Empyrean, Beta, Stats, etc

We’re proud to announce that Empyrean, the latest in our popular “Choice of Games” line of multiple-choice interactive-fiction games, is now available for Steam, iOS, and Android. It’s 33% off until December 8th!

Overthrow your father’s regime with his own secret experimental fighter plane! Dogfight dieselpunk aeros to save your city and the iron jungle beneath it.

Empyrean is an interactive “flying ace” novel by Kyle Marquis where your choices control the story. It’s entirely text-based–325,000 words, without graphics or sound effects–and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

Far below the city of Actorius lies the mysterious world of the Deep Tech–creatures and plants both living and mechanical, and powered by unknown forces. Your father harvests the tech to create experimental airships, and the Revolution that fights his every move races to do the same. Your father’s aero, the Empyrean, is governed by Deep Tech dynamics not even he understands.

Only you can fly the Empyrean, match wits against ruthless oligarchs and devious spies, and take to the sky to fight your city’s enemies. But who is the enemy? The Revolution, or the government they say is corrupt? Foreign invaders, or the Deep Tech itself?

In a world of gleaming towers and downtrodden laborers, streaking aeros and deadly rooftop duels, when you risk it all, the sky’s the limit!

  • Fly the Empyrean, the greatest aircraft ever designed
  • Play as a man, a woman, or nonbinary; romance men or women.
  • Explore the Deep Tech, a savage mechanical ecosystem below your city.
  • Conceal your true identity from your family and the secret police.
  • Befriend Wesh, a denizen of the Deep Tech who is both human and machine
  • Cross swords in top secret research facilities, elegant cafés, and even atop airplanes in flight!
  • Use the Deep Tech and your political authority to improve and protect your city
  • Side with the revolution, the government, foreign powers, or the Deep Tech itself!

We hope you enjoy playing Empyrean. We encourage you to tell your friends about it, and recommend the game on StumbleUpon, Facebook, Twitter, and other sites. Don’t forget: our initial download rate determines our ranking on the App Store. The more times you download in the first week, the better our games will rank.


Bought it as soon as I got the Email.
That moment when you have read everything single game, and need more.:sweat_smile:


Why does this game use opposed pairs for it’s primary stats… ruins any sense of progression in terms of your stats improving, and it punishes you for heavily favouring one side. Not to mention some of the stats don’t even make sense being opposite. Why can’t I have a high sensitivity and tech score, or be cunning and a good leader at the same time? If you’re going to use opposed pairs, at least do it right…


Totally agree with you. This game is a waste of a great opportunity to do a masterpiece. The author is a pro, the writing is thrilling and The world building is amazing and well build . However, stats design and game mechanisms has destroyed the game totally. You really can’t choose what you want. You have to go straight and spamming one stat choice over and over because otherwise is stat punishment and a critical failure. The opposed stats aren’t opposite at all . CUNNING VS LEADERSHIP HAS NO DAMN SENSE IN FACT NORMALLY GO TOGETHER. nerve and rection…

The game doesn’t let you at all create a character, not personal development or growth at all. The author doesn’t stop saying what do you think or what your personality is … Game has a canon That’s pro revolution and pro heroic choices. I choose the contrary Pro authorities and game tried to sell me how I was choosing wrong and how great rebels are and how my character should love them.

Combat customitations are zero, using of speech or charisma is zero…
Basically is a waste of an opportunity. It is a well written book and a terrible planed Cog. Could it have 340,000 words but doesn’t matter if there is nothing to make me replay this.
Like always I gave a 5 star rating in Google play as support of Cog. But if I were sincere is a 2 stars nothing more.


I like the world, but the stats made no god damned sense. I checked through the code as I played the third time, and in several situations because of the stats I focused on, my character would literally fail all of the choices available. If you just play normally the choices tend to force your stats back towards 50 because all the stats are paired. You have to become a one dimensional tech obsessed character and pick every tech related choice to get your tech stat up past 70. But since all the stat checks behind the choices are around 45 to 55 of a stat and playing a non one dimensional character normally means your stats drift back towards 50, none of the choices or stat checks make any sense or mean anything!

Remove all the stats from this game and it would be much better. Although the plot was a little nonsensical and character choices extremely restrictive.

I liked the world setting though.


Actually brought this up during testing, but after a new draft posted and nothing changed I couldn’t do it anymore. Damn shame. The prose was great.


I have to agree with everyone else in this thread: the story is fine but it is crippled by the fact that the stats are all mutually exclusive. For example how does having my hands messed up in a plane crash make me better at working with tech?


Actually, I think I somewhat understand the logic between the mutually exclusive stats.

Reaction vs Nerve
High reaction means that the MC will have very quick reflexes and will immediately act as a response. While high Nerve means the MC is more composed, and sometimes it means restraining your natural reflex to asses the situation.

Tech vs Sensitive.
High tech mean the MC relies on hard facts and technological knowledge to solve problems, while high Sensitive means the MC relies very much on abstract ‘feelings’, which is useful in interaction with people.

Cunning vs Leadership
High Cunning MC in this game means that the MC relies on subterfuge to solve problems, like hiding in shadows and relying on stealth via smokescreens. This naturally opposes,the Leadership stat, which means the MC will put themselves in the spotlight to order people around or increase morale.

Vigour vs Finesse
Simply might and raw strength vs skill

Although I agree that the stats flip-flops quite a bit, and that the choices are presented in a rather vague manner. But overall I think the story and setting are quite good! :grinning:


Hey, thanks for breaking this down! This will be useful when it comes to creating my MC.


I gotta agree with the other posters about the opposed stats here–they just don’t make any sense. I mean, even in your explanation, your description of technical vs sensitive doesn’t explain why they should be mutually exclusive. Someone who’s good at technology can also understand art and have social skills. I mean, think about this for a second. When you learned to use a computer, did you suddenly lose the ability to understand art or value aesthetics?

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Totally those stats can’t be OPPOSITE. many technical people is sensitive they need a sensitive mind to innovate. It is Like Leonardo Da Vinci, he was a sensitive technical guy… Steve Jobs etc… High cunning and leadership 99,9% leaders are cunning period. Even Gandhi and Jesus …

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I see your point, but this is not the case in the game. Having an MC with high tech does not prohibit them from choosing the “sensitive” options in the game, and an MC with initial high Tech can become high Sensitive according to your choices.

A skilled Technician can appreciate art, but can they do it to the extent of art connoisseurs that spent their whole life admiring art?

To me, the implication of these stats is whether the MC prefers Logic vs Emotion. A high Tech implies the MC will prefer logic over feelings, and vice versa, which makes them opposites.

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In the game’s code and skill checks, you actually do lose sensitivity if you gain tech, and fail those skill checks if you choose options that use it. It isn’t an implied trait, you are actually failing some outcomes because getting better in one thing means you lose ability in another area. Nothing prevents a character that starts with high tech from becoming higher in sensitivity, but doing so means that if you then choose a tech option, they will just inexplicably suck at it, and get either a worse outcome or a failure out of it.


Which can be explained that because they are highly sensitive, they will be distracted by the surroundings when tech options require greater focus, which lowered their tech prowess. MC with high tech will just ignore surrounding distractions and be able to successfully complete the tech options. This means they won’t be as receptive to social cues when handling people.

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The purpose is to create trade-offs for decisions without having to write a full, huge branch for each choice. The easiest way to create that trade-off is by raising one stat and lowering another. It’s weird, I agree. I don’t think of it as “suddenly getting worse at archery because I chose to use my sword” so much as your MC’s skill set slowly coming into focus for you as you play.

For example, even when you start a game with a seasoned MC, often the stats will be quite low, and then you raise and lower stats throughout the first few chapters–that’s not exactly your MC learning and forgetting things so much as the nature of your character being made known. Or something like that.

When I first started writing Midsummer, I was counseled to try to have choices that lead to both raising and lowering stats, to avoid the stat numbers for the unipolar skills just getting higher and higher, and thus leading to skill challenge number inflation. Reading this discussion of this game is making me think twice about that–there’s got to be some way to avoid the “ugh, now the numbers are going down for no reason” feeling.


My main issue, is not the opposite system. It is that the opossed are no opposite at all. I role-playing with characters That’s make it impossible because you have to play all game same exact skill. People are no plain stats who don’t grow and opperated as souless machinery. That has killed all my immersion in the game to the point I wouldn’t reply it. No enjoyment.

Also the game has zero options to personalized personality…that could have erased the stats system. I was hoping for choose be flirty or rude or something like that … Nope anything… Vanilla personality for everyone.

Game is designed for being rebel. I hate rebels. However even if all my choices were pro government all thoughts were how awful government is how corrupt it is … That’s a big break of logic if there is choices text has to go with them… if not choices are just aesthetics. That kill even more replay value.


Cunning in the way of smarts and tactics, obviously, but they are most famous because of their leadership rather than pure cunning.
However, this game utilizes cunning in the way of deception, stealth and subterfuge, which are counterproductive to what Gandhi and Jesus are trying to do, which is spreading their message, as stealth requires laying low from the public eye.

I would argue that drawing portraits require more technical expertise than sensitivity, as you are basically taking a photograph of a person/model with a drawing, and not create an image out of thin air. So IMO he is more tech than sensitive, since he has many diagrams as well.

Abstract painters would fit the “Sensitive” characteristics better.

Here is an example of what I am saying extremely early in the game.

*hide_reuse #I force myself to wait long enough for the guards outside to leave, then I pick the lock and walk out.
*if tech > 50
The Quon Bexi say their civilization began when the first Overlord imprisoned four royal heirs in a tower of adamant. The first could not escape and became the Overlord’s bride. The second climbed out the window and fled; her descendants founded the other nations. The third picked the lock and escaped to found Actorius. The fourth picked the lock, stole the lock, stole the Overlord’s book of locks, carried the secrets of lockmaking into the desert, and founded Quon Bex.

		As an Actorian, you only pick the lock.
		*goto best_trick
		After a thorough examination you discover that you have no idea how to do that sort of thing.
		*set tried_picking true
		*goto escape_choice

If you start with higher tech, you can pick a lock. If you then become higher in sensitivity, and you need to pick a lock later in the game in a similar situation, THE CHARACTER THEN FAILS BECAUSE THEY FORGOT HOW. How does being sensitive mean you completely forget your skills? If its personality, fine, your personality can change over the course of the story. BUT these are skills that the character has learned over their life and use. These traits have been used as skill checks. Meaning the entire system makes no god damned sense!

The only trait that makes sense is the Ambition - Rebelliousness trait, since that measures how loyal you are to the regime.

Totally with you on this… I don’t care semantics about x wording … code shows it clear as hell

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The example you provided is the early game, yes? A high Tech will succeed in picking the lock, but a high Sensitive MC will fail. This is normal.

However, is the lock you mentioned later in the game the same kind of lock? Is the environment similar to the first case of lock-picking? (ie. any distractions?) If it is a different lock or a chaotic environment, the tech-to-sensitive MC will naturally not able to pick them, either from the fact that they are too distracted by the environment and panic, which can cause them to fail.