on the character than the story. Like I said, I'm such a harsh critic.
     
  5. Felicity Weiss

    Felicity Weiss Musey Muse Muse Shop Owner Citizen

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    When I cracked open my first LitRPG, which happened to be End Online, I considered it poorly written. I would sent quotes from my kindle to my Twitter and feel slightly embarrassed.

    But I loved it. You can love the story despite what your brain thinks is unwieldy syntax, grammar errors galore, PoV weirdness, etc.

    On the other hand, I have cracked open LitRPG books by seasoned authors* and have been turned off. Then there are the new authors with decent writing skills who lack the prowess as a storyteller to grab me as a reader. There is hope for them to grow into the genre, otherwise they are noobs in the starting town working on skilling up ; )


    *JA Cipriano and his Ring of Promise series comes to mind, and while I read his Soulstone: Awakening 1st in series, I wasn't interested in the sequel.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017 at 9:52 PM
  6. Paul Bellow

    Paul Bellow Game Master Staff Member Shop Owner LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Give it to me straight! Haha. Not sure if you've read mine yet.

    Book one should've been edited more, but book two was better. Book three is coming out even better, I think.
     
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  7. WildAzazel

    WildAzazel Death's TP Supplier Roleplaying Shop Owner Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    I've tried Paul. I really have. I'm sorry. You are among my favorite authors as a person. I feel ashamed. :( I admire the heck out of you for being able to finish a book, much less 3, plus your marketing skills are great. The problem with future books getting better is that with a series, you can't skip an entire book based on the writing and still get the enjoyment without the story you skip. Does that make sense? I realize that alot of people read for story. I'm one of those that gets caught up with the writing. It just pulls me out of the story.
     
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  8. John Ward

    John Ward Level 7 (Cutpurse) LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    I enjoyed Video Game Plot Tester. There were some problems that I attribute to translation issues and the guy is either very sexist (in my opinion) or the Russian gamer culture is very different than our own. The woman character in that book (the first one-- haven't read the second one yet) pretty much only showed up to look or do sexy things. Still, even with its flaws, it was a decent book.

    I thought Awaken Online was okay, but I had no desire to continue the series. Primarily that's because the main character was either a Junior or Senior in high school and all of the drama and motivation is based off of high school life. High school drama doesn't really interest me anymore. The guy's a good writer though. If he ever got around to writing about adults, I'd read it. Also, I'm probably in the minority in the not liking Young Adult stories. A lot of them are really popular-- it's just not my thing.
     
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  9. James G Patton

    James G Patton Horrific Pun Master LitRPG Author Citizen

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    I almost did not read the second Awaken Online book, but it is actually a lot better than the first. The first one the main character annoyed me, and I was hoping at some point he would grow up. It never really happened, but in the second book I saw a lot more character progression. It felt less high schooly (Yup, made that word up).
     
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  10. John Ward

    John Ward Level 7 (Cutpurse) LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    I might give him another chance. A lot of people really like that series.
     
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  11. WildAzazel

    WildAzazel Death's TP Supplier Roleplaying Shop Owner Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    Imo, Awaken Online is almost the best American LitRPG there is, only behind the original (imo)Ready Player One. Nextup, Delvers LLC, maybe the Land. I have high hopes for Domino Finn's Reboot, but I'm not quite to it in my list to read yet. He was already an established author before writing in the genre and I've actually read his work.
     
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  12. John Ward

    John Ward Level 7 (Cutpurse) LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    You should read Ascend Online by Luke Chmilenko. So far, that's the best I've read. His game mechanics and the worldbuilding really worked for me. I enjoyed the characters and plot lines as well. That being said, I'm not trying to yuck your yum. I'm happy you enjoyed Awaken Online as much as you did.
     
  13. WildAzazel

    WildAzazel Death's TP Supplier Roleplaying Shop Owner Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    I have. I didn't care for it so much. I think I posted a review on here last week or the week before. Honestly, I can't even remember what it was about now, just that it wasn't something I would follow up on.
     
  14. John Ward

    John Ward Level 7 (Cutpurse) LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    Well, I think we've established that the two of us have different tastes in books. That's good to know.
     
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  15. VRRanger

    VRRanger Level 6 (Footpad) Roleplaying Citizen Beta Reader Aspiring Writer

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    Dark herbalist I enjoyed in spite of myself...really liked a lot of parts about ascend online but the quick advancement of crafting skills bugged me....fayroll is my favorite Russian lit...I recommend Hero of Thera.
     
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  16. WildAzazel

    WildAzazel Death's TP Supplier Roleplaying Shop Owner Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    I want to read Fayroll. I actually want to listen to it on audio but alas, it hasn't gotten that far yet.
     
  17. Felicity Weiss

    Felicity Weiss Musey Muse Muse Shop Owner Citizen

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    Fayroll is def an experience. The most Russian LitRPG of them all I'd say.
     
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  18. Paul Bellow

    Paul Bellow Game Master Staff Member Shop Owner LitRPG Author Citizen

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    I'll likely go back and "fix" book one at some point. Book two IS a lot better - maybe a couple typos, but nothing like the first book. But, as you said, hard sometimes to start on book two.

    Starting with book three it focuses on ONE character

    I've heard a lot of people enjoy Kong and others because of the story and not so much the writing (!!!!!!), so I get it. People have different tastes. ;)

    No hard feelings, @WildAzazel

    *Enact the Banishment!*

    ;p

    ETA: I think some people have problems with the YA aspect too (moreso than the writing) - ie no swearing, sex, etc. It's a bit "adolescent" as @Jason said in his three-star review, but that's my target audience. Might be stupid, but I still say the market will widen a whole lot by this time next year. We shall see...
     
  19. WildAzazel

    WildAzazel Death's TP Supplier Roleplaying Shop Owner Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    I think I can get past the writing if I listen to it on audio. I think that is why I listen to audio so much. I haven't even looked at the writing at some of my favorite books.
     
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  20. Paul Bellow

    Paul Bellow Game Master Staff Member Shop Owner LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Yeah, I thought long and hard about taking up @Tfish10065 on his offer for audiobook help, but I don't think I'm there yet with my fanbase, so it wouldn't be worth the time/effort for me or the talented voice actor.

    That said, maybe by this time next year I'll have audiobooks of everything.

    I've read pieces of both Ramon and Kong. They definitely have different styles. Ramon (in the first book) used really simple sentences. (He got the knife. The dog came over. He killed the dog. Etc...) That and the simplicity of his first book turned me off. For his second, he seems to have taken a page from Kong's notebook and went HEAVY on the pop-culture references/characters. As for Kong, the biggest complaints I have heard are the exclamation points (!!!!!) and the plot holes that never get resolved. Last I heard there were about a dozen? I remember reading reviews on his early books that they weren't edited well, but he still got five stars because he was one of those in the first wave of LitRPG writers in the 21st century.

    Anyway, I think I'm putting together a good story/series that's been somewhat planned out from the beginning. I'm gonna keep chugging along.

    If you "read" some of your favorites, I'm betting you would agree with me on a lot of points.
     
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