COMING THURSDAY: "Elite Status: Platinum Concierge" New Author Interview, Trailer, and DEMO!

Originally published at: Author Interview: Emily Short, Elite Status: Platinum Concierge - Choice of Games LLC

How far would you go to make a billionaire’s dreams come true? Find the unfindable and do the impossible? It’s all in a day’s work for an employee of Platinum Concierge.

Elite Status: Platinum Concierge is a 500,000-word interactive contemporary drama by Emily Short. I sat down with Emily to talk about the game, COG’s brand of interactive fiction, and the ways in which interactive fiction and gaming have evolved for Emily over the last few years.

Elite Status: Platinum Concierge releases this Thursday, July 27th. You can play the first few chapters today, for free.

This project evolved over the course of several years, as many of our games do. I’d love to know what you thought about working with the “ChoiceScript machine” and the kinds of structures that lend themselves to ChoiceScript games. You’ve written about Choice of Games’ unique IF flavor before and it’s been a pleasure to see your mind at work on these things.

One of the things I like about the ChoiceScript structure and the CoG brand is the way it leans into customisation of the player character. That invites the author to think about how different kinds of people with different skills would approach the story world, and it functions as a kind of constant story prompt.

Obviously, that protagonist customisation plays into stat checks on different options. In Elite Status I also saw an opportunity to use that PC customisation not only to determine which options succeeded, but also to set up stakes and framing for certain choices as well.

For instance, the protagonist in Elite Status can have a varying level of confidence and self-assurance. Characters with low self-assurance might be less likely to succeed when they need to bluff with a client — but they also have more internal monologue about the risks of a given situation. Meanwhile, protagonists who are well attuned to their clients get a bit more internal monologue about how NPCs are feeling and reacting — because the idea is that you’re more able to read that information at sight.

One thing I’ve effused to others about Elite Status is that the story is a unique real-world tale in our library of games. You play a concierge–a kind of personal fixer for the ultra-wealthy or famous which is a real thing that us plebs are not necessarily aware of. What inspired this as a slice of the world to explore?

When I started writing — quite a long time ago now! — I had just recently come to realise how much day-to-day realities differ for people in different wealth brackets, so that the very wealthy almost seem to live in an alternate universe that works very differently from the one inhabited by most of us. That seemed like space for a bit of comedic writing, using that universe for color and poking a bit of fun at it at the same time.

As time passed, I felt less lighthearted about some of those topics. Ultimately, I think Elite Status winds up dealing with those themes a little more seriously, though I hope readers will still find it entertaining.

I also liked being able to write about real-world travel and use that as a backdrop to the character interactions. I do a fair amount of traveling myself, so while I haven’t been to every location you visit in the game, there’s a decent amount of firsthand research there. That gave me lots of concrete details to work with, often things I wouldn’t necessarily have thought of inventing for a fantasy setting and might not have discovered via online research.

You’ve been working on this game and of course, Failbetter Games projects for the last several years. What has evolved in your thinking about narrative or design in that time?

I’ve always been interested in capturing human connections. How do we relate to non-player characters? What mechanics and writing features can we use to make those connections feel nuanced, realistic, and compelling? What can we say about human relationships through interactive media that we couldn’t convey through non-interactive ones?

Over the years, I’ve spent a fair bit of time and energy on the question of modeling the non-player characters and thinking about mechanics (and in some cases AI tech) to allow for meaningful NPC engagement.

The last few years have been a bit of a class on modeling the player character as well. An emotional connection between PC and NPC is less robust if the player character isn’t also well-defined personality — and yet we don’t always want to force the player to play a predefined character.

That raises interesting challenges like: how do we find out what the player intends for their character? How do we pick up on the player’s intention and make it into an important part of gameplay? How do we let NPCs respond meaningfully to the persona the player is putting forward?

That’s something that came up in Elite Status, but also in Mask of the Rose, a project I worked on for Failbetter Games. It’s a visual novel in appearance, but with a lot more protagonist customisation than most visual novels allow — including the ability to play as an ace and/or aromantic character, and to customise a lot of features of how your character acts in social situations.

What is next for you?

I’m just finishing up at Failbetter and moving on to doing some AAA consulting alongside experimental work of my own for a while. The past couple of full-time jobs I’ve had, while very rewarding, haven’t left me with as much time as I’d like to do personal projects. And I’ve got a big Steam backlog to catch up on, too…


I’m so excited for this to be out in the world on Thursday! I was really pleased to be involved with helping with the final stages of getting it out there, and the writing is so good and incisive - I was glad not to be drinking coffee when reading Emily’s witty lines.

There was a great profile in NME recently about Emily Short and her contribution to IF - much recommended for folks interested in her work, and in IF in general.


What I love about this game is what a balancing act it is. The world of the super-rich is simultaneously alluring, ridiculous, decadent, and utterly exhausting. Platinum’s clientele come off as difficult, preposterous, and spoiled, but never at the expense of their depth and humanity. Elite Status (it’s so hard for me not to keep calling it Platinum Package) critiques the system, but it’s clearly more interesting in telling a good story and provoking thought than preaching or condemning, and the result is an enjoyable romp through a rarefied world with just enough of a socially conscious bite.

I’m excited to see what everyone thinks when Thursday rolls around.


I am so excited about this one! (Not that all our games aren’t exciting for me!) It’s just such an interesting world, and the honor of publishing Emily’s work is just :star_struck:


I’m really interested to see how people react to this game. I had the privilege of beta testing it, and while there were certain aspects of the game that weren’t my favorite from a personal taste standpoint, I can also say that most of it was incredible.

1 Like

Very interested in this one. My brother actually works on yachts for the ultra wealthy and has told me some… interesting stories, so it’ll be fun to see how close the game comes to what I’ve heard in real life. Pretty sure I’ll be going into it with the motto “If a crime is only punishable by a fine, that just means it’s legal for the rich”


I felt the same way as a beta tester. This was my first time working on a project by someone I’d heard of even before I discovered CoG.

1 Like

This seems very interesting!

Is the demo supposed to end after the second chapter?
Because when I tried to continue at the save point, it just loaded for a long time and then gave an error message.

I’m getting a 503 error trying to access it at all. I think there is a technical problem. Really excited to play it eventually though!

We seem to be having issues with our website at the moment, but we’re on it!

1 Like

We’ll look into it! Thanks for letting us know. In general best to email support at choiceofgames dot com.

1 Like

It seems like some of the stat changes are kind of counter- or unintuitive.

For example, at the end of the Falter Gala, the coworker takes me to a bar and asks me how I’m holding up. Any response other than shrugging lowers my Personal Attunement. In general, Personal Attunement seems to be the hardest stat to keep raised.

It’s also possible to tank the interview with Gabriella after the fact by sending her a thank-you note, which significantly lowers your relationship score with her.

Since Gabriella is straight, are there other ROs who are only attracted to MCs of a specific gender?

And did the relationship decrease happen because my female MC tried to ask Gabriella out or because our relationship simply wasn’t close enough for this not to be weird?

The others are all playersexual.

1 Like

I didn’t actually realize Emily was leaving Failbetter after MotR. Looking forward to what she does next, and getting to play this tomorrow.

I recommend contacting for this kind of thing. CoG staff don’t read every post, and most authors are on the forum very seldom or not at all, so it’s the best way to guarantee your concerns will be seen by someone in a position to act on them.

I seem to be stuck in a bug in the game. Every options takes me back to this same page.

It’s after I’ve been hired by the Falters and can’t seem to move on from the first month of setting up the family office.

Sorry this is happening for you, and thank you for letting us know.

Please could you send it with a screenshot if possible to support(at)choiceofgames(dot)com. I’m dealing with bugs, and because the code is pretty complex (and less familiar to me as I came in late in the project), it will be a lot easier for CoG staff and me to coordinate if it goes through email.

Edit: That said, for this particular one I think I’ve figured out what was going on and have submitted a correction which has been pushed :slightly_smiling_face:

Is this game supposed to be rated 16+ for sexual content on Steam Germany? :thinking:


That may be something to send to Support (sorry to be a broken record :sweat_smile:) - I would be surprised by that rating because that content in the game is not explicit, but I don’t know how that side of things works; it’s something the CoG staff handle and they may not see the post here.