Crème de la Crème Developer Diary and Romance Guide (Spoilers)

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.

:heartpulse: = you can romance this character
:ring: = you can get engaged to this character (romantically or platonically)
:handshake: = you can befriend this character

At Gallatin:

Freddie Crawford :handshake: :heartpulse: :ring: an overachiever from a working-class family attending college on scholarship. They are determined to succeed, whatever the cost to their wellbeing.

Zuri Gonzalez :handshake: :ring: 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 :handshake: :heartpulse: :ring: Outspoken and intense, this student is set apart from the popular crowd, focusing on uncanny phenomena.

Maxim/Maxine/Maxime “Max” Van Meyer :handshake: :heartpulse: :ring: 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 :handshake: :heartpulse: :ring: This student takes their prefect duties extremely seriously, to the detriment of their social life and equilibrium.

Blaise Marechal :handshake: :heartpulse: :ring: 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 :handshake: :heartpulse: :ring: The Gallatin groundskeeper and general dogsbody, Karson is a servant who is quiet, brooding, and intense.

At Archambault

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 :heartpulse: :ring: 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 :heartpulse: a self-interested aristocrat who is a notorious flirt, Florin aims to have a good time however - and with whoever - they can.

Prince/Princess/Heir Rosario of Zaledo :heartpulse: :ring: 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.

Engagement Guide

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 :handshake: good Gonzalez relationship

Hartmann :handshake: :heartpulse: 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 :handshake: :heartpulse: platonic: good Max relationship. Romantic: good Max relationship, encouraging Max to be more steady

Delacroix :handshake: :heartpulse: good Delacroix relationship

Max and Delacroix: :heartpulse: 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 :handshake: :heartpulse: good Freddie relationship

Blaise :handshake: :heartpulse: very high Blaise relationship

Karson :heartpulse: will get engaged to you if you ask, no matter what

Auguste :heartpulse: 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 :heartpulse: 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.

Extras
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Good start! I appreciate the decision to have most of the core characters have selectable genders! Freddie is definitely my favourite character so far.

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Forgive me, Hannah -

I am getting a Gossip Girl vibe from this project so far.

I love your story pitch and your development approach so far.

Thank you for trying this.

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Got to say, this is one story I will particularly like. I’m enjoying the fact that I’m trying to play peace keeper of sorts, with all the ideologies clashing between pretty much everyone. Whilst the establishing of what pronouns, names and titles your MC will use may take some getting use to, I’m confident it won’t detract me too much for the story.

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I haven’t seen Gossip Girl myself, but a couple of dear friends of mine love it, so I’m not at all offended by the comparison!

I’m enjoying building up the cliques in the writing I’m doing currently - there’s a lot of conflict and troublemaking between them, and part of joining up with one group will mean that people in other groups will have Opinions about that. It’s a lot of fun to plan out!

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Courtship in this game potentially sounds like a game of its own!

I do have a question, must we always defer to the ro’s judgement in order to pursue them? Or are they less strick about it?

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But, I just want everyone to accept me :sob:. That said, time to get my social manoeuvring on :sunglasses:.

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Oh Oh Oh !

I’m seeing this in black and white !! Ohh!

This give me such a deja-vus from 2 others games , seriously ! But thats a good thing!

Cose I LOVE the setting sooo much ! I mean in real life…its all feel snob and stuffy…and I be screaming and running down the hill…lol but funny enough , I love playing games like this though .

ahem…anyway…where was I ?

So many delicious roomies…to smooche…(right? we can , right?)…

Summary

Blaise…Blaise…she gonna be delicious to butthead with and make her fall from grace then in love…
But uh…I haven’t decided who I liked . They all seem so much fun and diverse (kudos!)…that…its like a freaking buffet…everything look good…(urgh that sounded bad right?)…I just mean they all look interesting and wanna know them more…before cupide hit me with it,s arrow…I swear! thats all I mean lol …

So take mah money already!!

Edit: There is just…one tiny thing I forgot to mention : at the beginning you say : Beau or debutante . Beau is the word for suitor . Debutante is the word for rookie . Why?

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That is wonderful. If you get a chance, ask your friends about Blair, who I am hoping to recreate in your wonderful world. Perhaps I will find my Chuck Bass (again ask your friends; they will explain) :slight_smile:

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Debutant/Dubutante was a guy or gal who was “presented” into society for the first time - it marked the official period of young adulthood for the Nobles and the Creme de la Creme of society. :slight_smile:

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well I get that . But why female get to be debutante , where males are beau ? Beau is the word for suitor isn’t it ?

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If I’m correct, were we not embroiled with the parents’ scandal, we were to be seen as a potential marriage option as well when entering the social circle.

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Hanah could have used Debutant (male) and Debutante (female) but that leaves the nonbinary sort of hanging. I just ran with Beau as a substitute .

Edit - perhaps this is the feedback she is seeking from us :slight_smile:

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Soo…tell me :stuck_out_tongue: what’s the female word for ‘Beau’ ?

Since beau is used in French, I guess we can use Belle. Of course, that’s up to @HannahPS.

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This is considered the companion term, @MIGSey is correct.

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I knew I’d forgotten something! I took out the beau/debutante wording from the thread (for exactly the reason that it doesn’t work as a gender neutral descriptor) but forgot from the game intro. Will update to correct!

Side note - I read that beau and debutante are used as male and female descriptors in some US finishing schools for people who are doing their society debut at a debutantes’ ball, which was why I used it originally, but obvs that doesn’t allow for non binary people (and that culture of social etiquette is very female-oriented anyway; the male equivalents are much more focused on business negotiation). In the game setting, non binary genders are recognised and the kinds of socialite manners/etiquette that are traditionally seen as female in this world are gender neutral.

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So google tell meh…:sweat:…that was so dissapointing …

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Most times (that I am aware of) at Debutante balls, the guys are just considered the “Escort” for the presentation - they ask: “Who are you being escorted by?” and then make the official announcement based on your response.

Sorry for the thread spam.

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So…so…can we ask questions about the story ? Not like super spoilery stuff…

But like ‘will there be X in the story ? and can Y do this’’ ?