@boobear_o No worries, Qin would be glad to hear that you think she has MC energy.
@TheMogician Thank you for the suggestions!
I’ve added this idea to my suggestion tracker. Definitely interesting to think about the distinction between the player and player character, and how far I want to go exploring Chinese-ness differences between them.
Later in the chapter, A’Li is called “小胡” by a Chinese character. He responds differently to the player here since you’re speaking English to him. I’ll update his response to a Romanized last name to make clear he’s speaking with the player and not into the phone call.
If you don’t mind me asking, is there any chance of a save system being added ?
@q_riley I can look into coding and story integration for this mechanism. Thanks for the suggestion!!
Spoiler: If you’ve played to the end of the demo (Chapter 2), you’ve met her in-game already.
A save system has been added as of 3/20/2022. Chapters 3-4 are also uploaded, and I expect Ch 5-6 will become available next week.
Wowza what an update! Absolutely loved it and very excited to see where we pick up from here cause ahhhhhhhh!!! Talk about a cliff hanger lol. Adore these characters and this world and this story. Thank you for the save system btw, super appreciated
Also, I’m positively smitten with Victoria. Is that weird? Is she our ex? I hope so. There’s just something about terrifying tall people that’s my type I guess XD. Just like- “That’s not nice” “I’m not nice.” absolutely sent me
Victoria is the type of character I worry about as a writer—she’s exactly who she means to be, regardless of what anyone thinks or wants. I’m glad someone likes her.
The game has been updated to 6 chapters as of 3-27-2022. To your question “is she our ex,” you can now find out for yourself c:
I feel like plenty of people will like her, there’s something incredibly endearing about such earnestness, even when it can be uncomfortable. I was 100% sure going into this that A’Li was going to be my first choice of romance but now I’m not so sure Guess I’ll just have to play a bunch of times~
Also AHHHHHHHHHHH I knew it!!! I love her!!! I knew she was the dragon to our mountain <3 “I love you, with and without time or place” punched me in the heart in the best way. Gosh but all of us have been through so much, poor A’Li, poor Victoria I want to hug them both so badly
Chapter 7 uploaded.
@anywaffle You can now hug A’Li.
I now have a Tumblr where I will be accepting asks about the game and posting more info, including images of the LI’s. Come be my Tumblr (Tumbling?) friend~
I love it! Your writing really gives the sense of being there in person. I especially like the descriptions of nature. Victoria is a very interesting character. I had plans on romancing a’li but I find that I’m extremely uncomfortable romancing him knowing he was sexually assaulted by someone that looks just like the playable character, ontop of finding out he has feelings for Victoria, I understand it’s absolutely your story to tell in whatever way you please but I personally found myself disgusted by having flirted with him at all during that text exchange and immediately didn’t want him as a romance option at all considering the circumstances
@anywaffle We will see where the characters take things as the story progresses~
I’ve revised Chapter 7 for a more ambiguous relationship between A’Li and the False Mountain Spirit.
On the initial post and my tumblr, I’ve also revised some of the language that I use to describe the game’s main non-playable characters. It would be more accurate to my conception of the characters to describe A’Li, Victoria, and Xingtu as NPC’s with whom you can develop deep, meaningful, emotional relationships. Depending on what choices you make, these relationships aren’t necessarily—and perhaps they shouldn’t be—romantic.
Chapter 8 Updates:
The Panda Spirit Arc has wrapped up. Does the end of the story feel complete and satisfying? Since the chapter uses lots of variables to pull different text-fragments together for different endings, let me know if you find any bugs or nonsensical writing.
OK so I finished the demo…Everything is fine, many details are very funny(like people call Vlad “Laowai” XD). I just think the romance part of the story feels a bit…complicated let’s say.
So if I understand correctly, Vic once fell in love with the mountain god(OK I’ll just say Shanshen). But Shanshen then sacrificed himself to follow the rules of the universe(that Vic must marry the Origin). Then Vic spent a hell lot of time and efforts collecting Shanshen’s soul-pieces which later reborned as MC.In my playthrough, my MC have some feelings for A’Li. But he was…let’s say fooled by the fake Shanshen. Also he likes Vic(for she doesn’t view him as most hulijing).HOWEVER, Vic once said she didn’t have any kind of feelings(I take it as no love and no hatred like a human doesn’t pay any special attention to an ant) for A’Li and only loved MC.So what? Vic went so much to bring MC back and LEARNED to “love like a human” for MC. I, the PLAYER, feel guilty to not love Vic back but my MC love A’Li…and I don’t even know whether A’Li feels the same way. Also A’Li once mentioned things about discrimination,I think it might also be about Vic. But I think Vic’s opinions about A’Li are more of…apathy? indifferent?Oh and Vic also said something like she’ll only take notice of A’Li if he means something important to MC. To be honest there is really one moment that I think maybe poly is the best idea… my MC doesn’t view themselves as the former Shanshen.
If you just tell me that they are not RO I might feel the whole thing…less complicated…(Sigh,or maybe I really shouldn’t start any romance at all)
Overall a good playthrough. And IS THAT REALLY 猴哥?!!
猴哥 and 沙僧 both stopped by A’Li’s apartment. If side-characters seem very weird or out-there, they’re likely references to mythology.
Your comment made me very happy—as you say, the relationships are complicated. You have nearly everything right, so I’m glad that the story so far sufficiently conveyed these characters’ connected pasts despite their complexity.
You also have a good grasp of the direction of the story and character development. Several of the concerns that you bring up (You like A’Li, but A’Li likes Vic, that whole complicated ball of relationships; the distinction between the Player and the MC; the guilt you, Player or MC, feel from not loving Vic back) anticipate conflicts or obstacles that will be resolved as the story and its relationships develop.
Perhaps the incoming Fish Spirit Arc will be refreshing, since it focuses on Xingtu, who doesn’t have the millenniums of emotional baggage that A’Li and Victoria carry. Xingtu is a simple, ordinary person!* Their romance is a sweet, refreshing, and simple love story!*
*According to Xingtu. The author does not confirm or deny these statements.
You will also have the option to pursue no one. Pursuing relationships with any of the different NPC’s can be difficult for different reasons, some of which you’ve seen. Focusing on developing yourself + your connection with the world and its people might be the surest way to a happy ending, no matter who you do or don’t pursue. I want the non-romantic option to be as fulfilling as romance, only instead of being with A’Li, Vlad, or Xingtu, your adventuring-partners-in-crime will be neighbors like Vlad, Qin, and Lili.
4/30/2022 Chapter 9 Uploaded
- The start of the story’s arc 2 of 3, with 2 new save slots added to accommodate increasing complexity.
- Soak your feet in fancy massage tubs and go on boat tours~ Summer on Qingcheng is slow and relaxing season~ This is certainly not the calm before a storm of man-eating fish and impromptu trips to hell!
- The last of our main NPC’s, Xingtu, has their first feature-chapter and promptly cements themselves as The Worst™ by proposing to somebody else while flirting with you. Good job, Xingtu!
- More updates and thoughts on the story so far, to be posted on my tumblr.
Gotta say the end of this update is pure gold lol. Even tho you warned, it still caught me off guard bc I kinda expected smt bad as if Xingtu was playing us or smt so this was the most surprising and funny cliffhanger LMAO (never will Mc take Xingtu srsly if they even propose to them after this)
Abt this tho “Options you wish you had?” I wish Mc was a little more worried abt the weird happenings in their life, like the beginning of this new update, first thing in the morning I would be freaking out asking everyone abt it even if that was just a dream just like those who met the other spirit of the mountain I think it would be something that should concern everyone, even when Mc didn’t know who they were the first time they met, they could still be like “Hey, there’s this weird person I met looking at the sleeping lady we took inside, we might need to look into that” and maybe we’re too fast to be cool with all the magic around and the fact that mc who was just a nobody yesterday could suddently use this magic that they knew nothing abt, surrounded by magical beings that shouldn’t be real and the big coincidence of working right into the mountain of the god who they seemed to have been in a past life even if none of those things changed the overal plot they would make Mc a little more “believable”.
I don’t mean to say that Mc should be too slow to deal with every little magical thing but that maybe they should question things more, be more scared after getting caught into the middle of something they can’t even begin to understand, be flabbergasted and lost bc this isn’t the world they knew anymore, lost into the little things that are normal for everyone but still confused them, bc for now it feels as if they’re taking things too in stride.Like you do know that if any of those beings get angry at you, you’d have no fighting chance whatsoever, right?! It would be like stepping into a ant for them.
A normal person would be out the door after seeing someone with real fox ears for the first time, either that or in the ground passed out lol but Mc is like “meh~” just to get over it next page.
Xingtu is honest, loyal, and trustworthy in all matters, including love!*
*According to Xingtu.
According to me, they’re the kind of character where you should be more concerned about what they don’t say than what they say. For example: by the end of Chapter 9, player characters with sufficiently high qi cultivation might have kissed and/or been kissed by Xingtu already. When? Why? How? I’ll let you find out~
Thank you for the feedback! I appreciate the specific instances where you’d expect more reaction from the player character. I’ll leave the following as a check-list to cross out after making changes.
- After learning A’Li isn’t human
- After the encounters with the other spirit of the mountain (post night market, post stranger watching Victoria, post Arc 1 ending dream)
- As the PC learns magic
- At the beginning of Arc 2 (describe increasing magic abilities/normalization with time passing)
These edits may happen later in the writing process—I think a lot about PC-characterization because I must balance the PC’s relatability and personality with the diversity of readers and all their possible PC’s. The PC talking to other characters about their experiences is also an opportunity to build relationships and introduce new information, but I have to decide what developments still remain to be shared. You bring up a good point that others have also noted, so I want to make sure I deliver a good response.
5/14/2022 Chapter 10 posted:
- What’s wrong with Xingtu? Find out! Or not!
- Sail Lake Yuecheng! Conscript college kids for your sightseeing tour!
- Return to your old haunts in Qingcheng village!
Edit: 5/15/2022 - A tumblr player found that Chapter 10 was not loading. The issue should be resolved now.