Interest Check Thread

Additionally, I’ve been given permission to go ahead and post a few sneak peeks here.

While the writing is heavily unedited at this time, I do have a few images of how the character creator Demo will shape up. I’m going to throw a poll down at the bottom of this of this post, feel free to let me know how you think about the style!

Five images down below!














  • I love the style!
  • I like the style!
  • I’m not a big fan.

0 voters



Thanks everyone for being fantastic as always.
~Zach

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@Zaxwlyde – I’m glad you got everything posted as you had wanted.

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Hey, everyone!

I’ve been doing a lot of work under the hood, and the Character Creation Demo is going to be a bit more ambitious than I originally had scoped my timeline for. As it stands, the character creator is already at 10k words and climbing, with only two of the planned backgrounds implemented in entirety. To give a bit of an idea as to what’s present:

  • Name selection
  • Gender selection
  • Pronoun selection
  • Race selection (includes mini-info on each race!)
  • Background Selection (2 of which are implemented in entirety out of 10 planned. Each contains its own ‘mini-sequence’ that is playable with some detail and choice taking place as memories).

What I’m considering doing to get involvement and begin a more immersive development cycle is to release the demo with both what’s above implemented, the 2 out of 10 backgrounds, and implement the following prior to its release to add a bit more depth:

  • Hair style selection
  • Hair color selection
  • Eye color selection
  • Skin color selection
  • Body type selection

This would constitute probably between 12k-14k words total. Once released. The plan would be to implement the following over the coming weeks in the following order/priority.

  1. Remainder of the 10 backgrounds, with updates being released in pairs of two.
  2. Body Feature selection.
  3. Scar selection.
  4. Tattoo(s) selection.
  5. The Personality Test. This will determine your initial personality traits and romance type.
  6. Selection Recap.
  7. Stats Screens.

All in all, the character creator is planned to be quite extensive and as such is a work in progress. I’d love to introduce feedback into my process as I go along, and the Demo seems to be the best way to do so.

As with my prior posts, I’ll wrap it in a poll. Feel free to let me know what you think, and thanks again!
~Zach

  • I think it’d be a great idea to release the Demo as is, and continue development based upon the proposed plan!
  • I’d prefer you’d wait until the completed Demo is available, regardless of the length of time it takes.

0 voters

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Thanks a ton, as always!

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Hey! It’s been a while since I last posted on this thread but I wanted to ask some things and get a measure of the interest for both of the ideas I have right now.

Around 5-6 months ago, I posted about an idea I had for an action/romance/drama story called The Global Defense Bureau (or the GDB for short) where you would be the newest agent a part of a top-secret bureau. I wanted to draw inspo from action film series like the John Wick and James Bond series, as well as the Hitman and Assassin Creed franchises. If you want to see the full post with all the details I had thought of, it’s #4794 of this thread, I believe.

However, due to constraints on my time currently, I haven’t been able to develop the story/plot or world-build how I want even though I have put a lot of thought and heart into the characters/romantic options. I would love to expand on this idea although motivation is running low and I really want to revamp the current idea/characters.

Now, this new, second idea I have will most likely be pitched to the Heart’s Choice team depending on how long I make it. I have a broad idea and characters currently in the works. This is inspired by historical k-/c-dramas, chinese/japanese/korean culture, and webtoons/comics/manga/manhwa/manhua of the same themes.

Here we go!

Title: The Empress’ Garden

Genre: Romance, Drama, Comedy

Intro:
You are the newest concubine to be added to the Empress’s harem, aptly called the Empress’ Garden, due to all her consorts and concubines being named after flowers, trees and other plants.

The Empress, while having four consorts and four concubines, of varying genders and sexuality, does not have a royal spouse. For years, royals from different kingdoms, officials and the like have been vying for the position, either for themselves or their relatives, whether it may be for power, status, or even, surprisingly, love.

But, she has yet to choose someone and the growing external stresses for her to have a royal spouse are bleeding into those questioning her status as ruler of the kingdom. There are rumors flying and plots afoot, for better or worse. It seems the Empress must make a decision in the next year or all her hard work to make her kingdom the prosperous nation that it is will be for naught.

Will you rise the ranks to the very top and become the Empress’ royal spouse? Or will you remain lower; as a consort or concubine? Will you end up banished and scorned or even sentenced to death? Or will you choose a completely different path altogether?

Some Details:

General Idea
  • The story will focus on political/social-class drama, romance, dashes of comedy, and into the intrigue of palace life.
  • It will take place in the fictional kingdom of Hanakou, a land of full prosperity: prosperous in both nature and people. Living in balance with nature is a virtue that is taken very seriously in this kingdom and those who act the opposite are looked down upon and in extreme cases, punished.
MC/Reader
  • You will get to choose from three different backgrounds (upper, middle, or lower class) which will affect your interactions, stat checks, and relationships.
  • This will not be gender-locked, so the reader can choose to be female, male or non-binary.
  • You can choose to be straight, gay, bi, pan or asexual.
About the ROs
  • There will be seven romantic options, including the Empress, two of the consorts, two of the concubines and a prince from another kingdom and a princess from another kingdom.
    • The other characters’ relationship status and other tidbits you’ll find in the actual game.
  • The romantic options in the story will be gender-locked.
  • There will be monogamous and polyamorous options.
  • I will be dabbling with writing spicy scenes, but you will have the option to opt out of them completely, have mild scenes, or the full experience.

So, with all that, I want to make a poll for which story more people are interested in and which I should invest more time in, in the future.

Which idea are you most interested in seeing?
  • The Global Defense Bureau [still motivated to develop the story but will take longer due to revamping the characters and plot, aiming for a longer game in general]
  • The Empress’ Garden [more motivated to build upon this story right now, less hassle with world-building, likely to end up being a shorter game]

0 voters

I will leave this poll open for an indefinite time.

Any and all opinions on either of my ideas are always welcome! Feel free to ask me anything!

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Oh, we need more WIPs with this setting.

Also, you can use the term “East Asian cultural sphere” (or Sinosphere) if you want to refer to the “themes” you say, which I decipher as “cultures that were historically influenced by Chinese culture”. So you don’t have to use a long description for it.
If I wrong, plz ignore this lmao

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That bit was just to explain where my inspiration was coming from and I ended up ranting a bit (>~<) So, having a shorter description would be nice! Thanks for the recommendation!

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This is a quote from the idea for writers thread, I actually really like this idea. I am wondering what people think of it on first blush because it might play into some interesting themes. Thoughts? [obviously I haven’t put any work yet to make it my own, but I am just wondering what other people think of the original concept because personally, wow I really do quite like playing with the idea of the fact that you might have the option to actually make the choice to be ‘selfish’.]

I think the idea of being told you are a ‘chosen one’ who will protect the world at the cost of your own life, but you never got to make that choice. Is it truly selfish to want to have the option to live for yourself? I don’t know? But being condemned to a fate potentially worse than death [depending on the particulars of your chosen one prophecy…? Do you not have the right to chose? How would you even know the prophecies were true?

There is a lot that you could do with this, I think. I’m sure it’s been done before, though I can’t think of anything right away. There is a lot of ‘You are the chosen one but actually, you are not special at all.’ But I can’t readily think of a story where you really are the chosen one, or one of the chosen one’s, and you are saddled with all that responsibility and weight without you asking for any of it. Having the choice to make a selfish choice that might make the entire world far worse off, but is it not your choice to make?

  • Seems interesting - I’d think if developed it could be a good read!
  • Unsure - depends on execution, neutral
  • Not interested - not my cup of tea
  • Not interested - it’s been done before
0 voters
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“The one chosen” WIP has almost the same idea above, afaik.

The one chosen is about turning out, not to be the chosen one, I’d say the keeper trilogy takes, and plays that trope in a more traditional manner.

To me, it automatically feels a bit too railroady. The way I’m reading that, the player is either forced into a narrow box regarding personality/choices pre-climax (or their choices don’t really matter because everyone in the story loves them anyway), only for it to swing hard in the opposite direction following the turning point.

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I mean, that is probably where turning it from a ‘novel’ into an IF would come from. I do think that there would be an breadth of distance between the populace and the MC, and that they might take a variety of perspectives on whether or not they accept their fate. I don’t think the populace needs to be locked into liking them though, perhaps there is a few different ways the MC can choose to present themself, and that changes perceptions, from admiration to something akin to expectancy to maybe even ire or jealousy over the their position when people don’t believe the MC has earned it.

At any rate, it’s just the initial concept, but I do quite fancy it. Part of me wonders if the MC had a life prior to being ‘chosen.’ I think if they were raised always knowing than it would be different from them being ‘discovered’ later on. I don’t want to babble on about possibilities though. I might mix this with an idea I posted earlier about a ‘body swap’ story. I imagine that could have some interesting interplay.


Response to @Anna_B :
I mean, I think the MC would be presented with their own choice on how they feel about it. Do they end up embracing the inevitable, or do they decide that the ‘sacrifice’ expected of them is unfair? Or something. I’m tired as heck, but I don’t think it has to flatly have the MC decide it’s bad. Anyway this is probably not going the usual Chosen One ‘High Fantasy’ angle setting though, I’m merging this with a prior concept I had about superheroes, I think. A prophetic superhero, me thinks, for the MC.

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It’s probably not something I would be interested.
When I think of destiny, I don’t think of it as the universe taking away your free will. I think of it as the inevitable. The story leading up to the sacrifice or the big battle is meant to prepare the hero for his destiny. Not just his skills, but his character. By the time he gets there, he genuinely wants to do what’s necessary

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I think it definitely would depend on the execution. It’s something that’s been done before, but it also can be a concept that could be tricky to pull off. Despite that, some of the greatest creations came from those based upon execution. If it motivates you, I’d say put your heart to it!

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Estheria: A Realm Divided Update 03/01/2023

Happy March, everyone!

I’m getting closer to the release of the Character Creator Demo for A Realm Divided. Following the poll last week, and some internal thinking/planning; I’ve arrived at a difficult decision.

I have chosen to gut the character backgrounds.

After extensive polling, discussions with others, and deliberations, I settled on the five individual races having their own starts. As a result of that, it would be extremely jarring if you picked a background that would be something such as an outcast to merely find yourself thrust into society nonetheless as part of that race’s opening story.

Instead, I’ve chosen to add certain attributes by default to the individual races as a bit of their own ‘background-backing’. While this cuts the character count down quite a bit from the original plan, I’ve also decided to revitalize the personality test with extensions. Code is mostly in place, it’s really just a bit of writing now.

My hope is to release the Character Creator Demo on March 12th, 2023. If possible, I’ll definitely release earlier, but I believe that deadline is most feasible. Upon release, I will immediately begin development on the first of the five race’s starts. To keep in tradition with my polling here, I’ve decided to involve the community to help decide which of the five is first to be implemented.

Thanks again for being fantastic as always, everyone!

POLL BELOW!

  • The Aetherials - An elemental race that isn’t born of typical flesh and bone.
  • The Dwarves - They might be short and stout, but a hardy glass of mead coupled with a hot forge sets them straight.
  • The Elves - Sacred protectors of the aether, the Elven race follows steadfast tradition with a flair of magick.
  • The Shadow Elves - At peace with both nature and shadow, they are those born of exile.
  • The Humans - Adapt, overcome, conquer, expand. Humanity knows no bounds.

0 voters

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I ALWAYS choose elf. At least on my first go around. So I’m always interested in how they’ll be interpreted by in authors

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I feel like most people here are voting for what would be their favourite, and admittedly, so have I, the Aetrherials sound really cool.

But if you’re only releasing one race to begin with, i think that humans would be a choice that would offend barely anyone.

If I’m getting your meaning here correct, you’re including the full character creator, and the start for one race. Again, i think humans would be the best bet. If you’ll add them all anyway, then I think that humans would be a good choice to provide an initial introduction to the world you have created, since I recall you saying this is in a pre-existing world that you created. Many of the other races might be rather confusing for someone as an introduction rather than humans since, sadly, we are all actually humans.

But again, that’s just me thinking logically, I much would prefer the Aetherials.

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Hey, Leinco!

That’s a really solid point, and one I’ve considered. The primary reason why I’ve opted for the poll was that this would be a WiP Demo and development process.

It heavily looks at this point like the Shadow Elves will end up pulling ahead for the victory. That said, to create a balancing act, the second race implemented will indeed be the Humans.

To clear some things up, the character creator will include the following:

  • Name Selection
  • Gender Selection
  • Pronouns Selection
  • Race Selection
  • Hairstyle Selection
  • Hair Color Selection
  • Eye Color Selection
  • Body Feature Selection
  • Skin Color Selection
  • Scars and Scar Placement Selection
  • Tattoos and Placement Selection
  • Personality Test & Romance Type Selection
  • Recap

All of these will come together in a manner designed to give players extensive choice over who they are. From there, I plan to launch an exhaustive/extensive development process. I’ve already finalized a professional logo for the title, and plan on working extensively with the community as I build things together. Parts of the process include:

  • Utilize branching narrative to open up multiple pathways within conversations. This is achieved through a mix of Causality (a great drafting software typically used in screenwriting), and Articy: Draft (fantastic for planning!)
  • Create content with a careful approach to diversity. Through the use of research and prior experience, I’ll work to ensure that each race thoroughly represents themselves. Speech mannerisms, behaviors, and personality archetypes are built individually without referencing others in the game. This ensures I avoid carbon-copy situations.
  • Build upon a decade of worldbuilding and universe development to implement unique architecture and environments located in diverse areas throughout the realm.
  • Draw upon lessons learned from other major authors, including those of interactive fiction to avoid key pitfalls while building upon a suitable feature set to implement an expansive world.
  • Lastly, gameplay diversification. While achieved through a mix of different systems under the hood, I’ll be developing unique choices and gameplay elements for each background and race. This opens up the player to multiple variants of each situation.

My hope is to provide a detailed and powerful experience for all players. Thankfully, I’m coming to the table equipped with an arsenal that’s allowed me to carefully exhibit and scope/plan things out!

Thank you so much for your responses thus far!

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This may be presumptious of me, but I haven’t seen you there and think you should participate in the monthly writer’s support threads. They genuinely are one of the most supportive threads on the forum. Would love to see you participate in them.

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I appreciate it a ton! I just posted in there and plan on doing so once monthly. Thanks again!!

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