Honor Bound: Creme de la Creme 4—Protect a boarding school as a military bodyguard! [Ch 1-6, 263K words (public) | Ch 1-7, 294K words (Patreon) | updated 4th June]

@parisgracex ahh a Denario enjoyer of taste I see!

@LiliArch That’s how Raffi lives their life so that seems very appropriate!

@izzily Ooooh, do you have a favourite so far?

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I feel like I can’t give a completely fair response! I’ve only played Matia all the way through with what’s currently there in the demo, though I guess that implies they’re my favourite. I’m just drawn to their warmth and the trans bonding the MC can have with them, and I like how mature and upfront they are about feelings/investigating MC’s boundaries.

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Awww, that’s really lovely :face_holding_back_tears:

I see Korzha is winning now, which tracks with some comments from my feedback form I saw yesterday that made me very happy:

I love Korzha so much it’s making it hard for me to try other routes :pensive:

let me kiss Korzha please

Need more scenes making Korzha flustered :tired_face:

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I’m romancing Raffi, Savarel and Varenn (ok, I didn’t start one of this romances yet) with three somewhat different MCs. And I think their behaviour and romance pacing completely aligns with their characters.

As for MC’s pacing I personally prefer slow burn but pick faster options anyway because I’m afraid to miss the content. If I like RO I replay going much slower and often fail to trigger romance at all. So I really appreciate that Honor Bound has clear points for starting romance and many options to go slower. I’ll do that with Savarel.

Honestly, I chose Raffi because I was curious about earlier sex scene, later I used that MC to explore other routes that are not related to Varenn (I just can’t force myself to do it with other two MCs). Raffi really is not my type.

My favourite is obviously Varenn for personality and slow romance (two of my MCs are in their forties and are on the first-name basis that’s why I have a habit to use “Varenn”). And I like Savarel for appearance and partially for personality.

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I’m really glad the pace has been working well for you! I like allowing for people who want to jump straight in as well as preferring a slower pace (especially for the ones who aren’t Fiore and Korzha, where there are options to start earlier).

Also!

Chapter 7 is up for Patreon subscribers at £6+! As usual, you can skip to the start of the new chapter, or play the whole thing.

Chapter 7 and various earlier edits add around 31,000 words, bringing this latest demo to around 294,000 words - that’s nearly the whole of Blood Money!

In this chapter you will encounter:

* A lot of bad things

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Fortnightly-ish progress report:

It’s been a funny, busy couple of weeks. I’m sorry for the lateness of this progress update - the end of last week was a bit hectic.

I’m moving towards the finish line. Not sprinting, yet, because I was on holiday in Portugal for one of the weeks this fortnight, but I’ve coded Chapter 12 and have almost finished coding Chapter 11. My freelance client has asked me for some extra work over the next few days so I’ll be prioritising that, but I hope to finish coding that pesky Chapter 11 section and start writing this week.

Current wordcount: 441645 words (longer than Creme de la Creme!!)
Average playthrough wordcount: 87114 words (much longer than Creme de la Creme, and longer than Royal Affairs!)
Fortnight(ish) wordcount: 10518 words

I hope you have a lovely week!

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I had a Tumblr ask about how progress is going and thought I’d share it here for anyone interested!

I think Chapter 7 will probably be the last update I put up publicly (it’s currently up on Patreon and will go up for everyone on 2nd July). I’m hoping to write as much of Chapter 11 as I can during June, and hopefully complete the draft in July. Whenever it is completed, what will then happen is:

  • I will send everything to my editor who will give me notes for Chapters 11-12
  • I will revise Chapters 11-12

Then at various times, with some overlap the following will happen:

  • The whole game will be closely reviewed by one of the CoG editors who will send me notes (in the past it’s usually been an editor who isn’t my main one, so it’s fresh for them)
  • Automatically-generated playthrough seeds will be read by a number of continuity readers who will give me notes about errors, unclear stuff, or sensitivity issues
  • The beta test for the whole game will happen (usually this is announced publicly and can be signed up for by email - I say usually because a couple of games haven’t been organised like that lately and I’m covering all my bases)

Through all that, I’ll be editing the game in response to the feedback and putting up updates for the readers and testers.

Once all the edits are done, the game is polished to my satisfaction, and playtesters have slowed down and aren’t finding errors anymore, the game will go up be copyedited. That’s the stage at which I twiddle my thumbs and feel at a loose end, and also start thinking in more detail about what I want to make next. It’s also the stage at which I’ll have a clearer idea of the release date.

Then once the copyediting is finished and I’ve answered any queries about it, once the release date comes around we’re ready to go! (I can’t remember the timing for my other games, but for Royal Affairs, it was 4 months from the full draft completion to the release date.) And that’s the point where I get jittery and nervous, and panic about self-promotion, having usually not done a huge amount of preparation. But I also try to do something nice to celebrate.

After a couple of weeks I have a reasonable idea of sales and reviews (though I really try not to obsess over either) and can use that to make further decisions about what I do next.

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Aaaand: I put it on the writers support thread too but if you happen not to be following there, here’s a little excerpt of student gossip from Honor Bound Chapter 7:

This week I’ve been making really good progress on Chapter 11 - I’m around halfway done which feels great. I’ve also had some very helpful feedback about the pacing of Chapter 7 and giving some conversation scenes extra breathing room - I’m not sure whether I’ll have implemented it by the time I put it up publicly, but it’s firmly on my to-do list. It’s the kind of feedback that fresh eyes see much more than I do when I’ve just written seven conversations and am eager to be done, and I know when I come back to it refreshed, I’ll be better at giving that space for moments of connection.

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