Choices: And Their Souls Were Eaten (fantasy steampunk)


#1

This story is my full-time job!

The beginning is free, and the rest costs a few dollars (or a LOT of ads if you choose that option on Android).

It’s a subscription story that releases a new section each week. There are between 2 and 7 strands happening at any one time, with both delayed and instant branching.

Some of you are already subscribed to the award-winning “Choices: And the Sun Went Out” (I’m a co-writer there). In that case, you’re already subscribed to “Choices: And Their Souls Were Eaten”. (Congratulations!)

The original story, the near-future scifi game “Choices: And The Sun Went Out” will end in December this year. The second story, “Choices: And Their Souls Were Eaten” will be “medium-length”. Ultimately it’ll work out to be around half a million words.

On Apple, a subscription to either story gets you a subscription to both.

You can choose to have certain character/s speak to you through your apple watch, if you have one. (That, the music, and the sound effects can all be switched on or off - I like the music off but the sound effects on.)

On Android, you can buy (or earn by watching a LOT of ads) Story Passes, which can be spent on either story.

“Choices: And Their Souls Were Eaten” is my project from the start; a steampunk adventure set in 1830s Europe when Queen Victoria was a teen princess and strange monsters roamed Europe. It uses the same magical steampunk universe as my novel “Heart of Brass” and the ChoiceScript game “Attack of the Clockwork Army” but there aren’t any spoilers.

One of the features of the subscription system is that the writers (I have paid editors who happen to be excellent writers as well, and I encourage them to add cool bits) can adjust the story based on suggestions from readers. I’ve been known to add pirates, name characters after fans, and so on—all based on what people seem to like.

Place your random requests here, if you like!


And their Souls were eaten - Wrong path?
Novel prequel to "Attack of the Clockwork Army"
#2

Anyone else on the forums subscribed to these? If you post here or message me, we could get a thread going to share what we’ve figured out. I just started playing, and it seems like any chapter has more than one person can uncover.

By the way, it’s really inexpensive. I picked up a subscription for $3 (US) for 6 months.


#3

I played Attack of the Clockwork Army and it looks impressive. Maybe I’ll try ‘And Their Souls Were Eaten’ too.


#4

At the end of each arc (four weeks) of either “Choices: And The Sun Went Out” or “Choices: And Their Souls Were Eaten”, there is a dial that shows readers how many other readers are in the same strand.

Arc 1 of “Souls” (the steampunk one) had seven strands, most of which were followed by only 3-7% of players. Then one strand netted 74%!

I won’t spoil things by saying which strand it was, but I’m fascinated and will be keeping that in mind as I keep writing.


#5

Hi all,

A couple of weeks back, I was looking for an engaging ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ type game for my phone. I’d tried a couple, but for whatever reason struggled to become fully engaged. Then I found ‘Choices’, and decided to give it a whirl. Cue me checking the app every 30 seconds to see if I could get more adverts out of it. (Sorry about the stinginess, that will change in due course, as the game/stories are of a quality such that I would happily pay to binge the stories - when money allows…).

‘And The Sun Went Out’ was really something special, in my eyes. I was fully invested by the end of the first arc. Because it was a game that left me feeling like my actions mattered, like I was shaping the story…

‘And Their Souls Were Eaten’ has left me on tenterhooks. It’s such an interesting world to immerse myself in. My only gripe is being slowly dripfed (although that’s surely a price worth paying for such a magnificent story…).

Basically, I love the story and how the choices actually matter. And the spacing of the choices. Some other apps take ages to get to the choice, others ask you all the time.

The game is amazing, keep up the good work!


#6

Aww, thank you!

Now that “And The Sun Went Out” is finished (!!! That was 15 arcs, each of which had four weeks - it’s longer than “War and Peace”) I’m trying trying trying to speed things up on “And Their Souls Were Eaten” but lately I’m scrambling to meet weekly updates.

The up side is that my poor, defenceless readers are utterly tormented! Yay!

Oh, and they hope to start two more brand new stories this year.


#7

Response! (Sorry, just incredibly excited)

Personally, I really don’t mind if you need a bit longer. I’d rather not sacrifice quality to get quantity. It was good enough to stop me seeing the words. Instead, I saw worlds. Heard voices. Met incredible people.

Wow - seven strands after the first month? You’re essentially on a strand a day at that point, and obviously going to accrue more…

What was the largest number of threads on the go in ‘And The Sun Went Out’? I’m really interested to see the general stats on that (sorry, I like numbers and this intrigues me).

Ooooh, more stories? Are there any spoiler-free details on those? The equivalent of a blurb?

The other thing to do when I accrue money is get more on this world of souls.

Regards,
Recently converted fanboy.


#8

Each week’s update gets about 6-7 drafts from a total of three people. I dream of going back to the beginning and doing another “light” edit to catch any typos or information that has evolved as we wrote onwards.

No spoilers for the new stories. The small info I have is all indefinite.

For “sun went out” we had three locations going at one point (Japan, Indonesia, and Australia) each of which had roughly two strands. But things get crazy sometimes. Other times, the flow chart looks much simpler than the story (because the program can filter things, so a single section can be two completely separate sections in one).

This is what Arc 1 week 1 looks like - the complicated bit is the fight scene; the aggressor (you know who) always pursues and tries to kill the PC, no matter where they are.

This section has a significant complex choice or two (either at the Soul School, choosing the animal form, or both).

FINALLY I have an excuse to put some of these map images somewhere. You can see that there are several main strands that sometimes branch and bottleneck further.

PS Don’t feel bad about buying ads - we get paid either way.


#9

Wow. That’s crazy. So much to write… and all of that at that level of quality…

How far in advance do you plan all the possible paths?

P.S. Don’t tell me what to feel! I felt bad about not being able to majorly binge on ‘Sun’ in one sitting. I’m glad the ads pay their way, though. Because I was feeling that it mightn’t. Yeah, I felt bad…


#10

LOL

I planned the whole story in a fair bit of detail about a year ago, including all the strands and some details (especially about the endings).

I’d written four months of the story before release started (the idea was that I’d stay at least a month ahead of release…oops).


#11

Well, buffering is always good. It’s what bugs me about things like itvPlayer and iPlayer (Brit here…). They don’t have it, so the most minor fluctuations in internet speed… Yeah, they stop playing.

Gives you a bit of space to breathe. Although, if you’re anything like me, you just horse around for a few weeks and drop slightly behind schedule…

‘Clockwork Army’ is being downloaded to fill in the time between ‘Souls’ updates, so see you in a week when that’s all done. (I’ll probably be back on here before then. You’re nice to talk to.).


#12

I haven’t tried these games yet but I have seen them in the Android store. Do you get to choose gender? And any romances? Sorry if I’m bothering. Just curious :slight_smile:


#13

In each story, the PC’s name and gender are NEVER specified, so it’s up to you to imagine what you like. Each story also has one male and one female potential romantic interest, and the option to opt out of romance.

In the second story “And Their Souls Were Eaten” the PC is British/French which implies caucasian to most readers but actually Victorian-era Europe was much more multicultural than we realise (after all, the British Empire was HUGE so they had millions of non-white subjects, many of whom moved freely throughout the empire).

A lot of the characters in “Souls” are real historical people, including Lady King-Noel, Alexandre Dumas, Adah Menken, Madame Cama, Miss Bird, Miss Tubman, Selika Lavevski, Charles Dickens, Princess Victoria, Captain Ching Shih, and others. In order to grab as many fun people as possible, I fudged ages and locations a fair bit. Although it’s amazing how many famous Europeans were connected, too.


#14

Interesting~ thanks for clarifying! I’ll try it out soon :smile:


#15

omg I’m so glad I tried this game. The characters, the story, the pacing. Everything was perfectly done and I grew so attached to Moti and Sharon. I actually felt that Moti had a kind soul and was the best friend I could have. Thank you for writing such an amazing story. I will try the second game soon!


#16

So I bought the game, “And Their Souls Were Eaten” and it completely fantastic. I love how dark it can be in some places and how sweet it can be in some places. I also liked how going in a different direction doesn’t somehow railroad me back into the main story line, but takes me to a while different location and story line.

The relationship between the main character and a certain creature is literally the definition of frenemies.

I’m glad you posted this here, or I would never have found the game.


#17

Wonderful! Thank you. (I can’t log into the forums at the moment or I’d press “like” of course.)

I’m glad to spread the word. I’m so proud of being a part of Tin Man Games.


#18

Haven’t played And Their Souls Were Eaten in a long time! Its so good! I like it way better than And The Sun Went Out. Love how I can shape my character, love the White Bear(forgot her name), I also enjoy the vampireesque creatures; I remember it got my heart pumping when I met my first one. Don’t know if my character can die in that game but I did my utmost to keep him(her?) alive.


#19

Hi!

That’s so cool that you think the stories are improving! KG Tan, Alyce Potter and I co-wrote “Choices: And The Sun Went Out” and although the end was decided before the story began, a lot of the details changed along the way.

I wrote a detailed outline for “Choices: And Their Souls Were Eaten” before I started writing, and Tin Man Games also hired an extra editor just for that story. So the first story had about 4 drafts, “Souls” gets 6-7 drafts, plus the expert eye of both KG Tan and the glorious new editor, Phill Berrie (remember that name, because I’m sure you’ll continue to see it around the place). KG and Phill are both gifted writers, and they both help with writing stuff as well as editing.

Your protagonist can’t die… but everyone else can. In fact, there’s an infamous section where you in two of the three main strands, you are 95% guaranteed to have an important person die.

Your PC CAN get permanently scarred and/or permanently phobic of certain things.


#20

Thats actually pretty cool and pretty dark lol. Your character can’t die but he/she can have permenant physical and mental scars that’ll haunt them for their entire life! Wish more games did that kinda thing instead of insta-death. I’m actually going to start playing And Their Souls Were Eaten tonight now that its on my mind! Thanks!