Welcome to the Developer Diary thread for my CoG project, Crème de la Crème! Here you can play a teaser section - around three-quarters of the first chapter, with an average playthrough of 7500 words.
The plan: to host this thread for questions, discussions or feedback. Let me know what you think of the teaser! Each week I’ll post screenshots and updates about what I’m up to in the writing process. Each month I’ll post snippets about the world and characters of the game. This may involve mini games, short stories, playlists, mood boards and more!
The story so far: I started working on this game on 1st June 2018, after an outline process of a month. It’s slated to be released in 2019.
Currently I’m writing Chapter 5, and the game is 124K words.
This thread is an experiment in a more open development process, and I’m excited to see how it goes, so let’s get started!
As an eighteen-year-old socialite, your main concerns should be music lessons, romantic entanglements, and the correct forks to use at dinner. But your parents’ political disgrace complicates your obligations. Enrolled into the prestigious Gallatin College as a last-ditch attempt to regain the family name by distinguishing yourself, you throw yourself into boarding-school life.
Your environment is glamorous but unforgiving, and all eyes are upon you. Will you build a conventional reputation, or dip your toes into scandal? When you begin to uncover dark secrets of the school, will you reveal them to the world or leave them in the shadows?
Build your reputation amidst the murky waters of cults, backstabbing and political diplomacy in this sparkling, brittle world of high society.
Playable Genders and Orientations
You can play as male, female, or non-binary; gay, straight, bi, pan, asexual, or aromantic. Note - in the full game, stating that you are asexual and/or aromantic comes in Chapter 2.
Gallatin College is an exclusive finishing school nestled in the mountains of the fictional country of Westerlin. Exclusive, expensive, and prestigious, it is known for turning out the most gracious beaus or debutantes the continent has to offer. The curriculum focuses on the life of a socialite; literature for sparkling conversation, athletics for personal glory, arts for pleasant but superficial diversions. After graduation, students are assumed to marry, though a minority go on to attend university or even distinguish themselves in an appropriately genteel career.
Major Characters (Spoilers)
The Peer characters are gender-flippable. You can pick their genders as they are introduced, or have them be randomised. There are also other major characters of the PC’s age who appear later!
Freddie Crawford: a fierce overachiever attending college on scholarship. They are determined to succeed and help their family, whatever the cost to their wellbeing.
Jocelyn 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 chance at athletic success.
Patrice Delacroix: Outspoken and intense, this student is set apart from the popular crowd, focusing on uncanny phenomena. It is rumoured that a near-death experience sparked off this obsession, but no one knows the truth behind it.
Maxim/Maxine/Maxime “Max” Van Meyer: A notorious troublemaker, Max rules the school’s group of rebels, the Starlings. This student delights in chaos, but like a wildfire, may spiral out of control.
Eugene/Eugenia/Gene Hartmann: This student stamps down their wistful desire to break convention by taking 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 groundskeeper and general dogsbody, Karson is a servant who is quiet, brooding, and intense. They disapprove of Gallatin, seeing it as a waste of minds and money.
Lady Renaldt: Headteacher and Etiquette teacher. Implacable and seemingly omniscient, this teacher rules the school with an iron fist in a silk glove.
Mr. Griffith: Arts teacher. A widower who is notoriously strict, this teacher is deeply feared by the student body, but may have hidden depths.
Mr. Blanchard: Athletics teacher. A former Gallatin student, he is dedicated but unassertive, and unpopular amongst the more ruthless students.
Miss Dalca: Philosophy. New this year, this teacher is a breath of fresh air with her wild ideas and unusual approach, but this makes her controversial.
Friendships and Romances
As a social-focused game, you can befriend or romance most of the peer characters. Some characters may not be romanceable, whether because they are aromantic or because they require certain levels of reputation in order to form a serious relationship; some will reject you if your actions do not align with their values. My aim with this game is to provide rich interactions with the characters, whether romantic or non-romantic, as well as allowing asexual protagonists to have as fun romantic interactions as allosexual ones.
Of course, there will be rivalries as well, and romances will not always go the way you planned…
Developer Diary Posts
At the end of November, I will post an interactive short story about Lady Renaldt, as a result of the teaser poll.