Four Guns (WIP)

So, this one of (funny enough) four different CoGs I’ve been working on (two of which haven’t been coded, and the other is Star Wars CoG that I’m contemplating rewriting entirely), but for the last month or so I haven’t worked on any of them, because I’ve been so busy with other things I simply haven’t had the time. So, I’ve decided to just post one of them up, and decided on this one. Not even a fraction of the introduction has been finished, and the writing thus far for it is… shaky and clumsy, I haven’t really go through it properly to proof read it and give the wording of the narrative a decent flow. There’s also a couple things I’d have rather had eased into such as the interaction with Alessandra and what not, because as is–it’s kinda’ abrupt, and I don’t really care for that, which partly goes back to the clumsiness I was talking about.

In any case, the story is centered around a female protagonist, which there are three variations of said protagonist to choose from, which are aesthetically different and does change how various characters will regard her as well as have various impacts within the narrative to varying degrees. It’s another western, and I’m trying my best to stray away from Allen Gies’ Tin Star, which is nothing shy of friggin’ phenomenal, but naturally I don’t want to unconsciously be influenced by anything he wrote, so I’ve been abstaining replaying it for the past couple months now in spite of how much I love that CoG. In any case, Four Guns you’ll find to be fairly linear, and that’s by intention, while I am going to give some unique choices pending stats, center choices, and hidden choices–really it mostly affects aesthetics.

Anyways, the protagonist alias or nickname everyone knows her by is “Four Guns” because she carries a four gun rig, which was a common thing for outlaws to do back in the mid to late 1800s, because it was simple logic of–more guns equals more bullets, and the more guns you have that’s less reloading to do in the middle of a firefight. It’s easier and quicker to simply draw another gun in a firefight than being limited to one gun and having to reload it every five or six shots (pending the revolver) in the middle of gun fight. Thus her “four gun rig” she’s known for. It takes place in Kansas, butI wanted to get away from the cliched Dodge City set up, and so I’m having the story take place in a fictional town north of Dodge City, which is called ‘Vale’. Downside is the current place where the story ends is JUST before getting to Vale.

Originally, Four Guns herself I wanted to be a kinda’ female variation of Billy the Kid, and playing off of that back in the late-1800s the nickname for Bridget was ‘Biddy’, so I guess the ‘default’ version of the protagonist to choose from would be her, “Biddy the Kid”. But then I got idea for other versions of the protagonist so I decided to make it a choice between them. Each of the names really I went with for the protagonist(s) are fairly cliche, but I kinda’ wanted to go along with the classic old style western cliche in that regard. Such as, the second version is French/Polish hunter and trapper out of Minnesota (Biddy is out of Missouri), and her name is Claire ‘Deadeye’, where Biddy is a straight up pistol wielding gunfighter, Claire is a sharpshooter. I like to think of Claire as… if a 17/18 year old hunter girl possessed Quigley’s (from Quigley Down Under) marksmanship with a Sharps’ Buffalo rifle carbine. And lastly but certainly not least, the other version is Coyote ‘Longrifle’, her actual name is never mentioned, people in the area simply call her ‘Coyote’ because of a particular hat she wears and a coyote bite scar on her right forearm, which the coyote she made her hat with is the coyote who bit her. She’s half-Native American, her father’s tribe is the Wyandot, who are more commonly known as the Huron from northeastern part of North America, but because of the Indians being relocated by the US government at the time, they had been moved out of New England regions to the midwest, at first into Michigan, but then lastly into reservations in Kansas, making Coyote a known local in the area. Those of her father’s tribe call her ‘Longrifle’, but both the names Coyote and Longrifle are merely nicknames, thus her actual birth name that her parents gave her remain unmentioned. Ability-wise she is at first a balance between a melee scrapper and sharpshooter like her father was, but if going with her unique choices it will be her melee ability that goes up stat-wise the most. In any case, all three versions of the protagonist are also known in the region as “Four Guns” because of that four gun rig, Biddy simply relies on it the most of the three. And for editorial simplicity’s sake I have all three sharing the same physique essentially, while having an otherwise aesthetic difference in appearance.

There will be two romance options, and they will regard each variation of the protagonist differently. Alessandra is one of the two whom you meet in the very beginning, and she takes an instant shine to Claire, and is intrigued by Coyote, but though it’s not really shown at first–she’s mildly amused by Biddy yet otherwise indifferent toward her. Whereas the other option is more smitten with Biddy, amused by Claire, and nervous with Coyote. Whether the relationship develops into a romance or simply a romantic friendship or just a friendship or nothing at all is largely dependent on the interactions with them. Though, I’m debating on a third romance option and very open to suggests.

The introduction is basically a classic vengeance tale of “Four Guns” seeking to get revenge against her parents killer(s), which is an outlaw by the name of Preacher who leads a very large outfit/gang. See? Classic western cliches, which I really wanted to play up as the narrative progresses. Problem is, again, there is very, very little to it thus far, so not even really an iota of my ambition for it is reflected within what’s currently there. But it’s going to be episodic, somewhat in the idea of the nickel and dime store books of western legends and gunfighters, which in this case are about the exploits of “Four Guns”. The introduction is meant serve as the establishment of what really caused the legend of “Four Guns” to take off, while introducing the main cast of characters; and later “episodes” being one new tale after another, each being a full or at least short CoG game in their own right. That’s the ambition, whether I can accomplish that or not… we’ll see. I’m holding off on my other CoGs to give it a go.

In any case, here’s the link. Despite the clear flaws in the writing that have yet to be addressed/fixed and there only being a little bit to mess around with, I hope you at least like what is there:


I love this. My favourite is definitely Coyote, mainly I like how you’ve managed to incorporate her Indian side into the story. I can’t wait for more, your writing is amazing and you needn’t worry about accidently steering into AllenGies’ story as yours is totally original.
Good luck with this, I’ll be keeping tabs on it! :slight_smile:

Oh wow! Thanks! XD

It still has a very long way to go, but I’m glad you liked what I have. Wasn’t sure if anyone would to be honest.

nice story, im looking forward to reading more & this will be a definate buy from me when its done & published the Old West is my 2nd favorite type of story so yours is right up there with Tin Star & Deadneck

Your writing’s good, the concept’s fascinating and one of the few ways I’d actually consider playing a Wild West game. The genre in general doesn’t interest me in the slightest, although I am fond of Deadlands and the Weird West. I do like the idea of playing a woman in the wild west, one who’s not a stereotypical saloon girl or damsel in distress.

Now, you’ve already got some good feedback from people who like what you’ve written so please take what I say with a pinch of salt. You’re good, but I think you can do better.

At the moment it reads like a novel and not like a piece of interactive fiction. Even where there’s choices, it doesn’t feel interactive. My heroine does a whole bunch of stuff on her own then pauses while I poke her in the direction I want to go, but it doesn’t feel like I have all that much control.

It is very much a case of she’s not me. I know, I know, I’ve done the same in my own game, so this isn’t neccessarly a criticism and if that’s what you’re going for keep going. :slight_smile:

I found that the introduction, with its use of italics, the narrative voice, and the accent didn’t draw me into the story. Your greatest selling point is an interesting main character, make the most of that. I can see what you were trying to do, give it an epic, story feel, but I thought that it instead distanced me, and I didn’t like the person behind the narrative voice and I thought that would set the tone for the rest of the game.

Could you have it told from her point of view instead, so at least it serves the purpose of us getting used to her character?

Or start at “Atop the steep bluff of a high hillside out in the plains of Kansas.” That’s where your writing gets good.

That said I am the sort of person who skips the prologue in books. I am predisposed to dislike that sort of thing and this is just one person’s opinion.

I’m also, strangely, having problems with third person. It feels distant. It may just be your choice of language, or the tense you’re using. I didn’t feel pulled into the action, but like I was just watching it from afar.

I’m sorry if the above sounds harsh since you write well, you’ve a great concept, and I have faith that you’ll write a brilliant story.

Are you planning on the game having lots of action/fighting?

This is really well written and I particularly like the characters Claire and Alessandra. It is very well thought out and I like how you change tone in certain areas for description of the characters.

Okay! It would have helped if I’d actually read your introductory post instead of just skimming and driving straight into the game. Sorry about that.

“In any case, Four Guns you’ll find to be fairly linear, and that’s by intention, while I am going to give some unique choices pending stats, center choices, and hidden choices–really it mostly affects aesthetics.”

I don’t actually think linearity is a problem if you’ve got a good game. My favourite interactive fiction games are both extremely linear. They’re both very short, one has four choices right at the end which lead to four possible endings.

The other is Gun Mute, which okay, I admit, I read it and didn’t play it since me and the parser do not get along. It’s a futuristic, Wild-West game with an extremely linear plot. However each fight is a puzzle and that’s where it gets its game play. Now, that’s much too complicated for me to play, but I have mused over the idea of having a similar mechanic in a choice game. If you haven’t played it I’d definitely suggest giving it a look, or skimming over the Club Floyd transcript.

I think if you’re doing extremely linear you should flesh out your combat a bit. Be it taking a puzzle approach to the combat and allowing for trick shots, and witty banter, discovering their weakspots and exploiting them to disarm an opponent, or having a proper combat system implemented with the possibility of risk and death and the player has to hone their skills and work out how to down the bad guy. Otherwise, linear with just cosmetic changes, can get frustrating.

There are, of course other ways to tackle a linear game while giving the illusion of choice, or at least making the player feel like they’re part of it and holding the reins.

“The introduction is basically a classic vengeance tale of “Four Guns” seeking to get revenge against her parents killer(s), which is an outlaw by the name of Preacher who leads a very large outfit/gang.”

Why don’t we get to start there? Or do we get to see that a bit later?

D’awww! Thanks for the feedback guys. I actually just skimmed through Four Guns again to take a gander to make certain what I have and what I don’t thus far, and damn… I found so many typos and redundancies I’m embarrassed. XD

@FairyGodfeather Haha! No worries, I know exactly what you’re getting at, there’s several aspects in it right now where I’m like, “I like this, but I don’t like this. But if I get rid of that… What do you I replace it with to fill that void?” The narrated introduction is exactly one of those things, and I’m not certain what to replace it with, because otherwise there’s just this big void in regards to introducing the three versions of the protagonist to choose from, but at the time I wrote it I wanted to give a little bit of flare, hence why I went with the narrated intro, and the reason why it was a southern accent (a rather generic one at that XD) was because originally “Four Guns” was relegated to just being Biddy, who was out of Missouri, so it was a kinda’ poor attempt at giving some southern panache (even though Missouri is in the midwest XD). But I’m a bit weary of it since the addition of Claire and Coyote, because it doesn’t make as much sense anymore (if it does at all).

I’d loooooove to do what you’re suggesting with combat, and it’s actually what I want to do (especially when it comes to Biddy’s style of gunfighting), it’s just my problem is I’m iffy on how exactly to execute it. XD But the shots I have them do are actually various trickshots that Annie Oakley was known to do in her time in Buffalo Bill’s wild west show. In fact, you see one early on via one of Biddy’s unique choices where she shoots two of the enemies while simultaneously leaping over a small bolder on horseback. Which one of Annie Oakley’s acts within Buffalo Bill’s wild west show was she’d ride over a horse jump and shoot two targets with a pair of guns. Buffalo Bill performed the same type of trick and it’s likely he taught her in the course of their being on the road.

But there is a hidden stat which is the “Legend” stat which is combat related. I didn’t want it to be like Allen Gies’ set up in Tin Star where it’s a consolidation of your character’s legendary accomplishments into a totaled sum. The hidden “Legend” stat in Four Guns is interactive and unlocks certain combat choices, in fact, you earn at least 5 or 10 points from utilizing the unique combat actions of the protagonist in the combat sequence in the beginning. In any case, over time you (unwittingly) may accumulate enough of them throughout the game via certain choices, and once at around 20 to 30 points, it’ll unlock a “legendary” sequence of events within a combat situation. Claire and Biddy will have more opportunities to unlock them for some astounding trickshot type of things, whereas Coyote though she’ll have these unlocks less as often–the stuff she will accomplish will be more grandiose in scale and “epic”.

Not to give too much away, but actually the game already starts off on the vengeance tale from the onset. There’s more to the stagecoach waylay than what’s given at the beginning. Claire and Coyote are perceptive to it in their own respective way, where as Biddy is a bit more hapless about the whole thing. XD Kinda’ trying to go the way of some spaghetti westerns where it draws out a bit before everything jumps into crazy town. Once I get to the stuff in the town of Vale it’ll starting coming to fruition.

I actually quite enjoy this game (or at least what I read) Keep this up, it’s really entertaining.

Oh! I forgot to reply to your reply to me. Sorry, I know it’s late. I’m surprised this thread isn’t more active, especially since it has such an interesting demo up.

I’m glad you decided to add Claire and Coyote. Three great characters are better than one great character and they all do seem to be interesting. Trick shots are fun.

I can’t recall hearing anything similar to your legendary system, so I’m curious to see how that sort of thing will play out.

This sounds like a game I would enjoy playing, hope you get it out there!

I’m testing it now. Just found a bug.

When I chose:

With a vertical downward hand sweep followed by a horizontal sweep with the same hand left to right, Coyote gave a common indian hand sign and gesture for accepting a trade, “Whites call me Coyote. Though my tribe says the coyote is my spirit guide. Most natives know me as ‘Longrifle’. But you’re right. Everyone seems to also know me as ‘Four Guns’. Use whichever you like.”

I got this response:

"line 731: It is illegal to fall out of a *choice statement; you must *goto or *finish before the end of the indented block.

A pity because I was enjoying the game.

I just finished a play through as Coyote and got the same error as Bloodwyche, but I really enjoyed it.

It really is a interesting game I can’t wait for an update

I guess it’s good. *shrug*

@FairyGodfeather No worries. XD

@Bloodwyche @FalconXCII Yeah, sorry about that. That’s actually not a bug, it’s just where the sequence ends. I haven’t added anything beyond that point for Coyote or the two other characters after accepting/thinking about Alessandra’s job offer.

Unfortunately, I don’t have an update yet to give as I’ve been really busy with work the past couple weeks. But provided all goes well I’ll have a couple updates in August as well as another small sampling of one of the other CoGs I’ve been working on that simply needs to be coded.

@Apillis No problems. Looking forward to the updates. Good luck.

@Apillis No worries, take all the time you need, no reason to rush it. And good luck

Really its not a game i enjoy the write is good but the intro takes forever and feel so immensely railloaded i hate when authors tell me how MY character feels the fact that i hate western don’t help its a good story but a game not so far if choices not matter its a book not something interactive a game.

and that form of write imitate accent its horrible im not native so i have to figure what hell means half of time.
Sorry if i seem harsh no my intention but its why honesty i feel about it

Had a play of this and really enjoyed it, you’ve made each of the female characters interesting and I’m excited to see more. Nice to see that whilst we have several Western games in the pipeline that all of them feel very different.