Sports x Romance x College/Drama/Found Family
Latest update #8: Ko-fi early-release, 6 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) [UPDATED] sorry guys, the link kept breaking, here it is again - this time hopefully for good!
Detailed character list (w/o images)
Author’s general blog
28 Sep 2023
Wordcount: ~396K words with code, +50K words since last public update.
First update (16/11/21)
Prologue- Meet Sam, high school best friend
Drive to Cargill with dad
Enter college, meet some new folks
Second update (16/12/21)
Meet the team
Physical conditioning tests (strength & 5-mile run)
Third update (25/03/22)
Challenge match with Emerson
Party with dorm folk
Fourth update (28/08/22)
Meet roommate, D
Ice-breakers and amazing race with hallmates
Club and activities fair
Fifth update (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
Sixth update (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)
Seventh update (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
Next planned update (Pt. 2)
First match of the season
Sam reunion (if chosen)
Rayyan Afiq | Gender of your team (M/F) | 20
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.
- 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
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.
- 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
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.
- 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.
- 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(?)
- Intense / Laid-back
- Friendly / Reserved
- Serious / Flippant
- Genuine / Dry
- Cocky / Modest
- 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
Bloat: At what points did you skip/feel like skipping the text? At what points were you very invested?
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]
Difficulty level: Were there challenges/portions of the game that felt too easy? too hard?
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?
Errors: Bugs, errors, typos, etc.