@No_This_Is_PatrickHopefully, if I get the writing right, it’s going to all get a bit weird and messy for anyone who used to romance Viv! Her husband will know about you but won’t mind - they’re an elderly couple now and for her, you’re a sort of bittersweet reminder of her youth. Ygraine is serious, determined, loyal if she likes you but dangerous if she doesn’t. You can begin a relationship with her in the next chapter but she’s a stickler for hierarchy and won’t allow it to be public knowledge until you’re made a knight.
@Isabella_Taylor Probably not a tumblr but I’ll post regular updates here. I don’t think it will spoil anything to give a quick list of the current ROs:
Ygraine, a knight. Serious and passionate.
Karim, a steward. Kind and humble.
Sana, an assassin. Scary!
John of Arram, an archer. Roguish but loyal.
Isabella, Princess of Jerusalem. Wilful and tricksy.
Ibn al-Ma’mun, a famous poet. Easy-going and hedonistic.
The last two are locked unless you meet some very specific conditions. There are also two more which I’m keeping under wraps for now!
@Taylor_Enean Thank you! A romp is exactly how I want it to feel. The choices of these first few chapters really start to impact the story considerably in the next one - I plan on adding that to the teaser soon.
I’d love to! Archons can be customised in lots of ways at different points throughout the game and once you have your own fief you can order your foundry to build new parts as you wish. Speed and armour are the two chief stats of all archons and their offensive strength depends on their armament.
I’ve had a lot of fun coming up with the weapons - blades, axes, flails, maces, morning stars, rams, picks and hammers are all available. Ranged weapons include ballistae, catapults, greek fire tubes and early cannon. These are very primitive ‘mechs’ and in the fight sequences I’m trying to capture something of the brutal and visceral nature of medieval warfare…
You can also widely customise your archon’s look. It will carry your coat-of-arms or emblem (itself customisable) and you can add additional cosmetic features like tournament crests and banners.
@Jeeshadow1 Yes, you’ll have to be a pretty nifty social climber to stand a chance! There are two broad factions in the game, Papacy and Caliphate, and Isabella and Ibn al-Ma’mun are unlocked by rising high enough within the ranks of each.
@Isabella_Taylor I haven’t written much of her part yet so just for you I might change the name. I wouldn’t want to ruin your chances of marrying into royalty!
This brings me to a bit of a question. Considering this is an AU, will there be historical figures? Historically there was a daughter of Almaric I named Isabella who was Queen sometime after the Third Crusade.
You can become a knight from the fourth chapter and Ygraine will indeed take the relationship seriously. It’s more that she’s a highly conventional sort of person and according to the standards of her time she won’t allow herself to consider an actual match with you when you’re of a much lower social status. As with all the ROs, her attitudes can be changed or at least softened through conversation.
@Wiwyums “Embarrassingly grateful” is a nice thing to encounter.
First off, you probably know this, but the traits stay the same regardless of choices. I’m generally not a big fan of descriptions v numbers, but not seeing them change after strength decisions is a confidence-killer.
I think I had to choose who I was interested in way too early. I didn’t really feel I knew anything about anyone. More time with the crew before the incident would be welcome, and why not do it before the interview?
The brother is looking a bit too much like the stereotypical irredeemable asshole. I’ve said this in a lot of critiques, but having a really unlikable bad guy doesn’t make the other characters more appealing; it just makes the story less enjoyable.
@kckolbe I’ve been writing for enough years that I’m armour-plated when it comes to criticism! I also firmly believe that there’s nothing so useful as feedback and there’s no feedback that isn’t useful…
Your suggestions are a case in point - very thoughtful and helpful, many many thanks.
You’re right about the traits. I’m tending to use words over numbers where possible because I feel this project to be weighted toward ‘story’ rather than ‘game’ and that just seems more natural to me. That said, the levels at which the skill descriptions change are far too few (currently, I think every 20 points) and I absolutely need to fix that. I’ll try having them change every 5 points and if that still seems nonreactive then I’ll include numbers too.
Good point. I’ll rejig the prologue a little to accommodate that. The section in space was originally a fair bit longer but I cut it down pretty brutally because I felt it meandered and was taking too long to get to the game’s ‘real’ setting. I’ll look also at reinstating some of the old conversations.
Louis does actually reveal some quite complex motivations later in the game and the player can even choose to side with him (and not in a simply ‘evil’ way). I agree, however, that his scenery-chewing the first time you meet him is a bit over the top - I’ll look at that section again with a view to showing him as less of a stereotype.
@Jeeshadow1 Sorry, somehow missed this one! Yes, there will be some real historical figures in there. The Isabella you mention is the one in the story, although I’ve taken huge liberties with her character, timeline and life story (isn’t alt-history great!). You’ll also find King Baldwin, Saladin, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Ismail al-Jazari, the ‘Old Man of the Mountain’ and, if you follow the exact right path to reach him, Genghis Khan.
Well, this is hype! Just curious, is this Baldwin the Leper or another one? Gonna be honest, the need of Medieval Kings to keep giving their kids the same name gets a little confusing 3 or so in . Also, Saladin and Eleanor are all interesting characters and I am excited to see them in this alt-history.