Icarus Sun (WIP - Update December 27, 2016)

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#1

Hey there! Okay, so this is my first attempt at a game using ChoiceScript and I have no idea what I’m doing. But that’s okay, I’m going to roll with my unknowledge and hopefully gather a big enough snowball that any problem I run into will be easily repaired. As for what the metaphor means… Well it’s basically my long-winded way of saying I’m going to wing it.

So! The actual game, Icarus Sun. The explanation I’ve put together is pretty long so for those who wish I would get on with it, here’s the link to the demo:
https://dashingdon.com/play/renab/icarus-sun-demo/mygame/

For those who wish to read my explanation, here you go:

Two stories, one a story that may be more true than you think.

The first story is of an underground City. The City without a name, where you are one of the City’s Children. The City’s Children being children who would’ve died at birth, but instead was sacrificed to the City, who replaced the parts of you that didn’t work with pieces of this rusted City. In return for your life, you will work with The City in one of several jobs until the day you die. There are others like you, people who have flesh growing over metal parts, and metal inside of them as well, others who can speak to the City. The living City, your parent, your guardian, your inanimate founder.

The City itself is located underground, with gaslight and lamplight illuminating the gaping darkness that surrounds the edges of The City. There’s only one spot of sunlight, a gaping hole showing the outside world in the center of the City where a park lies. It’s expensive to get in, and the giant walls that reach the top of the cavernous underground make the area just outside the Park one of the darkest places within The City. Most people go their entire lives without ever seeing the sunlight, you’re one of the lucky few who do. You’re even luckier because, as a City’s Child, you see the sunlight often, as you must make repairs and care for the fresh fruits and vegetables that grow in the Park.

You are also illiterate, which makes the fact that you just found a book, and that you wish to read said book, a little challenging. The book came to you accidentally, and you know the title, although you don’t know how you know the title. Icarus Sun, those are the only two words you can read. But that’s what your mentor is for, right?

Your Mentor, the person (man, woman, or otherwise you’ve no idea, you’ve never actually seen them from outside of the shadows), who taught you how to work, and who’s responsible for your actions. They’re about as close to a human “parent” as you’ll get. They’re also, lucky for you, literate. And they’re willing to read you the story…

Even if The City may not be.

But what’s inside of its pages? And what implications does it have for The City?

Icarus Sun- the book, makes up the other half of the story.

You play as the main character of the book, a man, woman, or otherwise, who lives in a city where everyone has wings.

Everyone- except for you.

As a young child you were born too early, and your wings were deformed and bent and broken. They would’ve caused you great pain- so they were cut off. Which made life for you all the harder. In Alatum, everyone has wings. And everyone has magic. The magic is stored in the wings. So you, of course, have neither.

You’re alone in status, but you won’t let that stop you from living as you wish. So you go to the main city, a sprawling beast full of people fluttering to and fro. You’re there with a job opportunity from a close family friend, your “Uncle” Kenny, who runs a publishing company and needs help editing some of the transcripts. A simple job, but a start nonetheless.

That’s before you accidentally become an accomplice.

It all starts when you meet a man at a train station- a man without wings, like you.


And that’s the basic plot of Icarus Sun! The demo is currently about 10,000 words long (including coding), and since that’s a pretty good size for an update I’d expect the next update to be about the same length. Could I be lying through my teeth? Yes, yes I could. I’d be lying to myself as well, however, so I guess I’d be both victim and villain? That’s not a very good position to be in so I’ll try to keep to my word on that.

Anyway, any critique/constructive criticism/comment/question is welcome. Like I said I’m winging it, so I’ll need all the help I can get. Thanks for your time!


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#2

I love it.

This is an excellent demo of a really tantalizing story. I hope you’re pleased with yourself, because now I have to sit on my hands and fidget until your next update.

I love the City and the Stars vibe I get from the post-technological society, and the story-within-a-story is going to be a great page turner, I can feel it.


#3

Well, I hadn’t heard of that book before but now that I’ve looked it up (and also seen who it’s by, because Arthur C. Clark is amazing) I’ve added it to my reading list. So I know what I’m getting tomorrow and subsequently shutting out the outside world for a day or two.

Thank you so much! Well, I’ll definitely do my best to make sure I keep it up and make sure it’s just as interesting!

I’m not sure if you meant for that to be a pun but I’m loving the pun.


#4

I am as ever at your service.


#6

I love it especially the City,i like the feeling i get from it,a beautiful but gloomy place…or creature.

Looking forward to the next update.Btw are the City Man-made or a living creature?and why do i get the feeling that the two story will intersect ?:open_mouth:

Anyway,keep up the good work!!:smile:


#7

That would depend on who you ask within The City. Some citizens will wholeheartedly believe that The City is a living beast in and of itself, one that sacrifices its metallic skin for the betterment (and survival) of its Children. Other’s will say that The City originated from human kind, that humans built it and gave it consciousness to care for them. So in essence nobody really knows (yet, that is).

And if you were to ask The City (or City Watchers) it would probably answer ambiguously. Something along the lines of, “Did a human not make you?” Or such.

Hmm… I don’t know… You might be onto something. :smiley:

Thank you! I’ll do my best!


#8

Wonderful start and now eagerly awaiting more.


#9

Thank you very much!


Also just a general tidbit that I’ll probably end up putting into the top post more clearly by the next update, but a little explanation of stats in this game because things get… wonky… (Then again what isn’t wonky when you’re talking about a book about a person reading a book about a person who’s hired to edit books? All of which take place in different fantasy lands.)

So as you may/may not have noticed, the stats pages are sufficiently lacking in, well, stats. You’ve got you’re relationships, but then the only actual stats you have are one opposing statistic in The City and one opposing statistic in Icarus Sun. So what about skills? Charm? Intelligence? Strength? Those kinds of things?

Well… put shortly there are none, nor do I plan to put any in. See, one problem I’ve always had (and this may just be the fact that I’m horrible at all games) is that I never distribute my skills well enough to actually accomplish my goals successfully. I always end up in that horrid “You do not have enough X-Skill to proceed” limbo where I wonder what went wrong and how I could have failed so horribly that I can’t even make it past the first chapter without running into such a roadblock?

So! My solution to this (and thusly catering to fellow horrible game-players) is to, instead of skills, rely on sequences. Much like your the train station scene where you can chose to either run away or explain the misunderstanding, you’ll get choices on how to react to each conflict.

If you want to succeed in those choices, you’ll have to chose certain options that branch from that choice.

Again using the train station scene as an example: Say you chose to run away, and you’re then presented with the option to go outside or go into the train tracks. While neither of these will fail (seeing as this is a “tutorial level” of sorts), if one could fail, then there would be consequences.

Say choosing the outside was the “correct” option, if you didn’t chose to do that, then you’d get the same scene, where the train is coming. Icarus would offer his hand to you, and, even though you chose the technically “wrong” option, you’d be given a second chance and could either take Icarus’ hand or try to get out some other way.

Now, I don’t plan on having you die in the game, because (again) I know all too well the pain of having to retrace steps because of one slip-up. So the consequence if you chose to not take his hand would more likely be that the police pull you out of the way and you get caught rather than “you get run over by a train so it’s game over”.

Does that make sense?

Essentially any choice can work since you’ll be given multiple points to make up for a “wrong” decision, it’s just different ways of how to get out a sticky situation. Some of which may work better than others.


#10

The part where the mentor asks you to promise not to return the book is super confusing. I didn’t know if the choices meant I won’t promise or I won’t return the book. You should add more words to the choices so it’s clear.

The perspective change was so subtle that I got confused and thought the stat screen had bugged out. Maybe, you could find a way to make perspective changes easier to identify.

Why is book MC complaning about not talking to single as man on the train when there was not an option to talk to him on the train ride?


#11

Omg! Let me join this EIP PLZ!!!PLEASE!!


#12

I love the demo, and can’t wait to see more of the story.


#13

I think stats can work, as long as you don’t have to min-max them (i.e. increase one stat only, leaving the other ones at zero) in order to “win”. If stats just unlock bonus scenes and dialogue, I’ve got no problem with them. Likewise, I agree that there shouldn’t really be any “wrong” decisions (although I’m fine with making fun of stupid decisions, like running out in front of a train), and premature game-overs should be avoided as much as possible. (I know there’s at least one published game that really should have thought of this.)

Anyway, good luck with the game. It looks like a very good start.


#14

Very interesting story and very nice writing; I found a slight error though. In the beginning you describe our MC as half of the city, half metal, and half human; it wouldn’t really be half, it would just be a third.

Anyways good luck with the coding :wink:


#15

@RyseAbove The city is metal, so that would be a half. But, it could be worded better.


#16

Will do![quote=“Sovereign2Lilith, post:10, topic:17799”]
Maybe, you could find a way to make perspective changes easier to identify.
[/quote]

I can change the page break before the perspective shift to say something along the lines of “They begin to read”. One scrapped idea I have was that I’d actually change from second to first person (as if you’re actually reading the book) I ended up not doing that because I thought it might be too jarring? But perhaps it’ll make the shift clearer?

True. Okay, I’ll add that option in and add some more dialogue. (Thank you so much for your feedback!)

That’s basically what the opposing stats (and relationships) are right now. For example, if you go to The City first, before taking the book to Mentor, your interaction with Mentor will shift slightly because you’ve shown a preference for The City. The opposing stats will change how your character perceives the world, and your relationship with some characters, but won’t result in a game-over or something dire. (Although they’re also a good marker to tell you which path you’re heading down, since it’d be hard to rise one stat while trying to go down a path that favors the opposite).

There will be no premature game-overs, I can promise you that. Even if you fail at something, you just fail at that specific task. But instead of a game-over, there’ll just be consequences down the line to “punish” you for failing. Then again, who knows? Maybe you failed on purpose.

So “wrong decision” really depends on what you’re trying to do. Anything can be a “right decision” so long as that’s what you’re trying to accomplish.

Like @Sovereign2Lilith said, I meant for that to mean half-City as the city is metal, but I’ll make that a bit clearer! Thank you!

I’m glad you’re enthusiastic about it! Honestly, anybody who says anything here is kind of already a part of the WIP, because like I said I’m just winging it with ChoiceScript at this point and could use and all feedback/commentary you have to offer! :smiley:

Thank you very much!


#17

I absolutely love this demo so far and can’t wait for the next update! I don’t know how this will work,but will both characters have a chance of meeting each other during the story? I also get the feeling that this is based of the Greek myth, with maybe the city being the labyrinth of sorts? And there are more references but I don’t want to say anything in case I’m wrong… anyways I hope for more updates soon! This is really well written so far.


#18

I can’t answer that outright since it does contain spoilers (whether or not the answer is yes or no)… so I guess my vague way of answering that to avoid spoiling the plot would be that the stories aren’t completely separate? (I’ll still put that under spoilers just to be safe.)

There actually are some nods to the legend of Icarus! (Besides, well, the name of the book and the character himself). Actually, all of the default names for the characters are connected to the legend of Icarus in some way.

Daedalus was Icarus’ father, Ariadne was the daughter of King Minos (who imprisoned Daedalus for helping Ariadne defeat the Minotaur), Thesi comes from Theseus who was the enemy of Minos, Samos is the name of the island close to the sea in which Icarus fell, the legend of Pasiphae (daughter of the sun) led to the birth of the Minotaur, Ovid is a narrator in the retelling of the Icarus legend in the book Metamorphoses. (And then Icarus is… Icarus.)

The story of Icarus inspired some of the basics of this book, and while the two aren’t vastly interrelated (not to say that they aren’t at all, just very loosely), I wanted to nod to the original inspiration, so the names are kind of my secondary homage.


#19

That doesn’t sound ominous at all…

There is another WIP here that uses 1st/2nd person shifts to differentiate the protagonists (The Last Level), which I thought worked quite well. I can’t wait to see what happens when the stories entangle…


#20

This is a really fantastic story so far! The writing is spot on, I didn’t feel the need to gloss over the paragraphs like I tend to do with a lot of books. I like that we get to control two characters, both of which live in very interesting worlds.
In the Icarus Sun half, I noticed there’s a stat for wings. Are we going to get wings??


#21

Oh, yeah, I like how they do it, it’s very smooth. I guess the one thing I’d be worried about if implementing that into my game would be breaking the player’s immersion? I want them to feel as if they are both the City Child and the Icarus Sun Character, not the City Child and then that they simply are reading about the Icarus Sun Character. Does that make sense? Am I worrying needlessly? We may never know.

Thank you so much!

Perceptive! And you will kind of have the option to get wings? They won’t be “wings” in how everyone else has wings, because book MC wasn’t born with them, but there will be pseudo-wings available later on? Like with most else in this story it depends on what choices you make and the consequences of said choices. Put simply; Yes? Kind of?