A Thousand Miles of Sky (WIP)(demo updated March 10th, 2019)

nonbinary-inclusive
science-fiction
gender-choice
#162

Thank you so much! Dialog is one of my favorite parts to write, I am so glad you’re enjoying it so far. I’m also glad you like the stat labels on the choices, I’m trying to do it in such a way that they don’t break immersion and don’t feel too clunky. It’s a work in progress :sweat_smile:

3 Likes
#163

Hi ! I found some typos?

“We can’t just leave her,” Isaac says. “Even is she did try to arrest us.”

*if

All harsh angles and bulky components, your ship might not be the fastests, but it’s filled with the reliable tech on the market.

fastest* and was there supposed to be an adjective or superlative between ‘with’ and ‘the’ (i’m thinking of most)?

I go over my travel route, trying shave off time to save money.

Missing a ‘to’ I think?

Typos aside, this is a really intriguing story!! Big Isaac fan because I like rambling science nerds. Heh.
Also, as an amateur writer currently also making a Choice game set in space, super jealous of your prose and confidence with sci-fi jargon… that’s a skill I wish I had haha
Anyways!! Super excited to see more!

2 Likes
#164

Thanks for catching my typos! I think I’ve completely exhausted my word processor. :sob:

And I’m so glad you like it (and Isaac, rambling science nerds are the best) so far, thanks for trying it out! Not gonna lie, sci-fi jargon is like half the fun of writing, haha. If you’re looking for inspiration, the internet is a great place to find help for creating ridiculous technobabble, as is watching a lot of Star Trek. For writing in general, the forums are a fantastic resource, I’ve received invaluable advice here. If you haven’t already started a thread for your project, I definitely recommend it (and kind folks catch your typos for you :sweat_smile:). Hope to see your WIP around, I’m always excited to see more sci-fi!

5 Likes
#165

Oh January, I am ever not sorry to see you in my space rear-view mirror. Sounds like the rest of the country is just as cold and miserable as Alaska, you have my condolences. Work progresses, mostly coding in some new features, but I did manage to string a few words together.

Current word count: 83,000

Snippet:

As you settle into the domestic routine of meal preparation, you can almost forget about your unwanted guests. The clatter of pots and pans and drone of the matter reconstituter drowns out the ship around and masks the sound of approaching footsteps until their owner is right behind you.

“I can help you with that if you like.”

“Gah!” You drop the mixing bowl with a yelp. It lands on the edge of the counter, the contents sloshing dangerously up the side. You snatch it back up before the only remaining food on the ship can spill out all over the floor and turn to glare at Isaac. “Warn a kid before you sneak up on them like that.”

20 Likes
#166

Well this update has a been a long-time coming. Lots of code changes and some new scenes, I put a changelog in the first post with more details. The most noticeable changes are probably that the MC’s two old friends are now gender-variable, which was something I had planned to do originally, and then talked myself out of. I have now talked myself back in, with some help from a friend, so here we are. No snippet this week, as I just added like 20,000+ words to the demo.

Current word count: 90,500

24 Likes
#167

Huzza! Another update from my most anticipated sifi adventure choice game.

1 Like
#168

tenor
I can’t even describe the noise I made when I saw this update. Oh my god.

I am half asleep, so this will be most likely me rambling and toot tooting my clown horn. Yikes.

First of all, I love your writing so much. Your characters are so much fun, and there’s so much love to the way you develop them. I love the certain quirk and charm there is to everything, like the patterns of your pajamas or the “comet at me bro” t-shirt. It’s all so much fun, so light-hearted, and that’s so appealing in a scifi adventure.

Most importantly, your world building is freakin’ fantastic, dude. God, I love the megacorp subplot, the debt collectors, the cargo we’re exporting, the rinky-dink ship we have… There’s so much going on, and the ability to build the background of your character is so, so cool. Genuinely, I am bouncing in my seat as I type this–I am that excited.

Thank you so much for updating this, and thank you for the time you devoted to it. It’s amazing. You’re amazing.

Also, yo, Alonzo… I love him??? I can’t wait to learn more??? I love them all so much??? I am in a state of utter chaos right now???

4 Likes
#169

Yay, update! This is one of my favorite WIPs, and I love what’s been added since I last read it :slight_smile:

This turned long, so questions/comments/starry-eyed flailing under a spoiler cut...

Does Al’s personality change much depending on their gender? The initial text from nonbinary Al felt a bit more aggressive than female Al. (But maybe it’s just that I feel immediate affection for someone who starts a text with “warn a gal” and ends it with “you still owe me money tho”?)

Is managing ship health/money going to be a big part of the game? If so, it might be nice to have them on the stats page.

Re: ability checks – I love the “chance of success” flavor text. However, it seems like the best way to raise abilities is to succeed on their checks, which feels a bit cyclical? Is the idea that the player should strongly specialize, or that the “improve your skills” downtime activities will let you diversify a bit?

I just noticed that Rani will shorten your call sign if you go with one of the longer pre-written options – A++ detail.

Omg I love Isaac so much my beautiful in-over-his-head disaster boy. Also everyone else, especially Rani (hell yeah flirty ace rep!), but there is some Premium Isaac Content in the update.

I don’t see myself using the granular relationship-adjustment setting, but I think it’s a really great option to have! I imagine that folks who would find it immersion-breaking just…wouldn’t…use it? Whereas “unwanted romantic attention just because I was nice” is definitely something people have trouble with.

A few typos

“my tone”:

I try to keep my boredom from your tone.

Extra space before period:

You shrug . “About as well as I can know anyone I’ve exchanged about a dozen words with, which is to say I don’t.”

“I warn you now”?

“You’re welcome to whatever’s in the kitchen, though I warn you know that pickings are slim at the moment.”

Missing "s:

"Okay, okay.

“I better go get the other two settled,” you say, eager to change the topic.

"Now if you’ll excuse me, this next part is rather tricky and I need to concentrate.

You lapse back into silence as Reid returns her attention to the mess in front of her and you finish your unappealing breakfast, vowing to pick up more tasty provisions as soon as you can.

She sighs. "I don’t know what I can do to assuage your distrust of the ministry.

“No offense, I just don’t have good history with law enforcement.”

“to do”:

“For a few hours,” she says. “Lots o do.”

2 Likes
#170

Thank you all so much! :smile: I’m so glad you’re enjoying everything so far, it really helps me stay motivated, haha.

@Exeldgamer: Thank you, that;s high praise indeed!

@northerndownpour7: I’m glad you like the characters and the setting! The NPCs are by far the most fun thing to write, but also random details like the pajamas or the weird disgusting space food. I read a lot of Douglas Adams growing up, he definitely had a strong influence on my writing style, I like a bit of irreverence in my writing. The world needs more fun space romps. And Alonzo gets his first fan, yay!

@Gabs: Thanks for the typo help, some of those were embarrassingly old :sweat_smile:

To answer your questions/comments:

Al’s personality varies only slightly depending on their gender, mostly small details just for some variety. I can see now Alex’s message seems a little more aggressive, but that won’t be a lasting trait.

Ship health and debt should be on the stat page under Assets. I’d say they’re going to be a solid secondary part of the game, but I haven’t fully balanced them as stats yet.

I’m still playing with how stats and skills should work, I don’t want folks to be too afraid of failing checks, but I also want them to be able to improve skills with use. I have not worked out a good solution yet, though it might be interesting to reverse what currently happens with checks, so you gain a higher bonus when you fail and get a middling bonus if you succeed. That one’s very much a work in progress.

I really love Rani’s nicknames, if you have a callsign you use that you’d like a nickname for, I am taking suggestions :smiley:

Isaac is such a disaster boy, but he’s trying his best. (Also, yay, flirty ace rep!)

Unwanted romantic attention is exactly what I want to avoid, it’s so hard to navigate just in real life, so I’m glad you think the option is useful. Hopefully those who like it will use it, and those who don’t like it will just ignore it.

8 Likes
#171

…yep, they totally are. My bad! (I was expecting straight numbers instead of bars, so I completely overlooked them.)

I was going to ask about flipping success/fail exp! I guess it might depend on your fail states? Like, if especially interesting things happen when you fail a check, it might be worth encouraging players to take a chance on a lower skill (either you succeed or you get a higher skill boost + interesting narrative development)? Or if failing mostly results in wounds/ship damage/debt, then there could be some interesting management with respect to trading off assets with higher ability scores? Or maybe I’m thinking in a way that’s way too meta-game-y!

1 Like
#172

I’m of the opinion that a failed check should still be narratively interesting, so it really just means that I take the story in a different way instead of having real failstates. Like you said, wounds and ship damage instead of like death or something. I like to think I wrote some fun scenes for check failures, but I do wonder how many people ever see them. Games have trained players so long to go for the sure win, so it goes against their instincts to choose options they’re unsure about, haha. I think I will swap them around to try it out, that’s what playtesting is for after all.

4 Likes
#173

Hey there! I’ve only skimmed this thread so pardon me if I’m repeating stuff but I just read through the demo and I’m absolutely in love with the game so far. The writing is so witty and fun, I was actually cackling aloud. The hair and eye description choices being unconventional was such a small detail and yet such a cool one. concepts for the characters are so cool and I’m super looking forward to future interaction with them. I’m not sure what exactly it is about them, but they all feel so refreshing. One of the things I really, really enjoyed was that even failed stat checks increase stats! It’s a really cool touch because a lot of games tend to not acknowledge that it is possible to learn from mistakes. It’s also a cool mechanic to encourage players to go with what they/their character would think is right rather than what they think they need to win. I think the only hiccup I’ve hit so far was how oddly detailed the pajama customization got, but even so that was more of an “eh ok then” rather than an actual problem.

Anyways, in short this is super cool and I’m super stoked. Excellent work so far and best of luck in the future!

3 Likes
#174

Wow, thank you so much, I’m thrilled you’re enjoying things so far! It’s really encouraging that folks are enjoying the characters so far, for me they’re always the best part of a story. And I’m glad you like the learn-from-your-mistakes skill checks, if there’s one thing I want folks to take away from this game is that it’s ok to fail. Learn from those mistakes and get better! And sometimes a failed check can be more fun. I haven’t implemented the changes Gabs and I discussed, but I hope to get them up soon.

Fair criticism about the pajama thing, I had a half-baked idea about something I wanted to do with them, but it hasn’t quite coalesced into something I can use yet.

Anyway, thank you so much for the nice comments, I appreciate it!

6 Likes
#175

Hi friends! Quick update, it was pointed out to me that there was an error in the code of Chapter 3 that made the check to convince Reid to stay on the ship impossible. I have just uploaded the modified files, so if you were having trouble with that check, you should have an easier time of it now. Sorry about that!

8 Likes
#176

There is a crash with the saving system
sm-errors

1 Like
#177

Did you try clicking it again it fixes itself sometimes.

1 Like
#178

Yeah, but I have seen this error before, in other WIPs. I think it’s about the sort of the commands, *sm_init has to be put after all *create sentences or something like that… :thinking:

1 Like
#179

That was my bad, *sm_init crashes RandomTest, so I had commented it out and then didn’t put it back :sob: It should be fixed now, sorry!

3 Likes
#180

Another month gone, where do they keep disappearing to? Along with the snow, my free time seems to have melted away, but I managed to string together a few words. Instead of a snippet, this week I have a playlist of some of the music I listen to while writing, if that’s something y’all are interested in. Spotify is missing a few key songs, so the full list is on YouTube because what are licensing laws, anyway?

Current word count: 92,500

YouTube list
Spotify list

13 Likes
#181

Less progress made this month, I’m getting ready to move like 1000+ miles away and I have all this crap I either have to pack or get rid of. Why do I do this to myself.

We’re back to regularly our scheduled snippets this month. Did folks like the music playlists or do you prefer the usual tiny sneak peaks in these progress reports?

Current word count: 93,500

Snippet

“I loan you money, you pay me back,” Danzig says, exasperated. “You’re the one screwing up this arrangement, $!{surname}. Pay your bills on time, and we don’t have to keep having these conversations.”

“I can’t pay you if I don’t have work,” you point out.

“That part’s your problem, not mine.”

“I don’t know,” you say, “looks like it is your problem, seeing as you’re here.”

18 Likes