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

I brought some more Hartmann, just as i threate…uhh promised!
Please feast your eyes upon this fine specimen.

The picture goes best with this song, they’re dancing to it. The text is enough to fall in love with each other while the song lasts.

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Totally! They sound like a lovely couple and it sounds like Saeran would be someone who could navigate the complicated family dynamic of their inlaws deftly and delicately.

I think if it was a foregone conclusion, they would likely be sad for the short/medium term, and would try to set it aside as much as they could. They pride themselves on their self-control/self-restraint… whether that’s the entirely healthy thing to do is another matter but I could see them finding love elsewhere in the end and looking back on it in a fairly calm way.

Yes, that’s fair! Certainly they wouldn’t admit getting along with Max but maybe one day when they’re in a less weird environment, they might be able to be friendly again. I did originally consider having a matchmaking Max and Hartmann storyline but it ended up being way too complicated…

And yes I agree, Hartmann isn’t fond of Florin and finds them a combination of intimidating and distasteful, and would find it quite hard to understand why someone would go for Florin when Florin doesn’t treat people with much emotional care.

Hartmann would get a bit snappy back - they tend to get prickly by instinct rather than thinking before they speak in those sorts of situations. They might wind it back if they realised that the other person is upset or stressed out, but their immediate reaction would be to be snappy/defensive.

I think Hartmann’s parents would likely pressure Hartmann to break it off, yes. Hartmann might stick by Auguste if they had gotten close and if Hartmann was more on the rebellious end of the spectrum… otherwise they would probably break up.

Yes, it was a result of being in the mines - the whole thing was very traumatic for them.

Ahhh I haven’t decided exactly what Alejandro looks like yet, but that pic is extremely Zaledo!

That picture is SO. BEAUTIFUL. I love it!!!

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They just might! (they aren’t exactly besties with Eugene’s parents, but at least high virtue and reputation, and being part of the prefect committee helped to start off on okay terms with inlaws)

I think Saeran would actually choose as their Gessner major something that was strongly suggested by mr Hartmann Sr. Something that would benefit the family, related to business or property management. Despite having A+ grades and being smart in general, Saeran doesn’t have a strong aspiration, so when the “you’re starting your own family, you must learn something that will give you financial security” topic is brought up, they consider it and agree (plus, Saeran doesn’t trust their parents with money anymore, so they know better than to rely on their parents’ business). And since Eugene has academic ambitions and they respect it and encourage him to pursue these ambitions, sounds like a reasonable choice to take the job upon themselves.

I can see them working directly under one of Eugene’s parents after the uni, like an assistant or something! That would be a fun dynamic.

i LOVE it. with your every response, i fall in love deeper and deeper. can’t be helped, i guess… they’re so… not perfect, but so alive and have so much personality. literally, your every answer about Hartmann gives me happiness.

thank you! i can’t stop looking at it! and the song they’re dancing to (it’s an old school waltz) goes “don’t get me wrong, i’m not that strong, but for you, i will do my best i swear”. very much their dynamic.

Also, i’m trying to create a map of your world (because i love your world, and also i’m obsessed with visuals), i would be extremely grateful if you gave me some pointers for where’s what, either text descriprions or something like circles on a piece of paper. like countries’ placement and size relative to each other and where known locations are (like, in the middle of a country, on the border etc)

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I haven’t decided on what a map would look like yet, I’m afraid - sorry! I know it’s something I should do but part of me is nervous about pinning it down in case I want to change something later. Jezhan is to the east of Westerlin, and I think Zaledo is to the southwest and Teran is to the west/northwest? But I am wary of going into too many specifics right now while things are very much in progress.

Heyo folks.

So Creme de la Creme was my first entrada into the world of interactive fiction[1] - definitely did not disappoint! I wanted to share some of my thoughts in case any of you are interested.

There’s a lot I loved about it.

There’s the endearing and diverse cast of characters from the students to the teachers. A melting pot of distinctive personalities and differing backgrounds; the miffed-out royal kind of ashamed of their own status, the local school eccentric into ghost-hunting, etc - they all feel distinguishable and variable. I am especially a fan of Freddie, and their whole “rags-to-esteemed-university” drive - that there’s one dream for equality achieved[2].

Then, the feeling of interactivity and sense of choice I felt the gap between player and character being blurred; in some sense I felt I was my own character, rather than, say, some puppet-master controlling my character’s choices and directing their life.

Then there’s the whole atmosphere; the whole pristine posh Victorian-esque school setting and the various glamorous activities contained therein, the whole aristocratic etiquette and politesse social front, high society socialite hobnobbing and fraternization, etc. Some people may not be a fan of it, but I loved the very detailed visual descriptions - I felt quite immersed in the whole setting! (putting some classical music on helped too)

I don’t have much criticism aside from the “grand miner-slaving conspiracy” sub-plot… which I found kind of silly and over way too fast. Would have been preferred the whole story being mostly slice-of-life. That said, this is just my opinion. If you found it entertaining… then more power to you. I only wish I did myself.

And also, I felt like it could have lasted rather longer than it did :sweat_smile:. I blitzed through an entire school year in less than half a day… although I suppose that’s the trade-off with interactive fiction: with a finite number of words, greater interactivity necessitates a shorter experience. And to be fair, the amount of skill and effort that it took to write 440,000 words is daunting and challenging enough; I could not imagine doing it myself!

That all said, Creme de la Creme has definitely been
a very enjoyable experience for me, not least for it’s own merits which I’ve elaborated on above, but for how it’s introduced to me interactive fiction - an entire new medium of fiction I knew nothing about before.

Thanks for reading this; I hope you’ve found some interesting nuggets of thought!

[1] I don’t know whether to call it a game or novel - it really lies straddling between the two mediums!
It’s 100% text and imagination, but there’s also choice and player stats - on the other hand, I suppose excluding choice-based novels would eliminate CYOA and feels too limiting, which frankly feels wrong. I suppose that’s a good reason to use “interactive fiction” instead!

[2] I suppose that might be what Revekah Vasile wants for everyone… (at least by the way I pegged their politics; a socialist/economic redistributionist-type revolutionary)

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Hello there, welcome to the forum and thank you so much for your kind comments and thoughtful feedback! I always love hearing what people think of my games and I very much appreciate anything players have to say. If you use Spotify and would like some musical atmosphere, this is what I was listening to when I was writing!

I hope you find plenty more interactive fiction that you enjoy! (If you’re not aware, I am working on two games in the same universe with different protagonists - Royal Affairs and Noblesse Oblige - they may catch your eye!)

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Hi, thanks for sharing this Spotify playlist! Having finished the game, I’ve been craving for more content before I move on to Royal Affairs lol. I really enjoy social dramas like Tally Ho and Mask of the Plague Doctor, so I instantly fell in love with Creme de la Creme.

I have a question about Schroeder though: Is there any way to escape her while talking to Karson?

I’ve been trying to get Karson to leave while I would distract her, but they keep exposing my identity :< I tried maxing out different stats for every new rerun, but so far they’d still do that. In fact, it felt very weird for this to happen right after PC can tell Karson that their feelings towards them haven’t changed. Am I facing a bug?

If you don’t agree to send someone to the mines, then you will always be kidnapped

Which is basically agreeing to send YOURSELF to the mines, so it all works out!

Ooh ok. Thanks, you guys

(Spoiler warning ahead but): Side note, I updated the game on my phone as it was a much older version [I have auto-updates turned off] and I finally came across a scene where Emil didn’t expose my identity to Schroeder :DD I’m all good now, lol

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You know, I finished this game a few months ago and have already commented my appreciation for it in this topic. But even now, I still catch myself sometimes remembering it fondly and thinking about how much I liked it. Just want to thank the author again for the wonderful read!

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I love the game especially the princess, though I’m curious about the romance path with Blaise.

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Does anyone know how to get the Model Student achievement?

Yes, you need to throw one teacher under the bus when lady Reinaldt asks you to help her.

At the risk of sounding dumb, how do you increase the progressive stat ? I ended woth a 92% traditional stat with no idea how

I find a lot of it usually boils down to whom you’ve chosen to romance at the time!

For instance - I almost always end up with high progressive on a Karson route in particular, due to the vast difference in background when compounded with the MCs.

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So I guess that spending some time with a specific character often helps improving some stats ? Although in the en, all my stats kept making some wild yoyo, I have no idea how :woozy_face:

Now I’m having trouble with flair

So you can romance Max and Delacroix separately or together as a polycule?

Yes.

You can do both. Just keep the relationship stats high for both.