First Bull Run - Completed demo - 84,000 words

My current plan is to have the actual body of text of this game complete by June 15. Currently, I believe I am on track to finish it before that time. Then I will post the demo here for at least a month, which seems to be the requirement. I will probably do a public demo. Then during the start of that demo, I will finish up making the rest of the maps and streamlining the game itself. I’m hoping for a summer publish, fingers crossed for some time in July.

Once it’s all done, I’m planning to visit the battlefield of Bull Run. Believe it or not, I’ve never been to a Civil War battlefield in my life, so it will be cool to go out east and see a few. Then I will decide what my next step is. If the game doesn’t hit a certain threshold I will probably have to try something else, either in writing or just a wage job. If it sells enough, I hope to keep making these. I could go back to my Manticore sci-fi story, or I could start working on a Civil War sequel.

I think I will probably release a public demo update later today, too. Stay tuned for that.
Your humble and respectful serv’t,


You could make a poll to see if people want you to continue with your Sci Fi story or make a civil war sequel

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Public demo update released! 60,000 words long. Would love some feedback on it.


No matter what all happens enjoy the trip i have been to a couple but the biggest and most well known was vicksburg that i went to.

As for summer release thats not likely to happen i dont know what there current cue is but a actual release this summer? I would be surprized, but defintly could see you submitting it before the end of summer.

I would defintly buy though exspecially once we get to have more to see and do. :smiley:

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Thank you for your support! Yeah, I suppose the release is out of my hands. My current plan is to have the writing done by June 7, shaving 8 days off my old timeline. If the release is delayed, it gives me some time to work on the next project before I have to make a big life decision.

Even if this doesn’t work out, at least I tried something I’m passionate about. And it worked out well since I was able to help out a lot with a sick family member. And because I am able to focus on my health and cardiac rehab without having to worry about a pesky real job. But, I’ll be sad if I have to give it up of course lol.


I enjoyed the update i think i spotted aomething off in one of the older sections but will half to play again to be sure.

An it looks like my boys are going to be in for a hard fight, but have done quite well so far considering.

@Dan_Rasmussen played up to that part where i saw it before and it seems to have corrected itself because it works like it was suppost to now.

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I appreciate you taking the time to check it. I’m glad it fixed itself haha

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Haven’t touched this WIP for something like a month. Anyways, just played it.

Regarding the maps, is it possible to provide a legend or some kind of explanation on how to read it? I mean, I could understand them, but some players might not.

Typos I found:

For the most part, the men look tired but acceptable. Then you see one man, a baby faced Private, returning to the column from out of the woods on your right. He tips his hat and says, “FIne morning, Sir.”

At the head, you see Willcox on his black horse. He is the picturesque officer, with one hand gripping the reigns and the other in a fist against his waist so that the arm extends like the handle of a tea cup. You salute as he rides up and he returns the gesture before turning to his adjutant.

I played to the end, but ran into this. Is this a bug, or was the content not written yet?

It was full of excitement, and really fun.


Thats weird when i last played i got a little further along before the end of demo.

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Thanks for the feedback! I will fix the typos easy enough. Legend for the map is a good idea, I may make one.

As for the other bug, is it maybe a “clear your cache” situation? It shouldn’t bug at that point, as Valixon said.


I didin’t have time to review all the code in detail, but I did notice this.

#"Colonel Willcox was severely wounded and captured, but we recovered him.  One of my captains is looking after him."  
  Ward's horse starts biting at its shoulder and he tugs the reigns to get it to stop.  "Willcox is hit?  Damn if that isn't awful news.  If he is incapacitated, then I take command of the brigade."  
    *if battle_plan = "flank"
      #"I deployed skirmishers south along the road.  They have just informed me that two Confederate regiments are moving to flank us from that direction.  We must move to protect the flank, immediately!"  
        *goto ward2
    *if battle_plan = "attack"
      #"We need to concentrate our forces on Henry Hill.  The enemy must not be allowed to take it."  
        *goto ward2
    *if battle_plan = "attack"
      #"We need to pull these shattered units back across the creek.  If we give up a little ground then we can hold Dogan Ridge and avoid a disaster."  
        *goto ward2

Is it possible that battle_plan took a value which prevented all options from triggering? You could try using randomtest and see if this error can be reproduced.

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I see the problem there. there are two set battle-plan “attack”. one of those should be flank or rescue. no idea how you found the actual code though lol

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You might want to run randomtest. This is the sort of bug quicktest will miss. I personally use Firefox to run randomtest as it seems to have problems on chrome.

A magician never reveals his secrets. :innocent:

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The bug should be fixed, now.


For anyone who might be interested, I released a 16,000 word update for free subscribers on Patreon.


I like this demo. I don’t think there are any IF about the civil war, but this was interesting.

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Really enjoying the update. Am hopeful it becomes a full series, would love a game where i can explore the American civil war on side of the Union.

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Thanks for the kind words from both of you. I, too, am hopeful I can make a full series. I think that would be really fun and exciting to make and to play through.

Today, I finished the second to last scene. So, the way it’s structured is breaking up into three different scenes on Henry Hill, depending on what you choose. Then, there are two different “outcome” scenes depending on something which is a spoiler. Each of these two scenes is highly variable and tries to wrap up the story and tell you how you did and how the army did. One of these is now completed, which feels really good. Now for just one more sprint and the body of text is done! Then, I have all kinds of improvements that I’ve been putting off for a long time.

I still haven’t tested the demo beyond the “ridge” scene, which is almost unbelievable to me. With my last game, I had to test each choice practically, but I guess I am now fluent enough not to need to do that. I think the story is long enough now that even I will enjoy running through it a few times, despite how many hours I pained over the text. No doubt, these tests will help me catch a lot of small problems, like repeated words and things that don’t land quite right.


Once that is done, you should be able to start the one month countdown clock to submission, even if you’re still making changes here and there. :muscle:

Publishing might take a while (I think quite a number of new projects have been submitted recently - I can think of at least six, and that’s excluding breach and lemons), but if you need more time, just give yourself that.

I did find a pretty major bug in my game close to the day I made my submission, after plenty of self-testing, so anything can happen. :upside_down_face: Be watchful. :saluting_face:


Hey everyone!
I am so excited to say that the First Bull Run story is complete! It is now playable all the way through in the free public demo links at the top of this page.

I hope you all like it, and please keep any feedback in mind as you play. This isn’t the final version, as I am going to work on a lot more improvements. Any good ideas you have or problems you catch may have a direct impact on the final project.

Thanks to everyone who has supported my work! It has been a really hard time in my life for unrelated reasons, but I am proud of the work I have done to make this game.

As always, your most humble and obedient servant,
Dan Rasmussen.