Colonising Kepler 62e: Paradox (Chapters 1-4/12, 53/150k) (WIP)

Hello, everyone! I’m the author of Trial of the Demon Hunter - Volume One of Demons Among Men and Captive of Fortune - Volume Two of Demons Among Men, and I have another WIP ready for testing.

This is the first title of an interactive science fiction trilogy that Andy Why (the author of the The Race) and I are writing together. Currently, I am working on Inception, and he is working on the sequel, Evacuation.

When a massive asteroid is discovered to be on collision course with Earth, you become an important member of the effort to save humanity, which must travel to a distant, life-sustaining planet, Kepler 62e. During the story, you must negotiate your way onto the space shuttle, facing difficult decisions involving pressure at work, social ultimatums, riots, and even cult attacks. Interact with robots, find romance on a new planet, and save the human race!

So far, the demo is about 30k words long, and I hope to update it with a new chapter in the next few days, which will bring it to 50k. From there, I hope to finish the remaining 50k of the story and submit it sometime in April!


Since this is clearly the work of people who know what they’re doing, I’ll just leave a few comments about things I noticed during the playthrough and can still remember:

  1. Your sentences tend to be long and/or complex. I’d try breaking that pattern up with short sentences from time to time.

  2. Is it Gingko or Ginkgo? The spelling isn’t consistent.

  3. I thought the early choice about which man-made structure the meteor is going to hit was a little too similar to what Hollywood’s already done. Besides, it seems like such a one-in-a-million thing. It’s infinitely more likely that an object will explode over a cornfield or smash into a body of water. Any chance you can change some of the options from buildings to, say, Lake Michigan or the Pampa?

  4. The long list of countries you can choose from was strange to me.

  5. If you can only take 1 person with you, but you have 2 siblings (and maybe other family), then you have a HUGE problem on your hands that, frankly, would be a crisis for them and you. So when Madeleine first calls you, and you the player find out about this conundrum, I’m expecting the game to really get into the gut-wrenching possibilities. Instead your choice is about which extreme sport to try. Maybe the game is going to get to this, but I think it needs to be dealt with earlier. (Especially if there’s an orphan - WTF? - you might be taking. That means bye bye Gingko, BTW.)

  6. On a slightly related note, it was funny and interesting to read that your sister is a real estate agent and that business has been slow lately. But I quickly got to wondering – why would anyone buy real estate if they knew the world was ending next year? Why would they go through the motions for anything? I mean, seriously, what would be the point of any of it? Children of Men captures that fatalism beautifully, how people sort of just stop giving a crap about everything and it isn’t just organized fringe people getting violent, it’s everyone. People all just withdraw into their own little worlds and stop bothering with the rest of it.

Thanks for the feedback!

1.) That’s just my writing style, I think, but I’ll keep that in mind in the future and during proofreads and such.

2.) Whoops! It’s Ginkgo. That’s been fixed.

3.) That was basically a way of gauging what your nationality might be, but since I’m already considering just making it American, I might just replace that with something else entirely.

4.) Yeah, I agree, actually. Andy wanted the reader to have a wide variety of nationalities because he didn’t appreciate that most gamebooks make the character American, but I may end up just changing it back to that for this volume.

5.) What’s the WTF about xD? But yeah, I can see what you mean. They don’t know about your career with Stellar Mission or that you’re able to give away tickets, though, btw. I do agree that I should make it seem like more of a pressing, terrible matter, though. Also, you wouldn’t have known this, but in the 5th chapter (there are currently 3 in the demo) you participate in this big work competition, where the most productive employee is granted another ticket to the shuttle; basically, there’s a possibility of you taking 2 people. You can choose between Ginkgo, Madeleine, Timothy, and Jubilee.

6.) That’s a very good point that I had been meaning to address. I’ll edit that bit so it says that business has come to a screeching halt and they have to rely on Timothy’s invention grants (which, again, I’ll have to play around with and expand upon in that third chapter.)

Someones name is jubilee? that gives them an unfair advantage I have to take them now

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The thing about the long list of nationalities is that, in addition to being very long, it didn’t seem to go anywhere. I chose to be Uruguayan but I don’t remember anything particularly Uruguayan about what came next. There aren’t any volcanoes in Uruguay, for example.

You can certainly have a choice of nationalities and I agree with Andy’s point on that… But maybe collapse that with the where’s-the-meteor hitting question and have half a dozen locations to choose from worldwide.

I figured there’d be more to come about picking your companion. The upcoming scene sounds cool. From my perspective playing through this demo, however, the info came almost in reverse order. You’re being introduced to these people in order to decide how to have a fun day with them. Then as an aside it’s mentioned that you have the power to save one of them. (If they don’t know that you should probably mention it. Sorry if I missed it.) Then as another aside it’s mentioned that oh yeah, there’s also this orphan you’ve come to know who will die unless you save her. Wait, I’m thinking, what?!? Then it’s just back to whether to slide down a volcano. It’s a bit like having a scene where you’re introduced to your mother who’s dying in hospital, and you visit her – to ask her for her apple pie recipe because you want to make it for dinner tonight.

The long list of nationalities is a lot more important in Evacuation. The events and location of disasters change depending on your nationality. This was placed in Inception early on when we were planning to release CK62e as a single game. Both games (and the unwritten third part of the trilogy) have grown to the point where a trilogy is the only logical way to release the game.

Also, the asteroid will not hit a major landmark in reality. That sequence is a dream, after all!

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1.) I had planned on expanding on that later, but yeah, for now it didn’t do much. Today I’m gonna work on reverting the MC to an American citizen just to keep things cohesive.

2.) There will be a lot more! This isn’t the only time you’re able to see your siblings. You have three different big chances to see both of them before you leave, two to see Jubilee, and Ginkgo will basically be there most of the time.

And the reason they don’t know is because you’re forbidden to tell them until you’re cleared to give them a ticket. Things would get even crazier if people knew that they were basically competing for their lives.

But yeah, I can definitely see what you mean about the tone of the story. I’ll try to reverse it around and then maybe you’ll get a call from the boss at Stellar Mission about your tickets. Then you can freak out about it properly. xD

I got this error in chapter 2 right after indicating my character thinks the rioters are just looking for an excuse for their violence.

riot line 70: Expected option starting with

I’m working on changing that part with a new choice because I’m taking out all the choices having to do with nationality. I’ve fixed the gamestopping error but I haven’t finished writing all the choices in, so it may seem like it doesn’t take your choice into account for a little bit.

Okay, everyone. I’ve done a quick fix to all the issues that @distracteddad brought up, which means a little rearranging and a small amount of new content. I did this all pretty quickly, so let me know if things still seem a bit off to you.


Currently, the demo only has three chapters. Violet doesn’t show up until chapter seven.

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I looked at it quickly and like how it’s shaping up. One thing I noticed was in Ginkgo’s early scenes, before you choose your last name, he refers to you as “Mr . .” which seemed like a bug. (I was playing as Penelope.)

And take or leave this suggestion, but I would try to write, say, every fifth sentence without any commas or semi-colons. I totally see what your style is. I’m not trying to change it. But the occasional short and sweet line would make everything a little tighter.

Thanks for pointing that out; I should have it fixed shortly.

The writing usually tends to be tighter after it’s went through my editor, but I’ll certainly look out for that. I know it can get exhausting after reading ten complicated sentences in a row. xD

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Okay, everyone, chapter 4 is out! It’s a little over 20k long, bringing the demo to 50k. Now I’m officially half done. :slight_smile: As always, feedback is very welcome; let me know if you find any bugs or typos, and I’d be happy to hear any suggestions or praises you have. I’ve also done a few tweaks here and there in the stats_screen and in the previous three chapters.

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Wow! Was not expecting that chapter. Really exciting.


I’m glad you liked it! What are you thinking about the length so far, considering that it’s approximately half way through?

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It will be a busy second half! We still have to learn more about our work, deal with a bunch of crazies, meet a few more characters and make the great escape.

I would be careful about having your work “grow in the telling” while still having a chance to wrap up your plot threads nicely. This assumes you have a strict word budget. Might some of these themes and situations be picked up and continued in the later games?

I suspect this will be picked up in the next chapter, but I’m excited to do a bit more with “my” work!

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Yeah, there’s definitely a lot to come, and I’d prefer to have it around 100k, but I can always stretch it to 150k if I have to; everything that’s planned for this volume pretty much has to be in it.

Yeah, definitely! It will probably be chapter 6, (the next update will be chapter 5) but that chapter is solely about your work, and it’s likely to be pretty long.


I enjoyed the new material, especially being able to virtually view the planet and spend time with Ginkgo. :slight_smile:

Items for your review:
You roll your eyes good spiritedly, saying, “Yeah, if you ‘defend’ means ‘stop two humans from helping you out.’”

Humphrey shrugs, a little grin still playing across his lips. After you finish eating, Humphrey excuses himself to wash his hands, and you wait for him on the living room couch. When he returns, he sits down next to you you and lets out a little sigh.

As you enter your hovercar, you shoot him a backwards wave; as the craft shoots homewards, you think back on the evening and your feelings towards your old friend. used the word shoot twice in same sentence…maybe use different wording?

Rallying the medical androids and taking a blob guns and force field emitter, you and the others converge at the bottom of the building.

Following the attack, your superiors decide it’s best for everyone to return to their homes while the damage done to Stellar Mission is repaired, which will also gives everyone time to relax after such a dangerous encounter, and wrap their heads around everything that’s happened.

“I insist! Come one, it’ll be fun,” Madeleine interrupts.

Shrugging, you respond ? Your siblings’ home isn’t very far away, so you arrive in a matter of minutes. Rushing out to meet you, Madeleine throws her arms around you, squeezing you tightly.

Timothy gives your sister a annoyed look, but she just returns a toothy grin.

Humphrey, on the other hand, seems to love song; he mentions how impressive the unconventional structure is, and that the production was gritty yet flawless.

I’ll tandem parachute with Humphrey; it’ll be more ? that way than going alone or with Bertrand.

Getting into your hover-car, you think about your experiences today; after such a calamitous afternoon and eventful afternoon, you’re exhausted. recommend saying: calamitous and eventful afternoon

Before you’re able to get in edgewise, he says, “Oh and by the way, you might want to take a look at this,” dropping a file into your email. do you mean: get a word in edgewise?

Your eyes scanning the documents more thoroughly, you see that you’ve been temporarily paired with a young Asian girl named Jubilee; apparently it’s mandator that you at least visit the little orphan before making your decision about your extra ticket.

His face is concealed behind a terrifying mask, the features reminiscent of a Gothic gargoyle. It has sharp teeth sticking out of the mouth, horns sprouting of the head, and a luminescent antenna drooping above its evil, bloodshot eyes.

“Unfortunately,” one tells you, “you’ll still ache somewhat in the mornings, and because any traumatic stress that you may have, you’ll be required to stay home for the next couple days.” because OF any?

A minute later, you receive your older sibling’s reply. No problem! I’m glad to hear it. Stay safe, little brother! I was playing as a female

Giving you what passes for a shrugs, Ginkgo zooms out of the room, supposedly to go stimulate his mind with something more interesting.

Where the one reference picture was slightly dull and smaller, the completed puzzle is a wonder behold, thanks to ever advancing technology and a rather talented artist.

Saving the puzzle, Ginkgo looks up at you saying, “So, what should we do now?” With all that time spent with Ginkgo, you had better focus on something else now. Still, Ginkgo smiles, saying, “So, what should we do now?” repeated info/question

If anything, this might just make you paranoid every time you see anyone tall and of African decent. How lovely.

Nodding in approval, I comment, “If you really think there the wildlife is doing so well, maybe we can do the same; it bodes well for crop farming, at the very least.”

Nodding, your true responds, “Oh, certainly. You’ll have to adapt, of course, but it seems possible.” did you mean it to say true or Ginkgo/robot?

Exerting his control over this holographic world, your robot true makes the waves calm; with the surface of the ocean still, it shimmers with the light of the dimmer, redder sun, Kepler 62. did you mean it to say true or Ginkgo/robot?

After your true has got ahold of himself, he pulls up a hologram, displaying a list of all your different options, ranging from strategy games, party games, and even just games purely of chance. did you mean it to say true or Ginkgo/robot?

After sharing in one last laugh, you decide it’s time to move onto other things. Looking up at you, your true says,says what? Missing info With all that time spent with Ginkgo, you had better focus on something else now. Still, Ginkgo smiles, saying, “So, what should we do now?” also did you mean it to say true or Ginkgo/robot?

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Excellent typo-finding as always! Every time it refers to Ginkgo as “friend”, that’s a bug; I accidentally made the variable “friend” both a boolean and a string. Anyways, I should have these fixed sometime tonight.

Okay, everyone; I’ve fixed all the typos and bugs that @piggleywinks pointed out.

I tried some run-throughs as a jerk…ugh, I hate being a jerk to poor Humphrey and my siblings. BTW, Ginkgo really cracks me up. Some of the things he says really do have me chuckling.

Items for your review:
Shrugging, you finish eating and pay the waiter; a short, quiet drive later, you return to your co-worker’s house and you both plop down on big, plush couch.

The thought of such vile people makes you bitterness; clearly, they must be detained at all costs.

With that, she hangs up, leaving the projection blank. Deactivating the hologram, you you begin the walk to your hovercraft.

You smile a little; whether he know it or not, Ginkgo often makes you feel a little bit better, no matter what the situation.

You’ve almost fallen asleep when suddenly a notification beeping on your ACD; it’s your boss, Mr. Gabriel.

“But I needed to to speak with you about an important matter.” Pausing for a long moment, he continues, "You might be delighted to know that all of the executives have decided upon a very pressing issue indeed; as a show of gratitude for all the hard work that everyone who has been doing with Stellar Mission and similar divisions,

You could definitely look worse after what happened, but you can’t deny you’re a mess; there are bits of shatters glass sticking to your hair, blood saturates several places on your shirt,

When you return to the living room, you see that the little robot must have gone to other room where his spare parts are to repair himself.

Ginkgo suddenly speaks up, sounding nervous. "{mr} Greenfield, my GPS says there is a warehouse nearby; we should take refuge there before things get out of hand. I was playing as a female.

Raising your eyebrows, you hurry into the abandoned building, after the robot has ensured you that there aren’t any signs of life in the building, of course.

Giving you sad smile, your servant inches a little closer to you, touching his pincher gently against your hand.

Apparently the rebel effort has been running out of good equipment, which can only be a good thing for you and the everyone else trying to save humanity

Really, I’ve given you no reason to talk to me this way. mean, I’ve just congratulated you on taking the initiative and defending Stellar Mission against rioters, but you’ve somehow taken that as an insult.

Looking down below, you see that Madeleine have reached the bottom without mishap. Turning around to see what the matter is, Madeleine suppresses a giggle after she sees that you’re uninjured. Making sure to go be more careful, you slowly slide down the volcano until you finally reach the bottom, Madeleine rushing to meet you.

Q: I Insult Humphrey after the riot attack but then call him for help after the cultist attack. Of course he would come right away since that’s the kind of guy he is but would he or the MC not say anything about what happened earlier? He did demand an apology after the insult. The MC could choose whether or not to be a jerk again…thoughts?

Q: With the option to purchase an EMP emitter - let’s say the request was denied. Later we can still use an EMP on top of the warehouse:
Just then, I remember about my EMP; that should definitely be able to power this weapon down.

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Excellent feedback as always! I’ll deal with all of these issues sometime later tonight. As for the EMP, that option is only available for people who were able to get it. At least, it should be…Also, I’m glad you like Ginkgo :slight_smile: I’m quite proud of his quips.

I’ve now fixed the typos and bugs that @piggleywinks pointed out.