Interest Check Thread

Estheria: A Realm Divided Update 03/03/2023

Hey, everyone!

I have officially closed the poll for the first race to be implemented. Winning with 37% of the vote, the Shadow Elves are first up on the list!

To give a bit of a development update, some major headway has happened in the last few days. I have finished most of the customization options in terms of physical appearance. While some are mainly for cosmetic flair, others (such as height) will have direct impacts on references, and how some NPC’s may treat you.

I’m still working hard on the feature set, but I wanted to provide a sneak peek at the breadth of customization for something as simple as hair. That’ll be attached at the end of this post.

I’m still working on sculpting out key pieces of the main narrative. When I launch the WiP thread, it will come with the launch of both my Patreon and Community Discord. On the Discord, there will be the opportunity to sign up for Development Build Testing. On DashingDon, I will fork and run two separate builds of the game. The main build (set in the WiP thread) will feature primarily polished development content. Updates will include larger chunks of content at once, focused around a roadmap and key milestones.

Separately, the Development Build will be much more fluid in nature. Things may break, other aspects may not be caught as easily. Content will be missing as I push development on a bi-nightly/weekly basis depending on schedule. The goal is to allow those who wish to keep a closer pulse on development the opportunity to do so, and I’ll cherish any feedback provided at that time.

In addition, I plan on launching a CoDecks Public Roadmap. This will have its own link (ad-free of course), and will allow the community to take a peek at what’s being worked on in a streamlined and organized manner. Further, those on the Discord will be able to submit bug reports directly through the DIscord API decky plugin. These open threads and allow for image posting. I will separate channels for grammatical and direct bug reports - that way I can focus on prioritizing what needs to be fixed.

Lastly, I’ve decided ahead of the WiP release to showcase the official logo for A Realm Divided. Thank you all so much for your support these last few weeks, and I’m beyond excited to forge ahead with you!

~Zach




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I would rather be the god…can it be a choice

Hi! I’m not sure if it’s a mention to me directly.

That said, if it is there wouldn’t be any God that players may play as. There are set character races, and those have been finalized! I’m glad to answer any other questions.

Thanks!

Good luck friend! Having done it myself the effort to write out race backgrounds can be… a lot! I am excited to see your demo though, in time.

Also, goodness you’ve added a lot of hair styles. I could never, it feels like it would take what is left of my sanity away with it to have to write out descriptions for them all. :joy:

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Estheria: A Realm Divided Update 03/04/2023

Hey everyone! Back again so soon, haha.

Plenty of work has happened last night, including expansions to the tattoo choices. My internal development build to a few friends is about to see a major update push that finishes the core character customization (physically). The final push is to develop the personality test and Recap sections! The Stats Page will not be live at the initial launch of the Character Creator Demo, but will hopefully launch shortly after.

Speaking of the Stats Page… I had another poll for the community! This time around, I’m poring over different planned designs for how the Stats Page might look. As a result, I wanted to get the community’s opinion over four separate ‘focus types’ so to speak.

Thanks again and as always…

POLL BELOW!

  • I’d like a simplified Stats Page. This would include the most barebones of stats, presented in a listing manner.
  • I’d like a slightly more extensive version. While all stats would be included on the front-end, things would be a bit cleaner and more organized.
  • For me, having stats split into sections based on type is critical. Further UI polish including additional inventory items, breakdown of character customization choices, and such would be ideal.
  • Go all out. Fully customized and modernized within the constraints of ChoiceScript. Organization at peak, areas placed into sections with sub-pages for glossaries, terms, dynamic character descriptions that evolve based on additional choices uncovered during the game.

0 voters

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I would recommend not overly concerning yourself with the stats screen at first. Future proofing is good, but I’d focus on writing and organizing variables before focusing on what you want your stat page to look like. [I ended up completely rewriting mine shortly after releasing my demo, after I already rewrote it before hand because I realized the original was not very useful.]

I think it would be easy for you to overly stress yourself about things like that, which won’t factor much into reader enjoyment. Particularly when you are so early in the process I think it might be more harmful than helpful. [I’ve never really cared much about stat pages myself though, I just wish there was a ‘Key decisions’ section in games to remind me what I selected lmao.]

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Hey, Phenrex!

I’m definitely pursuing a measured approach to however I choose to implement the Stats Screen. With each step, I’ve evaluated what future components may go into it. These have primarily been declared in an organized manner consistent with tracked variables.

It’ll be implemented in phases, ideally. While I’ll push a major Stats update out near the beginning, it will then be mostly updated as the process goes along as a parallel development piece, rather than a major focus if that helps clear things up at all!

1 Like

While all 3 concepts sound really cool. I voted for the 3rd one although I wouldn’t mind playing all three of these

Estheria: A Realm Divided Update 03/05/2023

Hey, everyone! This’ll probably be one of my last updates before the release of the Character Creator Demo.

Given the last poll, I’ll roll with a more extensive version of the stats page, but not spend an egregious amount of time on it. It’ll be clean, organized, and focused. I may still work to place the glossaries in at an earlier point. It’s certainly something I’d like to do as development rolls along, but it depends on time for implementation.

I’ve moved into development of the personality test. As I’ve done so, I’ve worked to implement traits, and begin the calculation systems. That said, I wanted to roll with one last poll pre demo release regarding thoughts on the test itself.

In current form, the test is extensive. It contains a total of forty questions, and will have a skip function at a later date. The answers of these questions create a score that will produce personality traits (both positive or negative).

That said, I’m considering cutting this amount in half, as my concern would be that many might find the amount of questions to be far too much. I’m going to roll the dice here and see thoughts via poll, so as usual…

POLL BELOW!

  • I think it should remain as forty questions!
  • Twenty questions sounds better to me.

0 voters

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Forty questions is definitely too many, especially since the personality quiz aspect is just the tip of the tip of the iceberg of the game you are describing. Heck, I’d even say twenty is too many–ten or even five would be better to determine a baseline personality (I imagine it can shift over the course of the game).

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Hey, Snowflower!

I appreciate the feedback. Unfortunately, it’s too far past the poll timeline so I was unable to actually add that as a third option because it was a fair mention. I’ve definitely scaled certain elements back in the last two weeks as I’ve solidified development plans.

My goal is to achieve a balancing act between extensive depth versus scope-creep to the level of inachievability.

I will definitely socket your advice in mind as a vote towards ten questions (I personally am against going for five, as I think it’d be too limiting.) And it’s something I’ll look at seriously considering!

Thank you again. :slight_smile:

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I noticed you were planning out a backstory for each of the five races in the game, according to your prior posts. I wonder if the baseline personality development questions could be worked in there rather than as a separate “personality quiz” section.

I think that the more traits are set through “main-story” gameplay, the better. While I don’t mind PCs that start with fluid-to-gelatinous personality, some people prefer PCs with more solid starting personalities (which I also enjoy. For me the enjoyment’s in the execution), which is why I think that your decision to pare down the baseline personality test while still including it (and integrating it into the backstory rather than giving it its own section) is a good plan.

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So, I’ve considered and plan on implementing some elements there.

What I’m thinking with this pared down version is that I may save the traits for later, and instead merely have it bump up the starting stat-scores. The traits can be acquired through choices made in gameplay, this way people have more of a ‘front-and-center’ experience than feeling put on the spot with a personality test.

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Yeah, there’s no way I’m doing a 40-question survey; even 20 is pushing it. I’d say if you can boil it down to 10 or fewer, it’d be much more streamlined, or if you could integrate it into the gameplay like you mentioned.

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That’s a completely fair point.

I’ve opted to boil it down to ten. The questions will focus on different moral situations and affect some base starting stats, but primary allocation of traits and the like will be done through gameplay in a natural manner.

Thank you for the feedback!

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I’d also recommend an option to skip the questions and allow for the player to select their primary / secondary traits instead, but you don’t need to do this right away. It would just make it better for players who don’t really care about that aspect of things [though I wouldn’t worry too much about it for now].

Response to @Havenstone :
Exactly! You can also have preset personality options or a ‘blank canvas’ default where they start off neutral and develop throughout the story exclusively through choices. I don’t want to ramble too much at risk of ending up derailing the thread.

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Totally this. You can have 40+ questions if you integrate them into the narrative (and especially for personality, this is much the most interesting way to do it). The more you put up front in a “char-gen” section, the more your game will drag.

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This might not be much of an “interest check” because I am writing it anyway, but I thought I’d post here to seek some advice.

Title: A PROPHECY UNDONE

Summary

A Prophecy Undone is set in a world named Iomarion, where two nations, Istegar and Sútfold, were locked in a never-ending war against each other.

They said destiny was immutable. They said the chosen one could not die. They said the prophecy would come true, one way or another.

They were wrong.

Your father, chosen of Ateus, was supposed to unite Sútfold and Istegar. Yet on the eve of the final victory, he was killed by his trusted Hand. You tried to expose the traitor, but no one listened to your accusations. Instead, the late king’s death was blamed on assassins in Sútfold ranks.

Deceived by these lies, vengeful knights of Istegar gathered in front of the Sútfold court, demanding blood. It was inevitable that the night of celebration devolved into a feast of slaughter. Afterwards, both parties retreated to nurse their wounds. Your uncle took your father’s place, and you were demoted from heir to spare.

Will you attempt to take your rightful place back? Will you make the Hand pay for their treachery? Most importantly, will you fulfil the prophecy in your father’s stead?

Features
  • Play as a vengeful prince/princess and customise your personality and appearance.
  • Take back your throne by hook or by crook. Or are you the type that enjoys controlling everything from behind?
  • Choose your divine ally carefully. Will it be Ateus, the Lord of Light, or Ulfric, the Great Winter Wolf? Or will it be none of them?
  • Discover what really happened during that fateful night. Learn the scheme of your enemy, and punish them for what they have done. Alternatively, fall in love with them.
  • Choose one RO from characters with a wide range of backgrounds and personalities. Define your relationship: will it be simple manipulation or is there something more?
ROs

Ingvar/Ingvild (Gender selectable: M/F)

Previously a Northman, the sellsword fled south after they defected from the Wolfpacks of Ulfric. You found them when they were out of jobs and starving, and made them your blade. They would serve you faithfully as long as you kept the coins flowing.

Lysander/Lysandra (Gender selectable: M/F)

The killer of your father was no longer the young person they once had been, but the years only made them an even more dangerous foe. Now at the height of their power, no one - sometimes not even the king himself - dared to say no to their request.

Desmond/Desmonda (Gender selectable: M/F)

The Speaker of Ateus was said to have high hopes of becoming the next Lightbearer. Kind and compassionate, they had many friends among the commoners, but their unwillingness to please the nobles made them rather unpopular in upper circles.

Questions
  1. Are people here fine with a non-native speaker writing IF? Because English is my third language and there bound to be lots of mistakes.

  2. Is it ok to adopt a system very similiar to warhammer fantasy/DnD as the stat mechanic? It’s not quite the same as it is based on d10 and there aren’t any more intricate stuff like AC/Hit Location. I’m also not looking to make money out of this (because I don’t even know if I can finish the WIP), but please let me know if this is an issue. I might need to change my plan.

  3. Is it acceptable to mix gender-selectable ROs with gender-locked ones? There are two other characters that I would like to add as RO, but one is of an opposite gender to MC’s (plot reasons), and another is set to female (again, plot reasons).

  4. What’s the consensus on an MC with a semi-defined disposition? My WIP might begin with MC having set feelings on some matters (such as hating the person who killed your father), but I plan to let the reader change MC’s opinion later down the plot.

Tumblr Link: This is where I post updates

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It’s totally fine if English isn’t your first language! And your summary wasn’t bad, I wouldn’t have guessed it wasn’t your first language

I don’t think this should be a problem. You wouldn’t be the first to use something like that in IF

I think this is fine. I personally don’t mind locking something in if it has a specific reason behind it

I think most people prefer a semi-set MC. If the MC is a blank slate, they feel boring. But if the MC is totally or mostly set, it feels like the player has no agency. I think the sweet spot is only setting the things about the character that needs to be a certain way for the story. For example, your MC needing to hate the killer

Overall, I think your story sounds interesting! I’ll definitely keep an eye out for it

3 Likes

Hey, Beth!

I think your Summary sounds quite solid. Despite being a non-native English speaker, you have a solid grasp on grammatical concepts and that’s impressive; especially given that it’s your third language. One small piece of nitpick that might be good to heed in the future is to limit extensive comma sentences. There are a few sentences in there that can be broken up and stand on their own. Besides that though, I think it’s great!

I think the story and features seem quite interesting. It’ll be intriguing to see a bit of political intrigue in medieval war-times.

To cover your questions:

  • I think given your already competent grasp that it’ll work out fine despite you being non-native speaking. Just make sure you spend time editing to the best of your ability. :slight_smile:
  • I don’t think it’s terrible to adapt systems such as WarHammer and DnD as a stat mechanic. Many titles do it, and those two in particular set the bar for stat systems altogether - so many titles have taken inspiration from them.
  • As long as it’s both balanced and there’s solid reason behind it. The reason you’ve provided is solid enough as is, so I see no issues there.
  • Set dispositions/mentalities are not an issue. After-all, it is your story, and I agree with Anna’s mention that many prefer semi-set over pure blank-slates.

I’ll take a look at your Tumblr shortly, and look forward to your project!

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