Emberwood: Book 1 - WIP (9/13 Update - Prologue/Chapter 1 Fixed!)

Emberwood Genres: Small-town, Romance, Sci-fi (ish), Mystery, Action, Superpower fiction

Premise

When you get into an unexplainable accident that results in severe casualties, you’re forced to relocate to the small town of Emberwood to live out your sentence in Dufner House, owned by a reclusive scientist who also happens to be the town’s pariah.

It’s either that or jail.

That’s where you find out you’re not the only one born with unique abilities that shouldn’t be possible. In fact, the eccentric Dr. Dufner is the caretaker of six other people with equally mysterious circumstances as you. And they are now your roommates—and fellow prisoners—for the foreseeable future.

But when oddities around town start cropping up and signs of a powerful threat lurk in the shadows, the truth of your past comes into question, and you begin to wonder how exactly you and everyone else in Dufner House got these powers.

Seems like your stay in Emberwood is going to get a lot more complicated.

Features

  • Customize your character from their appearance, sexuality, personality, and how they approach all the little secrets Emberwood has to offer.

  • Change the flavor text of the game based on your stats. Your reactions not only differ based on choices, but on the personality you have molded for your MC.

  • The possibility of having one of various powers that changes the story. You will also be able to control how much you train that power, and how strong it becomes. (Three options right now, but I am leaning towards adding more powers in the future.)

  • Live with not only six other superpowered humans, but an eccentric and incredibly lazy scientist who likes to bake and walk barefoot. Nothing to see here.

  • Romance and/or befriend your six new housemates (five are gender selectable) who possess different powers, personalities and variously angsty backstories. Also, romance a detective, if that’s what you’re into.

  • Most importantly, find out the truth of your past and how exactly your powers came to be. Seems like everyone in Emberwood is hiding something. Will you possess enough curiosity to figure it out or remain in blissful ignorance? The choice is yours.

Gameplay Notes

  • The ROs (aside from one) are gender selectable and are not based on your sexuality. So, if you choose to be attracted exclusively to women but select a character to be male, the romance options in a conversation will be gone in order to add more weight to the sexuality you chose. I wanted to make sure to give people the option of not being forced into a full male/female or even split household in game. Whatever combination of genders is up to you.

  • Your stats will impact the text in game and sometimes will have reactions outside of the choices you make. For example, a charming character might get a different paragraph than say, a stoic one without the interference of a choice. Once again, to add more weight to the variables in-game. This includes whether you choose to train and strengthen your control over your powers. It will change the outcome of certain events.

Play the Demo
Get more updates on the game and its progress: emberwood-if.tumblr.com


I’m a new writer and Emberwood is my first ever IF and my first foray into Choicescript coding. As expected, there might be errors and typos so I’d really appreciate it if anyone pointed it out! The main outline/big plot points are plotted and planned and I will release updates as regularly as my life allows. Other than that, I hope you enjoy it.

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I really like the premise! Now to read the Demo…

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So far this is looks very interesting, can’t wait to see what comes next!

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I really liked the idea and the execution so far (:

One note is that an RO with the gender i chose not to be attracted to still had Flirt options appear, unlike what you described in your notes. Maybe you didnt implement that yet, idk

Anyways i like it!

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It seems to be good so far.
I got an error near the end if I say it’s alright about the device.

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Woohoo! I’m intrigued.

Got this error:

I really like all the characters, and the story is very interesting. One note, the MC is described as being an orphan with no family, growing up in an orphanage. But if you choose to be close to Dalia, that doesn’t make that much sense. If we’re close, wouldn’t we consider her family? And it doesn’t seem like Dalia runs an orphanage

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I’ve got the same error.

Summary

My only criticisms are:

  1. I didn’t feel I had anywhere near enough information about the ROs before being given flirt options. There were between zero and two lines of dialogue, a general interest–impetuous sliding down railings or a love of reading for the first two, general stand-offishness for the third-- and no physical descriptions of any kind. As a result, I skipped the flirt options for all three despite clicking on the demo because I love romances.

  2. More personal preference based on the character type I decided to play, but I found the opposed Friendly/Hostile stats problematic. Based on the backstory provided, I went with an edgy, disaffected, jaded character who sees the worst in most people. She reacts with hostility to people she perceives as a threat, but kindness and empathy to her people. Tough on the outside, squishy on the inside.

Unfortunately, opposed stats for that pair will punish me for playing that way. I need to either go all nice to everyone or all mean to everyone if I want to pass later stat checks, and the early story setup really kind of makes the nice option seem counterintuitive: you’re desperate, thrown into a situation completely out of your control, threatened by police officers and faced with a life sentence. There isn’t really a comfortable enough moment for a “Hi, I’m Daisy! It’s so great to meet you” response.

That said, I did enjoy the premise and the writing. I might make it a little clearer when choosing your power what you were actually choosing? I’m guessing telekinesis, pyrokinesis and maybe super speed? I’m not sure, but it seems like too significant and permanent a choice to leave much room for doubt.

Anyway, thanks much and good luck! :blush:

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I liked the introduction of characters. And I’m intrigued by the sixth member of the mansion. I don’t know about you, but Dr. Dufner reminded me of Mr. Sikomitz from Victorius. It is interesting to see the inspiration in Charles Xavier and the X-men mansion.

Another thing that I would like to highlight would be the character customization, mainly hair or skin colors. (I don’t know if it’s just me or someone else who also has problems imagining so many skin tones or hair colors) I felt there were too many to imagine them all when customizing the MC.

I also feel that the choice of clothing could give the hooded sweaters a Nike type pants or similar to give that “Comfortable and unassuming” image while cargo pants would go well with the leather jacket to give that dark and edgy image. and the same would apply to the Chinese pants to accompany the button-down shirt.

(Of course this is a personal opinion but also based on what the web page translated for me, so some things I read may be wrong due to the translation that a web page can offer me. Even so, my goal is that my opinions don’t affect your creative process to make a story so if there is a problem in the proposed changes I can let them go since the plot of your story is what intrigues me the most outside of the small details of personalization of the MC)

So I wish you luck in creating this incredible story with a good synopsis and tell them that it can be great. :slight_smile:

That’s weird, I didn’t remember seeing any hair or skin color choices, so I went back and skimmed through a new game; no skin or hair color options ever showed up. I did crash at the monitoring device choice both times, but I assumed that was the end of the demo. Was there further customization after that point, or did it show up somewhere else?

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I have this sort of feeling that you have one RO’s physical description, and that description is “black cat.” I do agree some more RO interactions would be nice (I mean, F’s flirt line is that they’re attractive, but the only descriptor we have of them is “bright eyes”). It’d also be nice for there to be two flirt options for every flirt opportunity, one shy, one not.

I tested all three options, and it’s actually telekinesis, illusion, and manipulation, which I guess just proves your point that it’s an unclear choice.

Typos and other Stuffs for @cynosurewrites (and whoever else wants to read them, I guess)

First note: thanks for the stat and flirt toggles. I like having them, just for the fun of it. Second note: Save system, please. ;p

“Long and unending highway” needs an article before, either “The” or “A”. Or, possibly, “Long and unending, the/a highway”.

Should be “give off”, because it refers to both the hum and the walls.

Telling the doctor you saw something LOWERS your curiosity, which is weird. You’d think that “probably nothing” would do that instead.

I’m pretty sure there’s a paragraph missing here, between Dufner rolling his shoulders and me processing his words, because he says no words for me to process.

You probably meant a dash and an uncapitalised “things” after “But be careful”. Also, you’re missing an “e” in “red” in that last paragraph.

No “been” in “having long dried up.”

“alleviating”

Wrong pronoun for Fera about halfway through the 7th paragraph.

Oh, hey, I was right about Alex.

Misplaced space in “Your mind”

Additional note: I see you have Perry’s description up on tumblr, and I hope those make it into the game, because I already have a LOT of stuff to keep track of in my life, and adding an extra website to that is not gonna work out great for me. :grimacing:

Besides that, I am liking it so far and will definitely keep tabs on this topic to see where it goes from here.

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Skin and hair tones appear after we meet Alex.

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I just skimmed through again, but it went straight from me choosing what I’ll call Alex to the character sliding down the railing. No skin or hair color choices, so that’s probably something for Cyno to take a look at.

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Skin and hair tones appear once you’re in your room. Note that for you to get that far you have to let Perry put the bracelet on you, as the putting it on yourself option is currently bugged.

The PROPER end of the demo has the standard “play again” choices.

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This is promising, I largely agree with some of the others the RO’s could use a bit more detailed descriptions…I do want to thank you for giving the edgy fashion style the option for proper, leather pants…much appreciated as I dislike the situation where my mc is forced to like ripped jeans just because he likes leather jackets. :+1:

Also got the same bug as everybody else.

Plz add saves other than that good demo

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thank you! and yess that has come up, thank you for letting me know!

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That’s actually getting reworked! As the story goes, the MC was dropped off at Dalia’s doorstep, with their memory a bit foggy (for story purposes in the future). Their assumption is that they grew up orphaned, as they don’t know their parents and have no family. I wanted to give the MC the option to feel however close with Dalia as they like, so one player may want the character to feel like Dalia is like family, while another player can choose to feel as if Dalia was just someone who so happened to be the one stuck with you. After re-reading, it does seem a bit confusing, and so that’ll be clarified when I update it.

Thank you fpr playing and for the feedback !

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