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 port town on the east coast of the United States, 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, in 1997, things are reaching an untenable state. 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?
About the story
Currently, I expect the story to be around 11 chapters with each chapter, save for the prologue and epilogue, more or less covering the events of one month of the school year. The second (final) book takes place ten years later, in 2008, over the course of a few months. I’m happy to be able to say that I currently have the intro and part one of the prologue done–or, y’know, done enough to share. The content warning will almost definitely change as I add content, but I will always make it clear here on the thread when it has.
The story will likely 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.
The prologue as a whole is at about 40%, but the demo just has a small portion of that so far. I’ve just started writing part 2 of the prologue.
Added most of the Persona/lity customization scene
Finished catering scene, started walk scene
Coming up next
- Skill refinement
- Introduction of two main characters
And after that
- Second half of the Prologue
-The mess that kicks the story off
- Appearance customization maybe?
Adding genderfluid MC options
-It’s a little different than the umbrella term ‘non-binary’ allows for, including with pronouns. I don’t have plans for pronouns beyond he/she/they, but I am thinking about adding something for MCs who happily float around with pronouns and gender expression. There’s already a genderfluid character on cast, so it feels weird to not have that option for players…
Persona and Personality stats
-I’ve implemented them sooner than I originally wanted to and still haven’t ironed out the kinks. They’re all subject to change, but currently they are: Selfish vs. Selfless, Sour vs. Sweet, Cunning vs. Genuine; Instinctive vs. Deliberate, Brassy vs. Classy (subject to change but it rhymes), Cutthroat vs. Diplomatic, and Compassionate vs. Detached.
It’s 1997 in an ultra-wealthy port town in the northeast United States. Emerson has always used its wealth and its upper class citizenry’s considerable influence to divert outside attention from its deeply ingrained culture of cutthroat politics and its quasi-Catholic religion. Lately, things have been getting tenser than usual in the upper echelons of society. Old money and new money interests compete for dominance over Emerson and the whole town is on edge as the toxicity of all the in-fighting, feuds, and rivalries has begun to trickle down from the wealthy to rest on the shoulders of the middle- and lower-classes.
Also, the wind has been, like, really bad lately and it’s getting on everyone’s nerves.
The Protagonist - cis/trans male/female or non-binary; straight/gay/bi/pan/ace*
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 and, failing that, finding a way to secure your own post high school stability.
Though that first part is probably impossible, 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 potential for rejection and heartbreak.
Gabe - cis male; bi
most popular boy/contract killer in school
Kile - non-binary; demisexual
resident loose cannon
Jack - cis male; bi
Jessie - cis female; bi
geek next door
Leo - cis male; gay
fresh off the plane because who the heck comes on boats anymore it’s 1997
Rain - genderfluid; panromantic ace
Rupan/Rohan - cis female/male; pansexual
obligatory rebel heartthrob
Vivian/Vincent - cis female/male; questioning
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
- High school romance
- Teen angst
- Missions and quests
- Emotional meltdowns
- Bad role models
- Trick-or-treating (or a Halloween party, i guess, if you’re into that)
- Character depth
- Mood whiplash
- Moral dilemmas
- References to both 20th and 21st century media
- A bumbling police force
- Sketchy dealings
- 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 understanding the town’s origins. If you daarree~
- Oh, and 90’s nostalgia. Omg, remember [insert entire desperately relatable BuzzFeed “article”]??
What I’m looking out for are bugs, typos, recommendations, and 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/repetitive writing if you spot it.
Also! I was but a wee one during the 90’s (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 90’s 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
*this isn’t a selection, there’s a sort of open romancing system in the works