A Love Worse Than Death (Updated: 2023/10/27) - Chapter 2 Out


About the game:

In this semi-dark, yet light-hearted, action-packed, low-fantasy game, you’ll play the role of a former noble embarking on a quest for survival, wealth, and perhaps even love. Along your journey, you’ll also take charge of your home base, with chances to contest for a crown and unveil a tragic love affair that has left a trail of destruction in its wake.

Expect numerous twists and turns along with 3-4 romantic options. Play as a female, male or non-binary.

DEMO LINK: A Love Worse Than Death


Design philosphy & Goals

  • Write in a “show, don’t tell” style, actively involving yourself in the unfolding events.
  • Give you interesting and meaningful choices that expand upon previous choices made.
  • Allow you to steer the game in your direction; spare lives for a lighter tone, or let them perish for a darker world.
  • Not fond of a party member or RO? No problem. Accidents do occur… unless you prevent them.
  • Always provide hints before you let an important character or RO meet an unfortunate fate.
  • Not bloat the game with useless stats.
  • Allow the player to make life and death decisions for most of the cast.
  • More focus on what you do and how you do it instead of relying on skill checks.
  • Play as a male, female or non-binary.
  • Have a base to manage.
  • Extensive character creation

Feedback wanted:

Regarding feedback, I’d take anything I can get (don’t hold back) but, I’m especially looking for:

Low-level:

Grammar, wording, and structure, anything goes. I’m eager to refine. As a non-native English speaker and writer, I welcome any feedback, whether it’s constructive or critical.

High-level:

How is the narrative resonating with you? Do you feel anything doesn’t quite align? What’s your take on the characters and the choices presented? Is there anything else missing (aside from the rest of the story, of course?)

I’m eager to discuss improvements in every way, so please feel free to share anything you come up with. Feel free to PM me if you’re not keen on replying to the thread.


Romantic Options
  • Ginnie: A former conscript of the rebellion and a farm girl who lives on her parents’ farm when her village is attacked. She has been mourning the loss of one of her brothers from a recent incident. You encounter her early in the story, and the first opportunity for romance arises at the beginning of chapter 2.

  • More info soon…

  • More info soon…

  • More info soon

Upcoming Features
  • 3-4 RO:s (first one gets going in chapter 2.)

  • Three different endings.

  • Manage your home base. (Starts around chapter 5-6.)

  • And more…


About me:

Hello everyone! I’m Carl, and I live in Sweden with my wonderful wife and our four-year-old daughter. Having recently transitioned from academic papers to creative writing, I find it to be a refreshing and enjoyable experience. :smiling_face:

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Very interesting demo! I liked it a lot!

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Thank you. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Nice I’m Excited to see were this is going, keep the good work.

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This was a fun read. I like it.

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Thanks for the kind replies! I’m well into chapter 2, churning out roughly 1500 words per day. The overall plot is completed in a rough draft but I’ve given myself room for some twists and turns.

Right now, the base management part will make itself known around chapter 4-5.

Going to update the post in a day or so with some info about the first RO, my workflow and my design philosophy. :blush:

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I’ve made a significant update to my original post, which includes information about the design, goals, and the first romantic option. Please note that, because this post is a wiki page rather than a regular post, my cover image is temporarily unavailable until I reach trust level 2.

Furthermore, I expect to release Chapter 2 within the next 10 days.

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This IF is gripping! Good job so far :slight_smile:

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Thanks. It means alot. I’ve improved some of the dialogue quite a bit, it will be added to chapter 1 in the next update along with chapter 2. Hopefully by the end of next week. :blush:

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Chapter 2 is up with additional features. :slight_smile:

  • Chapter 2 added!
  • Added character customization.
  • Added save games.
  • Revised some conversation and text in chapter 1.

I would really appreciate some feedback.

Thanks for reading.

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Status Update:

It’s been a while since the last update, mainly because I’ve moved all the novel-related work to an online platform. This allows me to write and edit from anywhere.

Expect the next chapter to be released during the holiday season or shortly after. I’ve also reviewed the past few chapters and made some minor revisions.

In a change of approach, I’ve decided to make the chapters shorter, targeting around 5k - 6k words read instead of the previous 10k. This adjustment doesn’t mean the novel will be shorter, it just means there will be more chapters, and I can release them more frequently.

That’s the update for now. Over and out.

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It’s been years since I’ve posted on this forum but I really wanted to chime in and say that this game is awesome and deserves more love! I love the writing and the story so far, it’s the perfect blend of dark and light in my opinion, and it feels like the choices really influence that, which is so cool! Also your writing is fantastic and incredibly vivid, I didn’t notice a single error in my playthrough. Despite the title and prologue I do hope there is a shot at a happy ending! I can’t wait for the next update!
Also just wanted to say I love the genre and overall vibe, and as super excited for the planned features like base management, fighting for the crown, and romance! Everything a fantasy lover could ask for!

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Thank you! It’s challenging to gauge the writing with limited responses, but I’m enjoying the process.

Your positive comment means a lot, and I’m glad you’re entertained. There will be various endings. Some dark, others perhaps less so.

We’ll see where the characters take us. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Did not expect that a RO could die… liking this alot

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Ok, I’m curious what is going on with the Duke.

But it feels like game has too little choices. Player can choose some of the MC’s actions, but other actions, MC’s feelings, attitudes, reactions are just told. Even choices about feelings towards potential RO are very limited. It feels more like a book, not a game. And my personal pet peeve, there are too many hugs.
I really appreciate the choice to kill off RO, because otherwise game won’t allow you to say that you are not interested.

I don’t know if it was intended or not but with the way narrative describes women and lingers on their appearance it feels like game assumes that my male MC is straight. I think there should be a warning because not everyone wants to play MC who is attracted to women (I definitely don’t).

Some other things

“In her eyes, a spark of something seems to reach inside your heart and touch your soul. It could either be a beautiful thing, or something that makes you feel vulnerable and afraid.” - Why it assumes that MC has feelings towards Ginnie?

During character creation in height choices there is 5"9 =180cm (instead of 175cm).

Ginnie sometimes refered as he, other villagers also change pronounces midsentence. “Ginnie says as if he could read your thoughts.” “Ginnie shakes his head vigorously, fear and defiance in his eyes as he remains crouched behind his shield.” “The remaining villager presses her spear into your hand, recognizing your proficiency outweighs his own.”

“You take a brief moment seated in your tent, allowing Ginnie the time to bid farewell to Thorpe.” - I thought that Thorpe’s fate was unknown and suddenly he is among refugees.

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Thank you. This is precisely what I was seeking.

Balancing the description of the main character’s feelings and actions is crucial. I aim to allow player/reader influence through choices, yet progress the story sensibly. This is something I’ll have a look at. I appreciate your insight.

I really appreciate the choice to kill off RO, because otherwise game won’t allow you to say that you are not interested.

Regarding showing disinterest in ROs through choices, are you suggesting a direct option to convey disinterest, resulting in the ROs permanently losing interest?

Behind the scenes, a hidden romance leveling system operates. Continuous disinterest will decrease ROs’ interest. I’m considering adjustments to this system to refine the experience.

I don’t know if it was intended or not but with the way narrative describes women and lingers on their appearance it feels like game assumes that my male MC is straight. I think there should be a warning because not everyone wants to play MC who is attracted to women (I definitely don’t).

The detailed descriptions primarily focus on Ginnie and Melinne, as they are ROs and plot-significant characters. I’ll review the existing chapters with this consideration in mind, but the upcoming male ROs will be described similarly. Additionally, the game is somewhat front-loaded with women, which is a deliberate choice to balance the introduction of more male characters in the upcoming chapters.

In the upcoming chapter, two additional male ROs will be introduced, and their descriptions will be provided in great detail.

Why it assumes that MC has feelings towards Ginnie?

It shouldn’t actually. I think I got a bit carried away here. This part will be reworded differently.

Ginnie sometimes refered as he, other villagers also change pronounces midsentence.

Ginnie was initially written as a male character with a different name in the initial draft. This is a mistake that will be corrected. Thank you for catching that.

During character creation in height choices there is 5"9 =180cm (instead of 175cm)

Will be fixed. Thanks!

The issue with Thorpe is already resolved in the upcoming release.

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What I mean is that MC has set personality, feelings, preferences: confident, emotional, fond of ale and brothels, sociable, likes company, eager to get his uncle’s money, touchy (hugs woman he just met), likes Ginnie out of nowhere and so on. All this is independent of players choices. If it was intended then no questions, but it feels like a book.

Yes. All this flirting is very annoying, when there is no way to actually say “no”, especially when MC will have positive feeling towards RO regardless.

Melinne’s description was fine. At least, in the first chapter, then I’ve killed her. Barmaid, woman from a dream and Ginnie are not described neutrally. All this "pretty, beautiful, striking’. Also Ginnie is introduced with Thorpe and it is strange why MC notices every detail of her appearance but mostly ignores her companion.

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Thanks for clarifying. Your feedback has sparked some ideas, much appreciated.

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