2117: Highway Wars (Submitted, closed)


#1

HW promo 480x320

MC is a Highway Marshall, some sort of policemen/mercenary in a “Mad Max” type future of walled city states and barbaric deserts. You must recruit a small group and drive through a desolate Spanish landscape to find a kidnapped engineer, before he is sold into slavery. The game has significant branches, and quite a number of distinct endings already coded in.

Game is ~193,000 words, average word count of one playthrough is around ~32,000 or so.

Thanks to everybody who contributed to the game so far!


My top WIPs as of right now
#2

Otherwise in the first post I’d like to address a few of the ongoing conversations of the previous thread:

@Eiwynn I added some things to the beginning compound, and expanded the roadside encounters. However, please let me know if there are any options that you feel are still missing (I somehow struggle with thinking about what else the reader would like to do, any ideas/suggestions are greatly welcome!). Roadmaps were also added.

@Shoelip I tried to add more instances to interact with characters, but could you let me know what else you would like to say to them? (it’s somehow difficult to think about this part…)


#3

Am hi is this game going to 30,000 word range or 300,000??


#4

Sorry if that was confusing, I was talking about playthrough length. Total word count atm is about 70,000, and I expect final game to be about 110,000-120,099


#5

Oh ok well playing it now


#6

Cool! I’ll do a test run. Spoilers ahead obviously. :stuck_out_tongue:

[spoiler]Found a typo here, not entirely sure what the mistake was but it seems that some words are missing.

Confident that you now remember everything you start to get up, moment at which you realize that you are wearing some rather strange green hospital clothes.

There appears to be a broken image link on the next page after saying you’d be happy to rescue the engineer. Just under this line:

The captain nods and smiles. “Como esperabamos! We didn’t expect any less from you. Nevertheless, the city of Burgos will be happy to pay you another 1000 dollars for your trouble”.

Found another typo in this line, should be “pleased”:

The captain smiles as you say this, please by your comments regarding the ability of those working under her.

Whiling hiring a militia navigator, this sentence seemed kind of awkward:

She then shouts out loud these names.

This feels a little bit repetitive with the way you start two sentences in a row with “The captain then”, though it’s probably not a big deal. Also there’s a misplaced period at the end.

Raquel laughs as you say this, evidently delighted, though she is quickly reprimanded by the captain. “As I said, she is a bit of a clown, but she knows the area well”. The captain then tells her to go and pack and be at your ATC tomorrow.

The captain then pauses again for a few seconds. “Regarding a gunner, I guess that the best available are Marta Botella or Felipe Catalan”.

Found another typo here, should be “roam”:

Actually, you’ve seen very few planes throughout your life, mostly just the rusting skeletons of huge airliners that used to room the skies.

And here, extra words bolded:

The militia sergeant in front of the gate brings you stops you back to reality, brusquely demanding who you are and where you are going.

Before the following there’s another broken image link at the very top of the page:

Eventually you arrive at a junction. Ahead of you is the entry to the A-11 motorway, basically a former four lane road, two in each direction.

Should be “wrecks” instead of “wreaks”:

You continue down the main road of the village, zigzagging around the wreaks of old cars and the occasional decomposing trunk of a fallen tree.

This option is missing a “the”:

Tell Felipe to keep an eye out for anybody from ATC, while you and Raquel look for anything of value in the tents

There’s another broken image link above this paragraph:

The next 7km along the N-122 prove rather uneventful, with the morning sun continuing to warm the desolate landscape as you start to perspire slightly. Eventually you reach another junction where you can either turn north and join the motorway or continue ahead along the N-122, though this will take you through the ruins of another village, that of Los Villaesterres.

The first part of the second sentence is a fragment and has some odd phrasing. It might work better if you replaced “making” with “makes,” and while I don’t think it’s wrong I’ve always heard the phrase as “the stench coming off of them”… but maybe that’s just a regional language difference as I’m American. “Reel” is mispelled as “real” here as well. Incidentally, I hope I’m not calling anything that’s just British spelling a typo.

You approach the car, and notice a very strong smell coming from behind it, where you find a couple of decomposed corpses. The stench coming out from them making you real back, which agitates somehow a handful of scavenging birds that are feeding on them, though they soon return to their meal.

Typo here, I think you meant, “northeasterly” maybe. There’s also another broken image link at the top of this page:

As the storm continues to abate you proceed along the road until you reach the A-62 motorway, which around here heads in a northeaster direction.

Another typo here should probably be “end up”:

This is not unusual, as bandits and other marauders often ending up killing any occupants, though the claw-like scratches on the side of the door are far more intriguing.

There’s some kind of awkward phrasing around the “anyway” in this sentence. I don’t think this grammar is correct. Maybe something like: “It would be extremely unlikely that any animal would attack a car, and you doubt the desert landscape around you would support many large predators anyway.”

It would be extremely unlikely that any animal would attack a car, and you doubt the desertic landscape around you would anyway support many large predators.

Bit of awkward phrasing here though if the navigator is speaking English as a second language that might make sense. “I thought they were just myths to scare children”:

“But, those things are not real right? I just thought they were myths to scare children!”

The fact that the MC knows this raises a lot of questions:

Even within their own, accounts of cannibalism were typical, as the meat of particularly strong warriors was believed to improve strength. Nevertheless, apparently they did then bury the skeletal remains of their own.

There’s another of those broken image links after this line:

With that you swiftly accelerate away from the place, leaving the castle of Simancas behind.

Should be “definitely”:

Raquel yawns. "It’s definitively been a long day. I guess this would be a good place to pass the night.

Not sure what “the 0” is.

You both quickly pack your sleeping bags and drive out of Duenas, leaving the ruined buildings and the 0 behind you.

“could still have some fuel inside it.”

They could potentially be dangerous, though the car could still have inside it some fuel.

I went to see Monica, and then decided to visit Cara Rota, but got this message on the next page.

Clearly Raquel is feeling the same way, given the force with which she slams the door of the ATC, while you tell her that you have decided you should to and see “El Nieves” next.

Ok, I got to the end… I think I missed a few things when I got distracted. I feel like you should give the gunner more lines if possible, like in that church section, neither allied NPC talks there, but it’d be a great point for some badly needed character development that’d make the next few scenes more meaningful. After the barricade with the mine it feels kind of strange that the navigator starts saying “I still see” or whatever, which makes it seem like it happened a while ago, even though it happened just on the previous page. It feels way too soon to be talking about flashbacks.

If I remember right, when you get to the bandit town you can choose to either look for a gunner or fuel, but if you choose fuel you can’t then look for a gunner.

I quite liked the additions to the road ambush and the camp. As for other additions, I’m not sure how many of my suggestions would fit. I mean, I thought this before I ever saw Fury Road, but even more so now, I think it’d be really interesting to get to know a bandit character. The bandits in these stories are usually just there as fodder/obstacles for the protagonist, but it could be really interesting to explore how a character like that came to be in their current situation. Of course that would most likely change the game a whole lot so it’s more of a pipe dream I guess. :stuck_out_tongue: Vaguely related to this, it was really cool to get more options in the camp, though it’s kind of surprising that the woman (Maria?) would so earnestly implicate herself in banditry when you’ve got a knife to her throat, then again I don’t know what’s going through her head, so maybe she she thought honesty was her best chance of survival. If you were looking for more options in that scene you could add one to just have the gunner aim at her instead of firing to make her drop her weapon. This would allow people with crappy combat skills to achieve a nonlethal outcome should they so desire. Of course there are already so many options for that small scene that I feel like I’m getting carried away with focusing on it. It would be interesting if there was some recurring character you could encounter throughout your journey if your choices don’t get them killed. After the church I don’t remember meeting any NPCs at all until we got to the bandit town, but that could just have been down to my choices. I decided to spare the books.[/spoiler]

I’ll try to think about this some more I guess. Great update though. I probably shouldn’t have read the entire thing at once.


#7

Finally! A game just like Mad Max! Oh, praise the Overlords! That demo was absolutely splendid. I adore this world and I loved assembling my crew. The choices were good, and the available options for your load-out were pleasing enough. Only a couple of things for me:

After continuing down the N-12 road (I think that was the name? Might be A-12, sorry), I recieved a nice, shiny 404 error. Don’t know if that was just me, or…?

The other thing is, when will I get to obtain a spiked club for use? I felt like that was sorely missing from this. :wink:

Other than that, great bloody game! Holy hell, as a Mad Max and Fallout superfan, you don’t know how nice it is to stumble upon this jewel, only to find out its almost completed! Meaning it will come to fruition! Pure joy! I’m off to replay the silver dollars out of this thing. Being a “Skullcrusher” just feels so right!


#8

here is some report (but mostly its a about error pict, wrong pronoun for Joaquin – it seems he, his, and him will change to his– , and some typo… i guess)

Buy the driving gloves for $10
Possessions: Revolver, knife, leather jacket, sunglasses,
(seems like the item MC bought didn’t appear at stat screen)

Apparently it had been built in the old days to preserve all known types of seeds, and the Scandinavian Free Cities were eventually able to locate and take control the facility.
(take control of the facility)

Actually, you’ve seen very few planes throughout your life, mostly just the rusting skeletons of huge airliners that used to room the skies.
(roam)

You look at Joaquin to see if his has any idea, but his just shrugs his shoulders
(both should be he)

If his doesn’t even know anything about what is in the vicinity of Zamora, it’s unlikely that his’ll be of much use later. Maybe you should have chosen your navigator better…
(he and**he**'ll)

Joaquin looks at the woman as his scratches his head. “What on bloody earth happened to her? Looks like she was in an accident, no?”
(he)

You look at Joaquin, who is wiping off sweat from his forehead using a handkerchief while consulting his map. Anyway, his seems completely clueless about which would be the best route to take.
(he)

After a walking for a few seconds they reach the barricade, and opening the door of one car start to push it out of the way while steering with the wheel.
(just remove the first a, and… i dunno for the next bold one, this sounds weird/wrong)

Then, his takes out a good one from the boot and starts to put it into place. While his is doing this you keep a lookout in case anybody comes
(both should be he)

However, they threat that they posed quickly grew. Left to hunt, they quickly exhausted their supply of fresh human meat outside of the city walls.
(the)

“Sir, did you find anything?” You explain to his what you found and your plan to spread some fuel around and burn the furniture and history books, machine-gunning anybody who exits the door.
(him)

Joaquin sees the expression on your face as you look at the stadium. “That used to be the football stadium, though it’s not the biggest I have seen in my life”. You look at his and shake your head.
(him)

(*choice) Smile at his. “Relax, I’m sure it is really just a scratch”
(him)

(*choice) Draw yourself closer to Joaquin and attempt to kiss his
(him)

You ask Joaquin if his would like a massage, and you see that his mood suddenly changes. "A massage? Well, you know, I think that maybe it’s getting a bit too late, we should probably get some sleep.
(he)

Joaquin lets you kiss his, though this only lasts a brief moment, before his moves backwards slightly, smiling at you. “Sir, that was somehow unexpected. I mean, not that I don’t think you are a nice person. Yet, it’s just that, I haven’t quite made up my mind about you yet…”
(him, he)

{navigator_howerver}, I think it would be better for us both to get some rest, tomorrow is likely to be another long day".
(its a code right?)

With that his brings his sleeping bag a bit closer to yours and gives you a quick good-night kiss. Seconds later his appears to fall asleep
(both should be he)

You both quickly pack your sleeping bags and drive out of Duenas, leaving the ruined buildings and the 0 behind you.
(im confused, what should 0 supposed to be?)

Aside from attempting to find this engineer, the town offers you also a good opportunity to find a gunner and get some fuel.
(for me thi sounds weird, maybe it’ll betterif its like this : the town also offers you)

You turn to Joaquin and ask his about whether his knows anybody that could have some information on the kidnapped engineer.
(him and he)

Then, his stops for a few seconds to add. "I heard that Monica and “Cara-rota” tend to have good information.
(he)

As Joaquin parks the ATC in front of the pavement near “Cara-rota’s” shop, one of the two guards at the front salutes you with a small inclination of her head, allowing you to inside.
(allowing you to go inside)

Joaquin leads the way, illuminating the way with a small hand torch. Eventually his stops at an apartment without a door, and after you enter his shoves some rotting wardrobe over the doorway to give you some warning if anybody attempts to enter.

Joaquin then proceeds to start cleaning his gun and preparing some gear for later. Minutes later his comes closer to you and casually caresses your head. “Sir, we’d better both get some rest, I reckon it’s going to be a long night!” Moments later his lies down and falls asleep. You look at his, remembering the time you tried to kiss his yesterday, and wonder what you did wrong or why his doesn’t like you. You sort of only half sleep, tormented by such thoughts.
(he, he, him, him, and he)

(*choice) Move closer to the lead bouncer, and whisper in his ear that you are CSA officers, and that it would be better for him to let you through
(that is from another story, right ? :grin:)

That’s it for now :grin: it seems you take some references from New Heaven Cop

EDIT : oh right!, did MC’s turret always died coz the landmines ? :cry:


#9

First of all, thanks for all those reviews and typos! It’s amazing how difficult it is to find these things when re-reading what you write, but I just went ahead and implemented all what you have suggested (in terms of typos, etc). It’s a bit late for me to start working on some of the ideas that I got from your replies (and thanks so much for them, you provided me with much inspiration and an additional energy burst!), but just some quick thoughts:

-The links you are all pointing out are road maps. I forgot to upload them the first time, though even after uploading them they don’t work. I’m not 100% sure what is happening, and they still don’t work for me (can anybody see them?). I will ask @dashingdon if he has any idea about this after I finish this email (to be honest I love his website, it feel so much better and more professional than the dropbox we were all doing before)

@Shoelip I also had the feeling that there was not much chance to bond with the gunner, so killing him/her would feel almost like a non event to the MC. Anyway, glad you also agree. I will start to work on a scene on it during the next few days. Also, I moved the flashback scene to the next day, which I think feel better, and explains why the MC has the accident. The option to look for a new gunner is still not implemented, and I’m thinking of giving the MC some options to do this at the nightclub or after what comes next. Nevertheless, I like your idea of a recurring character, so I think I’m going to code this and alter that scene slightly. How did you feel about the book scene? I was hoping that it would come as a real dilemma to the MC. Did you feel there were enough choices at the church, or you wanted to ask/tell something else to the priest?

@ShadowForce glad you liked it! A spiked club… now that is a very good idea! I already had in mind one scene for the nightclub, but I might now give the MC a choice… or maybe interweave in some other way!

@Curious_Boy sorry about that, all the personal pronouns for Joaquin and some of the other male characters were messed up, though I rectified this now. But, yes, I re-used large sections of the code and structure from New Heaven Cop. I just felt that the structure was pretty good, so the part about Magaz and some bits and pieces at the beginning are based on it (though they were quite a few changes in the end, and the nature of the MC is quite different however, no way of saving the person at the turret. Essentially I needed to do this due to the MC/navigator dynamic, as I just didn’t know how to handle the romance part of the story with a third person hanging around. Now it is probably too late, and even if I write a new route -thinking of adding more routes later- he/she will need to die somewhere (at the moment he/she can die at the landmines or in another instance, I think…)


#10

ah… i see, though from my playthrough MC isn’t really good with shooting skill, and the navigator shooting skill is much worse, so when my first turret which i paid for his service and has a decent skill have to died… i feel so lost (MY MONEYYY!!! :scream: oops :flushed:, ehem… i mean MY COMRADE!! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: so, i thought its triggered by some stat check or something, that being said… as i decide to replayed it with another choice and the same scene happening, i take it as a necessary event for the plot :grin: , though is there a possibility for MC to choose which one have to died ?, not that i will sacrifice Joaquin for the turret though :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: i quite like his character, it just his stat that seems not really helpfull.
oh, and i noticed after the turret died, their stat still being showed


#11

[spoiler]One thing I could think of to make the romance work with the gunner still alive would require a lot of working things around, but might make the game more appealing to a wider audience as well as COG themselves as a company. If you did add a recurring character or even a fourth character somehow, maybe one you meet later, or two you could choose from, it might make it a little less awkward as instead of being the third wheel they have someone else to hang out with. That would also give you more potential romantic options if you’re interested in that.

One thing that might help you match COG’s guidelines for recognized “hosted games” is if you added sex/gender and preference options. It doesn’t even have to be a big deal as far as I know since most of this is just about inclusiveness and whatnot. And this being a post apocalyptic setting the traditional prejudices could easily have broken down by quite a bit. Giving the player the option to select male, female, or something like “Don’t really identify as such.” and giving the player the option to choose a sexual preference would be an easy way to get closer to the potential for being a “Hosted Game” and depending on how you write the story it doesn’t even necessarily need to affect much of anything. The characters all generally refer to the MC by name or “you” since you don’t actually select a gender currently, so there’re very few sexual pronouns required. You can add a few checks here and there to help the choice feel meaningful. Just gives a bit more choice and options for story telling. Oh yeah, it also seems like you could give more options for the main character’s race or country of origin without really altering things too much. It’s give you an option to front load a bit of world building without it actually affecting much in the main story.

The books were definitely a dilemma, though of course I’m sure some people will not find it difficult to decide. For me I figured that we still weren’t 100% sure that those monsters were even there so it helped my decision to spare the books. Speaking of those monsters… they seem highly implausible… It might help to just acknowledge how strange it is that they’re able to maintain the level of physical power they have subsisting on only meat when their food source is so rare. I mean, not even humans are really that populous. Do they ever keep humans alive as food for later?[/spoiler]


#13

I meant it as a weapon you keep and have the ability to use later on in the future. Surely that gear guy has some? I have other ideas, too. Guess a poll is in interest. Which weapon(s) out of these do you guys want to see implemented into the game, purchasable or otherwise? [poll]

  • Machete
  • Mace
  • Modern Tomahawk
  • Blackjack
  • Makeshift Warhammer
    [/poll]

#14

@ShadowForce Ok, I actually have a pretty elegant solution that I learnt while coding Tokyo Wizard where it’s actually not so difficult to implement all of them!

However, I’m not too sure about which one would be the best of these. In your opinion (anybody else is also welcome to comment) which should be the percentage bonus to attack from each of these (or any others you can think of, from let’s say +10% to +50%, and which should be easier and more difficult to find/buy in the context of this dystopian version of southern europe?)


#15

Ok, just made a small update:

-Included more regions to choose from, and gave them a little bit more flavour
-Allowed player to define their own gender (by inputting directly, let me know if this works or any other suggestions). I haven’t implemented any options for defining race, character appearance, etc (as I normally don’t care much when I play games, and there is some room for the MC to buy objects. Maybe I could implement a wider variety of clothes, if somebody wants?)
-Fixed the issue with the maps, they should now show
-Included one more building to visit in Zamora

@shoelip You make very good points throughout However, reworking the turret issue would be crazy amounts of work (practically I would have to touch all the game up to now, and I think this is a cruel world so it warrants killing some characters). But, I like the point you make about recurring characters, and will start to weave something like that into the story (you gave me a good inspiration). Also, I expanded the areas of origin and allowed players to define their own genders, do you think this is ok? And, I take your point with the monsters, I was also concerned about the meat quantity implications… I think I need to stop and rethink their physiology!

To do list:

-Work on encampment encounter (possibility of recurring character… mmmmm)
-Implement hand weapons
-Character development of crew during storm (new scene?)
-Re-working mutant physiology


#16

will check the update later when i’m free… :tired_face: :grin:


#17

@adrao, the makeshift warhammer can definitely be found here, as could the Blackjack. The machete I’m not too sure, the mace is definitely common in museums and shops throughout Europe that have anything to do with European history (specifically Medieval Europe, the mace should be found in a war museum, if we don’t buy it), and the tomahawk might be a fetch. I just would like to see the warhammer. It is a handmade one anyways, simple sign post with a small cinder block staked in, wrapped in rusty chain. Fits the game world quite nice, I reckon .It should do a shit ton of damage, as it is a two handed weapon (obviously). However, it should be the slowest of the group (obviously). Lastly, your MC would have to be seriously fucking strong to wield it (obviously). But hey, its honestly the perfect weapon for people who chose Skullcrusher as their nickname or whatever!


#18

Seems alright I could never get into the mad max films


#19

Even after the Apocalypse, my parents still argue…


#20

Just updated the description of the conversation during the storm, adding a bit of background info to the various crew members. Probably my last major one for the next few days as I have a crazy amount of work till Sunday, though I will try to work on the rest of the items on the list next week. Anyway, please let me know if you have any other suggestions etc!


#21

Just uploaded a new update, which introduces a number of hand-weapons into the game:

Name : Bonus hand combat / Minimum hand_combat to use
Machete : +20% / 50%
Modern Tomahawk: +20% / 50%
Makeshift Warhammer: +50% / 70%
Blackjack baton: +10% / All can use
Knuckleduster: +10% / All can use
Knife: +10% / All can use
LHR Combat knife: +15% / All can use

Feel free to discuss if these feel inappropriate, or you want any others inserted. Most of these can be found at the beginning of the game at the shop, expect the machete, tomahawk, knuckeduster and makeshift warhammer, which are slightly more difficult to find (the first of these two are still in the entry compound, the others are outside - @ShadowForce, sorry, I made the warhammer the best, but at your request not all can use, and it’s “hidden” a little bit later in the game :wink: ). The text was changed accordingly and in one instance it’ll even ask the MC whether to use a hand weapon. Let me know if there are any instances where you think this was not done well, or where you think that an option to use them should be inserted.

Also, I reworded some parts of the mutant physiology, I agree with @Shoelip that they are otherwise implausible.

Thus, I’m more or less at the end of my things to do, aside from the campside encounter, which I am currently planning to interweave into the next part of the story (so, unless there are any other requests with the game up to here I will slowly proceed with the next scenes over the Xmas break!)