FORTUNE THE FATED Hosted Games Beta Test

Dearest Choice of Games Community!
You might recognize my name, it’s Zachary Sergi, author of the Heroes Rise and Versus series.

My next title will be publishing on Hosted Games, so I’m officially posting the beta here for feedback! This is a bit terrifying for me–the early days of the forum weren’t very kind to me, so I learned to stay far away for my own mental health. But age 24 isn’t the same as 34, so I’m really excited to return with some “maturity” and really eager to engage with the CoG readership community on a whole new level!

I’ll be working on FORTUNE THE FATED the entire next month, so excited to incorporate all your feedback. The writing is more “first draft” than I’d like, but the story is there. So excited to hear what everyone thinks and get your fixes/recommendations/story ideas in there as much as possible!

Beta Link: https://moody.ink/play/zacharysergi/fortune-the-fated/mygame/
(Description Below)
(And if you are so inclined while reading, this is the Spotify Playlist of music I listened to while writing the gamebook).

So excited to start this new era with all of you, in a brand new way :slight_smile:
Thank You,
Zach

FORTUNE THE FATED
To unlock ancient spells needed to defend the galaxy, can you navigate fantasy quests, noir cases, heroic competitions, dystopian worlds & space heists?

In a galaxy that faces an insidious invasion, an elite squad has been trained to scour remote and exotic planets for the secret powers capable of destroying the invaders. The key to unlocking these mysterious and destructive forces rests in one young adult with unthinkable magical powers—and whether you become the galaxy’s greatest hope or its most wretched threat is up to you. Can you navigate fantasy anime quests, noir detective investigations, heroic reality competitions, dystopian world explorations, and deep space heists to unlock the ancient spell-power needed to defend the galaxy—or will you self-destruct everything in the process? To save everything, is there anything you wouldn’t destroy?

FORTUNE the FATED is an interactive novel that allows you to make character choices, assemble plot parts in customized order from several genre-spanning stories, and unlock alternate endings based on your chosen readings. It is a standalone work, perfect for new readers, but also serves as a companion novel to The Versus Trilogy & continues the story of The Sergiverse. (Book One in the FORTUNE the FATED Duology).

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Happy to see this!

Welcome back, and if there is anything I can do to assist, please let me know. :revolving_hearts:

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Hey hey, welcome back to the Forums!

About to read it but just gotta say that I don’t think ya need to worry too much about toxic people. I’ve seen a few situations that weren’t great but all in all, people here are generally hella nice.

Righto, good luck with the story! Celebratory coconuts cause I heard people like em!
:coconut::coconut::coconut:

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Yes I’ve had several authors tell me it’s evolved quite a bit since 2013-2014, when there was a bit more…unfiltered brutality, for lack of a better term. But super excited to rejoin the more constructive community I see now :grin:

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I hope the forum is of your comfort now that my esteemed host is back.

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There’s a really good team of mods here who nip problems in the bud with admirable alacrity. I think most of the people here who don’t like your work will have the maturity to live and let live, but anyone who stirs up trouble on purpose won’t last very long.

Since you’re here, I’d just like to say how much I enjoyed the essay you wrote for the 10th anniversary of Heroes Rise. I’m always interested in what authors have to say about their creative journeys, and reading your account of how the story came to be was utterly fascinating. (It also made me feel old, because I remember playing The Prodigy when it first came out, and yikes, that really was a tenth of a century ago, wasn’t it? :pleading_face:)

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Welcome back.

Your dreams were your ticket out.

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Can we have some save slots?

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Finished reading the game and here’s some feedback, hopefully useful to your creative endeavours.

The current BETA starts right in the middle of the action without sufficient explanation of why or how nor with the adequate contextualization for us the players to understand properly the emotions and reasonings of our character. It is undeniable that there was an effort on that front but - and this is my own opinion subject to each and every flaw associated with a subjective evaluation - it wasn’t enough as the theme presented does not explain the setting and collective behavior presented.

Now, for the interactive part of this interactive fiction: Customization is all around lackluster and the way stats are associated with each choice is often confusing, for a simple example: How does one being blind with their rage correlate with an increase in perception? Or for example why is powerlessness associated with the disgust towards one’s own power and capacities? Sure I can grasp the meaning of the rejection of said attributes but the word is based around the complete lack of said capacity, the semantic conflict should hopefully be clear to see.

It is within my most sincere impression that the objective was to make an underdog character and frankly I’m all for it, however caution must always be employed when writing the text as to not result in the desired effect feeling forced and obnoxious, unfortunately this seems like one of the things where this current demo failed at, the world is built in such a way that it feels as if the main character is not only unjustly hated (which was the goal) but also universally so like a threat from beyond any and every visage of sanity would be. This collective attitude would be better put towards characters who have actively and consciously brought immense harm to the world around them, which does not seem to be the case with our main character.

Fantasy is always crafted upon aspects of reality and as such I feel like having a little bit of grey every so often does wonders in creating a good story.

May you take this reply with the same respect that I had when writing it, I’m sure the message will come across in a easy and elucidating manner and that you with your experience in writing will not fail in improving this project.

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Everything was so new back then and everyone was finding our way, including me, so it’s so nice to see what this forum has evolved into. I would have come back years ago!! (I could tell lots of story of early-day unmoderated forum horror stories, but everyone at CoG was doing their best, while some contributors were intent on doing their worst).

But I also took things way too personally in my 20s (and still work to not do so)–I guess a tenth of a century will give us some thicker skin :slight_smile: And thank you! My entire career is showing me what I’m meant to do, and I’m just so grateful to keep telling stories people actually read!

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Save slots have been active from the start! Let me know if they’re not working for some reason?

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Your save slots are not showing up in your WIP currently. Just your standard stat buttons, reset, settings, etc.

Edit: Good catch Nero. FORTUNE THE FATED Hosted Games Beta Test - #16 by Nero_Bernardino

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image

I can confirm what IronRaptor said.

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Hmm, SAVE is definitely is turned on and shows up/works in my beta test window (can’t post a screenshot). Do you have to be logged in to access the saves? If not, open to any fixes anyone out there might have! @Nero_Bernardino

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Logged in, the saves are only accessible to those logged in.
image

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Damn! Moody.ink requires log in for saves? I thought it was like dashingdon

Edit: i like the new ui for save/load. Still inconvinient that i have to log in. No wonder there were no saves for the other titles too

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Moody.ink is apparently where Dashingdon is migrating, to keep up with the ChoiceScript times. So same site maintainers!

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Hi, welcome back!

I’d like to start off by saying that coming back couldn’t have been an easy choice. Especially as you say it was hurting your mental health. But Zach, thank you for coming back!

Ima give a review page by page and hope it helps you. I’ll be sharing my thoughts, issues, or feelings while playing. Im also a straight male, so feel absolutely free to disregard some points I bring up if its simply a clash of taste from my part and is what you intended to write. I understand, and hope that others do as well, that not everything has to cater to everyone just cause its written on this site.

First few pages

Without further ado, first image! Im a sucker for simple designs and love how clean it is. Sometimes simple is best. Is it a mirrored S?

The title is Fortune the Fated, it feels like it really wants to say “Fortune Favors the Bold” for some reason haha! I like the Foreword you set up and appreciate knowing you can go into this without any prior experience or use it as a refresher. I notice you use the title as FORTUNE the FATED, and while I personally dislike the title, that’s only cause it holds no significance to me yet. Im hoping that further in the story it makes sense to name the story this way, and is something I recognize and hope is revealed later!


We first went with simple and then jumped into clashing images! I see what i assume to be the MC jumping through something atop, and then see a collection of images that honestly conflict with one another. One the left i see dragons and a castle, on the right i see a city spewing pollution. The bottom straight up looks dystopian haha, maybe the red signifies a character or us being the odd one out in a sea of normal people? Are we the outcast or rebel? These are the thoughts in my head as I look over the pic, VERY pretty and well done, but no prior information makes it seem jumbled.

I think a summary or “IN A WORLD, WHERE BLAH BLAH BLAH” would help prepare us for what’s to come! Unless this is part of your plan to wham us haha.


Are we Babe Fortune? I personally dislike not picking a name for my character lol

Whoa that’s a lot to impact there! So we have space travel i think? Refuge planet tells me that. Also, “For example, the fact that The Distopian Academy was built in Autumnaland.” This is why I think a summary would help a lot to let readers know if they’re reading something “serious” or “comical”, because I dislike “comical” stories and think others would be too. The naming sense just give me comical vibes, which is what you’re going for, great! If you arent, I hope bringing this to your attention will help you know some thoughts about it!

Finally, the last thing to unpack here, am I the timebabe? I could understand the Babe Fortune name, after all one of the greatest baseball players of all time is BABE RUTH! But the Babe, and timebabe push me into thinking this will be a genderlocked game set to female? I and others play strictly male most of the time, this again would be cleared up with a summary. If i find stuff that’d be helped with a summary in my opinion, ill just do (summary) from now on haha!

Remember, A+ stands for ass-plus-kicking.” This didn’t make sense to me lol, sorry


“Flirping”? With a new whole planet and subcultures that may arise from such, i can totally see new words being made by the younger generation. For now, it hasn’t caught on with me yet since i feel like its trying to say “flipping” too much lol!

Prouder sounds like exactly my type, mommy issues and all with the hint of crazy!
Flecks sounds like a total sweetheart. I didn’t know what gender confirmation meant, googled it, and now i learned something new! Thanks Zach!
I think your character introductions went well and to the point.


I honestly cringed right here because there is no back story on the MC yet presented. It feels unearned to have that attributed to the MC and gives me Chūnibyō vibes and Zach…bro I’ve grown past that, I don’t wanna revisit how cringe i was :sob: :sob: :sob: you made me remember that one time i thought i could turn super saiyan by getting really angry :joy: :rofl: :sob:

Next up, witchlock? I asked someone and they told me witch could mean men as well, plus the “lock” could also come from “warlock” a more traditionally male term for a magic dude. They said witchlock could be a gender-neutral term? Nevertheless, I still feel as though the story is pushing me towards being a woman, if that’s the goal, then you’re good! If it isn’t, i hope i brought it to your attention.

Le fight


“Annoying conventional beauty” takes away letting me the player not think its annoying, cause i like hotties!
The fight scene was brief and easily understandable.

I have issue with the end though


I think you could do a stat change here that reflects your “Responsible”, “Reckless”, “Powerful”, and “Powerless” choices. Otherwise it feels like the MC is canon to be “Powerless”. A “reckless” feels like they’d play to their disgust and flip em all off, a “Powerful” would probably shut them all up with an illusion or display. “Responsible” would probably help their teammates cheer up or something. Im sorry Zach, i wanted this:

But you gave me this!

After the fight


I legit thought there was a bomb lmao, i think replacing explosion with “erupting emotions” or the like may be more quicker for the reader to know whats going on right here!
“You’ve never understood how anyone can hide their emotions. How do other people bury them or ignore them? What a luxury.” Again, it feels like player agency or choice is getting taken from me since i haven’t really chosen “Powerless” or “reckless” options, so far I’ve been “Powerful” and “Responsible”, so it’s making me feel like the MC is railroaded to be a certain someone. I hope this changes later on as this is a WIP!

So we cant even choose our eye colors either? Darn it. So this is a Role Playing Game then right? Cause we arent making our own character, we’re playing yours. Which again, is fine if you (summary) it cause then id know ahead of time

Ima have to stop here before i take an ungodly amount of your time lol, i looked at moody ink, and voila!


YOU HAVE ONE, but I think you should have it at start of game or here in your forums page, cause it isn’t enough lol!

Personal Thoughts

Yeah bro, the game wasn’t for me, but i already knew that coming in. Doesnt mean at all that you wrote badly or etc, i found no grammar mistakes, sentence structure was clean, and you used words as you should!

The game definitely felt like I wasnt the target audience, and there’s nothing you can do about that since there’s nothing wrong with that! I sincerely hope you don’t get shit from people that feel the same way i do without knowing that you don’t have to make something that appeals to us. The story did feel “active” and full of energy, i could tell that this was something you put a lot of time into, and that the game has life. Wish ya luck with Fortune the Fated!

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I’ve read all of ZacharySergi novels and while i was really disappointed with the end of VERSUS. I dont think it would be right to judge all his future works based on that one as out of Hero’s rise,Hero’s Redemption, and even the beginning of versus was Amazing. All that said im super excited for Fortune the fated. Also, from what i remember most of the criticism was about railroading (could be wrong) and honestly i really don’t feel that is even fair especially for major series with pretty significant plots meant to have certain twists.

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Okay, well hope this process is as painless as possible.

“No, bonding wouldn’t be fair to this Questhing given the tasks I face. (Gain Belonging)” I’m sorry for being obtuse here, but I don’t see how belonging means you reject social bonding.

Oh and that big about the name Babe representing our character’s gender identity is a bit odd since it’s being used here as a unisex name applicable to anyone.

Work with P.Savage to take all four of these challengers out. (Test High-Low P.Savage. Gain Half Technology, Half Perception) I presume this is a typo and it’s supposed to be Test High P Savage. If I’m wrong than you’ve lost me I’m afraid.

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