First Bull Run - Completed demo - 89,000 words

Thank you so much and have a lovely night with your snugglebug aka doggie :grinning:

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Genderlocking to male isn’t “high realism” but I respect your decision, because staying true to realism in respect to gender in a Civil War setting would be very difficult for many to successfully execuite.

I wish you the best of luck on both of your WiPs.

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That’s some insane productivity, I respect that.
It looks absolutely thrilling by the way. I have no deep knowledge of history of this conflict, so for me it’s twice as interesting.

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@AAChmielewski While I have done 9000 words in a day (once), I meant reaching 9000 words total today, which is only 1500. I am generally targeting 2000 words a day right now and it is working for me as a goal. And thank you! The Civil War has been one of my central interests since somewhere around age 6… it’s almost a part of who I am at this point. I’m glad if I can share that knowledge and interest with someone. In writing this, I am having to find many sources to remind me of the specific maneuvers of this battle, so I am learning and relearning too as I go.

@Eiwynn Thanks for your support!

@Queen_Zelda In case you didn’t see my edit to the original post, I broke up the paragraphs and added a dark background option per your suggestions.


The organization information is a bit user-unfriendly. Maybe before the menu a quick graphic with the MC’s units bolded.

I am given the option to choose my name, and my name changed in the stats screen, but I am still called “Bidwell.”

Choosing to talk to any NPC feels empty. It’s just a quick hello, not really worth the click.

Received the following error when talking to Capt Billings: march line 230: invalid indent, expected at least one line in ‘if’ true block

All in all, this seems ambitious, and the maps are certainly appreciated, but there is a serious pacing/tone issue I think needs to be addressed. I’m about to go into my first major battle and I’m still more trying to figure out who is who (partly because of the easily fixable issues above), but not wanting to waste the effort because we are literally marching into battle and maybe this isn’t the time for small talk. I got the issue with Capt Billings because I wanted to inform him of developments, not for a quick chat. Maybe starting the story just a bit earlier might be wise, let the char get a feel for the smaller scale organization and learn basic information on their primary subordinates before throwing everyone into the mix.

  1. A graphic is a great idea. I will workshop it.

  2. Good catch with the Bidwell. Easy fix. It has been corrected.

  3. Again, good feedback. I think I agree with you. I will probably add some more depth to the early conversations.

  4. Good catch, again. This has been corrected.

  5. Hmm… tough feedback but helpful. I will think about this. The subordinates should definitely get some more screen time and better conversation options. I think it would help to have some kind of user-friendly summary of your own command, and maybe have the order of battle be separate, or have a disclaimer that it’s just there for immersion.

All in all, thanks for the input.


Well, I would say that for the subordinates, you should show in-game or not at all. Can’t really explain why, but strongly feel that way.

However, I did think of something that might work.

The way I see it, the problem right now is that my character seems to know his command, but I don’t. The problem is the disconnect. So I see two ways to fix it. The first is what I suggested above, starting the story a bit earlier. The second…with all these forces co-located, what if the MC was just transferred to that command from another force? If the MC doesn’t know the men, I wouldn’t be frustrated about not knowing them either. My confusion, rather than distracting me from the story, would pull me into it, eagerly looking for clues as to which junior officers I can trust with different issues, forced to rely on my own bias and small samples of information, all while trying to deal with the numerous complications from external factors while marching not just to A battle, but to my first battle where I am part of the main force. Arguably, it might be a bit too much, but at least everything I’m feeling as I play would be things my character would be feeling, which is a good way to hook a player.

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Could have a brief summary of the MC’s thoughts on each person and their history when choosing to speak with them. Or a short summary of what he knows, followed by option of what he feels about what he knows eg

"Captain Hamburger is pretty infamous for his brutality and bloodthirst, but beyond that he's loyal almost to a fault. "

	#That man's cruelty is concerning. If we didn't need every soldier we could get I'd have him censured. 
	#If even half, no, a quarter of our troops were like him, we'd have wrapped this war up by last Tuesday!

"Sergeant BigMac, as usual, looks like he's about to drop dead of terror, this time at the thought of battle. While he hasn't outright deserted or fled, it's been a close thing-warfare does not suit the gentle soul."
	#The poor lad will have to learn fast, both for his sake and his men's. 
	#Perhaps I can get some poor fool to take him off my hands before his terror becomes truancy and the coward runs off with half his men in the midst of a fight.

Though, truth be told I didn’t see much of a problem with how the npcs were presented. Of course I don’t know who they are, that’s why I’m having my character talk to them. He has a whole history I don’t need to be exhaustively briefed on, I can infer things like “he is from Michigan” based on his conversation with the other Michigan soldier. Though, that’s just my opinion, which naturally may differ fomg others.

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Captain hamburger and sergeant bigmac, the greatest soldiers and hero’s of the Union army


Thank you both for the thoughtful feedback. I will have to ponder these things. It took me only a few days to write all this stuff, so it wouldn’t be terribly hard to go back and make changes. I have been basically rushing to keep my momentum going after struggles with writer’s block on my other project.

unfortunately we had yet another in a long series of family health emergencies so i spent most of the day driving around or at the ER. seems like it was a false alarm so things are okay right now. just saying, i dont think i’ll get a chance to touch my writing again until tomorrow. hopefully then i can get started on the battle proper and figure out how i’m going to do it.


Sorry to hear that. Take care of yourself.

I just played to the end of the current demo, and it seems interesting so far.


I had a nice weekend and now I’m back. The goal today is 15,000 words! I have a commitment later which will make it hard to hit the goal today but that won’t stop me trying. With a little luck, I should be able to post an update today with more content.


Thus far a really cool game covering a different topic than we generally get here as while we get some fantasy soldier games, historical fiction os something of an untapped vein. Keep up the good work!


@chrisbat Thanks, I really appreciate that! I’m excited to write the rest of it.

Unfortunately I didn’t really get much done yesterday. I had family commitments that superseded my writing. Today, the goal is 16,000 words, so I have to write 2,800. Starting now, let’s go! :sunglasses:

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I have posted a 4000 word update to the game allowing the player to take part in the morning engagement. Any feedback is welcome, thanks for all the support!


Loving the demo so far can’t wait for us to actually participate in the battle

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We left 30 minutes late, but arrived over 4 hours late, meaning that the march took more than twice the allotted time. I know that there was a delay of about 3 hours, but even the remaining march was well behind schedule. Definitely noteworthy.

“You turn and salute Captain Hatcher, your second in command. He returns the salute with one hand on the bridle of his horse.”

I don’t know the customs of the period, but seems odd for the senior to initiate a salute to a junior officer.

Also, less serious, but it seems that being named Col Hunter in a war IF is like being cast with Sean Bean.


@Georgeofthejungle Thanks! If you play again and choose to charge with Burnside’s Brigade there is a decent bit of fighting which I’m pretty proud of.

@kckolbe Thanks for the feedback! I may have some answers for you this time.

  1. So what happened in real life was there was a lot of delays. The biggest delay was caused by General Tyler’s First Division being extremely slow on the westward march down Warrenton Pike. I mentioned the delay caused by First Division but I’m not sure if I made it clear that it was three plus hours delay. I can double check. The army was also delayed by small roads and it turned out to be 12 miles instead of the 6 miles expected from the Union maps.

  2. I think officers would salute each other when they started talking. I think it was expected of both the superior and inferior. I can look into it, though.

  3. I’m not sure what other Colonel Hunter you mean but it sounds like an amusing coincidence. The real Colonel Hunter was wounded in the throat and cheek while placing the first skirmish line but he survived and remained in the army throughout the war.


You did mention that the line started moving again at about 6. There wasn’t anything really missing, just wanted to make sure I had it right, since that is pretty massive. Interesting to hear the reasons.

In our modern military, the junior officer salutes the most senior officer present, who then returns it. There are a few alterations to that depending on circumstances, but that’s the general rule, and I think was the case prior to the Civil War (as I think it was part of the post 1812 overhauls, but I am not as versed on those matters.)

Col Hunter is an NPC in the Sabres of Infinity game, who dies in the major battle at the end. And yeah, just a fun coincidence for IF players to enjoy.


“Salutations according to the 1861 Revised Regulations for the Army of the United States

Article XXIX

  1. Courtesy among military men is indispensable to discipline. Respect to superiors will not be confined to obedience on duty, but will be extended to all occasions. It is always the duty of the inferior to accost or to offer first the customary salutation, and of the superior to return such complimentary notice.”

You are correct about the salutes. I’ll have to remember that one. Thanks!