Орлёнок - Eaglet (WIP)

Hello there! You might remember this concept from the Interest Check Thread. Well, now it’s not just a concept anymore, but a little baby demo that you can actually read!

The premise has stayed mostly the same:

Орлёнок (Eaglet) is an interactive story set in a country similar to 1910s-1920s Russia. You’re a member of the overthrown Imperial Family, shaping the future of the Empire by virtue of arms.

It aims to be equal parts role-playing, dress-up and strategy game, with an emphasis on romance.

More information, as well as semi-regular updates on development progress and the option to ask me whatever you want can be found on the project’s official tumblr blog (linked below).

CLICK HERE FOR THE DEMO (v0.0.2, 21.05.24)
CLICK HERE FOR THE TUMBLR BLOG

Features of this initial demo include:

  • Meeting your family! And getting bullied.
  • Getting executed!
  • Rising from the dead!
  • Celebrating life by slaughtering some rebels!
  • (Being extremely miserable!)
Synopsis

The Empire of Nevetskiya - old, proud, and utterly dilapidated. While the Industrial Revolution has enabled other Monarchies - after a few quickly suppressed workers’ uprisings - to become modern colonialist superpowers, exerting their influence all over the world, Nevetskiya is still overwhelmingly agrarian, and barely holding onto its outlying territories acquired in golden times long past.

Your Father Emperor, while ruling with an iron fist and unquestionable authority over the common people, is completely dependent on the shaky loyalty of the High Nobility, who frustrate any attempt to modernize the economy or administration, out of fear upstart merchants might, in time, replace the old Aristocracy.

When a sloppily executed coup d’etat eventually leaves your family dead and you a refugee, it becomes time you grab the reins of your destiny and amass an army to liberate and rebuild the country in the way you envision.

ROs

Yakov Tymofiyevich Sokolovskiy / Liliya Tymofiyevna Sokolovskaya
The Intelligence Director (gender-selectable)

One of your four original companions. As a member of the High Nobility, you’ve met them before - maybe you’ve even been childhood friends?

But even if you know them, it’s hard to tell what they’re truly like, as they seem to switch personalities effortlessly depending on the situation.

Their work is a mystery to seemingly everyone, but they always get results: as long as you let them act freely, no enemy agent has any chance to harm you or your cause.

Semyon Ivanovich Orlov / Selena Ivanovna Orlova
The Cavalry Officer (gender-selectable)

One of your four original companions. A war hero and renowned expert when it comes to horses, the only reason they were not yet promoted to a lofty position in the War Ministry is their pragmatic approach to new developments, which hasn’t mixed well with the typically very traditionalist views of the old Imperial officer corps.

Possessing a subdued but strong charisma and deeply respected by their soldiers as a wise parent figure, they are a solid pillar of support to you, and will reliably get things done - though some people might consider the cost for that too high sometimes.

Mikhail Pavlovich Voronin / Marina Pavlovna Voronina
The Young Visionary (gender-selectable)

One of your four original companions. They shot up through the ranks by impressing the War Ministry with bold new ideas for utilizing modern technologies and are hailed as a genius by many - though the older officers dismiss them as a dreamer at best and incompetent fool at worst.

With you, they hope to have found someone who’ll appreciate their visions for the future - plus, their relative eccentrism has left them in dire need of a friend.

Their technical expertise might just prove to be the key to your success - if you can secure the foreign support needed to get the modern equipment needed to utilize it.

Leon Isayev / Leah Isayeva
The Noble Academic (gender-selectable)

One of your four original companions. Born to wealthy nobles, they graduated the Imperial Officer Academy with perfect grades, and feel honour-bound to your family.

They were the one to gather your initial force of loyalists and act as your primary advisor. But their loyalty is to the Imperial system, with you just a symbolic representative - can you convince them that you and your vision deserve their loyalty beyond that?

‘Little’ Semyon/Selena Shvets
The Hero (gender-selectable)

A young cavalry officer and leader of your Southern Forces. A protegé of the “other” Semyon/Selena, they lack their cynical pragmatism, but make up for it with a firm belief in the triumph of a better world.

Some may call their optimism naive, and their personality has been mockingly compared to a Golden Retriever, but they have proven time and time again that underestimating them on the battlefield results in a crushing defeat.

Nikola
The Rebel (nb)

Leading an anti-authoritarian peasant uprising in the West, Nikola is more likely to be your enemy than your ally - but they don’t seem to care enough about politics to refrain from flirting with you, so… there might be a basis of mutual understanding there?

Their personality is pretty sweet, at least - if you ignore the fact they’ll cheerfully gun down prisoners if they feel like it.

Rakhmil/Rakhilya Feldman
The Logistician (gender-selectable)

A member of the Western Rebel Army and best friend of Nikola’s adoptive sibling, they’ve poured their soul (and countless nights without any sleep) into somehow maintaining the rebels’ supply network in the face of their rapidly swelling numbers.

Unhappy with Nikola’s carefree attitude, they might end up aligning with you instead in order to save their cause.

Arseniy Matveyevich Lebedev / Amaliya Matveyevna Lebedeva
The Enemy (gender-selectable)

Grand Duke Lebedev, the main leader of the Aristocrat faction, stood by and watched when your family was executed. Arseniy/Amaliya is their younger sibling, and serves as military commander of his personal forces that aid several warlords in their efforts to establish their own petty kingdoms.

But they’re already uncomfortable with their brother’s methods, and if you can convince them that you’re not actually “an incompetent little puppet who’s trying to ruin the country out of arrogant delusions”, they might become a very valuable ally.

Lyudmila Demyanovna Naumova(f)

A minor noble who reluctantly turned into a Warlord in order to protect her territory and her people. All she wants is peace - but she’ll not hesitate to fight if she believes it necessary.

Unfortunately, you can’t just ignore her - all must choose a side in this war - but you have options how to deal with her. Will you subdue her by force? Or fall back on the age-old option of political marriage to secure an alliance?

Jan/Jana Novotný(gender-selectable, under certain circumstances)

A member of your Personal Guard who has distinguished themself and eventually rises to become its commander. Others might betray or doubt you, but Novotný only cares about one thing - your continued, unharmed existence.

And they will go to any lengths to guarantee it.

Feedback

This is, quite obviously, a work in progress. It is made available so that you, the reader, can give feedback that improves the game.

So, while you can - and should - obviously tell me whatever you want, a specific list of what I need most in terms of feedback can be found here:

  • Language. English is not my first language (actually, not even my second one), and I mostly read non-fiction academic works when I read in English, so my writing is certainly not at the level it should be. If you have any concrete issues, please tell me, and I’ll try to learn how it can be improved.
  • Spelling. I don’t expect much in the way of outright errors, but I do know that I mix up British and American English all the time. The intended style is American English, so please point out spellings that are wrong in that regard.
  • Inconsistencies. There are a lot of variations between scenes, and I’d like to make the story as immersive as possible; so, if a phrasing, a character’s behaviour etc. feel like they don’t fit into the choices you previously made, please tell me. In detail, if possible, otherwise I won’t be able to amend it.
  • Sensory descriptions. AuDHD makes my brain process sensations, including visual impressions, very differently, which means I often end up forgetting those exist. Please tell me about scenes that lack description in that regard. (My first grade elementary school report card called my writing ‘efficient and devoid of feelings’, and I’d very much like to move past that.)
  • Technical problems. The code should be pretty solid, but with how complicated it is, it’d be weird if there weren’t at least some problems. If you find them, please try to include as much detail as possible when telling me about it. (CS Quicktest and Randomtest are not usable due to the complexity of the code, lol.)
  • You liking the story. I remain thoroughly convinced that I am a worthless person who isn’t able to, nor deserves to create anything, and currently my only motivation to continue this project is derived from pure stubbornness. So, if you, for some reason, actually like this demo, please tell me. It won’t change my mind about how bad I think it is, but it will force me to continue in order to avoid being even more of a disappointment.
  • Additions. If I like your idea, I’ll probably add it right away; if I’m unsure, I’ll do a poll. You can get me to do almost anything if you say you’re sad if I don’t do it
  • Formatting. Although I try to playtest as much as possible, it’s not that easy with how many variations there are, and in VS Code it’s sometimes hard to see how well or badly readable text passages actually are.
CWs/TWs (v0.0.1)
  • Graphic violence and gore
  • Attempted sexual assault (against the player, avoidable, f!MC only; also against an NPC if massacre route is chosen (is dealt with quickly))
  • Suicide attempt (by the player, avoidable; f!MC only)
  • Loss of loved ones
  • Massacre of civilians and/or PoWs (avoidable)
  • General misery
    (please let me know if you think this needs additions)
As of yet unfinished content
  • Autistic variations do not exist yet for the latter part of the demo
  • Only one of three locations for taking a walk available for now
  • Tooltips are incomplete
  • Asexual is not available yet, as it requires a lot of additional scene variation text
  • Special (psychopath) routes are missing from some scenes as they were added late in development
  • Choices that are locked and marked as (WIP) are unfinished
  • Interaction routes for Semyon/Selena, Mikhail/Marina and Leon/Leah. They are top priority for the first set of updates

It is recommended that you play this with a stable state of mind. If you choose the suffering paths because it’s relatable and/or as a coping strategy, please make sure you have support available and avoid triggering yourself too much.

The whole point of this game (apart from the dress-up part) is that, no matter how bad things get, you shouldn’t stop fighting. It’s your enemies who deserve destruction, not you.

Please keep in mind that I am both literally insane and pretty reasonable, so: if there is anything you find grossly offensive, don’t assume I meant anything bad by it. Just explain to me why you think it shouldn’t exist, and if I am convinced, I will amend it.

207 Likes

Oh yes finally! Gonna play this now! :heart_eyes:

10 Likes

I have nothing of value to say, but please know I and probably many others shall be lurking. It sounds promising!

11 Likes

I LOVE the Russian civil war and chinese warlord era, and this question is probably predictable considering my name, but can we lean towards communists in this?

Also we need more historical IFs so I am so glad you are doing this.

2 Likes

Is this a Romanov simulator? :eyes: sounds fun. Here’s to overthrowing the bolsheviks :wine_glass:. I’m really intrigued by the dress up aspect, can’t say I’ve seen a lot of games featuring that. Does it play a part in the story? I wouldn’t mind being dripped out as I restore imperial glory to mother Russia.

10 Likes

Found a bug here

And another one

1 Like

@Trotskyboi : no, not really, sorry. I tried to “de-politicize” the story as much as possible, otherwise it would’ve ended up basically unplayable, because I have… strong opinions on this myself

@Crazerk characters will comment on your attire occasionally, especially if it doesn’t fit the occasion (really warm clothing in summer or thin in winter, something informal on formal occasions, or the more crazy choices (ahem cat ears))

@Boree_gaia should be fixed, thank you! Hope nobody tried to save when I uploaded it…
first error was due to incorrect file linking (it’s a bit complex when you have 147 separate txt files), second error due to VSCode auto-indenting a choice that shouldn’t have been

6 Likes

Yes the demo is finally out.

So I have to say it the type of execution we’re too merciful for the rebels and I wish we get more brutal forms of execution like I want my psychopathic mc going full medieval on them they deserve a brutal death and more for killing Tasha other than that the games pretty good and have a lot of potential

1 Like

This has been pretty good thus far though I do have one question and one recommendation:

Q: Will we be given the option to react to the peasantry taking over the lands of their landowners forcibly, essentially doing land reform on their own as they had done irl? The reaction of each faction cemented their place in Russian society, with the Bolsheviks accepting what the peasantry had done and becoming popular with them (for a whole) whilst the White Forces, the majority of them at least) rejected what the peasantry had done and essentially lost the peasantry to every other faction.

R: I would recommend limiting how many romance options we have as it might make it a bit of a struggle to take both various (what seems to be 5-6) types of personalities and 8 different characters into account when making the story, dealing with the code, etc…

Just a little recommendation, you can ignore it if you want and just focus on my question.

2 Likes

@Ronin_101 the execution methods were planned out before I had the idea with the psycho routes, so there is no dedicated variation for them yet - and for a small fry like Sabilov, who didn’t really do anything to MC apart from being in the way, I think they suffice for now. I have special things planned for certain other characters, don’t worry.

@merlinhurlin kind of. There’s several different political movements in Nevetskiya, though I’ve excluded explicitly left-wing ones, to avoid political discussion about the game; so what there is are different flavours of Autocrats (Monarchists, Proto-Fascists), the Church, milquetoast Democrats (the Kerensky-inspired Republicans who executed the coup) and… Nikola’s pseudo-Anarchists. The last ones are probably what you’re looking for. But MC’s relations with different strata of society are separate from the political movements themselves.
About the ROs: this was a very early concern of mine, but a) personality options mostly depend on the situation, not on the other characters present, so the number of ROs don’t really affect them; and b) new ROs are introduced bit by bit while visiting new regions, and a lot of them can and will die, so there will never be that many ROs at the same time. Sure, it’s still an excessive amount of work to write their scenes, but “excessive” is pretty much the motto of this project. Idk if someone did some code-diving yet, but there’ll be a lot going on behind the scenes.
Basically, when I started this, I made a resolution that I will never not include something just because it would be too much work.

10 Likes

Not a lot of story but that is to be expected since it is a newly released game. Besides that everything looks good. Character customisation is wide and varied and the story’s grammar is clean. The pace is not too slow but not too fast either which is good and being able to play as a potential psychopath is always a bonus. :wink: I can already imagine my MC giving russian pet names to his future victims during interrogation (aka torture sessions). Looking forward to further updates!!

2 Likes

Great game so far. I’m looking forward to seeing how this develops. It reminds me quite a bit of A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles.

I understand you’ve chosen to stay away from the political aspects of the setting. I do hope, however, that there are a variety of political paths available to us, such as siding with the Democrats or restoring the monarchy.

2 Likes

Thank you.

From the game’s feature list:

  • several ways to rule - will you become a traditional Monarch, a Military Dictator, a democratically elected Head-of-State, or maybe proclaim yourself a Living Saint?

So yes, there will absolutely be different political directions available.

11 Likes

Good start Himbeereula!

No escaping with the royal jewels secured to our bodies, eh?

I’m curious if there will be pretenders running about who claim to be us or our siblings …

The only real confusion I have about the story is: our little sibling at the lip of the deathpit … is it a vision or reality we are seeing them? If you meant it to be unclear, then okay, but if not, you might want to clear that a bit in the writing.

I look forward to getting out of the pit of death soon.

6 Likes

Nice touch being able to play touch averse since i am myself really like it so far can’t wait to see more. And i love all the customization super cool.

3 Likes

You don’t speak, you never speak.

Does this mean that MC doesn’t want to speak or they can’t because of disability?
I really love this wip already. Russian setting, playing a member of the ‘Romanov’ family. It’s so unique!

Btw. it would be nice if there was an option to choose a nickname that friends would use (because, especially long names like Alexander, sound official).

1 Like

I may have totally misunderstood the writing, but I chose the name Aleksandr for my character, and then the brother Sasha is also Aleksandr?

Other than that little bit of confusion, I’m really looking forward to more! Off to a great start for sure. (I do wish that the male MCs were given equal opportunity to suffer as it looks like the female MCs will be able to though lol)

1 Like

THIS! has SO MUCH POTENTIAL! to be something truly GREAT.

Im in LOVE with the SHEER customization you provide to the reader.

If you continue with that path this cyoa can easily became one of the greatest novels ever published by this platform.

im completly serious dude you are in the gates of greateness with this novel.

9 Likes

Great story so far! A little bit of coding spaghetti at the end where if you choose to be saved by Liliyia, and then meet your war council, the names don’t appear and they’re simply not there! But besides that, excellent language spelling and grammar! Along with the descriptions of sensations. Well wishes Author.

Edit: Bit of a cheeky idea is if our enemies claim that we are an unholy abomination due to us managing to still be alive if you choose the Get Executed By Hanging In Public.

1 Like