Here Be Heroes: The Eastern War


#1

EPOCH is set in a post medieval/steampunk era. The player begins as a young citizen of Ergalla who has just reached a milestone in his/her life. The storyline itself is only as complex as the player makes it. Syncronization between the character and the story is what I kept in mind while writing EPOCH.

Also, the CoG community is diverse and unique. I’m new to the foruns but not the games, still that doesn’t make me any less proud to be a member. So tell me what you think, if there are any errors or typos please let me know.

Http://www.epochgame.tk


#2

Hm… (Haven’t yet played the game) Something small and annoying when I first start: I get an error when I click the link. On Chrome it says “Script Error” and on IE it says “Access is denied” but either way it loads the game fine (at least, it seems to, it is letting me play at least). I don’t think it’s an error with ChoiceScript, as I’m pretty sure any error with CS causes a crash. Not sure what’s causing it.


#3

The site is actually linked to dot Webs so the whole seven day thing is probably the cause of that error. Being a dot TK site probably curved that policy to the point where the game is playable even though technically it shouldn’t be until Saturday.


#4

I had the same error @Reaperoa. I didn’t get passed the first screen as I didn’t have time before leaving home, but I read the starting options - a lot of variety in the starts sounds very promising! I tried to play on my iPhone but it won’t load for some reason. I will check out the game properly tonight.


#5

i got the script error as well but after that it worked fine. i played though it and i really like it so far i hope you keep working on it :slight_smile:


#6

Working on it now actually. I’m glad you enjoyed it thanks. :smiley:


#7

Nice game, you certainly jump right into the action. I found it a bit thin on description (although I must say there was enough information to play). I look forward to future chapters.


#8

I get the same issues described above with Internet Explorer, but the game is playable after clicking away the warnings.

As Bastiaan said, it looks like you have a good handle on what’s going on, but the descriptions could use a little expanding. Especially if your world is medieval/steampunk some details would be helpful. But other than that it’s pretty fun so far.


#9

Could use a few paragraph breaks, and more description in places, but I understand that you’re trying to get it all down first.

Instead of making readers click extra pages each time they make a choice, write your code like the following (hyphens equal indentation):

You examine yourself in the mirror, gazing deep into your own eyes to find the courage you know is there. What color are your eyes?

*choice
#Blue
----Your ice-blue eyes command respect, even from strangers.

----*goto hairstyle
#Green
----Your piercing green gaze often causes infants to burst into tears.

----*goto hairstyle
#Purple
----Wait, purple? Seriously?

----*goto hairstyle

*label hairstyle

You turn your attention to your hair. How do you wear it?

*choice
#Long and straight.
----Your hair is the envy of men half your age.

----*goto physique
Etc.

After readers select “Green” and click Next, they’ll read:

Your piercing green gaze often causes infants to burst into tears.

You turn your attention to your hair. How do you wear it?
• Long and straight
• Short and curly
Etc.

all on the same page.

For what it’s worth, I’ve never been a fan of CoG (or anyone else) so conspicuously breaking the fourth wall, as in “And what color were your eyes, as you stared him down? Oh really? Blue is a great color on you. And how did that make you feel then? That’s probably for the best.”

Addressing the reader apart from the narrative is a device that rightly died in the 1800’s. While I’m sure CoG had their reasons for it when they started out, it’s a shame that everyone feels they have to emulate it, regardless of what they’re writing.


#10

Thanks a lot for the feedback everyone I appreciate it. I agree that my descriptions are on the short side. I will most definitely expand them in the near future.

@HoraceTorys
That’s a great tip and yea I see your point. Thanks for the comment, I’m shooting for a big expansion on Saturday so I’ll keep that format in mind.


#11

@Squul I thought the seven day thing was a ban on uploading html/exe/some other files types totally. Eh, don’t know how it’s all set up, so I can’t really guess any further.

As for the actual game (haven’t really read the story fully yet): I have to second what @HoraceTorys said about too many *page_breaks. A lot of things could be run into one page. Also, the bit where you pick your appearance seems, bland. It’s too long, with too little information, and I don’t think any amount of ‘spicing it up’ could fix that.

I also have to agree with Horance in that usually breaking the fourth wall to get character information is a bad idea. It’s jarring. In so far as it is possible, such choices should be neatly hidden ‘in the world’ so to speak. To some extent, such ideas usually seems obvious, hence why there was (at a time) a discussion on how best to integrate gender choice into a story here. Breaking the fourth wall, by its nature, forces your reader to relinquish their suspense of disbelief, and so requires a very delicate touch, with much surrounding such parts as to easily pull you back into the story is needed to not force the reader out of the story altogether.

Also, a choice of appearances is not quite necessary, as most people will readily supply such details on their own. In fact, it’s usually only succeeds in distancing those that that don’t neatly fall into one of the categories provided. Unless knowing what the PC looks like is vital to the story, I’d recommend cutting that piece entirely.

If you need a lot of choices like that though, it’s best to have them all on one page too.

Also, the bit where you ‘sign your name’ needs to clearer. It sounds like its asking for your full name, rather than just your first.


#12

Hm, the setting itself could use a lot of fleshing out. You claim it’s a medival/steampunk mix, yet the only things I see to indicate that are the mentions of magic, arrows, and an airship, there aren’t enough details to give them weight. The character creation kind of helps immersion, but it comes off as too dry to contribute too much.

I did enjoy how each origin gave a different start though, although the pacing could be a lot better. Give us an idea of a day in the life in this medival/steampunk setting before shaking things up. It’d allow for the setting to be more developed, but if it goes on for too long it does run the risk of dragging.


#13

I’m grateful for all the insightful feedback, i’m taking all of the suggestions into consideration when working on the expansion.


#14

How about…

Start game in 3rd-person as the Uncle of the Protagonist preparing the party earlier that day in the market district. This will give the player an idea of what is it like to live in such a world.

Maybe move the character creation part here as well, player can build their characters as their Uncle buy some gift for them.

For instance(Female,Magery School-Conjuration) :

Shop owner (creepy cat lady style) suggests smooth colored & flower shaped ones when Uncle ask what kind of magical indoor firework would his now a young mistress nephew like in a magic corner store.

Uncle buys you a second-handed textbook labeled “Harmless Conjuration : Advice Animals” which have some notes (mostly warnings) from its former owner including the possible mental disorder after staying with Insanity Wolf too long.

After Uncle finished shopping, he then take a ride of Airway (small airships serve as subway) home.As he look outside the window to enjoy the scene, you can now give players a briefing about what exactly is this world like.
Information such as which year it is?
How’s the development of science and magic?
Are there any other countries?
…etc.

Then describe the city where the story start.

After some kind of “Later that day” lines, switch into 2nd-person and PARTY HARD!!


#15

I support @Passers556 suggestion.


#16

To address the description issue, it’s still very early in the game. The player starts off in a limited space with not much going on (e.g the countryside estate or airship.) I wanted to keep these descriptions pretty light while giving the player a general idea of the setting before thrusting them into the actual world.

@passer556
I love the idea and i’m really glad you took the time to write what you did. A scene such as that would take place at a much larger area like the capital city Niros in Ergalla. Your father and uncle both play important roles in the story. All i can say is stay tuned for the expansion.

*Spoiler*

As a side note, those who didn’t play the role of prisoner hasn’t found out about the father and maybe even the uncle yet. In fact even the information about your fathers early life is held back until later unless you claimed to have had a poor upbringing while outside of your parents estate reflecting on the matter. Character creation is slightly delayed as an Ex-Con if you choose to attack Hugin. (your parole officer.)

As an airship captain you begin your journey in a different direction than those land-bound.
Here i will elaborate on the airship design and style to give you all a better idea of the time period and year at this early point in the game. The expansion will dive deeper into your own characters background and the history of Ergalla and it’s neighbors.

The titles do play an important role in the game. For example If you find yourself locked up somewhere at some point in EPOCH then as a spell caster you can manipulate your surroundings to escape. As a noble you can try taking advantage of your high standing to make certain demands and threats against your captors. As a merchant you can bribe your way out of most situations etc etc. So i do hope everyone enjoys the expansion, i have read every single comment here and this is exactly the kind of feedback i wanted. Again thank you all for your time.


#17

Starting the game as the uncle going shopping seems tedious and confusing at best (no offense to Passer556).

Start it off with a bang – as you did – and flesh out the party and following scenes with just enough significant detail to let our imaginations do the rest.

While it’s possible to switch characters and 3rd/2nd-person whenever, you’d need a very good reason, and unless you’re Faulkner or Joyce, you’re not going to pull it off.


#18

On the topic of description, I see your point about keeping things vague for now, but in some cases, more description will increase immersion.

For example you wrote:
“The two of you just keep dancing, when the song is over you hug her and head toward the dining table. You grab a glass of wine and prepare to take a seat but suddenly a ballista rips though the roof killing four people. They are so mangled that you can’t tell who they are. Another round destroys the entire front portion of the house sending debris everywhere.”

Some extra info here would flesh it out. Maybe as you leave the dance floor, you hear loud mechanical sounds over the music (to indicate something is going on outside). Play up the panic and chaos that would occur as the ballista breaks open the roof. Are you knocked to the floor? What happens to the companion (in my case, Julia). Some extra info would enliven the world for the reader.

The later action sequences were well written, for example, "Darius yells something that you can’t make out and runs in the direction of the attacker, disappearing into the dense trees that line the rough path. Another arrow brushes your left shoulder. What are you going to do? "

The fact that you started different intros for each “class” is a great touch, as it made me want to try each one.

On the topic of the fourth wall, when the writing is all 2nd person POV, I don’t think it’s as big a deal in these types of games to maintain the wall.

It’s easier in the past tense than present tense. In Choice of Vampires, you’ll notice recollections keep the fourth wall. For example, "Your eyes momentarily focus on a figure near you, similarly pinned by timbers. Your companion. This man is important… yes… you remember meeting him recently. He introduced himself as… "

But when an activity is occurring right now, it usually adds to the action to be explicit:
"It takes several more nights for you to track down your quarry. Now, however, the interloper stands before you. He is a man of middling height, barrel-chested and still bearing the vestiges of a ruddy complexion; he was probably a farmer or lumberjack before receiving the gift of immortality. You have done your best not to be seen, and you think that you have succeeded.

How do you approach this miscreant? "

Now, it is possible and Marine Raider is a good example of a game that maintains it well: "‘Unknown, but the tides should be right to provide you with either a midnight or a dawn landing.’ Carlson looks to you, expecting an answer. "

This example prompts you for a choice but does so without phrasing it, “how do you reply to Carlson?”

That’s just make take on it. I admit, I have gone back and forth throughout my game on this issue.

Anyway, good luck and looking forward to your progress.


#19

@jimD
Hey thanks for pointing that out, I actually spent a nice portion of my time today going back to those kind of scenes and touching up a few things. Those edits are not in the current release but they will be in the expansion on Saturday.

In addition I’ve decided to do three total updates over the course of the development. One this Saturday and the last two in early March. I don’t want to risk writers block or lagging the story itself by constantly delaying updates.


#20

I’ve expanded the path of the Airship Captain as of 2/18/12.
All other title expansions should be up later tonight or tomorrow.