Guenevere (WIP)


#1

Guenevere is a character- and relationship-focused interactive novel, planned as a series of seven books. Book I (76,600 words) and the first half (117,200 words) of Book II are now available.

The main character is Queen Guenevere, who finds herself, at the start of Book I, about to enter an arranged marriage to King Arthur. I’ve tried to create a lot of space for the player to imagine different personalities for Guen; she can be played as power-hungry or kind or romantic or aloof, etc. She can have a wide range of feelings about, and relationships with, her husband Arthur, his sister Morgana, and his best friend Lancelot. Guen can be played as bi/pan, lesbian, asexual, or straight, and can have romances with any or all of the three main characters.

It’s a personality-focused game. My main goal has been to design NPCs that are responsive, in subtle and not-so-subtle ways, to Guen’s actions. Book I’s central purpose is for the player to define Guen’s personality. By the end of Book II, Guen’s choices (in conjunction with her skills, reputation, and relationships) will start to have major repercussions on the world around her. By the end of the series, Guen’s lifetime of choices will determine the fate of Camelot.

Thanks for reading!

https://dashingdon.com/play/jeantown/guenevere/mygame/guenevere_compiled.html

Monthly progress reports on my blog: https://newarcana.tumblr.com/


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#2

@Jeantown Great to hear! I really like Arthur and how he's written because he's very believable doing things like forgetting to ask straight away if you're alright at the wedding or being adorably awkward in bed, but I like the fact his heart is in the right place for his country. In the two or three times I've played through the first part I've kind of varied how I approach Guen's feelings for Lance - the first time even though he loves Arthur she didn't hide her growing feelings about Lance to him, though she also told him she couldn't betray Arthur like that. While in second playthroughs I was inclined to deny Guen and Lance that shared knowledge. But I think the way you write Guen's relationship with the three main characters is wonderful, definitely one of the best takes on romance and/or friendship in a Choice Game.

I'm hoping in Part 2 that I can let Guen and Morgana become good friends since it sounds like they get a decent amount of time together in part 2. Since I felt in Part 1 because I wasn't romantically drawn to Morganna I had to sometimes be a little cold towards her.

Also like the idea of having the four core aspects of a Queen to be decided by the player - I like playing Guen with dominance in Light Magic with a lesser degree in Diplomacy and Battle Tactics.


#3

Well, I did poison as default and not need to talk about it. Also qll that carrot thing is an innuendo? smile)


#4

@poison_mara Ah, I see. Poison is always to be assumed. smile The carrot is as much of an innuendo as you choose to make of it.


#5

@JanusVonDul Thanks! The two kinds of magic are, as you say, just offense vs. defense/healing. That's not to say that dark magic doesn't scare people, since it can do a lot of damage. People who practice it openly, like Morgana, have to deal with fear and prejudice. But there's nothing inherently evil or corrupting about dark magic.

@derekmetaltron I really look forward to hearing how your Guens deal with Lancelot in part 2, when things will come to something more of a turning-point. And yes, in most playthroughs Guen and Morgana will spend more time together than Guen and Lancelot or Guen and Arthur. (Arthur fans may be especially disappointed at how much he isn't around in part 2, but I'll make up for it in part 3.) But you shouldn't have to be cold toward Morgana in part 1. Unless Guen tells her specifically that she's romantically interested (the "I prefer women" line in the tent), Morgana won't interpret anything Guen does as romantic. (unlike in certain Bioware games... smile )

@poison_mara haha, I'm glad you appreciate the characters even if you can't wait to kill them. smile And @trollhunterthethird has indeed noted a surprising omission there.

@Tehani Wait, wait, where does this "infinite" come from?! smile There is ONE carrot that Guen can throw at ONE point in the game, and only because (if) she wants to get rid of it. Guen does not develop carrot-throwing powers. It's not that kind of game. smile


#6

No need to worry about a magical sword anymore, guys, the latest blog entry on the New Arcana tumblr shows that @jeantown has decided to give the infinite power of the throwing carrots to Guen!


#7

@poison_mara Don't forget poison.


#8

I liked the demo.

Although sometimes I felt there were too many choices at once for the reader on some sections.


#9

Hm, good point... I may have gone overboard in my attempt to create lots of personality options... will think about this. thanks! smile


#10

Hi! I'm glad to see an Arthurian-inspired story. I can't play it since, well I'm working on one of my own and I'd hate to find myself stealing your ideas.

I do love Guenevere and am so glad that she's getting some agency and isn't just going to be a symbol, a woman to be fought over, the centre of a love triangle.

I really like that you're planning to include the option of a female romantic interest as well as the men.

Have you considered doing a gender-swap like Choice of Romance does? It's the story of Anne Boleyn, but you can play the protagonist as male if you want, with a Henry the 8th who is either male or female. If it doesn't work for you though then it doesn't work.

Is there any reason you've chosen to go with Lancelot always falling for Guinevere, regardless of her actions?


#11

this game got my attention cant wait for more.


#12

@FairyGodfeather, thanks for the comments!

Genderswapping is one of my favorite things about CoG, so I feel a bit embarrassed that I couldn't think of a way to make it work with this one. It's my first game, and trying to juggle all the pronouns etc. seemed really tricky. Plus, gender is sort of a theme of the game (as it stands), since Guen is superficially limited by her gendered role as queen, but actually has a lot of agency and can ultimately take over if she wants. That said, it might be really fun to try re-casting this with an option to genderswap everyone. Soooo much work, though...

I have, however, written up a basic storyboard for a Robin Hood IF that does allow genderswapping! Who knows if I'll ever manage to write it, but if I could quit my job tomorrow, that's one of the first things I'd do.

Are there any forum threads or guides that might make it easier for me to imagine writing code that enables genderswapping? Maybe if I could see a snippet of CoR's code, I'd be less intimidated... maybe you should write a genderswapping tutorial! (if there isn't one already).

Lancelot falls in love with Guen because Reasons (magic, revealed in the second part I haven't written yet), but that doesn't mean he'll trust or even like her. She can avoid him, manipulate him, or reciprocate. It just gives a different layer to the relationship (though magic forced-love spells are horribly problematic, I know).


#13

Thanks, @djma46! It's great to have some positive feedback after all those hours of work! smile


#14

dont care about gender to much and it seem very fitting that we can only play female in this game.


#15

is all the books just one game?

ps: will defiantly buys this smiley


#16

Well, if I'm ever able to finish all seven "books," I could imagine marketing it like Choice of Romance, where you pay $0.99 to download it and then maybe another $0.99 to unlock each "book" after Book I.

But if I did that, I would definitely want the reader to feel that they were getting good value out of each book!


#17

can you also add a third option where you buy the whole package for 2 to three dollar depending how long it is?


#18

make it easier on the version which i usually buy my gog games from.


#19

Good idea! Or maybe you just play the first chapter and then you can buy all the rest for $2 or something.... that's so far in the future, though; it's going to take me a loooong time to get to that point!


#20

I love this game!!!!! :x I have always been interested in the Arthurian legends. Please continue writing