Welcome to the Developer Diary thread for Crème de la Crème! Here you can read about how the project progressed, ask questions, and find extra goodies.
The story so far: I started working on this game on 1st June 2018, after an outline process of a month. It was released on 27th November 2019, and you can download it here!
In this thread there used to be links to teaser content consisting of the first couple of chapters. You can now play the first three chapters for free.
Climb to the very top of the class at your exclusive private school for socialites! Will you study hard, find a perfect match, or embrace scandal?
Gallatin College is a “finishing school” where young people must learn social graces, surrounded by their high-class peers. When your parents fall into disgrace, the rest of high society rejects them. It’s up to you to enroll at Gallatin, to secure your future and restore the family’s good name.
At Gallatin, you’ll dance with royalty, impress decorated officers, and perfect your etiquette. What will you prioritize: a spotless reputation, a prestigious social network, or a pristine report card–and who will you backstab to achieve it? Your year in this sparkling, brittle world is about to begin. But are you a rake soaked in scandal, or a perfectly proper socialite? Sneaking out of class or polishing your ballroom dancing, either way: the road to high society starts here!
You can play as male, female, or non-binary; gay, straight, bi, pan, asexual, and/or aromantic.
Friendship, Romance, and Engagement Guide (Spoilers)
Romanceable and befriendable characters have varied genders. You can pick their genders as they are introduced, have them be randomised, or choose all of them to be a single gender at the start of the game.
= you can romance this character
= you can get engaged to this character (romantically or platonically)
= you can befriend this character
Freddie Crawford an overachiever from a working-class family attending college on scholarship. They are determined to succeed, whatever the cost to their wellbeing.
Zuri Gonzalez Pursuing their interest in lacrosse is this student’s main drive, but they fear that parental pressure to marry and settle down will dampen their chances for athletic success.
Patrice Delacroix Outspoken and intense, this student is set apart from the popular crowd, focusing on uncanny phenomena.
Maxim/Maxine/Maxime “Max” Van Meyer A notorious troublemaker, Max rules the school’s group of rebels. This student delights in chaos, but like a wildfire, may spiral out of control.
Eugene/Eugenia/Heike Hartmann This student takes their prefect duties extremely seriously, to the detriment of their social life and equilibrium.
Blaise Marechal A gossiping student with a mean streak, this student has it out for you and seems determined to make your life miserable.
Emil/Emily/Emile Karson The Gallatin groundskeeper and general dogsbody, Karson is a servant who is quiet, brooding, and intense.
Archambault Academy is a rival school to Gallatin which primarily educates titled aristocrats who are expected to ascend to political or military power, or other major social or academic successes.
The Honorable Auguste Renaldt the Head Prefect of Archambault, Auguste is the child of your Headteacher Lady Renaldt, and is known for their dedication to proper behaviour. Will you soften their heart?
The Honorable Florin Kraemer a self-interested aristocrat who is a notorious flirt, Florin aims to have a good time however - and with whoever - they can. Spoilery romance guide here.
Prince/Princess/Heir Rosario of Zaledo a loyal, sweet member of a foreign royal family, Rosario has not had much experience outside the hothouse environment of life as a dignitary.
Multi-Romancing and Polyamory:
- You can form a polyamorous triad with Delacroix and Max.
- Max, Freddie, and Delacroix may mention it if you’re romancing someone else alongside them, but they mostly won’t mind. Exception: Max and Delacroix will not like it if you want to romance Florin alongside one or both of them.
- Hartmann and Karson prefer monogamy.
- To start a romance with Blaise, you can be romancing someone else but you must not have a major romantic commitment. You’ll notice romantic commitment choices by phrases like “I’m interested in you and only you”, or by having a serious triad relationship with Max and Delacroix.
- Because you’re living separately from the Archambault students, an Archambault student won’t notice if you’re romancing someone from Gallatin alongside them.
In Chapter 10 you can get engaged to many of the characters, both romantically and platonically. Generally speaking, if you have a high relationship with your beau, especially if you have committed to them (by saying something like “I want to be with you and only you”) your partner is likely to accept a proposal or propose themselves. Some are a bit trickier. Here are some more details:
Gonzalez good Gonzalez relationship
Hartmann high Virtue, good Hartmann relationship. If you’ve consistently encouraged them to be more rebellious or more proper, you may need to nudge them in that direction.
Max platonic: good Max relationship. Romantic: good Max relationship, encouraging Max to be more steady
Delacroix good Delacroix relationship
Max and Delacroix: if you’re in a polyamorous relationship you can get engaged to Max, or to Delacroix, or encourage Max and Delacroix to get engaged. Regardless of who gets engaged to who (if at all) you’ll all remain committed to each other.
Freddie good Freddie relationship
Blaise very high Blaise relationship
Karson will get engaged to you if you ask, no matter what
Auguste good Auguste relationship, high Virtue. Lady Renaldt will approve the match (subject to any actions you take later in the game) if you have a good relationship with her and assisted her in Chapter 7 whether you were successful or not.
Rosario good Rosario relationship, high Virtue and high Popularity. This one is the hardest, stat wise, but rest assured that you can still have a commited relationship with Rosario if you don’t make the Virtue and Popularity scores.
73 Stretfield Park, an interactive short story about the worst day of Blaise Marechal’s life.
A Spotify playlist for the project
Hearthlight Eve, an interactive short story about Delacroix returning home for the holidays.
- My favourite characters to write
- Telling Blaise, Hartmann or Max that the MC finds their anger attractive
- Delacroix: some details that didn’t make it into the game
- Max: looking upset in late game, tattoo
- Freddie’s lifetime ambitions
- Gonzalez’s sleeping habits
- How characters might feel about having kids
- Blaise: how they might say I love you, why they send the MC a letter - major spoilers, post-Gallatin plans, Blaise fluff, Blaise’s parents’ response to an MC/Blaise romance
- How protective the characters would be of the MC
- Parents: the MC’s relationship with them, parents’ relationship with MC’s love interests, MC helping Hartmann stand up to their parents, names of peers’ parents
- Florin: tattoo response, romantic feelings, commitment, reaction to a love confession from the MC, general trivia, how they feel about the MC
- Peer characters: Enneagram types and D&D alignments plus Gonzalez where they would want to live, how they smell and more scents, who would win in a fight, hobbies, getting ready in the bathroom, appearances, heights, love languages, cooking skills, tattoo reactions, listening to the MC singing
- Romanceable characters: tattooed name reactions, ideal birthday gifts/experiences, reactions to someone flirting with the MC, sharing beds, looking after the MC when they’re ill, when they might say “I love you”, responses to being told “I love you” early, Blaise’s and others’ responses to surprise affection, mild NSFW canon, reactions to MC’s insomnia, zodiac signs
- Archambault characters: family reactions to being with MC, how they feel about each other,
- Auguste’s upbringing
- What the Birchmeier Society is
- Delacroix and Florin’s friendship
- Max/Delacroix/MC and additional relationships
- What if: the MC died and follow-up, the love interests went back in time, Max and Hartmann got together, an alternate Blaise romance, MC and romance interest breakup, the MC’s parents didn’t get in trouble, if characters played on stilts
- Teachers: who would win in a fight