A Thousand Miles of Sky (WIP)(demo updated June 4th, 2018)

science-fiction
nonbinary-inclusive
gender-choice

#22

I’m glad to have feedback from both sides of the fence. I was originally going for the tension of an uninformed decision, but I also acknowledge that this might not be the best place for it. Ultimately it will have to come down to my goals for the choice, which I haven’t quite solidified.

I wanted to let the user define the relationship for this reason, and I plan to dig a little deeper into that later. Some authors use prior relationships in the beginning of the game to determine the MC’s romantic preferences, but I’m more interested in having an established person in the MC’s history and from there determining the nature of that history. I didn’t offer the same option for Rami, because that would have been way too symmetrical and I want these two to exist on their own as characters.

It’s hard to tell right now because we’re just getting started, but there isn’t going to be option to select romantic preferences. Flirt with whoever you want. Or don’t. I would rather leave that up to the player to pick the options that appeal to them as they come up. Not all of the NPC’s will necessarily be interested in what the MC’s selling, but it feels more natural to me to have that come up in conversation in-game than for me to place limitations in the code.

The exception to this is there will be a couple points with an aromantic option that will completely shut down any further NPC flirting or advances. It is not my intention to make anyone feel uncomfortable or force unwanted interactions on the player and I respect and acknowledge that some people aren’t into that.

@HomingPidgeon: To answer your question: yes, Alice will be an RO. Assuming Chapter 2 doesn’t get too long, she should be showing up in Chapter 3 or 4.


#23

I gotta say after my friend got me really interested in Firefly (then Serenity) this game just rang the right bells for me. Damn that cliffhanger though UGH CURSE YOU CLIFFHANGERS! Anyway, I love how descriptive this is and the option to show a notification if you’ve increased stats or not.

I wish there were more details to who Alice is but at least there’s an option for ‘It’s complicated.’ Which I assume will let me have a very fun Inara x Mal relationship. Possibly complete with Sexual Tension and lots of it… Heh.

Rami needs more screen time thats for sure… Totally picture him as Rami Malek now… Yep. Headcanon.


#24

I endorse this headcannon 110%


#25

Just a quick update so my thread doesn’t fall off the map. I’m close to being done with chapter 2, I just haven’t had much time to write lately, which is a bummer. Hopefully I’ll find more time this month, sorry for the delay.


#26

It’s all good. Just work out what you’re doing irl and come back whenever you have time. Even if 21 days pass, the mods are willing to make exceptions for WIP authors that PM them.

Hurray for benevomods!


#27

Another short demo, kinda bummed at gender-locked romances but all in all this looks to be a good WIP.


#28

Thanks for checking it out! I see where you’re coming from and there’s a good discussion to be had for and against gender-locking. This thread has an excellent discussion of the idea: Gender-locking ROs and importance of gender in relationships. My personal preference is to write a character with gender in mind so that I have a better picture of them in my head. To me, when a character’s traits are dependent on the player’s choices, they feel less like a fully-realized character, like their purpose is to be a love interest first and a character second.

That being said, I’m happy to have a conversation about it. I had considered making one or more characters non-locked, one of the reasons I hesitated to do so was that I didn’t want to ask the player directly about the MC’s orientation. I find questions like that awkward and I wanted to keep all of the flirt options open.

And the demo is short because that’s all I’ve written so far, but I will be adding more soon, I promise :sob:


#29

Its the authors world after all. Just do your thing dude!


#30

I know, but it is something I’ve thought a lot about. I just played and thoroughly enjoyed the demo for The Wayhaven Chronicles, which uses gender swapping to good effect. I also liked how Choice of Robots handled it by letting you choose from two ostensibly different but very similar characters of either gender. I don’t think I would want to do it for all of my characters, but I have considered it. I’d be happy to hear any thoughts on the matter. Maybe I’ll put up a poll, when I have more content up.


#31

Yeah, I don’t know why I thought I’d be done with this by February. Maybe if CoG has this contest again next year. But that’s ok, the guidelines were a bit of a tight fit for what I’ve got going on, it’s probably for the best that I just do my own thing.

Anyway! New chapter! It’s about 10,000 words including code, and I made some updates to chapter 1. First post has been updated. The next chapter is definitely going to take a while, give the different way that chapter 2 can end. Hope you all have fun!


#32

@SirEdmund
Repeated paragraph in chapter 2.

They’re probably not actually iron, but you don’t doubt their ability to do keep their occupants contained.
Penrose is really leaning into the whole frontier motif. The effect is somewhat sullied by the large holoscreen dominating one wall, set to some news stream and lacking most context with the sound muted. Currently featured on is a series of still images of some kind of destroyed facility.

Penrose is really leaning into the whole, frontier motif. The effect is somewhat sullied by the large holoscreen dominating one wall, set to some news stream and lacking most context with the sound muted. Currently featured on is a series of still images of some kind of destroyed facility.

Another strikes the mezzanine dead on and the entire level decompresses in a silent cloud of atmosphere and [debris].

You don’t need the brackets around the word ‘debris’.


#33

Whoops, that’s embarrassing. Thanks for pointing those out, they’re fixed now.


#34

It’s hard to keep up with all the great WIP’s updating!
This is fantastic. I feel like I stepped into the world of Firefly. It’s certainly wordier than a lot of games, but you definitely have the writing style to pull it off. I particularly enjoyed the option to decide where I was from and what kind of goods I was transporting.

I was a bit confused by the connection between my stats and my dialogue choices – I picked one with ‘grit’ in front of it as that was my highest stat, and I thought I was facing a stat check. If I’d realized it would add to the indicated stat, I would’ve picked something different to balance things out.

And idk why, I love this paragraph. It reads like waking up with a headache:

The first thing you become aware of is the cold, unyielding surface pressing against your cheek. Or rather, against which your cheek is being pressed. Against which you are pressing your cheek. Against cheek, pressing is. Face hurt, action please.

Man, I picked one paragraph to highlight and kept almost switching it with another one. I do enjoy your writing, and looking forward to seeing more of it.
And the title – A Thousand Miles of Sky – It’s so musically perfect!
Is that Sigrun in your profile pic?


#35

I kind of agree that this is a little confusing, but I also don’t really have decisive advice for how to make it look like it’s the stat increase option rather than the stat check option. Does it check the stat at all, or just increase it? After the initial personality sets I was getting the impression that it was doing both, but I didn’t check to see if I could fail there or look at the code so I don’t know that for a fact.

I noticed in a few places, the player would make a choice and then at the start of the next page there would be a repetition or a summary of the choice that was just made, which felt unnecessary and a little cluttering, and a couple of spots where it looked like some lines of text got repeated at the end of one paragraph and the start of another. (I know as is that’s pretty vague and unhelpful–I’ll try to replay soon and grab some screenshots, but it’s something to look out for, whether it’s a typing problem or a coding one.)


#36

I was thinking something like:
Do blah blah blah (increases grit)


#37

@Alexandra: wow, thank you so much! I’m glad you’re enjoying ATMoS so far, it’s been really fun to write. Obviously it’s heavily influenced by Firefly, with some Shadowrun thrown in for fun. I definitely struggle with being overly verbose, especially since CoG’s games tend to be more concise and mine reads more like a novel.

I need to come up with a good way to mark stat challenges aside from just having the three options. I coded them in such a way that even if you fail a check, you still get a stat increase, which probably has not helped with the confusion. Maybe just flagging checks with the word check and tagging stat increases as you have suggested is the way to go. I’ll have to think on it.

It is Most Best Captain Sigrun! I love that comic ;_________;

@HomingPidgeon: thanks for the feedback! I’ll definitely have to think on how to present stat increase choices and stat checks in a more clear way without sacrificing verisimilitude. It may come down to just being more explicit in the setup line beforehand. You do gain a stat boost even if you fail a check, I don’t want people to feel confined to just one stat or be too afraid of failure.

I’ll check back through the code for redundancies, but I do like to have a reminder for what the player just did after a choice, mainly because I have a terrible memory and usually need to be reminded of what I just did even if it only happened seconds ago. But there’s always room for improvement, I can probably come up with better ways to recap the recently made decision without being too redundant.

Thank you both for the feedback, it’s really encouraging to hear what people think and how I can improve my silly space game.


#38

Don’t worry too much about verbosity. As long as it meets CoG requirements for being fancy shmancy and all that, they should accept it no matter how non-concise this WIP is.

That sounds like a good idea. You might also try adding that and also giving the players an option to preview what choices increase which stats, if any. (i.e. “I told you everything I know. (+Order)”) and having the stat check stats bolded for choices. (i.e. "Moxie: Your friend isn’t much of a people person, is he?)

uh.

image

oh.

I think as it is makes me know what I just did pretty well, but if you want you could probably expand on the descriptions of each scene after the choices we make a little bit. I’m not asking for whole paragraphs, just a sentence or even a couple of words that sum up what you just did in places where it’s a little ambiguous.


So far, this WIP reminds me of a dead WIP where you play as a special individual of a race known as the Kokkoro (I think that’s how it’s spelled), but I don’t remember what it was called.

The style of writing is just “versimilitudious” enough to be realistic without sacrificing elements of expressiveness or slapstick. It’s pretty enjoyable, actually.

This paragraph sums the above up perfectly:

At first you mistake it for anxiety over your present situation, and certainly that is a cause for alarm, but this feeling is sharper, nagging. Like you’ve left your starship unlocked, or you forgot to turn off the stove.

Overall I like it so far, and await for more Spaceships! and versimilitude! from ye in the future.


#39

@RagEgnite: I’m really glad you’re enjoying spaceships! and verisimilitudeiness! (For the longest time my google doc for this was just called “Spaceships!”, haha) I’ve got a long way to go, I’m glad there are people here in the forum I can bounce ideas off of.

I’m still working out the kinks and finding the right balance between my weird sense of humor and keeping it from getting in the way of the narrative, I imagine I will be doing so for a while as I get the hang of writing a CYOA game. Obviously stats still need some work, I like the idea of bolded choices. I’m still working out if I even want to use skills and what to do with Order and Chaos. So much to do! Thank you for the feedback!


#40

Quick update:

So writing this thing chapter by chapter isn’t really working for me, my attention wants to jump around too much between all the cool things I have planned for the future, making it very hard to put words down in a linear fashion. I also write really slowly, mostly because I do what they always tell you not to do and agonize over every little detail. I’m working on breaking myself of this habit, but it’s a slow process.

Anyway, all of this is my round-about way of apologizing for the snail’s pace at which this thing is moving, and to warn that it’s probably not going to speed up anytime soon. I promise I am still working, and I’m going to try updating every week month with my current word count to try to shame encourage myself to spend more time writing and less time playing Overwatch. So we’ll see how that goes. (edited to manage my own expectations)

I also thought it might be fun to share out-of-context tidbits from scenes here and there, kind of like Seraphinite does with the Wayhaven Chronicles, if that’s something people would find that interesting. And to prove I’m still writing, haha. So here we go:

Current word count: 33,000

Excerpt:

You lean close as you knock softly on the door, ears straining to hear anything beyond the dilapidated portal. A few tense minutes pass, but no one answers. You glance down uncertainly at the instructions on your phone. No, this is definitely the place. You knock again, harder this time, and wait. Nothing.

You raise your fist to knock again when the door flies open with a squeal of rusty hinges. A hand darts out of the darkness, grabbing the collar of your shirt and hauling you inside. The door slams shut behind you and you are left in darkness.


#41

I have this problem, too! (Yesterday I was very distracted naming stars and determining travel times between them…) This sounds like a good plan. As long as you’re adding words, you’re making progress. :blush: