Fall of 9 (WIP) - AI Defender or Betrayer?

science-fiction
gender-choice
#1

img_game_cvr_sm

Sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine. ~ Alan Turing

You are one of those unimaginable people. You are no trained spy, soldier or law enforcement officer. You live a normal life with no fuss or fanfare.

Your life has one abnormal element: You work for United Surety and Bond aka Department 9.

There’s just one tiny problem. You know nothing about Department 9 or the secret it has been protecting for decades.

It’s 2018. In the age of the Internet, information means influence and control. What would the power brokers of the world do to possess the first truly sentient computer created by a visionary scientist? Answer: Anything and everything.

Subject: Mathis
Creator: Alan Turing
Birth: 1946
Sentience Achieved: 1954?
Abilities: Unknown
Location: Unknown
Agency Contact: Department 9
Status: AI of Great Interest

One event shatters the normalcy of your life and puts you under one dangerous spotlight.

Can your loyalty be bought? In moments of crisis, will you do what must be done or will you become undone? Will you be a keeper of secrets or a traitor to history and honour? What will be your ultimate prize - trust, glory, riches or lifelong regret?

Demo Link: https://dashingdon.com/go/3939

Game Play Info
Set in modern times London, Fall of 9 is first a mystery and second an adventure game. Like the player, the main character knows very little. The MC is the perfect innocent bystander. Text and information is sparse in the beginning. Dialogue moves the story and plot along. Be on the lookout for information that may be pivotal later on.

There are two mysteries to “solve”. The MC must discover the true nature of his employer the United Surety and Bond commercial insurance firm. What is USB’s real business about? The MC has a past which is mentioned but is not readily revealed. The MC’s actions does affect what clues and information is revealed and when.

There is a historical context as is seen in the Prologue. If the player knows anything about Alan Turing then they will have a good idea as to where the story is headed but not how it will get there. That’s the mystery part.

You may:

  • Be Thirtysomething, Fortysomething or Fiftysomething. Age will make a difference.
  • Be Male, Female or Non-Binary. Have not added Transgender and have to do research on what that means.
  • Be Straight, gay, asexual, celibate and so forth.
  • Be Single or Committed. You start the game as unattached who may or may not be looking.
  • Be RANDOMLY assigned a job as a Data Analyst, Technical Analyst or Risk Analyst. Each has their own advantageous traits and skills. For example, a Data Analyst may perceive some things more clearly or earlier than the other two roles.
  • Have a Devious Delinquent, Simply Shady or Connected Criminal past.
  • Have special talent(s) based on hobbies and pastimes. For example, you may be a Naturalist or a Navigator.
  • Decide to play as a Good, Flawed or Just Plain Bad MC. Morality is not set in stone. In the beginning, there are two available paths but the player can change multiple times as the game progresses. Some interactions, clues or items may be available only to a specific moral posture.
  • There is romantic potential with NPCs two of whom have a shared past with the MC. The exes may help or hinder the MC.
  • The emphasis is on dialogue not tools. The MC will have to find ways to charm, cajole, trick and demand information out of NPCs. There is no magic wand or gun to help the player along.
  • Text is British not American spelling.

Status & Updates: 04/16/2019

  • Expanded previously available chapters 2-3.
  • Chapter 4 posted.
  • Based on feedback, more choices have been added.

Author Notes:
This is my first attempt at a Choicescript or any kind of game program. I’ve finished one novel and was looking for a diversion (aka got writers block and needed to get unstuck) and found Choicescript. I am a former software designer/tech writer so a Choicescript game would seem to be a good match. That remains to be seen. Any critique and feedback would be appreciated.

64 Likes
#2

Hi! Your synopsis has me intrigued, but would you consider maybe making audio optional? I live in a developing country with absolutely terrible internet and have barely been able to get the first page to load (audio keeps cutting). I like legit can’t even get the second page to come up.

1 Like
#3

I will give it a real try later, but I started reading it and I think your style is really fluid and good to read! Liked it a lot and I like the setting. Thanks for giving us your work!
I agree about audio tho, even if it’s really REALLY cool maybe it is not always easy to manage…

1 Like
#4

It’s beautifully written, I like the soundtrack, good pacing as well.

1 Like
#5

I have commented out ALL sound. It’s the text that matters after all.

6 Likes
#6

cliff

11 Likes
#7

Really enjoyed what you have so far. Can not wait to see where this goes

#8

It’s good just don’t get the summary that well really on what’s happening and that

#9

I like the way you write, and I love a good spy thriller. I look forward to seeing more of this.

For me the sound wont really add anything to the game. I almost never use sound on my phone which is where I read CS games. Actually if the sound becomes important to the story it would really hurt my enjoyment of the game.

#10

I like what you’ve written so far and am really enjoying the mystery aspect of the story. I like how we get to play an older MC and the wide range of pastimes they can have that change depending on the age we choose.

A few things -
On the stats screen, the talents appear as “1Talent” and “2Talent”. I also noticed there are a lot of stats, some of which seem like they can be combined (idealistic/pragmatic and optimistic/pessimistic, or open/calculating and disciplined/impulsive, etc.)

You examine the package. It wasn’t too heavy. “Could it be my new boots? Did I have them sent here instead?”
Maybe what the MC expects in the package can change depending on what we chose for our backup plans. So if we choose sailing, maybe have the MC expect sailing gear, or if foraging they’ll expect a book on plants, or if taking wildlife pictures they’ll expect a camera case, etc.

Looking forward to module 2. :relaxed:

1 Like
#11

I really do love your writing and I was intrigued by the story from the very beginning. The only problem I noticed was Turing’s stuttering at the beginning. I like that you remembered to add it in, but the way you repeat the first letter is kind of unnatural. When people stutter they either repeat words, phrases, or start sentences over somewhere in the beginning. They can repeat singular letters, but not all the time.

#12

@ReplayAlley
How can nine fall if seven ate nine?

#13

OwO your writing is great, and premise is pretty cool too. Good luck, and Happy Birthday. :birthday: :sparkling_heart:

I’m thinking Turing successfully made the AI and somehow in someway its entrusted to MC?

#14

Thank you for the comments, corrections and encouragement. This newbie feels very welcomed.

Uploaded the complete Mod 3. It’s leaning towards more story and less choices at the moment. My aim was to immerse the player in the story without being “interrupted” with choices.

As I learn more, I’ll work to make things smoother and more integrated (stats-affected dialogue, use attributes more).

@Vashnik Sorry, yet another cliffhanger ends this update.

@Camille622 The sound is only in the intro and prologue. Any other sounds I was planning would have been for ambience. I’ve put adding sounds on hold. Concentrating on the story first.

@expectedoperator I can see what you mean by the stat similarities. I’m still figuring out which ones will be most useful. I’ll explain which ones mean what once I’ve settled on which ones to keep. The scene with the box was the earliest scene I made. The code is horrible and plan to redo it. I like the suggestion of the box content. Will see how that works out.

@wife I’ve made corrections to the stuttering. Thank you!

@Harley_Robin_Evans I will change that summary. Thanks!

6 Likes
#15

Just played module 3 – in my current playthrough, the MC doesn’t panic/run. The story is becoming more and more intriguing, but I feel like the lack of choices actually took me out of the story rather than immersed me because there’s quite a few choices at the beginning in contrast to chapter 3. I think there’s a few instances where choices could be put in so it’s more interactive without interrupting the story:

You purse your lips and hit the Enter key.
This is back in chapter two, but it might be nice to have a choice here – even if it’s just the single option of pressing yes/enter – so it feels like the player and the MC are actually doing the same action.

You hit the gas pedal while swerving.
Perhaps here we can swerve or hit the breaks, causing further minor damage to either us or Neely and affecting other stats.

He puts his phone away once you enter and take your seats.
And maybe here that can be options where we demand to know what’s going on, stay silent, etc.

As for the questions at the end of the demo – I think right now Neely stands out and is the most three dimensional because we learn more about him. The others are either just mentioned (like Natira and Sarke) or were just introduced (like Summers and Roger). It also seems like it switches between what the narration calls them (so sometimes it’ll have “says Summers” or “says Angelica”) which makes it a bit confusing as to who’s who.

Looking forward to seeing what Roger and Angelica have to say about this operation. :relaxed:

1 Like
#16

@expectedoperator, thank you for the note. I can see what you mean by lack of choices actually hurting the interactive experience.

I’m currently working on some changes like:

  • Changing to fairmath stats (Done)
  • Adding an option to “fix” the cyanide box instead of following Neely or running off. (Done)
  • Changing the assignment of roles from random to selectable. Players will be able to choose Data (Sherlock), Technical (Spock) or Risk (McGyver) job roles. (Done)
  • Testing Chap 4. (In Progress)
  • Testing stats conditioning (In Progress)

I will take a look at adding some interaction in the car scene in the next development cycle. Thanks again!

3 Likes
#17

Dope game! Really enjoying it!

#18

I’ve really enjoyed this so far. The pacing is excellent and I couldn’t stop reading till the end. I can’t wait to read more of this.

#19

I’ve gone through a stack of Post-It notes since the last update. A few small changes led to more and more options and whatnot.

Changes for 4/16/2019

  • Add option to skip the Prologue.
  • Added more mentions of the MC’s past earlier in the game in various spots.
  • Added option for player to choose role: Data, Technical or Risk.
  • Added option to not open the box immediately.
  • Added option to attempt to deal with the box directly in addition to running out of the building or room.
  • Added the option to leave USB in multiple places.
  • Added the option to choose to NOT delete all the data when using Sarke’s computer. Naturally, not doing so will have consequences as it does deleting it.
  • Added a variety of ways to end up at the hospital - cab, ambulance or being driven there by Neely.
  • Added several new ways to end up at Thames House with or without Neely or the Jag.
  • Meet Mrs. Marguerite Sarke. There is only one path for this one.
  • Neely will be either with you alive, missing or dead depending on the path you follow.
  • The “villains” change with the path. Could it be MI-5, someone from your past or something else entirely.
  • Added more things to discover about the Jag.
  • Streamlined stats to remove unnecessary or redundant stats. The game will be less stats-driven than originally planned. Player choices and skills will have more weight than attributes.

There are now multiple play paths. Some will give you more information faster and some won’t. Some can be played as a gray character. Some can be played with virtue intact.

Things Not Quite Right

  • Please disregards the stats which are not balanced. Most of the options at this point are not stats dependent.
  • Chapter headings are hit or miss.

Please keep feedback and comments coming. I believe I’ve added the right choices so there is a balance between story and player interaction. I’m still learning Choicescript and all advice is helpful. Thank you for hearts, everyone!

@Allie and @Quincy, thank you for the feedback! Hope you like the expanded chapters.

6 Likes
#20

I liked the expanded chapters! All the new choices flow well with the narrative, and I think they add more replayability, too.

One thing I saw – when talking to Neely as we ride to Thames House, the dialogue seems to repeat itself when you ask about the department and then the package.

I also liked the few lines about MC’s past during that ride, although I do think the introduction of that past and the info about Joe Cable felt a bit sudden and came out of nowhere. I feel like the thought of Cable would pop up when realize what’s really in the box.

I think I’m looking forward to the MI-5 route and meeting Neely in the pub the most. :relaxed:

1 Like