Review Exchange: Gamer Girl

Page: 123

Responses

  1. Joe Berridge Beale (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    @Team Contract. Thanks for the advice. I'll be using all you've pointed out in the creation of the next chapter. There's someone on Royal Road Legends who asked me for a review before you did so yours will have to be done after theirs.

    @Sharkerbob. Thank you for giving Gamer Girl a second read-over. I appreciate it.

    @CorpseMoney. Ralphie didn't summon a lethal weapon like an energy sword because she'd previously decided on the Wooden Sword being her go-to weapon as a superhero: it's touch enough to pack a punch but not so much that you could kill somebody by hitting them over the head. In that split second decision Ralphie had to make when the Canine showed up, she didn't have time to consider fancy summons, so she went with that she had already decided on. Also, an energy sword may not have killed the Canine instantly what with it being covered in protective teeth (and energy swords don't cut through everything like lightsabers anyway).

    As to your problem with the Levelling System, I want Ralphie to be able to summon cool stuff whenever while at the same time not appearing overpowered. The Levelling System is a good compromise. Yes she can do a lot, but the Levelling System is in no way redundant when you consider the fact that without it, she could solve any problem without needing to fight.

    As for your problem with the tone, Gamer Girl is a pretty lighthearted web serial with hints of grit. This is not going to change; that's just how it is: it's a comedy after all.

    As for your problem with the SOCOM, either Ralphie didn't think of summoning it up until that point (she IS pretty blonde; ie she forget that there were hundreds of civilians around her during the fight), or she did think of it, and didn't think turning the Danger Zone, an area full of civilians, into a shooting gallery was a good idea, hence her putting the pistol right up to the Canine's head so there would be no ricochet).

    Also, it worries me that you think of Ralphie as positive, that I haven't been able to translate how pessimistic she is to you. Kaze is positive, sure. Not Ralphie, though I suppose at some points it rubs off on her.

    @justinwenger4 and others. The Girl Scouts were a super soldier-superhero duo: Victory Girl and Magical Girl. The 'Scouts' part of the team name fits because it relates to the military and thus Victory Girl, and the 'Girl Scouts' fits in general because magical girls are classic girl scouts. I spent like an hour trying to come up with an equally good name for Ralphie and Kaze that fit both of their personalities, and settled on the Dualistic Duo because its redundancy is funny to me, but also because it relates to their dualism of their personalities. If you can find a better name that fits Gamer Girl AND Fangirl (think superhero comic fangirls and electric fans), I'll use it.

  2. Joe Berridge Beale (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    @SovereignofAshes. Interesting points. I think I fixed the issue, though. Blaise Corvin was right: I should have just went with Asian in the first place, even though it isn't accurate enough for my liking. It's a failure of the English language that there isn't a specific, acceptable term for the East Asian racial type. It's like how brunette, blonde, and redhead are all recognised terms, but there's nothing specifically for people with black hair except for noirette, which isn't widely known. Yeah, failure of the English language. I actually gave up trying to come up with an acceptable way to describe Kaze's epicanthic fold since everyone online disagrees with each other as to what is and what is not acceptable.

    Since you seems interested, here's the updated parts in Gamer Girl where Kaze's looks/nationality are described:

    1,

    Arcadia’s lightless neon sign came into view over the heads of the pedestrians. Ralphie squeezed her way free of the mass and jogged to the derelict video arcade, where a familiar raven-haired Asian girl in a Captain America jumper stood biting her nails.

    ‘Hiya, sweetie,’ said Kazé, snapping her hands behind her back. ‘Are you…ready?’

    2,

    Ahead of Ralphie, Kazé slipped on her high tech chainmail, her pale flesh caught in the sunshine coming through a broken high window. After zipping the grey catsuit up to her neck, the gadgeteer overlaid it with pieces of smooth silver armour on her torso, arms, hands, groin, legs, and feet. Finally, she pressed a miniature fan grill onto the hair bun at the crown of her bob cut.

    3,

    ‘That’s okay. We’ll amaze them with our superheroics!’ Kazé gave another thumbs-up. ‘I know a place that’s sure to need our help!’ Her big black eyes sparkled.

    4,

    Smiling sweetly, Ralphie swore up a storm in her head. Kazé’s parents may have been Japanese, but they’d raised their baby girl in New York City for the first five years of her life. In that time, she’d soaked up a lifetime’s worth of American niceness, which made getting her to do anything questionable a near impossibility.

  3. Joe Berridge Beale (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    Hooray! They fixed it so the Gamer Girl WFG page links to my WordPress version instead of the Wattpad version.

  4. CorpseMoney (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    @ Joe: I think its all differences in taste. I would have been much more content with Ralphie learning about her powers at home rather than fighting the canine.

    I'm fine with a slow start, a lot of fantasy starts slow. At the same time I think its conflicting to have a light hearted tone with a more action oriented story, basically you're letting us know Ralphie will be nonlethaling for the duration of the story. Which is lame, in my opinion.

    Like I said you have a lot a great parts, but the parts I -really- don't like seem more like those are especially to your own preferences.

    But that is every writers particular problem, you write something you like and hope others do as well.

    I find it interesting how difference our ideals and preference are. I think it would be much more interesting to see Ralphie grow to learn to be more nonlethal, than to decide it early and condemn the story to nonlethal combat. By doing it so early sets a tone, and that may dissuade readers early rather than grabbing them like you're attempting.

    Like I said I like a lot of what is going on more than I dislike, Good luck man.

    Edit: Lastly convenant energy swords one to two hit master chiefs in their power armor with shields, so I think it safe to say it would've done the job. But you control the strengths, and all the details so neither here nor there.

    My web serial is titled, 'The Remnants'. I wrote five chapters and decided I needed to restart.
    so bear with me. https://geeklayers.com/2016/12/03/tr-chapter-1-its-all-good/
  5. Sharkerbob (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    @Joe - Perhaps I wasn't clear, I wasn't exactly looking for an elaborate review to assess the stories as successful web fiction material. I was just curious as to your opinion of them as stories, if you felt you wanted to return the favor for the review I did. (Which I will redo.) I don't have anything newer to show you, because I don't have anything new along those lines, much less a web serial in the works. These were old stories I wrote, or at least started, before I even knew web-serializing was a thing, so that wasn't even in my mind when I wrote this stuff.

    The stuff I *have* been writing the past few years isn't appropriate for this website.

    You bring up some interesting points, though it's clear you're looking at the stories from a different angle than I intended them to be experienced. The Intrepid isn't supposed to be an action-packed superhero adventure serial. It's supposed to be slower paced, characterization-heavy literary short story. Which is not to say I necessarily succeeded in that regard, but that's what the tone was supposed to be, something published in the general "fiction" section of a bookstore, not the graphic novels or sci-fi section. Still, while the Intrepid is a dead project, you point out some things I'll have to keep in mind for future projects, so thanks for that.

    I'm a little surprised you liked Runan as much as you did, but I've been thinking a weird-world exploration series like that might make for an interesting serial down the road.

  6. Sharkerbob (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    Alright Joe, here's a more thorough critique. I haven't looked at other people's reviews too closely, so I'll probably repeat some points they've brought up.

    LIKED
    1) Ralphie's powers are pretty fun. I am usually annoyed by constant pop-culture or nerd references, but when her super powers literary involve video game abilities, that's a clever implementation.

    2) Some pretty funny lines in this. “You couldn’t beat me in a BDSM club!” is great; it’s a mix of word play and the character sounding like a total dork while trying to be bad-ass. The slapstick is funny, too, such as Ralphie being knocked out of her Big Form from an errant bicycle wheel.

    3) I normally don’t care for these types of characters or stories, but reading through it, there does seem to be some fun chemistry between Gamer Girl and Kaze, and that’s part of what makes it enjoyable.

    4) It’s not that original, but Ralphie’s need to be accepted in her heroic role, and that taking precedence over her concern for collateral damage is noteworthy. Her ego appears to be her character flaw, what with her nervousness and anger at the crowd being much more of a conflict point for her than any doubt at being able to actually pull off the job. It’s interesting, though I can see some people being annoyed by it.

    5) Maybe this isn’t common in web serials anyway, but thank god this is not yet another reluctant hero gets powers and wants to be normal and weeps over being blessed with awesome powers, but has to be a hero anyway. This is particularly refreshing in light of the anime feel of the series.

    6) Interesting that Body Woman has silence powers, defying expectations to her theme, in contrast to the Duo being spot-on with theirs.

    7) I was slightly confused about it at first, but Ralphie viewing other people through the lens of superhero nicknames is kind of funny. It does throw one off a bit when you aren’t sure who is supposed to actually be a superhero or not, and Ralphie immediately starts calling them by a hero name. Sometimes, this works though, with the Party Girl/Birthday Girl set up.

    8) The picture of Gamer Girl is a nice touch, but maybe a more full-body view would make a better banner for the site than a close-up mug shot.

    DISLIKED or THOUGHT WAS OFF
    1) I know you're going for a theme, but I'd find it more interesting if she actually wasn't much into video games, or only played them super casually. It's a little too on-the-nose that she starts the story playing a video game, is wearing a video game-themed tee-shirt, and their "base" is an arcade. That's one of the things that gives me the impression of this being a cartoon. But that's not necessarily a criticism, if that is the tone you're going for, and if that’s just how the character is, fine.

    2) Listing all the powers used at the end of each chapter isn't especially necessary. Don't you think it would be more fun to just let readers figure out the references for themselves? It might aid in bolstering reader discussion. Or you could just mention it in the story as she activates each power.

    3) Ralphie is reluctant and super nervous at the start, then immediately once the monster dog shows up, she springs into action with little fear. Is she an adrenalin junkie? Does she just "get into the zone" really efficiently? Does she get off on the violence, and her nervousness is more about her reputation? (This may be part of #4 in the Like list, though.)

    4) Fan Girl is super-hyped to be a hero yet hasn't tested her super weapon prior to their debut? Is she dumb aside from her gadgeteering? Is she pressed for time for some reason, or is this just purely for setting up the slapstick? Even comedy conceit doesn’t always make up for a plot hole.

    5) The characters are too often referred to as "The Superhuman" or "The Blond." When you have only two talking characters in a scene, and they are talking back and forth, you don't really need to distinguish them that much, just use their names or “she said” or whatever. It feels like you are constantly reminding the reader, like you think they'll forget who is who. There are a few points where saying Ralphie is "the superhuman" can work, like when she gets slammed into a wall, Kaze asks if she's okay, and "the superhuman" says she's fine. That's fine once or twice, as it's relevant to the concern at hand. In casual conversation, it's not really necessary.

    6) Needing to level up in an interesting limitation, but seems inconsistent. She can’t throw a basic Mario fireball, but she can summon massive Tetris blocks at a range to drop down on enemies and form walls, that create shockwave-inducing implosions when they vanish? (Not an intended effect, that last part, but it is effectively a very powerful ranged attack.)

    7) Why would an implosion create a shockwave that blasts outwards?

    8) Why does anybody ever use the Danger Zone? You’d think a place this jacked up with dangerous events would be avoided like the plague. Even if it’s for the sake of comedic conceit, it stretches belief a bit.

    9) This fight is going on too long. I know you’re wanting to show off powers and have witty banter (a bit too much time for it between hits, I think), but I don’t know enough about these characters to care about their fate in a protracted super battle. You could have cut the fight in half and still done all you needed to.

    10) Ralphie’s established as a bit of a potty mouth, then that seems to go away quick. Not entirely sure if this is a character quirk that just appears in certain moments or what.

    11) When you have a world with established superhero peraphenalia, like Captain America tee-shirts, why make up an exceptionally silly sounding parody title like “Awesome Strongman”?

    12) I think a little bit more establishment of the setting would be helpful in #2. I get from the context clues that the characters live in a country called Superia, which is ruled by a Prime President, and that the country has lots of superhumans. I’m guessing they’re in North America?

    OVERALL
    This has potential. You’ve got some comedic talent, and this is a fun character set up. Could use some polish, but I get the sense you’ll improve well as you go, so keep plugging away at it.

  7. Joe Berridge Beale (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    @Team Contract. I just finished your review. Here's some stuff I came across that I didn't think appropriate to include in it.

    1, These things, '* * *', that you use to indicate time passing, would be much more attractive to the eye in the middle of the page as opposed to off to the side.
    2, There are two icky typos on your About page:
    'It it’s your first visit to the Once Giants universe you can start reading here for the opening novella.' Should be 'If' it's your first etc.
    'If you’re a fan of character driven action stories with a sassy sense of humor, futuristic tech and a does of heart, Once Giants could be the series for you.' Should be 'dose' of heart.
    3, Your site art made me think Once Giants was a superhero web serial at first, then if it was something pornographic, which I think might be the style of the art more than what its depicting.
    4, I hate hate hate the colour scheme of your site. White, with black with cyan is just ugly to me. How about something more slick like all-black if you're going for the cyberpunk aesthetic?

  8. Joe Berridge Beale (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    @CorpseMoney. My opinion is synonymous with Kaze's: superheroes do not kill. That is to say, if you kill, you are not a superhero. However, Ralphie has clearly demonstrated that she does not hold to this belief, only conceding to not killing the Canine because of Kaze's intervention. Thus, there's definitely a chance killing will take place where Ralphie is concerned.

  9. Joe Berridge Beale (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    @Sharkerbob. As to your points:

    LIKED

    6, Ah, now there's something I've overlooked. Body Woman's superpower is actually anatomy manipulation. I'll have to spell that out in the re-edit.

    7, I was trying to get across that everyone in costume-esque clothes was a super lifestyler, and that Ralphie can surmise just by looking at them what their alias would be. For example, you see a woman in a costume-esque party dress, that's definitely a Party Girl.

    8, I'll see what I can do about the banner but from what I can remember that's the best I could get out of it.

    DISLIKED

    1, Yeah, Gamer Girl in general is based on all the characters playing up to stereotypes, so if Ralphie was just a casual gamer, it wouldn't really fit the tone. I'd be interested to know why you'd prefer her as a casual gamer.

    4, Ralphie and Kaze's decision to be superheroes is a very spur of the moment thing based on events which I'm not willing to expand on yet. I'll keep this is mind though. Maybe there's a way I can remedy it with a single line of context.

    6, I'll leave you with my response to CorpseMoney on this matter: 'As to your problem with the Levelling System, I want Ralphie to be able to summon cool stuff whenever while at the same time not appearing overpowered. The Levelling System is a good compromise. Yes she can do a lot, but the Levelling System is in no way redundant when you consider the fact that without it, she could solve any problem without needing to fight.'
    For example, summoning Demonbane or something overly powerful like that.

    7, Kaze's theory is synonymous with my own: ‘I don’t know. Your game items seem to just appear in our universe. I guess they force the air out of the spaces where they’re summoned. If something big like your wall vanishes, maybe all the air rushing back into the space creates a seismic wave.’
    Since I don't think anything in reality can just disappear, while this theory may be incorrect, no one can prove that it's incorrect; solf science fiction.

    8, The same reason people in the DC universe live in Gotham, or people in real life live and operate in dangerous areas, they've simply gotten used to to the hazard to the point where it's just another facet of their lives.

    10, Not sure when/if this happens. She, like Body Woman, is far more courteous/non-sweary to civilians at the start.

    11, You've hit upon a bit of weirdness there. You see, although it doesn't show, the Gamer Girl Verse had a lot of backstory which I like to hint at now and again. Strongman was a superhero before Ralphie's time, like the Girl Scouts, who has become sanctified. This does lead to the strange situation where you have fictional comics in the Verse, like Captain America, and biographical comics like Awesome Strongman. I'll have to think of a way to convey this to readers.

    12, Good call. Working on it.

    Thanks for all the help. Could you be a pal and put with the other reviews on my page? I'm using them as reference for editing and writing new stuff, so it would be helpful to have them all in one place.

  10. Sharkerbob (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    @Joe - You want me to basically cut and paste the above list on the review page?

    L7 - Yeah, I picked up on the super-lifer thing, that's a fun concept. I think it's just the fast pace of the work, the casual reader might gloss over for a second, and then wonder who this "Tomboy" character is, then have to check back. Not sure what else you can do about it, though, as long as you're clear who's who.

    DL1 - I think the irony would be a bit more fun for the character. Not that I always prefer irony, its just the character comes off as one-note when its "game this, game that, game shirt, game powers." Even Captain N had other interests than games. That said, like I said, if the point is to ham up the stereotypes, then it's not really an issue.

    DL4 - Even with spur of the moment decisions, as the gadgeteer who built/maintains the device (if she actually did), I find it difficult to believe she wouldn't know it's capabilities. She'd surely be testing it as she built it, yeah? However, I could believe if she underestimated actually using it in the field, and didn't think of that before jumping out to do her superheroing.

    Like she knows the specks, but didn't do much if any training. So tries to use a feature, thinking she's properly braced for it... but was actually on uneven footing, her costume threw off her grip/positioning, something, and she goes flying, then dizzily makes a crack about, like, "Jeez, that worked out much better in the lab!"

    DL6 - I understand the idea of leveling up, and I think it's a neat limitation, like I said. It's just a moment previously, she's like, "I have no ranged attack" and then she suddenly does what is pretty much a giant ranged attack. And a giant Tetris block dropping down on something, and being heavy and solid enough to block a giant beast seems considerably stronger a power than throwing a measly Mario Fireball. Seems the Monster Mutt would be the type of enemy those fireballs would bounce off of, like a Beetle Shell.

    Some of this may just be the difficulty of gauging the interactions of different game systems against one another, especially across genres. It's just a matter of the scale seeming off. If, maybe, she could summon Tetris blocks at point blank range, at a smaller scale, that might not seem so contradictory? (Then, of course, when they disappear, that shows why its also ineffective as a caging power, hence using the Minecraft skill.)

    DL7 - I don't have a problem with the blocks disappearing and reality filling in the gap or whatever. I was talking about the actual fluid mechanics. So, the block vanishes and creates a vacuum, air rushes in. That would be an implosion. I was questioning how air rushing in, even for a wall-sized set of blocks, would create an outward explosion that knocks things away from itself, instead of sucking something in. Now, I guess once the space was filled, the air would rebound on itself and probably cause a reactive push back that would make a shockwave, but I dunno just how powerful such a thing would be that it could cause such a strong effect for relatively little space. I'd expect a thunderclap sound, but not that much more.

    It creating a shockwave sounds more like some kind of energy feedback from the powers create a direct outward force, if that's what you were going for. But I admit it's a nitpick, and I'm not a physicist.

    D8 - Honestly, no one should be living in Marvel New York. At least DC spreads out its terrors more evenly. And the Danger Zone is obviously something of a parody of that situation. It's fine for the comedic tone, I guess, but I dunno, it straddles a line for me.

    D10 - I noted she's using phrases like "vomit and piss and shit" at the beginning, and its one of the very first impressions you get of her. If it's a rare thing for her to say, and she doesn't talk like that publicly, sure, that's fair but the first phrases of a character's dialogue can set the tone for how the character sounds in the readers head. For that reason, her first couple of swears/crude language stuck to my impression of her, but then I noticed she didn't keep talking like that in public or private.

    Maybe it was just me, and it's a minor nitpick either way. Maybe it's the web-comic impression I get from the story, and web-comic tropes sub-consciously influence my impression, but it's something I noted. Maybe adjust the wording a bit? "I got butterflies so bad, they're coming out of my butt!" Or something.

    D11 - Ah, I see. Carry on, then.

  11. Team Contract (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    @Joe

    Thanks for the review and also for pointing out the typos. I do take exception to your assertion that Doc's character design was obviously lifted from Hiro Protagonist, however, as I've never actually read Snow Crash, but after researching Hiro, I can certainly see how you could think that.

    As you've correctly observed in your review, I actually don't write cyberpunk, which tend to be milieu stories. I write character stories that are set in a cyberpunk world. Pretty big difference. Based on your review though, I may have to start defining it as post cyberpunk or simply Sci-fi action so as not to raise expectations that will not be met.

  12. Joe Berridge Beale (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    @ Sharkerbob

    Likes

    1, Hahaha, Captain N! I didn't know Ralphie had a spiritual predecessor. Every time I search 'video game superhero', I get video games about superheroes.

    Dislikes

    4, Kaze bought her equipment online; testing out a Megafan in a crowded big city isn't easy. I may need to mention/rectify this since so many people seem to have found issue with it.

    6, Think of it this way: though the Tetris wall is more powerful than a normal ranged attack, it's less universally useful.

    7, I think you worked that one out by yourself.

    10, Ah, now I see. This is perhaps down to a cultural difference. Where I come from, England, people intersperse swearing with normal speech very casually: you're not perceived as being offensive if you swear most of the time. Thus, Ralphie isn't really an edgy, sweary character; she's just been brought up by English parents. That line is meant to display how gross she is more than anything else. Also, she does say 'bloody hell' a lot, which is perceived as a light form of swear in England. She says 'bullshit', 'bastards', and 'damn' in Gamer Girl #1: Teething Pains Part 4/4 too.

  13. Sharkerbob (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    So is it dimensional feedback or the rebound of the vacuum implosion.

    Interesting. While I'd say swearing is somewhat casual in America, There's definitely still a bit more of a taboo about it, and it seems like in fiction, swearing is more notable as an emphasis or to show someone is a "rougher" character, or trying to be.

  14. Joe Berridge Beale (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    @Sharkerbob. It's a rebound of the vacuum implosion. Oh, and the review you have on the page is fine. Leave a rating if you want.

  15. Joe Berridge Beale (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    I don't know if I'm allowed to do updates on here, but Gamer Girl #2: The Public Good Part 3 has been published and I've redrafted the two previous chapters based on the advice I've gotten on the forum (more readable, with more explanations as to the setting). I'm still redrafting the first four chapters.

    Link: https://gamergirlwebserial.wordpress.com/table-of-contents/

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