A Thousand Years of Orchids


#1

ATYoO is a story set in a fictional dynasty of ancient China. I’m going for a hybrid wuxia-mythology setting, and you’ll have both swords and spells at your disposal. War is raging, countries turn to dust overnight, and morality is in the eyes of the beholder.

Will you help the hapless Emperor or take his throne for yourself? Conquer with your spear or smite your enemies with arcane fire? Kill the defenseless sprite or take him as your familiar? Pray to the local Land God or wreak havoc on the town that wronged you? Join the ranks of the immortals or spiral into darkness with a demon?

You are the youngest student in the House of Yi, and the world is your pearl.

Play the game: http://db.tt/vYLGO5bE

To avoid the pit I fell into last time, I’ll be keeping a progress log (http://db.tt/UpS6mkEU) and try to update weekly at the very least. Page numbers are tentative.

My most pressing questions will always be: Do you feel that at least one of the choices given is applicable to your character? Do you feel railroaded into a particular storyline at any time? Do you actually like (or at least care about) the characters you meet?

I’m also trying something new with the stats screen, so that will be tweaked every so often. Hopefully it’s not too wordy.

Typoes, bugs, writing problems, suggestions, etc are always welcome. I’m still working out this whole system, so bear with me here. :stuck_out_tongue:

At the moment, I’m also drafting up a system (relying on *show_password) that allows players to be (re)incarnations of famous historical/mythological figures if they manage certain achievements in a normal playthrough. You’d have to start the game again from the beginning, but would have additional stat boosts, rare abilities, or special items (e.g., a player with extraordinarily high martial and ambition stats but fails to conquer the country might be given a code for Xiang Yu. If they use the code on a new playthrough, they would start out with the Conqueror’s Halberd, which gives a boost in physical combat. They are then free to play this new game however they want, and get a different achievement). However, I’m still debating the practicality and enjoyability of this system, and whether it would be worth the trouble implementing it.


#2

Well it could be interesting but I myself enjoy different playthroughs and try to match as best I can with something I want. And I did enjoy it so far for wat it’s worth


#3

The stats screen is messily difficult to read. If you’re going to do narrative stats, I’d suggest putting them on separate lines.


#4

@Blackheart, thanks!

@Ramidel, is this any better? I’m still debating the necessity of a text-heavy stat system myself. Dx


#5

Better.

Regarding text-heavy…the way you’re doing it, I think, is a bad thing. The way you label the “pride” stat (“You understand as much, and are good at keeping within boundaries”), the same level of pride will have to look different as your strength grows, or it’ll get confusing; yet changing it will make it harder for the player to measure.

I’d recommend not using text stats, but that’s me.


#6

@Ramidel, that stat’s more like a trigger-happy tracker, and hints the player if they’re fighting above/below their skill level (a weak character who avoids conflict would have the same stat as a macho character who rushes headfirst into fights). I might word it a little more generically so it’ll make sense no matter your skill level, but I’m not sure if it’s actually a useful thing to keep track of.

Yeah, I thought it would ~exciting~ when I made that page, but it gets kind of annoying. The main purpose of the text is to track intelligent/cunning, lawful/kind, and ambitious/loyal. Those were initially to be opposed pairs, but I figured the character should have the option to be able to be both unintelligent and naive or intelligent and cunning as well. Those are related, but not inversely proportional, and having one high stat much higher than the other would have a different effect on your character compared to keeping them both in the same range. I’m not sure how to get that point across without being wordy, though.

You might’ve found the page already, but if you enter the name Xiao (family) Bai (given), you’ll have access to a testing screen where you can randomize your stats and see how that effects the stat page, if you want to play around with it.


#7

Hola @seryou

I’ve been reading it so far.

  1. When I go to sleep after the first day: The bliss of a soft bed and the welcoming arms of the Lord of Dreams do wonders after a truly trying day, and you find yourself drifting off before you know it.

Is it supposed to be ‘a truly trying day’ or was it supposed to be ‘a truly tiring day’.


#8

@CountDon, Heya, thanks for reading! It is supposed to be ‘trying’. :stuck_out_tongue:


#9

@seryou it’s great looking forward to the next chapter


#10

Asdfghjkl. This. Thiiiiisssss~~~~.
I like this.


#11

@bezment78, @Bagelthief, thanks! I’m happy to hear that :smiley:

The rest of the intro is coming really soon, tomorrow evening at the latest. I have most of it written out and just need to connect a few pieces in the middle. Then things can finally happen. P:


#12

@seryou *Sways hands in the air* Woop Woop


#13

@CountDon I lied. :’( It’s a little past midnight, and I’ve still got two seasons to go. Anything I write in this state will be terrible, lol. Tomorrow, for sure. D8

Also, I’m really rethinking the title. It’s just so long…


#14

No, it’s not that long. I like the name it’s unique


#15

@seryou
Is there a reason why the name Shifu is never capitalized?


#16

I really like it so far. Can’t wait to see more content.


#17

Shifu isn’t a name, silly. It’s a title. Meaning literally “teacher-father”. The ancient Chinese had a saying: “a teacher for a day, a father for a lifetime”.


#18

Oh okay. That would make sense ^^"


#19

Can I be a shifu?


#20

Finally an update! *o* Remind me not estimate my own completion time or split a season into 12 paths ever again. (Another round of apologies to @CountDon for the lateness!) The rest of the intro is up, and the pace will pick up now that there’s a plot creeping into the story. This is probably going to stray a lot from my description in the first post, oops.

A note about the sword names (Rou during autumn) since I couldn’t figure out how to work them into the story: Rou’s is called the 琉璃乌煞. The pun here is that 乌, meaning crow or black, and 煞, bringer bad luck, areput together to form a semi-homophone (the tone are slightly different) for the hat government officials wear. Yan’s is the 祭昑, which could either mean sacrificing for tomorrow or a memorial for tomorrow. 昑 is a semi-homophone for the the Qin, which I’m partially basing this fictional dynasty on, so this can also be understood as sacrificing for the Qin or a memorial for the end of the Qin. Shu’s sword is called 黎冥, a homophone for daybreak, but with the character 冥, which refers to meditation/profundity but also the land of the dead, is used instead of 明, which means brightness/light. I picked these names pretty carefully, but the ideas don’t translate so well. >_>

@2Ton, thanks! xD You will have the option to have disciples later down the line, but at the moment I’m leaning towards accepting individual students as you meet them instead of letting you opening an actual school, as CoKF did.

@Caddmuss, thank you! :smiley:

@Batinthehat, @hahaha01357, thanks for helping clear that up! I hope using ‘shifu’ instead of ‘teacher’ or ‘master’ doesn’t confuse too much.

@all, I’d like you to play through the current demo at least once without looking at the spoiler here: http://pastebin.com/WA9y3umZ