Interest Check Thread

Lover of IF turned lurker turned writer coming in for an interest check on a project I’m working on! Oh god this got so long I’m so sorry.

Summary: After receiving news from your cousin that your grandmother has died, you come to the city where you spent several summers in your childhood at her bed and breakfast. After the funeral, your cousin tells you to meet her there, and reveals that your grandmother left everything in your name, despite the fact you hadn’t returned in years.

Your cousin convinces you to take a few days to consider what you’ll do… during which time you experience a few bumps in the night. After apparently pinning you as someone trustworthy, the ghost of the missing pool attendant appears and asks you to solve their murder—but not before flirting outrageously with you. When you agree and start to uncover things, you start to wonder: was your grandmother’s death a murder, too? Are the other people working at the inn save? Are you?

Genre: This is a romance story that falls somewhere between mystery and thriller. The only fantasy element is that there’s a ghost, and you can make out with them. (Why? Why not?)

Romance: This is a romance work, so this is a huge portion of the book. There are four love interests, all of whom can be male or female (individually chosen as they come, randomized, or a sort of Make Them All Dudes/Chicks option). The ghost of the pool attendant, who is a flirty mess with a smile that never reaches their eyes; the farmer who turned down a powerful corporate law career to inherit the farm that provides the farm-to-table produce for the inn, who is painfully kind and searching for a fulfilling dream; the gruff handyman (and possible childhood friend of the MC if you want the childhood friends route), who was raised by their uncle and yearns for a life they don’t feel worthy to have; or the daydreaming writer, who has a long-term stay in the inn to work on their novel and seems disengaged with everything that seems frivolous to them.

Cool other details: The mystery will have one of three different perpetrators, depending on early game choices you’ll make. Are you the only person close to your ice queen cousin, or have the two of you been at each other’s throats since birth? Does the cranky gardener see you as the child he never had, or the nuisance he’d thought he’d gotten rid of? Will you succeed in finding out the mystery, or will it take you by surprise and cause a less-than-optimal ending? Does your MC curse a lot, or do they exclaim sunny beaches when stubbing their toe? More stuff like this.

This will be a single stand alone book, not a series. I want readers to experience everything from beginning to end without having to wait forever for a part two or three to finish it out.

Hopefully I’ll have a demo up soon. I’ve written a lot in my time, but this is my first IF so it’s a learning process. Anyway, thanks for reading and please let me know if this sounds interesting!


Took me a moment to realize the she is probably the cousin, not the grandmother.

Yeah, sorry. Only one ghost in this one lol. I’ll edit for clarification!

Sounds fun, I’d love a Hajime no Ippo CoG game.

Reminds me of Scarlet Hollow.

It’s somewhat intriguing, but my personal preference is for zero supernatural/ghost elements at all. That being said, it’s obviously it’s your story, so write it how you want.


For the Antaryon, who blessed me with opportunity.

For my Instructors, who created fire from ash.

While the enemies of the Empereur-Auguste still draw breath, there can be no peace.


Viam Ferro - the Path of Steel

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that… you’ve been chosen. You’ve been chosen to serve. There are only the Emperor-Auguste and his adversaries. neither more nor less. Whether you like it or not, you are now an orphan, and you will serve. You are a member of the Sequi Imperfecta, a group of worthless kids who will soon undergo the Iron Guard’s Induction Trials at the Academiae. Then, you worthless trash will be brought to The Border to prove yourself so that, someday or never, you can join the Iron Guard and defend the Empereur-Auguste till your demise! You have been selected to serve, thus rejoice.

➤ Your craft is death - Sharpen your martial arts prowess with a sword or a spear as you endure the notorious Iron Guard’s horrific induction ceremony. Test your martial skills in theory, and practice, to achieve your unique style of fighting. Explore a world where injustice reigns supreme and learn a thing (or two) about the Art of Steel. You must become the Steel of the Empereur-Auguste, or die trying!

➤ Try to Survive - Do you have what it takes to make it through the Academiae or even The Border? You must carve a place for yourself in a world where everything is out to get you. An untimely death, losing loved ones, and everything trying to kill you are indeed commonplace. You will be molded anew by hardships and obstacles to reach new heights or experience unimaginable lows. How will you stain the canvas that is this world?

➤ What remains is strength - The protagonist is not you. However, you will unquestionably need to embody that which is nearest if you want to survive. Will you succeed in a setting where youth are being raised to become the Steel of the Empereur-Auguste? It is not for the weak of spirit to endure what you will go through if you manage it. The most repulsive aspects of a person emerge when they must struggle to survive. You will be surrounded by a constant, fog-like mist of brutality, betrayal, and absolute desperation. The question is now: Are you able to claw your way out of that desperation and rise with a head held high?

➤ The forbidden Fruit - Romance? Preposterous! There is no time to dabble in such things as mortal pleasures, rest assured. However, even when desperation grips those around you, will you be able to assemble a trustworthy Squad? Don’t be deceived; although treachery is widespread, you must maintain bonds with others. No person can conquer the world on their own, no matter how powerful they are. This is reality, where crushing a dream is far easier than achieving it and you are about to get a cruel wake-up call.


This will be in a more medieval setting, and without spoiling too much, it will heavily focus on War alongside politics. War, obviously, is far from just fighting battles, it is far… far more. It has many sides to it, both sinister and utterly mesmerizing. This is a low-fantasy, semi-realistic CoG set in a world of grey.

As the saying goes,

One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.

I am already happily awaiting any thoughts on this project, suggestions, etc.

Dearly, Xychael


What’s the name of the empire we’re fighting for also it looks interesting

1 Like

The name of the Empire is Imperium de Valeria, and it possesses a branching Dominion called the Freehold of Valeri.

Read, but beware of spoilers as this will all be explained in the later versions of the WIP:

Also, the Empire is huge. It has a population of roughly 100 million, with a 69 million urban population & roughly 31 million rural population. The Roman Empire, at its peak, had an estimated 59 - 76 million inhabitants - just so you can put it into perspective. There’s going to be a lot of explaining throughout the various chapters once you move away from The Border. Meaning, especially after the Induction & The Border Arc you will get to know the world. This includes, but is not limited to: how does the Empire sustain such a population? How does the military work (to a certain degree)?

There is more things to mention, and if you wish to know I can elaborate further upon the situation within and on the various reaches of the Empire.

Edit 1: I am also already working on a Map for my known World with culture regions, religious regions, population (-centers), and various military regiments (& their placements)


Religion - Would you enjoy being thrown into the midst of a heated battle of religion, which is (both metaphorically and literally) tearing the Empire apart from within? I will also allow your Character to explore the different religions first-hand (hopefully) and later on let the reader decide if they wish to endorse one of them. This exploration will allow you to see the cruelties of religious infighting, alongside the boons of religious unity. I assume many will begin to notice a trend here… oh well! They all have their own religious philosophy and customs, which will potentially allow you to gain Stat Points (/items, if those will be added by me into my game - I already have a lot of work to do when it comes to ChoiceScript) and among other things. This will also be a brief, but perhaps welcome, respite from the constantly dark themes of the WIP. Naturally, it will still show the ugly sides of religion but I will focus more on religious unity, and the factors connected to it.

Be aware: if I put emphasis on this, it will take more time to move on → slow-paced for a while once religion is being explored.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Or, naturally, if you have any suggestions… hit me with em’!

  • Yes
  • No
  • Maybe? I’d like it to be changed up a bit! (Suggest)

0 voters


I mean personally (I’m a Christian myself), I find these stories can easily come across as patronizing to the religious. As they sometimes come across as the author just bashing religion and spiritual beliefs, depicting them as stupid, backward, tyrannical, etc. Or it’ll depict the only “good” ones as being the ones who take their beliefs the least seriously/are the most progressive. If it’s a story like that, I wouldn’t be very interested, as I’ve seen it often and seldom liked it.

If it’s actually just a story about a conflict that happens to be religious in nature without the meta-writing aspect. Then I might be interested, depending on things like the setting, exact plot, characters, etc. Sorry if that’s not helpful but that’s my own experience with these kinds of stories from a religious perspective.


No, no. Don’t be sorry, on the contrary… this has taken my interest.

Could you elaborate further on the mentioned ‘meta-writing’ problem? I, personally, am an Atheist but I would hate to stigmatize the religions in my WIP. After all, it’s all about the World being grey. A place of blissful happiness and untold horrors, which often blend together.

Even worse would be having such one-dimensional religions that they are either ‘good’ or ‘evil’, as that would go against the very concept behind the WIP.

I am most delighted about your reply,
Dearly, Xychael


Generally, meta-writing in this context is when the authors (say an anti-theist) decides to depict what they think religion should be and how religious people should act. Often depicting the devoutly religious as stupid, brainwashed, or fanatic. While depicting the “good ones” as more casual and progressive about their faith, totally cool with the idea of changing everything to fit with the times or being a lover of having sex, swearing, making light of their beliefs, etc. It tends to come across as the author patronizing the religious and telling them they should live like the irreligious.

Furthermore, religion is usually treated as a political ideology instead of a spiritual one. The reason that religions don’t change much in the real world is that they believe in truth (God for example) that transcends time and culture. Not something you can just change when it suits you, which makes the author’s critiques of it as such feel disconnected from what the religious really believe.

An example from a popular franchise would be Dragon Age. Half the time I feel like the characters are going to turn to me and say, “Just so you know, we’re trying to stick it to Christians” with all the things they do there. They even have one of their “good ones” say that the religious (basically Catholics) give to charity for show and brag about it. So even the things the writers agree are good are given a negative spin to make religious people look worse.

Other tropes include things like religious people having no intelligent response to questions like “How do you know God exists?” or “Why do bad things happen?” when religions have thousands of pages worth of scholarly material discussing said things. You don’t have to agree with them, but the religious deeply study and contemplate their beliefs and often have answers (again, agree with them or not) to those types of questions.

Another small one is that scientists are sometimes all depicted as intelligent atheists and the religious as superstitious idiots when there’ve been plenty of religious scientists throughout history and even today.

Obviously, I’m not trying to say you can’t write religion or religious characters. I write a polytheistic fantasy world myself, and I’m a monotheist. But those are some of the things I’ve seen that have annoyed me in fiction. Hope that helps!


You somehow beautifully articulated why I prefer Sims Medieval’s Jacobans over Peterans.


Ah, now that reference takes me back. And at least there it was a satirical game and trying to parody the Catholic’s focus on penance and Protestants’ focus on grace. More intelligent than Dragon Age’s take somehow. :laughing:


I mean it very much is linked to politics, just look at Henry the 8th, he created Anglicanism purely for political reasons.

Or the political clusterfuck that was religion in Egypte with each Pharaon having its own favorite to the point some gods literally got purposefully erased from History because the new Pharaon had a power struggle with the previous one.

Even better exemple: All the Athene influenced poems and stories badmouthing Ares just because he was the patron god of their main rivals, who’d get put out a lot more whenever Sparta defeated them in some conflicts.

No? Religions change a lot, once again just look at Protestantism that straight up separated itself from the church.

Like I understand not portraying religion badly but let’s not deny actual history either.

Doesn’t sound very realistic to me. Soldiers even in the worst situations always found a way to flaunt anti-fraternization rules, including literal and unironic slave soldiers or slave pit fighters.


Yeah okay, I’m not going to debate the nature of religion on here in the Interest Check thread. So I’ll just make this final post here.


Yes, spiritual beliefs often inform political ones when the two overlap. However, that doesn’t change that the beliefs are still spiritual in nature. A king doing something for political reasons isn’t an indictment of the very concept of religion being a belief centered on spiritual things.

Martin Luthor’s argument was that the Church had strayed too far from biblical doctrine and should therefore return to Sola Scriptura. Or, belief that the Bible alone is inspired by God and should be regarded as His word. He wasn’t going, “lol, let’s just change everything!” He was actually arguing that the Church needed to go back not forward. You could actually argue that he was a proponent against the changes he thought the Catholic Church had made.

That and changes that are made are often related to things not strictly endorsed or prohibited within said religions’ holy texts. For instance, if a Pope tried to decree polytheism, that said decree wouldn’t have gone over well with the common man at the time.

And in any case, I wasn’t saying religions absolutely never change ever. Just that they don’t do so flippantly. There’s a reason the Reformation is a historical event and not a commonality. Like literally people were so resistant that the Reformation ultimately led to the Thirty Years’ War. So clearly change wasn’t a commonly accepted thing.

I’m not denying history, I’m giving a perspective that many other religious people (that I know) and I hold. As I was asked.

And that’s my cue to leave. Have a good day everyone.


And one of your criticisme was about treating it like a political ideology so I’m saying you have to treat it like that in many context because it objectively was used politically by those in power and was used to politically influence people.

So basically yes you have true believers but that doesn’t mean you can ignore the political aspect of it in a story where it would matter.

Yeah so either way, one side claimed the other changed from what religion was before so change happened either way.

Yeah but that still mean there was change so I disagree with what you said about religion not changing and how it shouldn’t be portrayed as changing in game.

Then we simply misunderstood each other I guess.


I believe I understand where you are coming from. However, in the foreseeable future there will be no romance. Obviously, this is prone to change and most likely will once this WIP has moved on further, beyond its early stages. Specifically, once you are able to explore the Empire or the lands connected to it.

For now, the pretence of fraternisation will be used to partially justify the lack of ROs. More importantly, however, is that the recruits will not feasibly have any time to dabble in romance (at least during the Induction, this may not be the case for The Border). While they do have free time, they are restricted to the Academy. While, obviously, some may try their luck… I would simply cite their motivation, training and the need to rest as blocking their curiosity.

After all, there is a reason why actively taking part in various activities, which cure boredom and have you doing something, are helpful in preventing yourself from finding trouble.

Point is: I would like to focus on other aspects and romance, as of now, will not be part of my project. Once I feel comfortable with it, or believe it to be the right timing I might write romance.

I thank you for your input,
Dearly, Xychael


I mean, I understand that, not every game need romance, I’m just questioning justifying it as ‘Because reality’ because it’s not very realistic either, better to just say there’s no romance planned right now IMO.


Ah, I think that was a misunderstanding then. I wasn’t implying it to be based on realism, it was more of just a catching phrase I thought of (I assume it is the ‘There will be no time for mortal pleasures, rest assured.’).

As the WIP Demo will show, I am quite transparent with my inability to write romance and I lament the day I have to. But, oh well, perhaps it will turn out magnificent? So much so that I may surprise myself with the romance I write.