Ink and Intrigue [Heart's Choice fantasy WIP] [DEMO is LIVE!]

Update:

Just hit 4200 words in chapter seven! Booyah. :crossed_swords:

I’ve also made a tumblr account, so please follow me there if you enjoy that platform.

I’m over here mashing magic systems and lore together with Loki-like abandon. Portals, dragon runes, blood-bonds, alchemy, rifts between worlds…this story has it all. :smiling_imp:

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Nothing ever fits back on the shelves properly (the first few times.) Giving up and having a read for a bit is the only response that makes sense. :wink:

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Update:

I’ve just passed 7500 words in chapter 7. Some days I write fast, some days I barely get any words in, but any forward progress is good. We’ll get there.

I’ve also updated the Dashingdon demo of Ink with a title image and a new first choice so the game gets going a bit quicker. (Those updates are not live on Spring Thing, just Dashingdon.)

Life is busy lately, but I’m glad to keep up the momentum with this story. The last few chapters are often the hardest to write but so satisfying when I manage to fit everything into place.

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Update:

Progress on chapter 7 has been put on pause as I tackle revisions for chapters 5 and 6. I received some helpful notes this week and have a plan for changes that will make Ink and Intrigue that much better. Shoutout to Abby Trevor for excellent editorial feedback and guiding me in the right direction when it comes to writing the level of agency and variety HC players are looking for. I’m doing my best to meet those expectations and exceed them where I can. :revolving_hearts:

I’m constantly finding myself growing as a writer as I wrap my mind around the nuances of IF. Sometimes the sheer scope is overwhelming. For instance, one “small” change I focused on tonight involved writing 16 more options (one additional choice per branch at 4 options each x 4 ROs). It’s work, y’all. Sometimes my brain tries to rebel and run away, but every time I add depth to the game it’s worth it, and I hope it makes for a more enjoyable experience when it’s finished.

Fun fact: I often tackle my edit notes backwards, starting at the end of a chapter and working forward. There’s some jumping around to make sure I pull a change through whatever threads apply, but I tend to go through edit notes from the bottom up.

Tonight, I added another layer to the romantic moments at the end of chapter five. I have the next few days to dedicate to revisions, in between hikes with my dog and making some delicious food. I thought I’d pop in here with a quick update for anyone wondering what’s happening in the world of Ink and Intrigue.

I hope you all have an excellent weekend! :herb:

If you’re playing a fun game or demo or reading an interesting book, I’d love to hear about it! :books: :dragon:

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I’m reading The New Annotated Dracula, from W.W. Norton’s line of annotated classics. It’s worth picking up, even if you’ve read Dracula before. The editor treats the text as if it were a serious historical document rather than a novel, which is fun, and yet the scholarship that’s gone into it is, on the whole, excellent. There are notes on the relevant geography as well as social, cultural, technological, and medical history, which really bring the story to life.

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Oo, what’d you make? :drooling_face:

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Funny, I was writing about this in the writer’s thread as you asked. lol! Doing revisions, making soup. It’s a simple life but I’m grateful. :herb:

That sounds so interesting! What a cool take on exploring a story. Thanks for sharing!

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I haven’t been able to cook like I want to for the last week (replacing a small appliance) but once the new thing is here, I’m thinking polenta with roast veg and a meati® steak will probably happen!

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Sounds delicious! :revolving_hearts:

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It’s one of the rare meals I’ll eat no matter how hot it gets out (and in) side. Really comforting. Great with a poached egg too, if you don’t feel like cooking meat or a meat substitute.

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Update:

I’m nearly finished with revisions for chapters 5 and 6, but want to add a bit more to the romantic scenes in chapter 6. I’m just not sure what extra conversation options to include for Rae and Thea.

If you’ve played the demo and gotten to know Rae and/or Thea, I’d love to hear from you! Questions for Teo or Kai are welcome too, I just have more material for them already so I’m trying to add to the Rae/Thea routes.

What question(s) would you want to ask Rae or Thea if you had some one-on-one time with them? Is there anything from their past you’d like to know about, or anything about the way they view the universe in which they exist? Philosophical questions encouraged.

If your suggestion fits with my vision for the story, it might make it into the game!

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With Thea, I’d love to explore: her journey that led to her current position… I mean from an intimate philosophical and religious(?) standpoint. I’d also love to explore with her the relationship she shares with her dragon because it seems different from the relationships others have with their bond-mates.

Yes, I know, there is a lot in my ask, but I will leave the figuring out for you to do on just how deep down the rabbit hole you desire to fall :revolving_hearts:

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These are great inquiries, thank you! I’m hoping to get some writing time today and over the weekend to weave some of this into Thea’s thread.

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Update:

This round of revisions for chapters 5 and 6 are complete and submitted to my editor. I’m looking forward to making more progress on chapter 7 this weekend.

I received more player feedback (thank you for the feedback!) and have made a few small changes to early chapters, though I don’t know if I’ll update the demo yet. I’ve removed Rae’s mention that Kai isn’t into casual flings as he makes exceptions to that rule on full moon parties and it seemed contradictory. However, I’ve also added a bit to the conversation with Kai after the full moon party so his proposition of the PC is gentler.

I have more thoughts on this subject, but I put them in the nsfw thread as I contemplate the discussion on spice vs slowburn.

I hope you all have an excellent weekend! :revolving_hearts:

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DEMO UPDATE:

I meant to work on chapter 7 today, but my brain rebelled. Instead, I created a glossary, which more than one person has requested. Huzzah!

I’ve just updated the Dashingdon demo. Changes to the main text are minor, but the glossary is fairly substantial.

If you notice anything in the game that I didn’t include but you think might be helpful to have in the glossary, please let me know! I’m trying to make the glossary as spoiler-free as possible, so I didn’t go into a ton of detail for things you can learn more about in-game, but you will find bits of backstory that you don’t get otherwise.

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I love it, thanks for adding that! I find it easier to get my bearings. I especially love the addition of the PCs cousins

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I’m so glad it helps! Thanks for your excellent feedback and another nudge to do a glossary. There is so much worldbuilding in this game that it really needs it. The glossary still needs some editing, but this is a good start.

I had fun including the cousins and I’m so glad you enjoyed that addition. They’re part of another story I want to tell, but first I must finish this one.

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Update:

Current word count for Ink and Intrigue has officially passed 175,000 words! :tada:

I’ve done more revisions on chapters 5 and 6, and am making headway in chapter 7. Two and a half chapters to finish the game. Getting there!

Big gratitude to everyone who nominated Ink and Intrigue for audience awards in Spring Thing! The demo was recognized with ribbons for Hottest Demo, Best Worldbuilding, and Best Romance! :fire:

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This is — by far — my favorite WIP I’ve encountered in a long time. I love the world youve created and im excited to see how it develops.

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Oh! Thank you! What an amazing compliment. You totally made my day. :revolving_hearts: :herb:

It’s a super fun world with so much going on. Stoked to hear you like it!

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