Le concours est commencé! And the Seeds have sprouted!

ooh boy!!

I’m just getting started. I’ll do French-Seed-French-Seed in that order as long as I have the energy.

Starting with: Les Trois-cités. now.

  • Les Trois-cités : les préludes d’une odyssée [Concours FI]

Beautiful presentation! I love the artwork and the music, they really bring this fantasy town to life. The writing is engaging, if a bit long-winded sometimes. Many things to search, places to explore, people to encounter, even though the game is unfinished.

It’s hard to give more thorough commentary now, but I’m looking forward to playing more of this once it’s finished. (I hope to kick that East Gate robber in the nads then…)

  • Dungeons & Distractions [SeedComp]

It’s hard to put my finger on it, but something about a group of “monsters” playing D&D tickles my funny bone. I loved the friendly atmosphere around the gaming table, even though it was stressful at times to juggle priorities as an inexperienced DM.
The characters were lovely, both as themselves as in-character. There are parallels to be drawn between their monster-traits and their specific blends of neurodivergency, but they’re not at all layered on too thick.
Switching back-and-forth between the game-in-game D&D quest and the quest to keep your players satisfied without losing too much time, all the while keeping possible sources of distraction in check was very engaging.

I really liked this game, and I love Hana!

  • Le Bastion de la Porte [Concours FI]

A slow adventure that grew on me. A hermit-like life far away from and above society, alone on a mountain while the world turns in the valley below. The contrast of the passing years of solitude with the rare encounters lends weight to each visit. Some are sad, some joyful, all are important.
A few bugs like already chosen links staying active mar the experience somewhat. Also, although there are some signs of the passing time in yourself (the mirror), I would have liked some more little changes in the surroundings to punctuate the passing of time, especially outside the cabin (the contents of the storage hut, a new shower drape,… and each time I go outside the sun is beating down just as bright as the last time)

A thoughtful, almost meditative story. I liked it.

  • A Collegial Conversation [SeedComp]

Alyshkalia’s SeedComp entry presents the player with a frozen block of time. There’s an unchangeable sequence of events, nothing can divert the course of the story. The characters will inevitably do what they do, say what they must say.

But what richness is discovered through the exploration of the characters’ inner perceptions of this fixed chain of events! On every page the player can choose to click on the name of one other person to view the next part of the story from their standpoint, skipping from one POV to another.

Each person’s point of view reveals bits of their social background, biases and insecurities. The words on the surface, the insincere compliments and backhanded sneers are already a challenging excercise in reading between the lines by themselves, but the game’s central device to let the player experience them from within each personage’s frame of mind lends them unique meaning for each individual.

The writing is great in conveying the different personalities, describing the intimate motivations and reactions in a sensitive way. Even though they’re not all equally likeable, the way the characters are written does bring some understanding of their view on life and their place in it.

(Oh, funny association: the character I started with was Erandan, Head of the Department of Sewage. This reminded me of Terry Pratchett’s Harry King, King of the Golden River.)

Great interactive story.

  • Vesna [Concours FI]

You’ve walked away from everything, time and time again. And now you’re alone, finally. The solitude will do you good.

But no… Reluctantly you’re drawn into the nigh-extinguished life of this abandoned town, Vesna. With your storytelling skills, you even become the center of the town’s rejuvenation.

Each day/turn, a choice of objectives is open to you. Developing your storytelling skills, writing your memoirs, helping rebuild the town, discovering the mystery of Vesna’s past,… They’re all ways to develop the story, elements that provide a forward push to the narrative. This range of ways forward keeps the game engaging, with new paths to follow according to the whim of the day, or according to the player’s preset plan.

Very good writing, although the main character’s urban French slang was somewhat challenging at first. I especially liked how I was transported to many other locations, dreamed or remembered, in short but very evocative storylets.

Vesna is a long game, well worth taking the time to carefully read and, importantly, giving your mind a rest here and there to digest the bits of story you just read and let them fall into place within the bigger whole.

Very impressive.

  • Poetic Justice [SeedComp]

(Onno Brouwer’s game is based on my own little seed. I had no pre-formed idea about what sort of game would grow from it. I think Onno Brouwer has found a great continuation.)

You stand before a court of renowned dead poets, accused of intellectual thievery and lack of originality. An honest and sincere poet yourself, convinced of the worth of your work, you must refute their objections.

The writing in Poetic Justice is not itself poetic. It’s more practical and to the point, with short accounts of the arguments, divided in condensed paragraphs. This is for the better, I think. One would not want to encroach upon the domain of the greatest poets ever, for one, and secondly, the contrast of matter-of-fact writing about quarreling poets is funny.

The central puzzle of the game also stands in contrast to the theme of poetry. Your method of proving your point to the judges consists of getting them to realise they don’t have the last say on what good poetry is themselves by leading them to disagree with on another. At its core this is a logic puzzle where you need to figure out a sequence of questioning and responding so that each judge finds fault with another judge’s “improvement” of a poem you lay before them.

As before, I liked this contrast. A logic-sequence problem in the framework of a dispute about poetry.

Finally, I loved the surprise unveiling of who I actually was. The identity of the protagonist is kept in the dark during most of the proceedings, until it is time to present some of your own work. And then…

I enjoyed this a lot.

  • L’orsimonous [Concours FI]

An “orsimonous” is a kind of aura, emanating from a person as a reflection of their character and personal history. Partly an involuntary projection, partly voluntarily controlled, it is of immeasurable importance to communication.

Under the thin guise of a story about sentient beings on another world, L’orsimonous carefully, tenderly touches upon the response to trauma, particularly of the father in this story. It’s an exploration of the importance of interpersonal connection, social cohesion, the sharing of emotions as a way of dealing with mental distress.

Beautifully written from the perspective of one of the children, L’orsimonous gives a sensitive account of a father distancing himself from his family (the gradual disappearance of his orsimonous), and the effect this has on his loved ones.

The slight detachment achieved by the unfamiliar extraterrestrial setting and characters softens the emotional impact a bit, making it easier to fully open up to the deeper meaning of the story, letting it sink in gently.

A touching story.


[Concours FI]

When I try to play or download Le chaudron d’Anaritium, I get a warning that the link is quarantined due to some “suspicious behavior from the page owner”.

What’s this about? And can I safely ignore the warning and click the link anyway?

Link to the Concours-page for the game, not the flagged link:
Rate Le chaudron d’Anaritium by Open Adventure for Concours de Fiction Interactive Francophone 2024 - itch.io

1 Like

This is an itch moderation tool. There used to be/are scams pages where the URLs are not safe, so itch just “quarantine” accounts that seem suspicious (page that only have a link towards a third-party website they haven’t approved). It’s an automatic flag, that the author hasn’t been able to get rid of yet.
The website itself is fine.



Thanks Manon. I suspected it was something like this, but I needed to hear it from a trusted voice.


This is an understatement.

  • Sonnet [SeedComp]

A Valentines party at your friend Henry’s house. To your surprise, Aline is there too…

A slice of life, mundane yet dramatic, as life can be.

The writing is positively energetic and vibrant. Short paragraphs, a limited amount of choices, separate windows for introducing the characters,… It all works together to provide great tempo to the text.
Underneath it all there’s a finely subdued sense of humour, I was chuckling and smiling all along.
The sharply etched characters are believable, even though the game is very short. Their interactions are lively and genuine, their various pathways through the game feel sincere.

  • Le Chaudron d’Anaritium [Concours FI]

This is amazing. Wow. It looks and plays like a free teaser for a professional game-studio. It’s made in a game engine I never encountered: Open Adventure ( Open Adventure, enquêtes et mystères).

Le Chaudron d’Anaritium features beautiful drawings and a map of the setting to help you navigate. The narrative is built out of storylets depending on which location on the map or character you decide to visit. These storylets are listed on a separate page where they form the text of your personal traversal of the narrative (where you went first, who you spoke to,…). Each one, even the ones where nothing really happens, is crafted with care, beautifully written to enhance the atmosphere of the piece.

While playing, you do not change anything about the game-state, no object manipulation or tracking of conversation options. Also, once a location/character is visited, it’s closed off, so nothing changes, everything stays frozen. Gameplay consists entirely of choosing the order in which you pick the storylets, sometimes following a lead, sometimes just on a hunch or at random.

The game-aspect in Le Chaudron d’Anaritium lies in understanding the situation, unveiling the backstory, and gathering enough clues to solve the mystery. This means that interaction in this game takes place on a rather distanced level. Although the player is adressed as “You”, I didn’t feel personally engaged in the world of the game, playing more as an overseer than a participant in the story. It was very satisfying to go back through my list of storylets and see the story-sequence I had made.

Magnificent. I’ll definitely play more from this Open Adventure studio.

  • Faery Swapped [SeedComp]

A brilliantly original puzzle-mechanism! It took me twenty minutes of experimenting to understand the possibilities and limitations of this central interaction-system. At the same time I thoroughly explored the small map and investigated its objects and NPCs.
By the time I truly grokked the mechanism, I also had enough information about the various components that were available for a solution that an overarching plan almost immediately formed in my head.
After that, I had a lot of fun going through all the tactical permutations that were needed to reach the final objective.

Lots and lots of fun!


Thanks for this. Honestly, I don’t think I could ask for a response that’s so exactly what I’d hoped for the piece to do (more even that I’d been aware). I’m very grateful for you articulating it!

  • Les Lettres du Docteur Jeangille [Concours FI]

Feeling angry, hurt, betrayed, le Docteur must leave for the countryside, banished from the educated and cultured social circles of the city. Fortunately, a sophisticated high-class Lady comes to live in the village shortly after, providing at least some measure of worldly and literary conversation.

Through a series of letters to the lover left in the city, we learn about the goings-on in the peasant town, the background of this high-class Lady, and the events leading to le Docteur's banishment.

The story plays in the past, perhaps 3 centuries ago. It’s an impressive tour de force on the part of the author to write the letters so consistently in the voice and style of a cultured person from that age, distinguished yet emotional, full of purplish expressions without dropping out of character.

The epistolary form the author has chosen lends itself perfectly to a gradual build-up of the mystery at the heart of the story. The letters are one-sided, we only ever see the perspective of le Docteur. They start off as an account of a lover’s yearning, a lament over the circumstances of their parting. Slowly, the focus shifts to the letter-writer’s new living circumstances: the village of Meaux with its peasants and farmers, its livestock and farmlands. Throughout the most part of the narrative, le Docteur is preoccupied with securing the attention of the lover left behind, recounting amusing or strange events in the village and avowing undying love and desire.

Underneath this light and gossipy tone, the reader gleans more and more threatening fragments of an unfolding mystery, while the protagonist remains oblivious of the possibility of this looming danger. The distance of the reader to the events described in the letters leaves room to see correlations that remain invisible for the letter-writer, who is too close to see the bigger picture. Of course, from an out-of-game perspective, it’s also the case that the reader is capable of expecting a turn of circumstances that is impossible to prepare for from within the story-viewpoint.

Le Docteur's letters speak of intense emotions of love and longing towards the left-behind lover, and the reader is an engaged, empathetic witness, often even flinching at jealous words of accusation or egocentric and manipulatively twisting arguments. Until the very end, the love story remains the main focus, the mystery serving to heighten the tension without ever taking control of the narrative.

Very tense and touching. Among the best I’ve read.




  • 1 4 the $ [SeedComp]

-A gutpunch of a storylet.
–Desperately trying to belong while locked up reclusive in the bedroom.
—A condensed account of aching loneliness, overdosing caffeine, loss of all sense of proportion, fatal feeling of rejection.

And fridge-mould.

I’ll need to wash my brain now.


Hey thanks for the review! :mushroom: