Hi hi! I’ve finally gotten a good start on the first draft for my very first game, Conspiracy in Emerson.
Emerson, an ultra-wealthy New England coastal town, has held a strong religious belief in self-preservation and personal success for just about three centuries. This way of life is so deeply ingrained in the town’s history, politics, and culture that now things are reaching an untenable state. It’s 1997 and the older methods of subtleties and negotiation have deteriorated as the stakes have risen, the egos have grown, and the competition has stiffened. People are resorting to sabotage. Slander. Smear campaigns. Shaming. Framing. Arson.
A month before senior year at Emerson Prep starts, you accidentally get caught up in the violent crimes of two of your classmates. The course of your life takes a sharp turn into the macabre as you get your first peek behind the curtain of your Machiavellian hometown. Quickly swept up in a series of sabotage missions and contract-killings that take Emerson by storm, are you a victim of circumstance? Just along for the ride?
Or a willing accomplice?
Currently playable: Prologue, Chapter 1, most of Chapter 2
About the story
The game’s outline has exploded in its complexity and depth since I first posted about it, so I’ve no idea how many chapters I’ll be writing! The second (final) book takes place ten years later, in 2008, over a few months. The content warning will almost definitely change as I add content, but I will always make it clear here on the thread if it has.
The story should have a lot of 90’s Americana nostalgia, but one of my priorities is making sure it is still understandable and enjoyable for other nationalities and those with English as a second, third (or fourth?? damn, Gina! …ok i’m sorry) language.
Added most of the Persona/lity customization scene
Finished catering scene, started walk scene
Added the MC’s background and save slots
Introduced two main characters
Reorganized the chapters; kicked off the major plot
Added most of Chapter 2; filled in Prologue and Ch 1 placeholders
Coming up next
- Disposing of evidence
And after that
- Eating food, yum
- Gender and appearance customization
– options are cis or trans binary, non-binary, or genderfluid
- Persona/lity and Demeanor stats
-I’ve implemented them sooner than I originally wanted to and still haven’t ironed out the kinks. Anything regarding these traits is subject to change! Persona/Personality stats are: Selfish vs. Selfless, Sour vs. Sweet, Direct vs. Deceptive. Demeanor stats are: Instinctive vs. Deliberate, Brassy vs. Classy, Cutthroat vs. Compassionate
It’s 1997 in an ultra-wealthy New England port town. Emerson has always used its wealth and its upper class’s considerable influence to divert outside attention from its deeply ingrained culture of cutthroat politics and its quasi-Catholic religion.
Also, the wind has been like really bad lately and it’s getting on everyone’s nerves.
that kid whose family is going broke smh
Your parents have tasked you with the impossible: make important friends that will open the door for your family to be respected again. Burdened with your parents’ financial and political incompetence, you are tasked with restoring your family’s reputation or, at the very least, finding a way to secure your own post-high school stability.
That first part might just be impossible, though. Your parents are really reckless and irresponsible.
The main cast/love interests
You can befriend none, some, or all of the main cast. You can also flirt with, crush on, or fall in love with anyone, regardless of your gender or personality, but be warned. There’s romance in this game but there’s also the potential for rejection and heartbreak.
Gabe the most popular contract-killer in school
Sepia skin and brown, hazel eyes. Wears his loose, dark brown curls in a heartthrob haircut worthy of a Tiger Beat cover. | Tall with a lean, athletic build. | Has two beauty marks under his right eye and a picture-perfect smile. | Very expressive eyebrows, especially when thinking.
Kile the resident loose cannon
Light, tawny skin and prominent, steel grey eyes. Keeps their curly, dark blond hair either in a crew cut or buzz cut. | Tall but slouched with a toned, lithe build. | Dead-eyed and pouty-lipped. | Looks either apathetic or intense most of the time, not much in between.
Jack the gentle giant
Fair skin that flushes pink and stormy blue eyes. Keeps his straight chestnut hair to his shoulders and hides behind the long strands in the front. | Tallest kid in school with a fat, thickset build. | Gentle eyes and a gentle smile. | Bad at eye contact and prone to nervous smiling.
Jessie the geek next door
Tan skin and copper brown eyes. Wears her honey brown hair straight with feathered bangs and keeps it tied up with colorful scrunchies, hair ties, barrettes, you name it. | Average height and a full, bottom-heavy build. | Round cheeks and doe eyes. | Usually smiling at least a little.
Rain the designer wallflower
Light beige skin and big, light green, down-turned eyes. | Wears their straight black hair with blunt bangs and slightly curled past the shoulders. | Shortest kid in your year with a slight build. | Has little (usually) bags under their eyes and striking eyebrows. | They don’t emote much.
Rupan/Rohan the obligatory rebel heartthrob
Dark brown skin and piercing, dark brown eyes. | Rupan wears her long, wavy black hair as wild and loose as she can get away with and Rohan wears his short but just as unruly. | Taller than average and a soft, skinny build. | The glint in their eye screams mischief and their smirk is always playful. | They constantly appear either amused, satisfied or both.
Vivian/Vincent the future valedicktorian
Sandy beige skin dusted with freckles all over and dark brown eyes. | Vivian also has long, wild hair but she slicks her ginger curls back into a flawless sock bun and Vincent keeps his hair cropped short in meticulously even waves. | Short and slender build. | Do not mention their dimples. | Can’t hide their emotions worth a damn.
2 side romances
you’ll meet them on the first day of school
What to expect
- Slow updates. I’m a slow writer with a full-time management job and this is going to be a giant project! :o
- High school romance
- Teen angst
- Plenty of American high school tropes
- Missions and quests
- Bad role models
- Character depth
- Mood whiplash
- Moral dilemmas
- References to both 20th and 21st-century media
- A bumbling police force
- Sketchy dealings
- The great American blood sport:
- Rumors, true and otherwise
- A town festival, crappy community theatre play included
- Questionable parenting techniques
- Questionable business practices
- A Senior Prom to Remember
- Getting to know your friends’ families and pets (if you want)
- An entire subplot dedicated to uncovering some of the town’s secrets. If you daarree~
- Oh, and 90s nostalgia. omg remember [insert cliché 90s thingamabob]??
What I’m looking out for are bugs, typos (you’re/your and they’re/their/there have killed me lately), recommendations, and repetitive or exhaustive writing—I have the painful habit of writing things like, “You get up from the bed, then walk over to the door. You turn the knob and open it.” from time to time, so please feel free to point out any excessive writing if you spot it.
Also! I was but a wee one during the 90s (6 years old in the year this story takes place in), so feedback from people who actually were teens or young adults during the late 90s would be excellent. I’m also using old home videos from the late 90s scattered all over YouTube for all sorts of dialogue and just general vibe reference, so if you know of something vaguely relevant in that way, go ahead and send it to me pls