Ace of Spades WIP (25/Jan - Demo 2.0 is up! Time to crime!)

Welcome to Ace of Spades!

Genres: Fiction, New Adult Fiction, Crime, Mystery, Romance, Bromance

(25/Jan/2021) Demo version 2.0 is live! (Old saves won’t work because of a stat change, so please start a fresh game for this update!)

Chapter Two (part one), 61k words.
  1. Muscle specialization changes (the charges are now extortion instead of assault)
  2. Smoother flashback transitions
  3. Longer scene with J at the end of Chapter One
  4. MC’s past is revealed
  5. GREAT traits included: conspiracy nut and pop culture connoisseur
  6. Meet L and R, the final two ROs
  7. A thought keeping bees at their apartment would be a good idea
  8. Time to crime!
  9. Mafia? Shiny stones!
Next update?
  1. February 28 if all goes well!
  2. More crime, but hands on this time
  3. Who’s that suit who keeps chasing you? Hint: it’s J
  4. Time to really crime
  5. Time to get arrested
  6. Time to close a deal

Please let me know any high level feedback you have! Say, if you find any parts too long or too lame or too confusing, if a reaction you got didn’t match your MC’s personality stats, if there were any bits that you felt could be part of a choice menu but weren’t (some parts I can’t turn into choices for plot reasons, but I’m open to hear you all out!), etc etc.

I’d also like to know of any typos, coding issues, and what parts you liked the most and which ones were kinda meh so I can know which way to go with it.

What is this game about?

You’re an art thief.

Or rather, were. You were recently arrested and are now forced to work as a criminal informant for the Bureau, helping them solve cases you would have very much liked to commit yourself. Or not.

Juggle your day job on the right side of the law and your inner conman streak while treading through the treacherous world of the suits, all while trying to figure out who betrayed you and got you arrested. Forge your own story as you work with your handler solving white collar crimes, plan your final (or is it?) con, and uncover a conspiracy that goes way beyond your wildest dreams… one that hits a bit too close to home for comfort.

Highlights

  • Choose your gender
  • Fancy clothes for a fancy party with fancy dancing
  • 4 criminal specializations to choose from (thief, forger, hacker, or muscle)
  • Leave the life of crime behind! Or dive right back in because your only regret is being arrested in the first place
  • Fall for one of seven ROs… or get caught in a love triangle, which is going to hurt. A lot. Everyone.

ROs

Alexander/Alexandra Smith, The Middle Man
Joshua/Jessica Kim, The Agent
Lucas/Leila Ahern, The Fence
Matthew/Melissa O’Connor, The Forger
Nicholas/Nicole Hunter, The Thief
Peter/Petra Green, The Insurance Investigator
Rodrigo/Rachel Bracken, The Hacker

*Please note that the ROs are gender locked in groups for plot and coding reasons. A (first option to lock the gender) locks J, L and N. And P (second option to lock the gender) locks M and R.

Ace of Spades is already plotted out, all I need to do is write it and code it. Which I do at the same time, it’s just easier to me to be honest. I plan on updating the demo as soon as I reach good stopping points, and I’ll try to give dates for each update as soon as possible.

To play the demo, go here: https://dashingdon.com/play/leyendecker7/ace-of-spades/mygame/

For weekly updates and any asks, I’ll be using my tumblr: https://steph-writing.tumblr.com

To support my current addiction of Genshin Impact (honestly, Xiao is coming y’all, I need to whale for him) and enjoy sneak peeks of AOS (which I’ll start sharing) and short stories I write, please visit my Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/stephaniel

If you just want to support my addictions without sneak peeks, feel free to buy me a Ko-Fi: https://ko-fi.com/stephanie_

Now if you want to know more before getting to the game, or after, or if you’re just bored:

RO details

No, you don’t have to romance someone to enjoy the story. But this is, first and foremost, a romance (a criminal one, but a romance all the same), which means that while you don’t have to romance anyone, your story will turn out much shorter than it would in a romance route, but I will still do my utmost to make it just as enjoyable for the reader!

All ROs are romanceable by all MCs.

Alexander/Alexandra Smith, The Middle Man

General: 33 years old, 178(m)/168(f) cm (5’8/5’5), honey eyes, golden skin, wavy, back hair kept just over his shoulder(m)/that hangs down her shoulders(f). Beauty mark under the left eye, wears glasses, lean build.

More details: Poor people skills and considered quirky by most, A makes up for it with their underworld connections and know-how on a multitude of subjects. Has a soft spot for the less privileged people and good criminals, as well as a penchant for conspiracy theories. Is MC’s oldest acquaintance. Is an orphan and grew up in the system. Has an eidetic memory and loves puzzles.

Joshua/Jessica Kim, The Agent

General: 33 years old, Korean-American, 186(m)/176(f) cm (6’1/5’9), dark brown eyes, olive skin, athletic build, straight, dark brown hair kept short(m)/medium length(f).

More details: Harvard Law degree; FBI Academy at Quantico ranked 1 of 45; One of the Bureau’s fastest rising agents, they oversee a small division in White Collar Crimes. High moral and ethical standards, Special Agent Kim is not one to adhere to nonsense approaches to their cases. Perseverant and hard-working, they were determined to catch the elusive MC – a con artist who had been taunting them for years.

Lucas/Leila Ahern, The Fence

General: 32 years old, 183(m)/173(f) cm (6’/5’7), light brown eyes, deep brown skin, coiled, dark brown hair kept short. Muscular build, one thin scar over their top lip on the right side of their face, one bullet scar on their left shoulder, and dimples on their cheeks.

More details: Their charming personality gave them a chance to foster several contacts all over the world, and they are now known as one of the best international smugglers, with vast fencing experience in the black market – but only within the realms of their own set of morals. A fast cars enthusiast, is also known for appreciating naval transports. Not a fan of flying or heights in general.

Matthew/Melissa O’Connor, The Forger

General: 28 years old, 190(m)/180(f) cm (6’3/5’11), hazel eyes, fair skin, messy, blonde hair kept on the chin(m)/chest length(f). Lean build, with light freckles all over their face, shoulders, and arms, one long scar on their left hand.

More details: Quiet yet confident, they come from a very wealthy family. A lover of art, they hold a Master’s in fine arts from one of the top institutions in the world, and their favorite art periods are the Renaissance and Impressionism. Despite being perfectly capable of carrying themselves in all sorts of social events, they tend to prefer solitude, often turning to raw sarcasm and plain old rudeness as a way of getting people to leave them alone. Only ever seen drinking water.

Nicholas/Nicole Hunter, The Thief

General: 30 years old, 180(m)/170(f) cm (5’11/5’7), dark blue eyes, fair skin, straight, brown hair kept short(m)/on the middle of her back(f). Classic model-like build and features.

More details: Charming, intelligent, and devious. N has no shortage of contacts and is unmatched in their people reading skills, using whatever they can to their own benefit. Incredibly confident, they are vehemently against the use of disguises, believing (and being living proof) that a great smile and the proper outfit are more than enough to get you in or out of anything. As a renowned thief, they have no problem blending in the shadows to get their hands on their target. An avid chess player and a highly skilled escape and con artist. No one has ever seen them use firearms, ever. Plays the piano.

Peter/Petra Green, The Insurance Investigator

General: 31 years old, 192(m)/182(f) cm (6’3/6’), green eyes, tanned skin, wavy, light brown hair styled back(m)/on her shoulders(f). Muscular build, with a beauty mark over their right eyebrow.

More details: An insurance investigator with Liberty Weiss, always in pursuit of stolen goods insured by the company they work for. Their good humor doesn’t outweigh their driven personality, and they are known for often threading the gray zone between legal and illegal while on the job. Adrenaline junkie.

Rodrigo/Rachel Bracken, The Hacker

General: 26 years old, 175(m)/165(f) cm (5’7/5’4), gray eyes, very fair skin, unruly, red hair kept just over his eyes(m)/under her shoulders(f). Slender build, has two 1UP Mario Mushroom tattoos on their inner wrists, green on the left, red on the right.

More details: Some find hard to believe a party animal like them would be so skilled with technology. Comes from a large, middle class family, and is hardly ever serious in person, resorting to all sorts of jokes and small talk to deflect personal or serious discussions. Collects sneakers, tries to write poetry and often donates to animal shelters.

Stats

Personality

Charming/Intimidating shows how you prefer to handle people. Do you charm people into indulging in your every whim or do you prefer glowering at them until they crumble to dust?

Sarcastic/Genuine shows what’s your instinctual reaction to what life throws your way. Bat it away with crude humor or let your true colors show, regardless of how good or bad they turn out to be?

Friendly/Stoic shows how you act with others. Are you someone who shows interest in others and appear easy to approach or is your usual stance a solid and reliable nod?

Emotional/Impassive shows how your feelings run through you. Do you wear your heart on your sleeve or do you keep your feelings in a jar, hidden inside of you until the day you die?

Daredevil/Calculating shows how you face challenges and unexpected situations. Do you blindly run into trouble and wing your way out of it, or do you take a moment to plan your next steps, considering every possible risk and outcome?

Traits

Confident/Insecure shows how you feel about your job. Do you take on projects with no shadow of a doubt or do you always assume the worst will happen?

Leader/Follower shows how you act in a group. Are you the one in charge, or do you prefer to take the backseat and let someone else make the tough decisions?

Team Player/Independent shows how you work with others. Do you enjoy being part of a team or do you prefer to handle things on your own?

Criminal/Reformed shows how you feel about your criminal activities. Do you see crime as a thing of the past that you have no intention to get involved in again if you can help it, or do you feel it’s your calling in life, unable to let go of the thrill of pulling that job everyone will be talking about for years to come?

Criminal Specializations
  • Forger: if your MC excels in art related subjects, they’re a forger. They’ll forge famous art works, money bills, bonds, signatures, jewelry… all of it! And they’ll have a good eye for colors, as well as being good artists in general.
  • Hacker: if your MC excels in technology, they’re a hacker. They’ll crack any password, hack their way into any system with an internet connection, forge financial transactions, create viruses to destroy data… anything you can think of! And they’ll be good at solving puzzles.
  • Muscle: if your MC likes to solve their problems with their own hands, they’re a muscle. They’ll punch their way through issues, knock people out with one hand, smash windows with their elbows… all of that! And they’ll be strong, very strong.
  • Thief: if your MC has a penchant for lying and sticky fingers, they’re a thief. They’ll pickpocket any sucker, sneak in and out of places unnoticed, charm people into doing whatever they want them to do… all the nines! And they’ll be great at dodging security systems.
Random Questions

Q: Who is the Love Triangle route?
A: A and J.

Q: Can I romance X while being criminal/lawful!MC?
A: All ROs can be romanced by all MCs! Some dynamics and interactions will change, so you should try them all out.

Q: Is this story set in New York?
A: Yes, and also no. It’s inspired in NYC and I’ll likely refer to it as NYC, but I won’t adhere to geographical specificities or anything. It’s more of a vibe than a map.

Q: Is there magic in this world?
A: Is there magic in ours? I’ve never seen it, but who knows maybe I just wasn’t chosen to be in on the secret… and neither was MC nor the characters portrayed in AOS. I’m saving my fantasy urges for other COG projects.

Q: Can I give up being a criminal?
A: Yes, but it won’t be easy. You can also fully commit to being a criminal and cross that 100% stat bar.

Q: Is there a bad ending?
A: No. I personally don’t enjoy stories where the ending is just plain bad, so I’ll be writing different endings according to your choices, but none of them will be bad (as in, no ROs die and MC doesn’t die), they’ll simply be different to fit each MC’s journey.

Q: When do you plan on finishing AOS?
A: Hopefully, late 2021/early 2022.

Q: How many books will AOS have?
A: One. Unless it gets super big and out of hand (which I don’t think will happen), then I’ll end up splitting it into two books (but really, highly unlikely).

Q: Can we smash the ROs?
A: Yes, but it won’t be explicit. More of fade to black scenes.

Q: Can I not get arrested?
A: No, that’s the catalyst event of the plot and you were caught for a reason.

Q: Can I not become a C.I.?
A: No, that’s the essence of the whole story :frowning:

Q: Can I send you asks about AOS and the characters?
A: Absolutely! :smiley:

Q: Is this the only thing you do for a living?
A: I wish lol I have a full time Monday-Friday day job to make ends meet, and I also write for a visual novel, Andromeda Six. My dream and goal on the long term is to make a living fully out of writing, and I hope this is a good, solid step towards that goal!

Update log

(18/Dec/2020) Demo version 1.0 is live! (minor patch update to fix typos as of 20/Dec!)

Prologue + Chapter One, 40k words."

  1. Get arrested! Yes, already.
  2. Choose your criminal specialization (out of four)
  3. Old friends! Or… not?
  4. New friends! Or not.
  5. How does the crime life suit you?
  6. Con someone! Or try. And fail.
  7. Meet 5 out of 7 ROs, and hear about the other 2
410 Likes

I’m so excited that this is finally out! Can’t wait to play it :sob::sparkling_heart:

4 Likes

I’m only on the first couple pages, but I love the concept already! White collar crime is one of those things I find myself oddly fascinated by, and I’m always down for a good romance game. :heart_decoration:

7 ROs are a lot, but I have faith in your capability to flesh them out well!
Quick question: How old is our MC in this?


Edit: I noticed a few typos!

Typo/Continuity Report

If they think trapping me in this aquarium will break me, they’ve got another think coming.

It should be thing instead of “think!”

You also have “thinks” instead of things in this sentence, during the Sammy flashback:

Still, it’s good to keep thinks fresh sometimes.


Next, in the Alex flashback, when talking about hotel rooms, you have “suit” instead of suite!


Also in the Sammy flashback, “Byzantine” is accidentally spelled with an “s!”


On the page right after you choose to make Nick your ex,

by some twist of fate we ended up dated for a couple of months

It should either be “we ended up dating” or just “we dated”.


When M asks you how you know the painting wasn’t real, I didn’t mention knowing who has the real thing, but M goes ahead and assumes I do, saying, “Either way, do let whoever has it know I’d be interested in purchasing it.”

The line kinda works, but I feel like there should be an additional line that makes it more clear that M can tell you know more about the real thing than you’re letting on.

8 Likes

I like the premise and I really liked what has been completed so far. The characters are interesting and I love that we can flirt with the agent who captured the MC. The flipping between past and present was a little confusing at first and killed the immersion a little bit but I didn’t mind that much.

It’s really well written! I love the style that it was written in and I found very few errors. The one I did find was just a misgendered word

third paragraph Alexa turned into a dude but that’s all I found.

2 Likes

Oh well this is just a delight. I can’t wait to go full force Lupin the Third in this. Good luck!~

6 Likes

I am loving it so far, i am also a fan of Andromeda Six, so i know this will be great!

7 Likes

Holy shit. I’m not usually super into playing a character on the wrong side of the law, but this is excellent. I am at a total loss for which RO I would like to pursue because every one that I’ve met so far has been awesome. :heart_eyes:

7 Likes

Okay, so I love Andromeda Six, and I knew I was gonna love this. I did find some typos, but overall it was really amazing!

Typos.
  • My honesty catches him off guard enough that his face softens, eyes widening as he looks at me. He has has to clear his throat to reply, and I can’t help but chuckle at how low his expectations were. "Thank you, Griffin.” Double has
  • “Alright,” Sammy sighs, apparently satisfied with the amount I handed over. “Here you go, enjoy this pristine vase— no, pot. or is it a—” capitalise the O
  • Until this morning my mind had been nothing but busy, considering what time to break in, which goods I could take that would be impossible for the owners to report without repercussions , and even how to deal with Sammy — because like it or not, I need to stay on his good side. It’s hard to find a good middle man these days. the space
  • Is the page break before the pastry choice intentional? I’m assuming so, I just wanted to let you know.
  • We met through Alex in a job a few years ago, and by some twist of fate we ended up dated for a couple of months, until Nicholas got bored and decided to breakup. dating
  • “But why now? And what does being a confidential informant even means?” I ask. I have several questions, and I’m not even sure I want to know the answer to all of them. mean
5 Likes

I don’t usually play crime based games, but this was a pleasant surprise! The RO’s are very well done, the plot is intriguing, I can’t wait to see where it goes!

(Team Rachel!)

4 Likes

wait, Who’s the love triangle ro? I’m guessing N and P??

2 Likes

YES!

2 Likes

Is the love triangle MC centered or…? :thinking:

For angst, I’d want it not center around the MC, but also I guess I’m too weak to see my MC has to steal some hearts from someone else. :rofl:

3 Likes

Sounds a lot like white collar very good program

1 Like

AAA this game is so good, seriously considering hibernating for the whole of 2021 until the game is finished.

ALSO YES, XIAO IS BEST BABY, im saving up primos for him now(despite the update for him being on February but better save up early!!)

Also Joshua, yess, love me some stoic honey bunnies!! Speaking of honey bunnies, the bad nickname coverup is chef’s kiss

EEEE i love all of them!!! Really interested to see who the love triangle will be with ;)))))

2 Likes

I really enjoyed this, I love your writing style. I am definitely going to keep tabs on this thread. Also quick question, did the show Leverage give you some inspiration on doing this story?

3 Likes

I LOVE LOVE the ROs diversity and personalities, I LOVE the story branching (Which makes me think if we can romance a character from the opposite side, for example, romancing Josh while being 100% criminal ) I feel like the diversity in Ros and story branching will lead to many replays, I LOVE that we get to shape our MC personality and react according to it, Moreover, I’m curious to why ~the higher ups~ left MC in prison for a whole 8 months to require our services, Last but not least your writing style is soo my cup of tea, signs ME UP​:heart::heart::ok_hand:

6 Likes

Ok. First of all, I adored this game. I have not gotten so quickly invested in a story in a while. So, bravo to you! I usually stick to one ro but this time I literally cant choose so I will just do them all. Could you maybe say which is the love triangle because I am a masochist and i need to start planning fast. ( if it is not too spoilery of course)

5 Likes

Wow love the demo!! I look forward seeing how this story progresses :+1::grin:

1 Like

Loved the demo and the ROs already!
Looking forward to more :smiley:

I usually don’t like to play games where MC is a criminal but this one is really good and really really well written.
Didn’t notice any typos or pronoun errors so far and everything read… fluently? (Is that the word for it lol) … you know what I mean, right? Lmao

Wish you lots of fun writing, I definitely had lots of fun reading/playing already!

1 Like

Thank you so much! The flashbacks end next chapter (next demo update will wrap this up), then the story will be fully written in the present. It was the best way I could find to tell the past while also presenting the actual premise of the game, so I’m glad it wasn’t a bad experience!

Oh boy, I must have changed that to test and forgot to fix it sjkfhks thanks for pointing it out! I’m already putting together a hot fix for the demo and fixed that! :grin:

10 Likes