In which there are space pirates, sinister megacorps, starship repomen, and wildly inaccurate descriptions of explosions in space.
Space is big, but it’s getting smaller everyday as humanity’s colonization efforts push farther and farther out from the galactic core. Expanding along side of civilization is an ever-widening frontier, as humanity pushes out farther into the stars than laws and government can keep up with. Many consider this a feature, not a bug.
As a courier/cargo ship pilot just trying to keep your head down and make ends meet in this big, topsy-turvy galaxy, the fringe offers ample opportunity for new and interesting freelance work and that suits you just fine. It also offers ample opportunity for new and interesting trouble, in which you are far less interested. More’s the pity that the universe didn’t ask first before dropping you face-first into a dangerous conflict, full to bursting with political machinations, malevolent science experiments, social engineering, and murderous corporate officials. You probably would have passed.
- There are at least two sides to this mess and both have blood on their hands. Will you favor one over the other, or just focus on keeping your head down?
- Someone is always up to something, but this time the aftershocks could affect all intelligent life in the known universe. Can you discover who is pulling the strings behind the galactic empire? Do you even care?
- Uncover a mystery or rewrite history?
- Politics are all well and good, but most importantly, can you save the galaxy and still keep your spaceship from being repossessed?
- Play as male, female, trans, non-binary or genderfluid
- Gay, straight, bisexual, polyamorous, and romantic/aromantic asexual options
The Cast so far
Rani is what those in the biz call a ‘nonconformist’, though they would prefer the term ‘free spirit’. Generally content to let the wind take them where it will – and if they can sweet talk said wind into taking them somewhere fun, more’s the better – their piloting skills and honeyed words make them a desirable employee to any requiring such services. You and Rani travel in orbiting social circles, and have been acquaintances for quite some time. A successful series of odd jobs has cemented them in your mind as a reliable contact and an incorrigible flirt. Speaking of jobs, they’re in the market for a new one right now.
Description: The last time Rani saw their natural hair color, they weren’t old enough for a permit license. Since then their head has been dyed every color of the rainbow, but these days they favor cooler blues and greens that pair well the with warm russet tones of their skin and accentuates the green flecks in their hazel eyes. Styled in a modish undercut, the fluffy layers on top give them the illusion of a few more inches of height. Their taste in fashion skews in a similar direction, when they can afford to keep up with current trends.
Background: Incredibly resourceful and far more clever than anyone has any right to be, you and All go all the way back to those early days when you were struggling to find a way off your mid-rim homeworld. The two of you had a good run when teamed up for a cargo contract that became a series of jobs and finally evolved into a successful business transporting goods around the galaxy. Sadly, nothing good can last in this crap galaxy, and the two of you eventually parted ways on less than amicable terms. They might still be mad.
Description: With the tall frame common to those born and raised in sub-G gravity, Al has no trouble standing out in a crowd even without the colorful clothing and cosmetics they favor. Pinks and purples are their favorites, most often splashed across their lips and adorning the space between their prominent auburn eyes and the tailored arches of their brows – neither of which they are able to raise independently (a fact which annoys them to no end). They keep their sleek, shoulder-length black hair swept back in a ponytail, minus a few rebellious strands that frame their tan, lightly freckled face.
Background: A talented scientist and former employee of the galaxy’s largest megacorporation, Isaac had a long and promising career in front of him until his abrupt disappearance late one evening. Details are scarce, as the smoking crater of his former research facility has offered little information pertaining to the events leading up to its destruction or the whereabouts of its erstwhile head researcher. Presumed alive and very much wanted by all interested parties, Isaac is finally realizing that he may have bit off more than he can chew. He could really use your help, maybe? Please?
Description: On a good day, Isaac likes to think he can look at least somewhat presentable, but he hasn’t had many good days recently. Too many late nights in the lab have dulled bronze eyes to rust and gifted him with the stooped posture of a tall man bent over a short desk. He would prefer to keep his tawny cheeks stubble-free, but nine times out of ten he has forgotten to shave any given morning. All of this, topped with an unruly mop of ash brown hair, conspire to give the man the permanently rumpled look of someone who has just rolled out of bed, and then grabbed whatever clothing sat on top of the pile of clean laundry he still hasn’t folded. Though to be fair, this is probably exactly what happened.
Background: Samara’s dedication and laser focus would make her a valuable member to any organization, but as Galactic Ministry agent she is particularly effective. These qualities, coupled with her fierce and unshakable sense of loyalty, have lead to her meteoric rise in Ministry of Information, earning her a farcically large budget and license to do virtually whatever she deems necessary during the course of her investigation. They also make her an annoyingly tenacious adversary for those who have had the misfortune to cross her. She’s a bit intense.
Description: Steely-eyed for most is just a metaphor, but Samara Reid does nothing by halves. Naturally gifted with slate grey eyes, she favors tailored suits in subdued hues to enhance their frosty appearance, each of which probably cost more than the lease payments for your starship. Her cloud of jet hair tightly gathered at the base of her neck and the immaculate dusting of subtle cosmetics over her umber complexion cultivates the slick air of cold professionalism that she relies on as shorthand for ‘Do not mess with me.’
I originally threw this WIP up with the intention of entering the now-long-past CoG contest that ended in January. Clearly I did not make that deadline, I am a very slow writer and I don’t know why I expected to produce anything in a timely fashion. That being said, having this thread up to hold me accountable and motivate me to write has been helpful for me, so I intend to keep it open and to keep plugging along. The feedback I have received has also been immeasurably helpful, so thank you all for that. Quick and Random test have passed, but there may be other errors, I haven’t made a game with Choice Script before. I’m still figuring this stuff out, and everything is subject to change. You have been warned. (Also thank you for any help, I really appreciate it.)
Demo includes (so far):
Chapter 1: 13,500 words
Chapter 2: 15,500 words
Chapter 3: 38,500 words
- Rami’s name has been changed to Rani, as that is a more neutral name and that character’s gender is now player choice
- Alice’s gender is also now determined by player choice, and their name will change between Alice/Alex/Alonzo accordingly
- Random unnamed NPCs now have randomly determined genders
- Expansion of the relationship metric into two meters, affection and respect to reflect NPCs’ options of the MC and their actions
- New skill check in chapter 2 with accompanying scenes
- You can now fail the first attempt to break out of the airlock and make additional attempts
- New scenes at the end of chapter 3 with each remaining passenger
- New scenes in chapter 3 for the non-involvement path I fondly refer to as NOPENOPENOPE in my notes
- A checkpoint feature that allows you to replay a chapter once completed (this will be more useful in the published game of course)
- A settings page on the State page that lets you tweak game features, such as:
- The ability to toggle on or off any romance paths you want
- The ability to toggle on or off the notifications of stat and skill increases
- The ability to toggle on or off some extra romance bits and bobs
- Minor dialog updates
I’m especially interested in thoughts on:
- The characters: I intend for this to be a very character-driven game, so I am interested in folks’ impressions/thoughts about the cast
- Ability checks: I’m going to try something a little different with these, won’t give it all away up in this first post, but I’m really interested in discussing what people think
- Classism and systemic prejudice: themes I plan to have in later chapters
- Benign and malicious genetic modification
- Megacorporations and cyberpunk
- Gender-locked romance options: I’m strongly considering making one of the ROs variable dependent on user choice, open to hearing thoughts on the matter.
Things to come:
- Skills and stats: right now they’re a bit of a mess and likely to change a bunch, I’m still nailing these down.
- More characters: friends, enemies, and frienemies alike
- Romance: six options so far: one male, two female, two gender-variable, and one genderfluid individual. One of the women prefers other women, the rest of the characters will be pan, one of which will be romantic asexual. (How much info do people prefer up-front about orientation and gender identity? It will of course come out in the course of the story, but do folks like more info before hand?)
- More plot, obvs.
I will update this first post with any changes. Thanks for your time and patience.