I’m so glad people are enjoying Alice, I was a little nervous about the challenge of having a character that’s angry with the MC and still making them likable, so I’m glad that seems to be working so far. Same goes for Reid. I’m really glad everyone’s knee-jerk reaction isn’t to hate them out of hand.
Re: helping Isaac: The story splits in a big way depending on if you help Isaac or not, so whichever way you go things will be different. I didn’t want to punish the MC or the reader for not wanting to help, as there are plenty of legitimate reasons to not want to, but at the end of the day the story does gotta get told. So if you don’t help the plot almost literally kicks in the door and participation no longer has the illusion of being optional. In my notes, Chapter 4 is called “No, seriously, the plot is not optional,” haha. So you will miss some Isaac stuff, but you’ll get some new, different stuff instead, so hopefully it evens out.
Re: convo about Isaac’s work: The mention of a friend who transitioned was not intended to refer to Rami, Alice, or any person who was originally slated to appear in the game, but it’s possible that could change. In addition to providing an opportunity for the MC to be trans in a way that I really hope flows/will flow naturally (I’m still fine-tuning everything), I wanted to give the MC an option to be familiar with the program’s capabilities as well as normalize transitioning in the narrative, because in my space future the tech exists to allow anyone to fully realize themselves and their identity with absolutely no stigma attached. There’s other stuff wrong in this galaxy, but I did not want this to be one of them.
All of that is not to say that there aren’t trans people in this game, there are and Isaac is one of them, but because of the sophistication of the tech (I kind of shot myself in the foot with that one, I’ve sacrificed visibility and I’m still trying to figure out how to compensate), the only way to have that knowledge about a character is to talk to them about it. And Isaac will happily talk about it later. I wasn’t able to work it into that conversation in a way that felt natural to me aside from a vague hint, but I have some dialog for him planned for later. It’s not something that comes up a lot in conversation in a world where it’s not considered a big deal, but I’m working on ways to include visibility.
I don’t want to treat any of the characters’ sexuality or gender identity/histories as big reveals or gotcha moments, but at the same time I don’t want to declare anything up front like it’s something that needs to be declared, I’d like folks to get to know the characters in a natural way. This is something I’m still struggling with, maybe I should just lay all the cards on the table up front and include more information in the introductions in the first post. I would love to hear thoughts on the matter.
Re: Rami dialog: This is great feedback and really helpful. Your right, Rami is supposed to be a bit crass and he is assuming that Alice and the MC were an item (he does this regardless of their actual relationship, which is meant to imply that even if the two of them weren’t romantically involved they were still very close, if it’s not achieving that goal then it needs some work), but I hadn’t even thought about the implications of that particular word choice and the assumptions regarding whether or not they had slept together. There’s no need for the narrative to make assumptions about the physical aspects of the relationship regardless of the emotional ones. I will work on rewording his dialog, I agree that’s the easiest fix.
Whew, that was a wall of text, sorry about that and thanks for (hopefully) sticking with me. I really appreciate the feedback, it’s invaluable to me and to the process of make this whole space game come together.