Cyberpolice (November 2020. 1-2 hours playtime) (WIP)

This right here. Romance can be fun as long as it stays gritty, and isn’t the minor focus of the story.

Updated with next file.

Includes the entirety of the Rutherwood scene of the Press Statement media stance, City Hall variant.

Also added special skip point to new Rutherwood stuff. Using it makes you start after the lunchbreak(only for the above variants aka City Hall + Press Conference).

Current average playthrough:

  • Total average: 91,000 (was 91,000. No meaningful change since the width increased, not the length. Overall added words from Rutherwood scene all in all, 9000. Lots of variance, not super much length-wise.)

Alright, that’s it for the Rutherwood version. Next up Mari Badr version, starting tomorrow.

I’d love to hear some opinions on the scene, since it technically follows the “deeper character introductions” style I’m trying out. Not totally sure I nailed it, though, so it’d be cool to have some feedback(negative is fine too if that’s how you feel, just be constructive if possible. Even if you can’t be constructive, I’d still like to know if you hate it. Doesn’t matter if you find Rutherwood interesting or insufferable, all opinions are welcome. :wink: ).

As for the large discussion you had over the day, thank you for it. It was interesting to read through. More of that, please. Makes me feel people are engaged and interested in the work :smiley:

That definitely depends on what you mean exactly by personality, doesn’t it? At first glance she’s definitely quite shallow, a mere puppet of the corporation, but perhaps something lies waiting beneath the surface? :male_detective:

Then again, perhaps not. You’ll just have to wait and see, I suppose. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

And a dating sim it shall never be, fear not. Still, I don’t think a minor amount of romantic content will spoil the game for anyone, as long as it doesn’t take too much time and effort away from the other stuff. It might even elevate the rest, even to players who don’t choose to partake in it, since it gives breadth and depth to the characters and the setting. I hope anyway.

Given that I personally don’t like “favoritism” of content, I’ll be making a parallel path for non-romantic players, which will include mutually exclusive character stuff with the romantic versions. Meaning, if you romance Stillwater you’ll see some stuff you wouldn’t otherwise, but if you don’t romance him, you’ll see stuff you won’t see in the romantic version.

Neither exclusive version will be super long or elaborate, I’m guessing, but it should add a bit spice to the tale. Naturally there will be “generic” character content that everyone will see, sometimes if they want to, sometimes they’ll be force-fed it. :wink:

Interesting theories. :thinking:

Unfortunately I’ll most likely be including some romantic stuff in the end. Probably less than what the people who want it yearn for, but more than the people who don’t want to see can tolerate. :smiley:

(as stated above/below, I do believe the player has the right to choose whether to experience the content or not. But in any case, the romance won’t be the focus now, or probably ever as far as my stuff is concerned. It might be present, but it won’t disturb those who don’t care for it, and there won’t be enough of it that it’ll be in the way of other content either. Just a spice, if you will. In any case I’m interested in seeing how well I can write such content. If it turns out awful, then it might very well be removed altogether :wink: ).

Keep the ideas coming, the more I see, the easier it’s for me to decide what to include.

While the story definitely has it’s own themes and style, I think it’s nice if I can implement it so that the player can choose the ‘tone’ to a degree, and the type of content they’ll see, romantic or otherwise.

If you want to experience it as a grim/gritty story, choose the appropriate options and you’ll see that sort of content. If you want wholesome stuff, work towards them and maybe you’ll see what you’re hoping to see, etc. To me, that’s the entire point of interactive fiction/choice of games stuff. If the player/reader can’t shape the story to a degree, what’s the point?

The real question is, how easy is it to implement that in practice? Might be harder than you’d think due to the amount of characters etc, since for it to truly work I’ll have to make many variable situations and fates for each of them, and maybe have them interact with each other, etc.

Can’t really tell how it’ll end up working until the whole thing is ready, I suppose.

I certainly have enough ideas for a new book or two, but if I ever do end up making another, it’ll probably be way smaller than this, or at least done in a more compressed style. Even though I sought to make the “most minimalistic version possible”, even this is getting out of control at times. :slight_smile:

Very true. Also thank you.

The focus will definitely be there for sure, so you won’t be disappointed on that regard. Or should I say, you won’t be disappointed BECAUSE I’ve added romantic content, you might be disappointed for other reasons(such as the content not living up to your expectations). :smiley:

Well, we’ll see how it’ll turn out. Maybe good, maybe bad. If the quality is bad enough to detract from the rest, then I’ll cut it entirely. Otherwise it’ll probably stay in as an optional “side-path”, if you will. But that’ll be determined far in the future.

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I repeat myself, but I can’t thank you enough for that.
A “little spice” is all I need.
I guess I may be in the minority as far as people who DO want romance are concerned, but I don’t feel like it would benefit from a lot of it. Just a little bit, as we were discussing before! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:
I like your idea of mutually exclusive content. One thing that often bothers me in games that are actually more romance heavy, is that you can’t build deep friendship or meaningful relationship with non-romanced characters.

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I absolutely agree with that. Every moment with Mouse is wholesome

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No update today.

Made fine progress, but I’ll probably wait until the Mari Badr version is complete before posting it. Will probably take a day or two more.

Not sure if I can work tomorrow or not. Monday and Tuesday should be fine, but Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are likely no go, so sadly it’ll be a while until I get stuff done for real.

Good to know we’re on the same page. :+1:

Haha. Funny thing, some people find Mouse and Carr super annoying and would prefer if they didn’t exist. :wink:

It’s interesting how different people’s opinions on the characters are. Makes it really hard to know if I’ve done a good job portraying them or not when the same character might be beloved and hated at the same time. :smiley:

I suppose it’s at least a sign that they’re very distinct, since if no one cared at all it’d be a sign that the character is really bland, I suppose.

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No update today.

The Mari Badr version is getting close to done. Might be finished tomorrow. If not, it’ll have to wait until after I can work again(this weekend if things go well, otherwise next week).

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When you realize Amri Brad and Mari Badr are just re-arranged letters :clown_face:

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No update today.

Hopefully I can get back to work during the weekend, otherwise next week. See you then.

Clever or lame? You decide.

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That’s fine, good luck!

Ehe

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Alright, I’m back. Work continues tomorrow, and I’ll almost certainly be able to post the Mari Badr variant of the Press Conference then. So far I’m pretty pleased with it, so I hope you will be too.

Fortunately I should be able to work pretty much every day next week, except maybe Sunday, so expect lots of progress!

Maybe we can finally get all this media stuff done with and move on to the interrogations and the like. :smiley:

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Updated with next file.

Includes the entirety of the Mari Badr scene of the Press Statement media stance, Corporate Cooperation variant.

(No new skip points unfortunately, those’ll have to wait until the media stuff is completely complete).

Current average playthrough:

  • Total average: 91,000 (was 91,000. No meaningful change since the width increased, not the length. Overall added words from Mari Badr scene all in all, 8000. Lots of branch variance, not super much dialogue variance.)

Alright, here we go, Mari Badr version complete.

I’m kinda really happy with it at the same time as being kinda disappointed by it in a weird way.

For one, I had to leave some parts incomplete for the moment, which I’ll be filling in the polishing pass.(complicated reasons, you probably won’t even realize they’re missing)

For another, I’m not entirely sure whether I’ll keep this Mari Badr version strictly exclusive to the Press Statement branch, or if I’ll make it a “generic” one that all media branches can access. It’s kinda too broad for just this branch, but too shallow for a universal one.

Unfortunately I’m not super confident about the player’s dialogue response stuff this time. It probably could’ve used another layer of options after each choice, I feel. Something I can improve on with the polishing pass too. Kinda feels like the player doesn’t get enough interesting stuff to say or explore in their choices, and it isn’t super-reactive or anything. Not so much interacting with Mari Badr as it’s listening to her, sadly enough. Seems to be a problem quite often with my writing, even with the new and improved way of making one-on-one scenes with characters.

But maybe it’s just the “creator’s curse” point of view, where I see things through the lens of “what could have been” rather than “what is”, which always makes everything look worse in comparison. :smiley:

There are two sort of sub-paths for the Mari Badr stuff too, and I’m not sure if they’re equally cool or if one is far superior to the other. It’s dependent on whether you accept the car ride from her or not. There’s also some variance in one of the sub-paths depending on whether you’ve signed the contract way back at the ABGS HQ or not.

Opinions are very welcome, but I suspect I’ll have to wait for them until the media set is entirely complete by the looks of it. :slight_smile:

Starting tomorrow it’s finally time to wrap up the media stuff. Very hard to say whether it’ll be quick and easy, or a very laborious process. I’m still not 100% sure on what questions I’ll include for the media to ask about. May very well be I’ll just make a super basic version for now, and make it way better on the polishing pass once I have a better understanding of the stuff I’ve actually included in the gamestory, rather than what I WANT to include. :wink:

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No update today.

The press conference scene will be ready tomorrow, I decided to keep it pretty short for now.

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Updated with next file.

Includes the entirety of the Press Statement/Conference media stuff.

(No new skip points today, I’ll add them tomorrow, since I’ll have to take a look at the branching logic to be totally sure it works like I want it to. Which means, keep your saves layered between scenes if possible. :smiley: )

Current average playthrough:

  • Total average: 93,500 (was 91,000. Total change of 2,500 words. Overall added words from Press Conference “stage” scene all in all, 8000. Lots of branch variance, very little dialogue variance.)

Alright, here we are, all the media stuff finally done in a basic form. They’ll be tuned in the future for sure, but this’ll have to do for now.

In case you’re interested it’s a total of 50,000 words all in all. A lot of work for a 2,500 word increase on average. :smiley: (heavily skewed toward the Full Press Conference I believe with probably half of that 50k in it)

Essential for creating a personal story for the player based on their choices, but I nonetheless sometimes get the feeling I use way too much effort on pointless things. :stuck_out_tongue:

As for your Press Conference experience… mileage will definitely vary. I feel that the Rutherwood version is probably more fleshed out overall, but the Mari Badr version isn’t bad either, it’s just a bit slim on dialogue responses on the player’s part, which is a bummer.

The “proper” part of the Press Conference is, at the moment, almost entirely several walls of text with barely any interaction from the player. That will change once I get the sub-plot stuff in, I feel, and I’ll probably add some “breather” parts here and there to make it more palatable.

The funny thing is, the reason why there’s so little player choice is because it’s largely consequences from prior player choices one way or another. The stuff each character says varies quite a bit depending on a bunch of stuff(see the file if you want to know how. There might be some spoilers in my comments, so ignore that stuff, just glance over it :smiley: )

The problem with that is, of course, that I’m not sure if the player will “get” it or if they’ll feel like it’s boring exposition. Since it’s a bunch of consequences one after another without player choices in between, I can imagine that it might feel like “watching a scene/movie” rather than playing/experiencing it. Worst case scenario is, I’ve done a huge amount of work for something that ultimately turns out to be worse than if I did it in a way easier manner. :stuck_out_tongue:

Anyway, I’ll start working on the interrogating the arrested suspects next. No idea how quickly they’ll be done. Presumably much quicker than this stuff at least, but who knows.

PS Opinions on the stuff I’ve uploaded is welcome(or mandatory! :angry: ).

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No update today.

The interrogations will probably be ready tomorrow, but not necessarily.

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Is the new content only available for those who went on a less-diplomatic path?

The interrogations/questioning, you mean?

They’re available only if someone was arrested. So, either one or two of them for the Stillwater slums path, and either zero or one for the Carr-Mouse slums path. And even then only if the arrested person wasn’t severely injured(if they were, it’ll happen at a later point instead). So, worst case scenario, you’ll have no content for the next scene.

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the Press Conference. Is it only available for the maximum media stance? I picked the minimum media stance option and it kept saying that things went quietly which is why nothing happened.

I brought it up because it might be a bug, or not lol.

Oh, in case it hasn’t been clear, the recently made stuff, aka the media stances, are indeed unique to only to your chosen path(which you chose a while back during the strategy meeting with Chief Chaska).

There are 3 main variations:
a) Media blackout
b) Minimal media
c) Press statement(or maximum media stance as you put it)

You only get the content in your chosen path, so if you have the minimum media stance, you naturally don’t get to participate in the press conference since, well, that’s what you chose.

In your case the unique contents are Blake Sullivan’s interview of Mari Badr and Deputy Mayor Rutherwood, and if you caused enough of a mess in the slums Blake Sullivan’s reportage on what happened in the slums where she interviews witnesses to the stuff that happened, but that part is skipped if you did “too good of a job”(no property damage or panic caused in the Stillwater version, or you made a deal with the gang in the Carr-Mouse version). It seems you performed too well, so sadly you don’t get to see that stuff. :smiley:

Conversely, if you had the Media blackout stance you’d see Blake Sullivan report on the rumored murder in front of the victim’s house, then ambush Deputy Mayor Rutherwood with a guerrilla interview.

Finally, if you have the Press Statement(maximum media) stance, you meet up with either Rutherwood or Mari Badr(depending on your City Hall or Corporate cooperation stance), and take part in a press conference where the journalists ask a bunch of questions from you(although for now it’s pretty minor, it’ll be expanded once I introduce the sub-plots properly).

In short: The stuff you see depends entirely on your previous choices and is currently exclusive based on the media stances. Each media stance also takes into account your City Hall/Corporate cooperation stuff, and usually the level of visibility you had in the slums.

As for whether it’s less diplomatic? Well, personally I’d think it’s more diplomatic to allow the press free reign over things versus keeping the information contained or even completely censured. :sunglasses:

If you want to see how the other paths go, you’ll probably want to use one of the skip points(that I’ll be adding later today), so you can check the content out easily without having to play through all of the game to see it.

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Oh that’s why. I picked the minimal media stance and made a deal with the gang at the slums with Mouse and Carrington.

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