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Abbess Otilia's Life and Death

by Arno von Borries (as A.B.) profile


About the Story

In English, on parchment, written in 13th century textualis. Quarto, 14 leaves, in double columns, with rubrication and miniatures. Marginalia in several hands of the 14th and 17th century.

Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: October 1, 2018
Current Version: Unknown
License: Freeware
Development System: Twine
IFID: 94D68358-2F2B-4E24-825B-5558DD4EEC9E
TUID: ngifjkhfd4mpj717

Off-Site Reviews

The writing did a good job of capturing a “medieval feel”, or maybe there’s just a lot of words that I don’t know. Within the text there’s a lot of interspersed Latin that translate after clicking. The game seems to mostly have a friendly gauntlet structure, with quick re-joining and no real branching.
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McT's Interactive Fiction Reviews

I love the colors, the covers, the fact that there is integrated imagery. The font, with its large illuminated capitals looks wonderful on the page. The fact that there’s music. But it’s a case, I think, of the author’s desire to produce a beautiful artifact overcoming a common sense approach to creating a usable game.
But as a game? It actually works very well, font aside. We are, effectively, guiding the career of the titular nun, and can make choices as she goes through her life – these choices, presented at each stage as binary options, do have an effect on the later sections of the game. In particular, the ending is a reflection on the choices we’ve made throughout.
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The work’s charming central conceit of being a medieval document is emphasized throughout, with period-appropriate illustrations, font choices, vocabulary, and even a song included in the game. Playing the game really does feel like reading a recovering medieval document, complete with snide commentary in the marginalia. It’s a choice-based game with about ten decision points, and the choices I made did feel like they mattered. The conclusion of the game, for example, summarizes the choices you made and both how they influenced the world and how they affected other characters’ impressions of the abbess. It’s a nice touch that brings together the story as a coherent narrative rather than an indepedent series of choices.
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Kirjallinen suunnistaja

Abbess Otilia's Life and Death on melko kompakti ja sellaisena kevyt ja hauskakin, vaikka sinänsä asetelma ja aiheet ovat vakavia. Kirjoittajan loppusanoissa mainitaan inspiraation lähteenä lukuisia todellisia arkistoja, ja voinee olettaa, että tarina antaa jopa realistisen kuvan keskiaikaisen abbedissan osasta. Luostarin arki ei ole yksinomaan pyhää, vaan se on taloudellisesti sidoksissa alueeseen, jolla se sijaitsee, ja samalla maan omistajiin. Kulkutaudit vievät monia nuoria ihmisiä ennen aikojaan hautaan. Kirkolliset juhlapyhät rytmittävät vuotta, ja musiikki ilahduttaa nunnankin elämää.
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The Breakfast Review
The story of Otilia's tenure as abbess of a mediaeval nunnery is gorgeously presented as an illuminated manuscript. The text is slightly harder to read, but not badly so; it merely slows one down slightly and gives the story a bit more heft. Oddities in the language might be intentional, and the general tone of the writing does feel very suitably archaic without becoming difficult to parse. Each chapter, choices and all, occupies a two-page spread of the "book", which makes for a very neat and tidy impression. The notes in the margin were a nice touch. Top marks for presentation and format, I think.
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These Heterogenous Tasks

I really admire what this was trying to do. I think it made some bad design decisions along the way, but on the other hand, this a concept that’s inherently very demanding of several different skills. I think it’s laudable to try difficult things, and what’s here represents a really substantial effort; alas, it falls short of what it’s trying to accomplish. So this is a 5, I think.
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Page Update History

  v.8: 17-Nov-2018 16:36 - Doug Orleans (Current Version) - Edit Page - Normal View
Changed author
v.7: 17-Nov-2018 05:41 - AvB
Changed external review links
v.6: 17-Nov-2018 05:40 - AvB
Changed external review links
v.5: 17-Nov-2018 05:39 - AvB
Changed external review links
v.4: 16-Nov-2018 03:35 - AvB
Changed external review links
v.3: 16-Nov-2018 03:22 - AvB
Changed download links, external review links
v.2: 16-Nov-2018 03:10 - AvB
Changed IFIDs, author, download links
v.1: 05-Oct-2018 10:28 - CMG
Created page