Choice of the Vampire - community input

I hope that you are kidding me… I laughed my butt off!!

Really liked some of the tweaks to the combined beta. I’m very interested in the old family friend side story. It definitely humanizes your player character a bit as they slowly get dragged down into an undead life.

I think the family friend sidestory could open up a new possibility. What if this friend realizes of your true nature? Or your brief encounter with them opens a window for a vampire hunter to track you down and spot you? We have not yet been introduced to that idea. Becoming the hunted would be very cool, and you would do it well.

Of course, take my opinions with a grain of salt. COTV is my favorite Choice of Games product. I can’t express enough how much I enjoy it. Looking forward to V3!

1 Like

I haven’t decided what I’m going to do–if anything–with the old friend. Maybe bring them back later? We’ll see. For the moment it’s just a nice little vignette.

Play it again! Look for continuity errors! Send screenshots!

For everyone else: I’ve pushed a new draft. (If you look at the About page, it should be v17282.) Thanks to @HerrEulenspiegel, @Tau_Kat, @poison_mara, and @FutbolDude21586 for the actionable feedback!

7 Likes

New draft pushed.

New scene better introducing Wilson at the beginning of Vicksburg.

EDIT:

I’ve now increased the threshold for the auto-buy of bonds by a factor of 10. Thus, if you have less than $100,000, you won’t automatically start the bond-plot.

8 Likes

One thing irks me Is my native illiterate, child of West doesn’t want that bonds and money is something she just collects she dresses whatever . Why she can’t directly say NO I won’t want bonds. And launch money to him saying We don’t care mortal possessions.
It is my character don’t care about money or politics so she won’t be interested or even care about then in the first place. She is even capable to give them to one of the poor people who KKK attacked or people from her tribe.

1 Like

New draft pushed! Thanks for all the feedback!

7 Likes

Hey Jason!

Hope you’ve had a pleasant week! I come bearing more screenshots:

Bugs/Continuity Errors:

1. Shepard and Wolf reputation

Okay, I only have this one screenshot of this occurring but I believe the bug happens throughout the first half of Vampire 1 but I am not entirely sure of where specifically. What’s happening is that choices that should be increasing your Shepard reputation is instead raising your Wolf and vice versa. It’s difficult to track because there is no actual number to watch but I’m certain this happening in the screenshot below:

choctawexample
Unfortunately I couldn’t pinpoint the other times I’m just aware that they happen. Not much help I know but just keep an eye out for it when looking at your code

2. Jesse poem mad at non-english speaker

During the governors visit and even before, it’s made clear that Jesse can’t speak to my German character. During this scene, however, my character is able to understand Samantha’s English poem and Jesse is able to confront me with accusations of betrayal despite not sharing a common tongue. You also can’t really be accused of betrayal if you were ignorant of the plot in the first place:

3. Perception after stat increase text missing

When increasing the Perception, right before Vicksburg, there is some after text missing that explains the ability you gained with the stat increase. I’m not sure of the exact wording but it’s something like “you have increased your ability see and hear” or “you can now tell when someone is lying to you”. Sadly no screenshot of this as it just takes you directly into the intro of Vicksburg.

4. Shapeshifting stat and killing Calkins

Great new addition by the way! Unfortunately it doesn’t seem consistent, after a few play throughs I found that characters with a high Hubris and 3 Shapeshifting stat are the only ones that don’t get the claw kill scene:

5. Lore stat 3 Consul and praetors already explained.

After getting a stat increase in lore, there was text explaining what a Consul and praetor is. However when Withers is telling you about the revolution it doesn’t register and she has to explain their roles to me, this also happens with Apollo but I never got the screenshot:

6. Wilson fleeing and lying to Withers

When first turning Wilson, things somehow go wrong and I catch the plague I believe. After a few scenes dealing with that, Wilson flees and I lie to Withers claiming I didn’t succeed in turning him. All of that works fine until the decision to remain in Vicksburg or go. When choosing to remain in Vicksburg it takes me to a scene where you just discover Wilson is gone and it is as if you never lied to Withers at all and she is aware that you succeeded in turning wilson:



7. Seeking out Memphis Quaestor

When first arriving to Memphis without an introduction from Withers, you have the choice to either look for the quaestor or not. Despite choosing to seek out the quaestor and finding Dido, I got this odd dialogue where my character claims he wasn’t looking for him because he felt that he should appear before my Character instead, if he was any good a Quaestor:

8. Avoided all Vampires/Tasked to find Hugh (but was already looking for Wilson)

This character after declining to meet Carothers the first time at his Crapaud den managed to avoid talking to any vampire who had arrived at the city as well. It should be noted that I agreed to search for Wilson as a favor to Withers via letter as well. I believe this led to this scene where I receive a letter from the Quaestor tasking me to find Hugh Gallager:

This also leads up to a continuity error in the scene after dealing with Casey. Normally I would be given the choice of whether to tell Carothers about my findings or not but instead the choice never shows and I go meet him. He talks to me as if I know about the election even though the most I know of it is from the previous letter but it should be noted it correctly registers I am looking for Wilson not Gallager in this scene. However the follow up then goes to a scene where it is as if I never went to see Carothers at all nor do I know anything about the election:

anti-social

9. High lore and gone to ground before

This character had a lore stat of 3 and had previously gone to ground during the siege of Vicksburg. However in this follow up scene as well the scene when talking to Carothers about what Wilson could mean by saying he was going to ground, it doesn’t register the stat or my previous experience:

10. Pickering at the reception about my Dominus.

This character went to the reception and spoke to Pickering where he mentioned my Dominus had become a praetor which is definitely a mistake since Jesse had told me he’d been removed from his position as Quaestor of New Orleans by a dutch vampire. My dominus was the pirate:

11. Going to Mrs. Thompson trial

Unfortunately I can’t find the screenshot I had of this but this happens when you first encounter Clotho in Memphis. Previously when deciding the reason as to why I was going to the trial, I chose the option to go not with the intention of meeting Clotho for romantic reasons but to gain more intelligence about the Barnum and Thompson affair by using her. However during the trial I am instead completely absorbed in trying to find out who Clotho is and when I do I forget my purpose for being there and do not notice the other speeches being made by Hester Carothers and Minor Merriwhether.

12. Bug

I’m unsure what happened here it just hit bug without any explanation, I played it again and never encountered the bug after many play throughs:

13. Carothers owes me a debt

The screenshot I took of this isn’t helpful because although it happens in the scene where you ask Carothers to repay his debt to you, right after he tries to evict you out of his city, I believe the issue occurs before that.

After many play throughs I found that Carothers does not acknowledge his debt to you if:

-You volunteer to acquire refreshments the during first meeting, right before the reception at his Crapaud den WITHOUT asking for a debt in return. Then in the second meeting, if you choose any of these choices you don’t get the debt owed to you:

  1. I will offer to acquire the refreshments in exchange for a debt.
  2. I will proactively make excuses as to why I will be unable to provide the refreshments again; hopefully, he will offer a debt to persuade me to do this himself.

-You DON’T volunteer to acquire refreshments during the first meeting but in the second meeting you choose:

  1. I will offer to acquire the refreshments in exchange for a debt.

These are the only times I have encountered such a scenario but I can’t say for sure if these are the only times it happens.

Suggestions/Feedback

1 .Opportunity to learn about the effects of stakes

Early in the game you get a chance to attempt to feed on the hero of the battle of New Orleans. This of course ends poorly for you as you get your first real encounter of a stake poised over your heart:

You later get an opportunity to tell your Sire, Jesse or Estefania about the incident during the course of improving your relationship with them and each give their own answers an opinions. I believe this is a good opportunity to allow for a follow up question on what would have happened had he stabbed you with that stake. Of course I’m sure each might have a different degree of knowledge on stakes but I believe at least one of them can provide information that can later be useful when dealing with events in Memphis for example here:

2. New Orleans Enterprise

You already know how I feel about random stat boosts and although this is much different from that it follows the same kind of reasoning where I advocated for complete control on what stats our characters gain or don’t. In this particular scenario my Vampire is native american with 2 lore and is quite rich and I reached the point where I could exchange that wealth for a stat boost:

My first gripe with this is that there is no option to simple not choose any of these. I think some would rather have no stat boost at all than be forced to pick one that doesn’t suit the Vampire created. For example my literate Choctaw Vampire is quite traditional and archaic and has no interest in tech and is incredibly compassionate so committing a crime is out of the question if he can help it. That leaves the option to build a library or patron the arts and the one I wanted is not available I think due to a stat limit of 2. So in the end what started as 4 choices ends up being one for players like me who are sticklers for immersion and that sort of thing.

I would suggest at least increasing the stat limit cap of lore so it is the same as the others because I know my Irish thug vampire managed to increase his streetwise to 3 in another play through, same with creation but haven’t tried it with tech yet.

3.Opportunity to warn Withers

In this scene below I have vampire with 3 perception who is able to detect Calkins lies to Withers during his introduction:

I think you should add a dialogue option about your suspicions of the story he told you. Of course Withers can just dismiss it but I believe it can be a fun and rewarding piece of dialogue specific to highly perceptive Vampires.

4. Opportunity for smart/perceptive/politically savvy(High status) vampires

Right after confronting Partridge over his betrayal and Elinor Harding comes to his defense I think there’s an opportunity here for a Vampire with high enough stats in intelligence, perception or status (maybe even streetwise considering their experience with blackmail) to be able to immediately put together that Elinor is behind Partridges odd behavior. It has always grated me that the responses following this scene when talking to Bailey, Dido etc that I seem bewildered and have no idea what it is that I have uncovered.

5. Minor issue, Gallagher decapitation

Since you included the scene in which you can decapitate Andrew Calkins and you get to see the result of his head turning to ash with just his skull left in place, I believe the experience should dissuade vampires from the same action later when attempting to collect Gallaghers head to return to New York at the end of Memphis.

And that’s all I have for today. I plan on focusing on the chasing Wilson story line after your fixes because I feel as though compared to the election story line it is a bit lacking in the same enjoyment you get from talking to the other vampires at the election or your manipulations as well as a nice story achievement you get by uncovering Hardings plans.

See you again next week maybe!

-Tau

8 Likes

Epic levels of gratitude. This is a great example of beta feedback.

I’m working on edits as we speak. I’ll note below comments as I work my way through your post.

1. Shepard and Wolf reputation

I’ve gone and basically recoded through all four cities. There’s a legacy problem here, unfortunately, but new games should be clear and legible.

2. Jesse poem mad at non-english speaker

This is a bug from the initial release of the game. The default version of the poem is Jesse, not Love, meaning Sam outplays Jesse on her own if you can’t communicate with her. That’s…not what it’s supposed to be. Basically, Sam will always be embarrassed if you can’t warn her.

4. Shapeshifting stat and killing Calkins

This is working as intended. If you have a high hubris, you are unable to resist the urge to consume Calkins—especially if you previously consumed Cecil. That said, I’ve added a Willpower check on it as well.

6. Wilson fleeing and lying to Withers

Holy mackerel, another ancient continuity error. This is going to take some writing to fix.

7. Seeking out Memphis Quaestor

This is working almost as intended. A few lines fix it right up.

8. Avoided all Vampires/Tasked to find Hugh (but was already looking for Wilson)

This one is tough. I think I’ve at least fixed the first part, but I don’t know how that effects the fallout. If I were going to ask you to replay one route to re-test, this would be it.

10. Pickering at the reception about my Dominus.

This was an easy fix.

2. New Orleans Enterprise

I have to say, your response here is unanticipated.

Is there another type of endeavor that your Choctaw vampire would have been interested in? Or were they simply disinterested in mortal society altogether? Like, if you’re incredibly compassionate, maybe you would fund a hospital?

Okay, new option to help Charity Hospital added.

3.Opportunity to warn Withers

Wow, this is rough. I have to go through and add a variable and account for it throughout the rest of Vicksburg.

5. Minor issue, Gallagher decapitation

Phew. That was a surprising amount of work.

Belatedly:

4. Opportunity for smart/perceptive/politically savvy(High status) vampires

Ok. Done.

6 Likes

Separately, I was wondering if you hit any of the new Vicksburg scenes, such as the Lt Colonel’s training scene, or the Herbert scene, or Wilson’s brother? Or the Spencer sisters?

I got the all those scenes but the sisters scene. There were two choices to chase them out the city or murder them that I saw but haven’t played yet.

I’m not sure I understand this.

You only get the debt if you ask for it. Are you saying you get the debt even if you don’t ask for it in some instances?

And when you say “second meeting,” do you mean the second time at his craps den, in 1877?

Thankfully, this was just an outright bug that is now fixed.

Ok! A new draft of the beta has been pushed, with the fixes based on Tau’s feedback–except for that one outstanding question.

Anybody who wants to join in, please drop me a PM!

4 Likes

sorry it’s worded wrong:

The issue is only when you ask for the debt during the second meeting at the Crapaud den 1877. There are no issues when you ask during the first meeting. I just wanted to be clear that I hadn’t asked for a debt before attempting to get the debt later at that meeting.

Ah, good. Then yes, I fixed that.

Thank you again!

1 Like

Hey Jason!

Just played a quick play through and I’m already loving it! I’ll be playing it again and again over the week and should have some feedback same time as usual! Just had to give you the well deserved props on all the hard work you’ve done!

Hope you’re taking a break and enjoying your weekend! See you next week!

-Tau

2 Likes

I was wondering if you considered allowing characters to learn Spanish when travelling in Mexico with West? Perhaps there should be a stat threshold (intelligence/streetwise etc) but it would add some flavour. Also, on the language route, it might also make sense to allow a character like the Yankee pioneer to learn French in New Orleans since one could image a character with business acumen learning the lingo of the locals. Finally, what about adding Ancient Greek as something a character could learn? It would make sense to allow the southern lawyer to know it as part of his education or even the Priest, if they’re of a certain intelligence, since Greek is part of the Roman Catholic Liturgy. Again, this could just be for flavour as Greek only comes up in the context of Silas’ extract from Homer.

As ever, keep up the fine work!

1 Like

So, in my head, speaking a language is equivalent to a stat point.

Not in all cases, now. For example, Choctaw and Latin don’t count as points. But the other languages do.

Now, that may seem dicey w/r/t Spanish, because there isn’t any opportunities to use Spanish in the current games. But if I can see this through several more games, Spanish will come in more use in the 20th century.

So, should the PC be able to learn Spanish while in Mexico? I suppose? The question is, if Spanish is worth a point, then something else would have to be given up. Since the first thing you get for going with West to Mexico is a point in Shapeshifting, I suspect that everyone would freak the fuck out if I gave them Spanish instead of SS.

When returning from Mexico, this is an almost-random stat-bump if you go to New Orleans instead of St. Charles. (If you go to St Charles, you get +1 SS midway through the chapter.) Now, I could make that almost-random into more of a choice. (I say “almost random” because most people will get +1 Fighting from the moment.) The point is, the PC should come away from Mexico with Fighting > 0.

I suppose I could make it a choice of stat bumps if Fighting is already > 0? Ok, done.

As for Ancient Greek, I say no for two reasons. The first is that, again with the points, I don’t think I’ll be using Greek enough to justify it as a stat point. Secondly, knowing Greek would take away the emotional poignancy of the translator’s mis-comprehension if the PC is gay.

3 Likes

I take your point, as it were, about points distribution and so I can understand the Spanish and French points. Would it be possible then to add either French or Spanish as one of the random stat bumps in New Orleans as it already is with literacy and English? But, as you say, Choctaw and Latin don’t count as points, so why not add Greek too as a none points language? Then it would be there purely for flavour purposes without having to include it at the loss of something else. As for the matter of emotional poignancy the character can already take on different forms, each with their emotional challenges. The stigma of being West’s progeny or being black or an Indian already means there’s plenty of variation. A homosexual character without Greek can still have that translator’s scene and I don’t think the fact that a vampiress character having a different variation of that scene undermines that. Since that’s the case why not have the option for some characters having Greek in the way an Indian character has Choctaw or a Priest Latin?

1 Like

PS: Aren’t there already random stat bonuses in a given area that aren’t available to all characters? In Memphis a character that seeks out Wilson can get a point in being Streetwise which is a stat bump characters can’t get if they seek him out. Also hosting two receptions on 3 points of creation boosts one’s Status in the Society by 1 point. Even in the first part Rios can teach one Spanish and a none English speaker can learn French in the Parish or from Hébert. So I’m not sure why it would be bad to allow the progeny of West to also learn Spanish. The character is already at a disadvantage anyway in not being able to get the skill point in lore from dealing with the rogue Vampire in New Orleans for the Quaestor and also having no Status in the Society while other characters start with one Status point.

I’ve posted a new draft!

This new draft also includes the first few vignettes of St. Louis. I figure there’s going to be lots of bugs to be squashed, so better to get on them now.

7 Likes