A Light Among the Stars is a space opera adventure where you get to choose how and why your spacer ended up working as a steward on a passenger ship far from their home planet of Earth. Leave Earth as a teenager or adult with your parent, as an adult with a spouse, or completely on your own… and then leave that far away planet after a tragic accident, company bankruptcy, sad ending of a relationship, or just a new adventure.
How you spend the next two years on ship is up to you. Study and gain spacer skills to make a new career, fall in love, bide your time to return to Earth, or solve a family mystery. So far, there are five distinct endings as goals.
While the option to improve spacer skills would certainly allow you to access extra scenes, the game will be playable even if you just opt for the social aspects throughout.
Romance options are not gender linked, and NPC genders are be set by the player. However, character background, interactions, and personality will effect just how easy it is to romance a particular NPC. Poly relationships are possible, but not with all NPC combinations. NPC age range is from early twenties to early fifties.
Currently it’s about 27k for the Prologue and Chapter One. Average play is 13k at present.
Currently, it’s looking like 13-14 chapters total.
NPC ROs so far:
Jules Donovan, captain, human, early fifties. There are those who describe Jules as a throwback to an earlier time, who’d have been more at ease captaining an ocean-going ship than a spacefaring one, but Jules was born on a family-owned spaceship and spent a career working toward owning a ship to make it a comfortable atmosphere for crew and passengers both.
Cris Hernandez, first mate, human, early thirties. Antisocial from the crew’s viewpoint due to spending all shore leave as far from the ship and crew as possible, leading to much gossip. From Llocholiv’s moon colony on Taebos. Attended the Academy on a partial scholarship and financial aid.
Ren Ybarra, second mate, Dianthan, mid-twenties. Considered friendly and approachable by the crew, probably because Ren is actually younger than all but Harper and Izumi. Dedicated and hardworking and likes to try to motivate crew to similar effort.
Michi Amano, chief engineer, Ruathan, late forties. Attended the Academy on an engineering scholarship after winning a multi-systemwise engineering contest as a teenager. Michi wearing a uniform is about as close to conforming as they like to get, which is why they signed on to work for Captain Jules.
Kai Castaneda, ship’s nurse, human, mid-thirties. Born to a spacer father and station dwelling mother, Kai grew up in a neighboring system, but didn’t attend the Academy until after working several years as a nurse on the planet the station orbited.
Rory Woodward, able engineer, human, mid-twenties. A bit of an impish personality and an absolute disaster in the galley. Has been on the Swift Arrow since the captain purchased it six years ago, signing on as soon as their original ship contract expired. Ambitious and studious.
Logan Kirby, journeyman engineer, human, late twenties. Grew up in Earth’s solar system on one of Saturn’s moons, but moved to the Quru system with father as a teen. Tried two years of university, then left to sign on a ship. Social skills tend to be skimpy.
Izumi Kaji, apprentice engineer, early twenties, human. Chipper and naive, most of the crew are overprotective of Izumi.
Alex Giron, able steward, human, thirties. Ambitious about earning spacer skill certifications, but came to spacer life later than the other crew members. Born on Ioria to a spacer mother and father who worked as a school teacher. Overworker to the point of seeming unfriendly.
Harper Vang, journeyman steward, Yolancian, early twenties. Harper is from a space faring family, but grew up on the orbital station around Llochovic. Followed in the family business by signing on with a ship as soon as graduated school. Lack of ambition is worrisome to best friend since no skill advancement beyond on-the-job training is happening. Bubbly and charming.
Jesse Milano, able crewhand, human, early forties. Jesse has worked on ships for two decades and still enjoys being a rating. The life of a spacer nomad has always suited, and a reliance on snark and sarcasm often keeps others at arms length.
Initial Development Notes
- It is a bit of a personal challenge to myself to write the NPCs where gender is irrelevant to personality and background.
- One of the thing that bugs me about ROs and story endings is how many just go along with the MC’s decision on how life post-story is going. These ROs can and will walk away if the MC chooses an ending that contradicts their own needs.
- It’s space opera for a reason. I’d never get it finished if I went down all the research rabbit holes this would deserve as full sci-fi. But any huge goofs, I’ll revamp.
- Sub Menus on the stat screen may expand over time for details that players may miss in certain routes and need later, or just forget over time.
- Completed (hopefully) Chapter One.
- Added additional text for transgender MC.
- Added save game option. Still working on chapter save system.
- Cleared up some of the info dump now that the Stat Screen has sub-menus. Moved alien race info to a stat screen sub-menu and expanded on it. Fixed redundant menu options.
- Fixed issues with intersex gender on selection screens.
- Eliminated option to select romantic/sexual orientation.
19.07.30 Intro & Fixes
- A number of typos, goofs, and sneaky non-variable pronouns.
- Missing/flawed if statements on the stat page that caused character info to show before the eyes/hair/etc were set, as well as a stray comma that showed in the crew list where the MC info eventually appears.
- Flaw in birthparent menu that didn’t let you have a human birthparent.
- Added text to explain Michi’s gender appearance if a player didn’t go over information about Ruathans earlier in the story.
Updated To-Do List, 19.08.02
- Clearing up passive vs active voice (attempt number 6 billion it seems).
- Chapter save system (oh yes, yes, yes, it will be done).
- Rewriting the appearance selection screens to be more story-driven now that the code works and I’m not inventing new curses about missing brackets…
- Continue to streamline personality stats, especially the weird extrovert/introvert. May reduce to three stats instead of four, due to crossover impressions. I’m about half tempted to throw them out entirely, but they really are needed for the friendships/relationships, especially if I eliminate orientation.
What I’m looking for most for this update aka am I on the right track:
- Any major gender/pronoun goofs (or related verbs).
- Major grammar or code goofs, not commas or minor typos.
- NPC impressions - good, bad, stick figure…
- Anything else that stands out to you as being unclear or needing fleshed out.
- Any major screw ups of language regarding gender, please report so I can fix them.
To play the demo, go here: https://dashingdon.com/go/4445