College Tennis: Origin Story (WIP) - Updated 21 Dec '23 [468k words]

Sports x Romance x College/Drama/Found Family

Latest update #8: Ko-fi early-release: 6 Dec 2023, Public release: 21 Dec 2023

Will the once-great Cargill Coyotes succeed in reclaiming the NCAA Div I championship title for the first time since the 90s? Will you succeed in making a name for yourself, both on and off the tennis court? And perhaps more importantly…how much are you willing to sacrifice in pursuit of these dreams?

Summary: Start at the bottom as a newly-recruited freshman at Cargill university, and claw your way to the NCAA Tennis Div I championships. Forge lifelong friendships, pursue budding romances, attend classes, and rush term papers -or party- till the sun comes up.

  • Play as female, male, or non-binary — with options to be straight, queer, or asexual.
  • Experience the ups and downs of college life alongside an ensemble of colorful side characters.
  • Play nail-biting singles and doubles matches (both home and away) throughout the fall and spring seasons - that is, if you make the cut.
  • Romance the gruff, hot-headed no. 1 seed, an enigmatic, broody international student on your floor, the warm, unflappable team captain, or your nerdy and spirited high-school best friend.
  • Build (or neglect) your relationships with your teammates, hallmates, coaches, family and friends back home.

In short: If you’re going to flunk out of college, you might as well do it virtually. (a) be a jock without the hassle of actually going to the gym, (b) drink/flirt/schmooze/party your way through college or (c) actually study - all from the comfort of your couch.

Detailed character list (w images) [BROKEN]
Will be updating the character portraits—I’ve commissioned an artist, so stay tuned!
Detailed character list (w/o images)
Face claims of characters (images) [USE THIS]
Character face claims
Dedicated blog
Author’s general blog

Latest update: 21 Dec 2023
Wordcount: ~468k words with code (+76K words in the latest update, +15k words in a playthrough)

Other information:

Dev log

Update #1 (16/11/21)
Prologue - Meet Sam, high school best friend
Drive to Cargill with dad
Enter college, meet some new folks

Update #2 (16/12/21)
Meet the team
Physical conditioning tests (strength & 5-mile run)
Training snippets
Team lunch

Update #3 (25/03/22)
Challenge match with Emerson
Party with dorm folk
Rooftop scene

Update #4 (28/08/22)
Meet roommate, D
Ice-breakers and amazing race with hallmates
Club and activities fair
Laser tag

Update #5 (16/10/22)
First week of classes (and a surprise test!)
More training (and a chance to show off your finesse chops)
Challenge match with Jacks or Max

Update #6 (17/04/23 early-release; 22/04/23 and 29/04/23 public)
Weekend hang-outs with Tobin, Rayyan (and get to call Sam/short Sam POV scene)
Meet Felix, Tobin’s ex, while hanging out in a café with G and D
Doubles matches with Tobin and Rayyan
Find out the Cargill singles line-up (and if you’ve been selected)
Find out who your doubles partner will be (+their reaction)

Update #7 (16/09/23 early-release; 28/09/23 public release)
Have dinner with Tobin
Bump into Rayyan in the tennis courts at night, maybe resolve some issues.
Convince the coaches to let you swap doubles partners (or stick with your original one)
Find out if Tobin or Rayyan will be your partner for the season!
Study sesh with G at the Haynes student lounge
Bonus Rayyan, Sam, and Tobin POV scenes

Update #8 (06/12/23 early-release; 21/12/23 public release)
First doubles match of the season against
Sam reunion
Possible fake fight with doubles partner (or a real one)
Shenanigans between the doubles and singles matches with G, Sam, Tobin, or Rayyan
Nickname functionality added to earlier portions of game


Rayyan Afiq | Gender of your team (M/F) | 20

Nationality: Egyptian-American
Student information: Junior, Political science major
Player information: Vice-captain, No. 1 position, Aggressive Baseliner

Description: 5′6 (f) or 5′10 (m). Lean, athletic build. Dark, wavy curls, and thick sweeping eyebrows over piercing dark-olive eyes. Tawny, honey-brown skin.

Detailed description:

  • Surly, intense, proud, focused. a.k.a. Tough on the outside, mushy on the inside.
  • Gives no shits, until they suddenly realise that they do. At which point they’ll probably die for you, grumbling the whole way to the afterlife.
  • Loves organising things, has a plan for everything, and dislikes surprises.
  • Soft spot for cats. Lives in Seattle with a large family, whom they love.
  • Smart, but cannot for the life of them understand literature: “ok but why does the color of the curtain have to mean anything!?”
  • It’s always the time and place to win. Alternative motto: Do or die, there is no try.
  • Seems to have some sort of beef with you(??)

Tobin Harris | Gender of your team (M/F) | 21

Nationality: American
Student information: Senior, Anthropology major
Player information: Captain, No. 2 position, All-court player

Description: 5′9 (f) or 6′1 (m). Tall, solid build. Short black hair, warm, brown eyes and a calm, assured demeanour. Dark bronze skin.

Detailed description:

  • Kind, laid-back, selfless, sociable and utterly unflappable. They go out of their way to make everyone feel welcome.
  • Lights up every room they are in, but has a bad habit of stuffing down their own emotions until it’s far too late. Surprisingly private.
  • Gentle to a fault, but steadfast in the things they believe in. Almost limitless patience, and always assumes the best of people. So loyal that they sometimes fail to see when a good thing’s gone bad.
  • 80-year old in a 21-year old body - yawns uncontrollably and repeats “it’s past my bedtime” from 10pm onwards. Has an endless supply of protein bars in their pocket and has trouble figuring out social media.
  • Textbook example of how friendliness does not equate attraction. Until, you suppose, it does??

Sam O’Connelly | M or F | 18

Nationality: American
Student information: Freshman, Undecided major. Childhood best friend.
Player information: No. 6 position for the UCLA Bruins

Description: 5′4 (f) or 5′8 (m). Trim build, with a small frame. Slightly curly russet hair. Mischievous light blue eyes.

Detailed description:

  • Excitable, with infectious positivity.
  • Self-proclaimed chaotic good. Somehow manages to survive on a diet of cheetos and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.
  • Motto: it’s ok not to be able to find anything - in the process of looking for it, you usually find something even better. Or you realise you never needed the thing in the first place.
  • Adaptable, scattered, and fun-loving. Competent tennis player, but has too many other interests to really buckle down (e.g. avid video gamer, podcast-nut, D&D dungeon master, and aspiring journalist).
  • Has a vague fear of commitment, but secretly wants to find something worth holding on to.
  • Comes to root for you at your games - to ogle other players. Unless… they’re ogling… you?

Guillaume/Genevievé | M or F | 20

Nationality: French Canadian
Student information: Third year exchange student, Cognitive science bachelor’s degree. Hall-mate.

Description: 5′6 (f) or 5′11 (m). Toned, supple build. Dark, tousled hair with fair skin. Smoky grey eyes, with a smattering of freckles.

Detailed description:

  • Quiet, but with a rich (and intensely private) inner world. Very intelligent, and almost wholly unreadable. Never lets on what they’re actually thinking or feeling.
  • You know almost nothing about them despite living on the same floor.
  • Seems only to have a single expression on their face: a tiny half-smile, no matter the situation. You suspect that’s the look they’ll have on their face at your funeral.
  • Can be snarky as heck when they actually decide to speak, though.
  • Motto: Tell me why I should give a damn.
  • The sheer number of times you bump into them will start to get ridiculous. Coincidence? Perhaps. Fate? Possibly. On purpose?? Most certainly not(?)

Character Traits

  • Charisma
  • Intelligence
  • Intense / Laid-back
  • Friendly / Reserved
  • Serious / Flippant
  • Genuine / Dry
  • Cocky / Modest

Tennis Skills

  • Agility
  • Strength
  • Finesse
  • Endurance
  • Tactics
  • Serve and Volley (S/V)
Things I'd love to hear

I’d love to hear any/all thoughts folks had while playing, of course, but here’s some specific ones I typed out :slight_smile:

  1. Bloat: At what points did you skip/feel like skipping the text? At what points were you very invested?

  2. Satisfying choices: Were there moments where you did not feel like there were options that matched the character that you wanted to play? Were there moments where you felt forced into a certain route/decision? Were there moments where you felt like what you picked did not match up well with the consequences?
    [Disclaimer: This may, to some extent be unavoidable at times, but it’s useful to know where these moments are to try and make them feel less unsatisfying]

  3. Difficulty level: Were there challenges/portions of the game that felt too easy? too hard?

  4. Personal thoughts Which characters did you like, and dislike, and why? Which parts of the story/update did you enjoy or not enjoy? What are you looking forward to/any ideas of what you would like to see in later updates?

  5. Errors: Bugs, errors, typos, etc.


Hello, I found an error


I like it so far, I personally think the tennis matches are written very well. Do or did you play? Im looking forward to future updates.
Thank you for sharing your demo with us.


Hey there, thanks so much for flagging it up! I’ve just fixed the error and tested it, should work now :slight_smile:

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Ah thank you! That’s really high praise :slight_smile: Yep, I did play in college but not at Div 1 level :stuck_out_tongue: And I just love the game in general.

If there are any errors / tennis-related inaccuracies, do feel free to point them out to me!

I also foresee there being some sort of balance to be struck between too-much-tennis and just-enough-tennis (esp. technical tennis descriptions), so do let me know if you ever think if I’m straying too far in either direction.


I really like it, i always love sports themed story. So far it kinda reminds me to slammed which is very nice. Looking forward for the next updates.


Thank you! I really loved Slammed as well, one of my favorites!

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This was a nice demo. Excited to turn my MC into a Federer haha.
Pretty interested to see how the match will play especially in regards to the stats. Are you going to use stats check depending on the moves the player wants to do?
Also, really curious to know who the main ROs are, if you’d consider adding that to the main post?

  • I imagine Sam is the best friend that was referenced at the beginning of the game. I chose male but throughout my play the pronouns were she/her. And here, the day the MC is leaving for university, you can see the switch between he to she/her

  • At the beginning of the game when the MC has a flashback to the match two years ago, I feel like it was so unexpected. Maybe on the “next” button having instead “Two years ago” would be a better way to preface that?

  • During the match with Rayyan if you challenge the call theatrically with, the paragraph

Rayyan mutters something under his breath… flaming out at the quarter-finals.

Gets repeated twice. Here on the page after you picked challenge the call theatrically

And here on the next page.

  • Just a grammar issue if you use they/them instead of she/her and he/him

  • Also, does it end after the freshman tennis team meeting when you click no more questions? The page was just loading endlessly after than


Hey! Thanks so much for your super helpful feedback :slight_smile: Also, just discovered the ‘quote’ function, so hopefully this reply will be a little neater:

Yes! After the prologue + a bit of Chapter 1 (which lets you build your character a bit), your skills / playing style will start to affect the success of various choices you make. I’m still adjusting the mechanics as I go, but I’ll update the main post in about a day or two to clarify how finesse, strength, agility etc. are likely to be tested.

Haha good idea, will add a short description to the main post soon. There are 4 main ROs: Tobin and Rayyan (both on the team, hence unfortunately gender-locked), along with Sam, plus the not-yet-introduced exchange student on the same floor (gender-flippable).

I think I’ve fixed most of the errors you’ve pointed out (thanks again!), but will do a proof-read again soon (I rearranged some passages, and also recently made Sam gender-flippable - sorry for the confusion on that count, though there will likely be vestigial errors for that for some time to come :stuck_out_tongue: do keep me posted if there are still problems!).

Yup, the next update will pick off from there.


I’m here for tennis sims! I love it so far, though I did find having the opposing personality stats paired (making one choice that causes multiple stats to rise and fall) made it extremely difficult to create a specific personality. If I hadn’t saved before every choice, it probably would’ve been impossible.

For the sake of reference, I wanted to be serious and friendly, but it felt like friendly was often paired with flippant. This had the result of giving me one stat boost that fit my character and one that was directly opposed to it. When I chose serious options, it often lowered friendliness. This played out with all of the personality choices, which felt really frustrating. I think having choices affect only a single opposed trait would be a better option.


Ahh! Got it! You’re absolutely right. To be honest I think the stats might undergo some major revisions, as I’m not fully convinced that they all make sense at the moment.

Agree! I can definitely see how I might’ve paired responses (especially friendly and flippant) together. Will see how I can improve this! Let me know also if there are particular stats that you think are important vs. stats that you think could potentially be removed.

A very interesting game and we’ll written as well! Does the demo end after having no questions for coach Sykorova?


Really well written WIP and a cool and unique concept, will definitely be following this!

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love the stories premise so far! do you have a tumblr?

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This was a lot of fun! Great dialogue and characters so far. Definitely looking forward to spending more time with them, especially Rayyan :smirk:

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Forgot this was a WIP, was surprised when I ran out of game. Loving it so far…couple of typos, but very readable. There is a bit too much “forced” flirting in my opinion, but I loved building my player. For some reason, defense meant modesty which I wasn’t crazy about.


Obviously still early, but what’s there seems well done so far. I also really appreciate a grounded story, especially a sports one. I might headbutt my screen if I see another cyberpunk sci-fi dystopia or dragons, magic, and castles fantasy story (I know, that’s being a bit dramatic there), but the point stands to a degree; I would really love to see more real-world, non-magical stories on this site.


@Mei_Hiroshi Thank you, glad you think so! Yep, the demo ends there for now, but will aim to update monthly. I’ve drafted the overall timeline/main branches, and it’s NaNoWriMo, so I’m optimistic about being able to release ~roughly same amt of words by the next update.

@Odysseus Thanks!! Hope to hear from u again in the next update :slight_smile:

@NihaN Thank you! I do have a tumblr but I barely use it / it’s mostly for my own reblogging pleasure… that said, I’ve created a link to the game demo and would be happy to answer more questions on there too if there are any / if this thing gains more momentum. [tumblr]

@MadAdam Hahahah yes! I look forward to writing Rayyan-related scenes too :stuck_out_tongue: So glad you enjoy the characters!

@kckolbe HAHA yes, sorry for the abrupt abandonment, and thanks a lot for the feedback - can definitely see the over-flirting and will look into de-coupling the modesty/aggression traits more.

@HoldTh3L1ne Thank you!! I agree, I’m relatively new to choice script but I’m a huge fan of CoG/HG, and after playing quite a few, it does seem like there are a lot of super great games out there but not many focusing on sports/real-life. I had a few doubts about whether a real-life setting would be interesting enough for people to bother with (“I might as well live my own life!”) but there are so many great examples of real-world-setting games that I had to give it a go.

Thanks for all the comments so far! Quick/dumb question: do folks like “College Tennis: Origin Story” or “College Tennis: Fresh Meat” better? A friend suggested the latter recently and it made me laugh.


OH YES A SPORTS WIP THANK YOU! I can finally fulfil my Prince of Tennis childhood fantasy since I don’t play tennis irl due to my shitty hand to eye coordination lol

tennis irl? i sleep. tennis in fiction? Real Shit?

Also??? The writing??? Is so good??? And the wide variety of likable characters??? The ability to be a lovable little shit??? OPENING THE STORY WITH AN INTENSE MATCH??? chef’s kiss



HAHAHA loved this comment.

watching tennis? highlights on youtube at 2x speed. tennis irl? i suck but it’s fun. tennis in fiction? the absolute bomb for sure.

and thank youuu for the compliments :heart_eyes: so glad you found the characters likeable yay, and yes I do admit I might have… gotten carried away with ‘lovable little shit’ options…