Honor Bound WIP: Creme de la Creme Book 4 [Ch 4 public, Ch 5 Patreon, updated Feb 21]

I’ve uploaded fixes for the errors that @JBento spotted yesterday. Huzzah!

I missed this before, but let it be known that I had a chuckle :laughing:

@AletheiaKnights That makes a ton of sense about Noblesse Oblige, I like that a lot. (One day maybe I’ll end up writing a fully university-set something-or-other…) I really enjoyed how Professor of Magical Studies put you on an older age bracket/different level of academic experience than an undergraduate; that way you had the hothouse university setting plus the pressures of a workplace, and then you could relate to the undergrad students you were teaching in a very different way (and in my case protect Gabriel at all costs).

I’m so pleased! I admit I have been a little nervous about how the departure from young-student to living in a school but being separate will be received - but it’s delightful to write, as well as being able to write about relating to staff and students in a totally different way.

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Oh, I just assumed it would not be A Thing that would actually come out to play at all. Like, something bad happened, you got injured, and it might be your fault or not, and that was all we were going to know about it, because the details would be irrelevant. Guess I was wrong. :laughing:

That’s what I wrote it for. :slight_smile:

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Nah, you’ll be able to choose what happened depending on what your previous assignment was, so you’ll definitely a) know what went down and b) that people are judging you about it c) why people are judging you about it.

And you can have regretful/angry/sad/ambitious/guilty/frustrated/resolute/and more! feelings about what happened then and what’s going on now: :smile:

By the way: in attempting to track down an old Tumblr post (thank you, unhelpful Tumblr search function) I found an entirely different post from a couple of years ago when this game was not even a twinkle in the eye and I was thinking about the world of Noblesse Oblige, about how the hospitality norms/etiquette in fancy culture in Westerlin, Zaledo, Jezhan and Teran vary. It may be of interest!

By the way #2: I had a question about whether Honor Bound romances are gated by MC age - they are not! There is some variation in your interactions with the befriendable/romanceable characters (and indeed other characters) based on your age category and how it compares with the character’s age. But they are not restricted. Ways that romances may be restricted include you breaking a romance off for whatever reason, you romancing people who aren’t polyamorously compatible (if you’ve ended up in an incompatible love polygon they’ll talk to you about it, and I can tell you now that it’ll be more embedded than in Royal Affairs where it was dreadfully complicated to implement in the late-game after having written so much), you treating them or people they strongly care about badly, or you doing something that’s wildly counter to their values (eep!).

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Going in a new direction- that’s nice to hear!

The issue of scale and themes is one that I think you pulled it off well!

More lore! It’s always fantastic to have more lore!

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It is definitely something that’s been on my mind when doing these linked games - keeping some familiar elements that people have liked before, while not repeating the same things all the time (which I would find very draining, especially for such big projects, and players would find tedious). It’s pretty important to me to challenge myself and try new things as I go, especially because I’m lucky enough to have a lot of freedom with these games! :slightly_smiling_face:

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[spoilered text from the notes drop-down, just in case]

I am SO THRILLED by this context! I was thinking about the different jobs we could have and wondering how that might get incorporated – this is more than I could have hoped, tbh. Setting up our backstory at the beginning of Noblesse Oblige was a real fun moment. I’m really glad to see a new permutation of that idea at such an expansive scale :heart_eyes:

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Awww amazing, I’m glad it’s sounding fun! I have been enjoying referring to previous jobs - some characters have worked in similar areas and so there are extra bits of dialogue with them, and then sometimes in the narrative I can refer to it too (eg someone who’s worked in training recruits may have additional insight into how a classroom works, etc). I really like reflecting elements in the PC’s earlier life as even the youngest PC will have gone through a lot of big life experiences.

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I can’t work out any specific comments I can make that don’t spill information I know from my wifely ~privileged position~

BUT I will say there are many reasons I’m delighted this idea is the next one getting made, and I think it’s going to be another fantastic contribution to the Extended Crèmaverse :heart_eyes:

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Now you’re making me want some crème caramel.

Much appreciated as always of course, as is your support and assistance!

Edit: if anyone wants some deeply nerdy statistics as of Chapter 2’s first draft being done, here goes: Honor Bound’s Chapter 1 and 2 are both individually and when added together longer than those of Creme de la Creme and Royal Affairs (even including averaging out some funky stuff with non-linear scene-triggers that Royal Affairs does). And when playing through, you currently have a very rough average of 150 choices per playthrough which is a wildly longer Chapter 2 play experience than Royal Affairs. (Royal Affairs has roughly 490 choices in a total playthrough; Creme has roughly total 310).

I don’t know if anyone else finds this interesting but I love crunching the numbers on these things and doing comparisons! I also just have numbers on the brain because of recently doing stat power/difficulty balancing and spending a long time staring at line coverage information :sweat_smile:

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I am super excited about playing a grumpy middle-aged soldier.

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Ahhh thank you, I hope you enjoy! There will be plenty of characters who will be keen to encounter a grumpy middle-aged soldier :smile:

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You’re not sure if you’re fully awake, but something dry and foul-tasting has filled your mouth and you’re struggling to spit it out.

Anyone else (who grew up with cats) read this and think “oh, god…”

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Ha! That would definitely be a nightmare :laughing:

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Well, it was usually a cat toy. “Toy” being a very…flexible term according to cat logic.

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Moral of story sleep with mouth closed lol

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Here’s a weird piece of trivia: Honor Bound will be the first of the Crème de la Crème series to feature cats. Possibly the first of all of my CoG games! (I’m not certain whether I remember Aunt Inacia in Blood Money having one or several; either way if she does, you’d only see them on a fairly obscure branch)

(You don’t have to like the cats. But if you do, you can pet or befriend them)

(I always kind of wanted a storyline in Creme or Royal Affairs where someone smuggles a cat into school, but it never quite worked out)

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As a devoted cat dad, this is a delight to hear.

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One of the cats is loosely based on one of my own. It’s my game and I get to be self-indulgent if I want to :laughing:

I will be doing a proper little development update on Friday but I have started coding Chapter 3 and just enjoying sketching out a lot of slice-of-life, getting-to-know-everyone business. During the Royal Affairs beta I added more communal scenes; during the Noblesse Oblige beta feedback I added more getting-to-know-you time for the major characters. I’m sure there will be plenty to add down the line for Honor Bound, as is the nature of things, but I’m bearing those relatively-recent experiences in mind when making this first draft. While there are some plot seeds and dramatics, I want the environment to feel nice and immersive, with communal time and seeing how other characters get along. I have several pages filled in my notebook about how people think about and treat each other!

As posted elswhere, here is some placeholder silliness (my whole file is full of code and placeholders right now, though they’re not all as amusing or non-spoilery as this one):


Love some excruciatingly awkward conversations.

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Of course, your masterpiece of placeholder text is still, and probably always will be, “omg cat.” But since apparently for some reason there are things that happen in this game other than cat-petting, I’m looking forward to this deliciously mortifying conversation!

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The great thing is that I’m not sure this is even the worst of the conversations in this chapter. A combination of strong feelings about certain topics, unawareness, social/professional pressure, and characters being in strained moods means that I will have a few to write from various angles. The player will be able to wallow in the awkward, escape, be entertained, make things worse, or intervene as desired… Happily, there will likely also end up being some pleasant swimming, stargazing, and maybe some smooching to reduce tension for those who want it.

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