In the Service of Mrs. Claus - WIP

#1

As the Second-List-Checker at Claus Castle, you are the right-hand-elf of the most powerful being in both worlds:

Mrs. Claus.

In the centuries since her husband’s death, Mrs. Claus has built an empire of enchantment and wonder, bringing joy to millions of children. But change is on the horizon, and you are caught in the middle. Will you bring her enemies to her knees, or take power for yourself? Will you end Christmas forever, or bring the humans and the Fae together?

Whether you’re commanding the power of the late gods or shoveling reindeer poop, your destiny is in your hands!

In the Service of Mrs. Claus is a Christmas-themed game, currently finished through 6 out of 13 chapters. Standing about 64K words

  • Play as a variety of genders, ages, and species
  • Specialize as a sneaky trickster, a friend of the world, an ingenuous tinker, and more
  • Make friends with Fae and human alike
  • You’re making a list, and you’re checking it twice! You get to pick who’s naughty or nice
  • Explore strange sights like the World of Dreams, Claus Castle, and suburban malls
  • Discover Mrs. Claus’s history and the fates of the Old Gods
  • Face off against ancient trickster gods, eldritch abominations, dangerous cults, and 6-year old children

Play the first nine chapters of In the Service of Mrs. Claus here!

I’m excited to hear your feedback as I work through this WIP! My plan is to finish the rest of the chapters, incorporating feedback as I go along, then going back and refining and working in your comments and suggestions.

One unusual feature of this game is that it does not feature romances for the main character. There are romances for other characters, which you can have some effect on, including a forbidden love between a high-placing elf and an enemy of Claus Castle, the love between Hercules and Philoctetes, and more. Gender in this game is completely fluid, with characters who change gender every few minutes, genderless characters, characters with multiple simultaneous genders, and more.

Edit: This is my first time posting a WIP, so let me know if I’m breaking written or unwritten rules, or if there’s an easier way to present the information you need or get feedback.

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Upcoming Choice of Games Releases -- 2019
#2

Thank you for sharing your work - I’ll be happy to explore it within the next few days.

Seeing the fluidity of gender and how it works will be interesting.

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#3

I really like what you have so far, but I have one little continuity error!

I picked my form as a sugar plum fairy, not a ghostly child.

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#4

Thank you, I had a multireplace backwards. This is very helpful!

@Eiwynn Your opinion on gender fluidity matters a lot! I look forward to hearing from you.

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#5

I’m glad I could be somewhat helpful!

I’m looking forward to seeing more and will definitely buy on release :smiley:

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#6

I’m the lead editor for Mrs. Claus, and I’ve been enjoying working with author @Brian_Rushton (who’s quite an IF dynamo!) I know you guys will join me in welcoming him for this WIP as you have with @PParrish!

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#7

I liked the concept but the stats seem a bit confusing as I thought I kept choosing stuff that fit to what I had built up but then I fail horribly

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#8

Thanks for this information. My difficulty levels and stat rewards are essentially wild guesses, so your feedback shows to me that I probably need to tinker with these quite a bit going forward, either increasing stat bonuses or decreasing stat difficulties.

One thing that would really help me to know (if you still have it saved): what levels are your stats at? What is your highest skill and highest opposing stat?

(Edit: I’d be interested in these numbers from anyone else who felt like they should have passed a given challenge. I trust your instincts!)

(Edit-Edit: Thanks @King_Skela_Ugg)

#9

Connections and cheer were sitting at 27%
I think trickery was at 19%
And tinkering and shifting were at 0%

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#10

Oh and if it helps I was with mrs clause in in that olmec city when I just got a bit too frustrated

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#11

Any game that lets me end Christmas is a game for me!

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#12

So, I noticed I got the same continuity error as @peaches (I chose a regal character to shift to, but still the dog viewed me as a ghost kid). The stats are admittedly tricky but I’ll get around to it when I play again. Beyond that, I’d wager this is a nice game to playtest during the festive season.

Also, P.s. don’t worry, you haven’t broken any rules here and as Mary said, we welcome both you and the game here.

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#13

Ah, I meant I had fixed it on my end. But you’re right, I should upload as I go. I fixed that, and doubled the first chapter’s stat boosts. That still may not be enough, so I’m interested to see how the stats go moving forward.

#14

Hello there, so nice to see you! I’ve been excited to see this since seeing you mention you were under contract, congratulations for the achievement so far. (And I’m really impressed at you doing this plus IF Comp too!)

I didn’t know what to expect, and I haven’t played all of it yet, but I love it so far. The world you’ve created is charming and fun with a bit of a dangerous edge, and the society of these strange supernatural entities is fascinating. Something I noticed as a potential thing to look at is the number of choices provided - I found the long lists a bit overwhelming at times. But of course mileage may vary :slight_smile:

2 Likes
#15

I am Spanish and Mrs claus and elves are totally out of my knowledge same the elves I have seen in some American films. The stats are for me cryptic A explanation could be great. I stopped playing just in moment select what I am I didn’t like at all any of them as those are very different to anything I would like to be or anything I could remotely empathize with Maybe add some sort of more ambiguous choice for instance I was thinking Myself before that choice being a tall frost spirit an elf of the winter without wings something more androgynus . Or even change from male female and nb but without change to form another specie of fairylike your fluid choice.
I just can’t empathise normally with fairies and furries I need something more humanoid.

Still I will certainly read this to understand more of what american tradition works

2 Likes
#16

@poison_mara Would you be interested in me adding an optional choice on the front page explaining some of American Christmas culture? Something like a miniature encyclopedia-within-a-game that discussed the characters of Mr. and Mrs. Claus in red suits with white fur, little elves in green coats, the reindeer and the poem The Night Before Christmas, etc., sort of like a Christmas primer?

And it’s easy to add another form. ‘Tall frost spirit’ sounds good.

@HannahPS It’s great to get feedback from you, too; I’m a big fan of your work and the way you organize choices! Playing through the first chapter, i noticed that I had about 5 or 6 choices that had 6 or more options (form, first name, last name, motivation ambassadors you liked, best characteristic, etc.), whereas all the rest are about 4 choices each. Would tempering down some of the really big lists help, or would going even further to make more choice lists have three choices be needed? (You know, is it just trimming the longest choices or is the whole thing too bushy?)

#17

It will be great as I had to search half of terms from sweets to merry jolly stuff It is engaging for me as is like a new universe mythology as in Spanish tradition is all about The three wise men going to bring presents to Jesus in Belen Klaus is just something mall and shopping uses not part of our culture.

I found game fast paced and thrilling maybe too much fast paced a small option to see where I live or something more slow paced could be cool in middle of action.
I have lost 90% of stats checks and I found game difficult as hell. My stats are totally unbalanced I will give you a copy of them at the end

Steadfast: 20% Open_Minded: 80%

Gluttonous: 63% Temperate: 37%

Elegant: 63% Rustic: 37%

Shifting: 0%

Tinkering: 10%

Trickery: 0%

Cheer: 20%

Connections: 65%

Christmas_Spirit: 26
Elf_Rank: 12

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#18

Small thing: I’m getting a little disoriented with the ‘flashbacks’. maybe put them in italics?

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#19

For the extra gift scene could we use cheer to give him good dreams?

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#20

I’ll try that and see how it goes. I’ll upload a new version later today that includes them, and edit this status when I do. If people like them, I’ll keep them.

@Blank There are a few scenes in the game where you pick gifts for people. Which option is this one? The one where you can fix the sink and radiator?

@MIGSey I’ve incorporated your concept into this draft. Thanks!

@MeltingPenguins Dang it, I thought I fixed that last time. It’s in there now (I just added a few words.)

@stuck_in_bed Thank you, I’ve addressed the concerns you mentioned. This is very helpful!

Edit: I’ve uploaded a new version with the italics, the glossary of common Christmas terms in the stat screen, boosts to opposing stats and an initial across-the-board boost of 20% to all skills (to reflect your elf’s past achievements and to make skill checks more manageable).

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