Hi, everyone. I originally discovered the COG website through TV Tropes, and I feel this would be a great opportunity for me to try my hand at developing my passion for creative writing. I’ve begun work on my new game, tentatively titled Apocrypha: The Emanation War
Right now, it’s, let’s just say, gestating in the womb. My primary aim is to develop an interactive novel that’s as engaging as various visual novels I’ve come across over the years that have a lot of high-stakes action and very engaging backstory and lore. The two VNs that prominently come to my mind are Dies Irae and Fate/stay night.
To that end, I’ve developed a basic outline on how the world of my IF novel would look like, as well as the core plot and characters. I’d like your feedback on the quality and originality of the characters, as well as the possibility of implementing some ideas I’m considering in ChoiceScript (which I’m still trying to get the hang of)
In contrast to the modern-meets fantasy style of Fate/stay night, I’d like to go the route of introducing a cyberpunk angle to my setting.
Basically, in the highly futuristic Metropolis (which I’m planning to develop into a US city as my research progresses) the digital age has slowly but steadily resulted in a highly networked society. Improvements in the education system and the rise of the self-employed industry have allowed everyone to become a programmer and hacker in their own right, literally using a common pool of tech resources to craft their own worlds. People have taken responsibility for the software they use for computing, setting up their internet connections, even growing their own food supply.
However, this independence is only made possible due to an increasing interdependence on the Universal Code, a very crisp and versatile programming language that allows people to craft their own AIs that manage critical functions such as setting up supply lines for electricity, managing the wi-fi and telecom signals in order to become self-sufficient carriers and the like. This increased accessibility has also come with the danger of increased vulnerability, as a true master of the Universal Code could rewrite the very fabric of reality if they so wished.
Hacking has become weaponized to the point of serving as the new incarnation of magic. Exceptionally skilled hackers can literally turn their smartphones into swords, fashion a taser into a lethal weapon, and manipulate the environment to create traps or safe havens that would be indistinguishable from a magus casting a blessing or a curse.
In this world, where magic and technology have intersected and become one and the same, the story of Victoria Wyatt begins. A red-headed, beautiful woman who starts out as a curator for the Metropolis Museum, her life gets turned upside down when she receives a mysterious gift in the form of an AI named David. David is a pre-programmed killing machine that can fashion any computer device with a wireless capability into a lethal blade. Horrified by this gift being forced on her against her will, she initial tries to conceal it and forget its very existence.
However, unbeknownst to her, a conspiracy is brewing to overturn the current state of things now and forever. A mysterious alliance known as the Majestic 12 have risen up to begin the Emanation Project, a plot to rewrite all of reality by hijacking the Universal Code, which is preserved and maintained in the very museum Victoria works in. Left with no choice but to leverage David for her ends, Victoria is forced to step into the very thick of the Emanation War, in order to protect the reality she so dearly loves.
I want the choices to focus on both the romance and the tactical angle. Based on Victoria’s moral alignment, she will ally with and romance a different key character, which will have a deciding influence on how she brings about the end of the War. My current ideas are.
Drake Parker: A childhood friend who’s rather fiercely protective of Victoria. She sometimes finds his demeanor off-putting, but she knows he always means well, so she tries her best not to alienate him. He gets dragged into the conflict as a result of his desire to help and protect Victoria being manipulated. His alignment is Neutral Good.
Kyle Stanfeld: A recent recruit into the Majestic 12, he utilizes their influence to gain more power and influence while attempting to fulfill his ultimate goal: save what remains of his family. Kyle strongly suspects his family was destroyed and enslaved as a result of the Majestic 12’s machinations, and once he has saved them, he won’t hesitate to strike back at the ones who took everything from him. Because of this, he alternately aids and opposes Victoria in her own quest. His alignment is Chaotic Neutral.
Christopher Lohengrin: An unassuming high-school student, he’s under the care of the local Metropolis Church, one of the last religious institutions in the city. He’s also a prodigy, demonstrating an unmatched ability to utilize the Universal Code from an early age. However, this is by design, since Christopher has been deliberately engineered by the Majestic 12, or possibly before even their formation, to become the Herald of Emanation. When the time to rewrite the world emerges, the Herald will interface with the Universal Code and carry out the will of his protectors, at the cost of his own life. Despising his caretakers, but not particularly concerned for the world at large, all Christopher desires is a world where he can live in peace without being manipulated by those around him. His alignment is True Neutral.
Other supporting characters will include the main villains: the head of the Majestic 12, an enigmatic woman only known by the nickname Mephistopheles, and her Chancellor Morgana, widely believed to be the reincarnation of a legendary medieval sorcerer.
Lastly, like Fate/stay night and Dies irae, my IF would probably work best if the routes were played in a certain order, so I’d love to learn about how choices can be locked behind multiple playthroughs based on the endings you get.
If you’ve taken the time to read this, thank you, and I eagerly await your feedback.