Lunchtime at St. Expeditus (ChoiceScript VN)

This is the game I made for @Lordirish’s 2nd Annual CScomp. It’s a complete game as it stands, but since I crammed the entire development process into 2 weeks, it’s not quite as polished as I’d like. Thus, I’m starting a WIP thread while I work on the game a bit more, in hopes of getting some community input on how to improve it.

Here’s the link to the comp version, kindly provided by @Lordirish:

Yes, it’s actually a visual novel. Ish. With sort-of puzzles, and ChoiceScript under the hood. Kind of a weird hybrid…

And here’s my list of things I’d like to do with it, in rough order of how likely they are to actually happen:

  • fix typos identified by comp judges
  • fix Evelyn's expressions for (eve_status = 1) conversation
  • refactor my sucky javascript
    • rewrite Character class to use spritesheets for expressions
    • improve preloader code
    • add transition effects
  • switch back to PNG-24 versions of base sprites/expressions
  • add real conversation options for MC in the first scene
  • write the rest of the 'chitchat' conversations
  • write a smarter (non-repetitive) way of displaying chitchat conversations
  • add more options to ask about errands
  • make it not look so crappy on mobile browsers
  • clean up unused CS variables
  • figure out where to host it long-term since it's going to be free
  • generally tighten up the script a bit
  • come up with some css shenanigans to make the stats page work
  • add errand status notes to stats page once it works
  • write alternate versions of Evelyn/Edward's errands
  • find a better place to put the loading gif
  • think of some other ways to resolve each errand
  • implement character customization a la Magical Diary?
  • maybe come up with a plan to expand the whole thing over multiple days with more errands and, um, stuff

Some of these towards the end of the list might depend on whether/how much people actually want those features. So… play it and tell me what you think! I’d love to hear any feedback you’ve got :slight_smile:

1 Like

Okay…slightly lame

It is pretty good especially as a way to pass the time

@aetheria’s being modest about it, but Lunchtime won the 2nd annual CSComp.

It’s a bit different from most Choicescript games, but this is one of its many strengths. Looking forward to seeing more of the game as it develops.

That’s really cool! So you’ve modified the Javascript, not just the ChoiceScript .txts? I love how the decisions are in the middle of the pictures.

Not necessarily my style of game, and I can’t help you with any Javascript (because I don’t know any) but congratulations and I’m sure you can do whatever it takes to fix those issues!

I’ve been meaning to get around to making comment on this in the competition thread,
but I’m extremely happy to see you’ve decided to continue working on it in its own.

To begin with, let me just say: FINALLY!

This is a beautiful example of what some just rather minor hacking or extending of the Choicescript core can accomplish, and I’m overjoyed to finally see someone experimenting in this sort of direction.
I think CS games could be so much more than they currently are, and this really is testimony to that.

Still don’t get me wrong, whilst I’m in love with what you’ve done with this modding wise, I did think the game in itself was pretty solid too.

What I really liked was the amount of “fluff” and padding - just as an example, the “chitchat” option, I was pleasantly surprised to see you could get two or three different conversations by repeatedly selecting that. It might seem like a minor detail, but I thought it added a lot of depth, to both the game and characters.

I’m also quite envious of how small, neat and well-packaged this is. The game is quite short, and yet, it felt finished. I don’t think I could ever write a game this short and still have it feel so satisfying to end on, kudos to you for that.

I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for updates! :slight_smile:

I really liked the whole game, it feels very cool and is lots of fun to play. I’ve got two of the good endings so far (for the cake mission and Evellyn’s lines), and I’m looking forward to replaying it for the others.

As far as hosting I would be happy to put it up on the server for you when ready.

Today is a day of festivity for us Yanks and I therefore have approximately 1 zillion pies to make this afternoon, so I’ll respond in a bit more depth later. But in short, I’m happy to hear people have enjoyed playing it so far! I’m hoping it’ll be a lot better once I’m through with it, though.

Fiddling with a possible mobile layout.

@Deathwriter the least you could do is give some sort of constructive criticism instead of taking up useless space in the thread?

@aetheria I’m really impressed that you got this done in two weeks! I like your game a lot–especially it’s similarity to otome games! And it’s a very enjoyable game to play.

Well done :smiley:

Movie Trailer Guy Voice: “In a world where everyone’s name inexplicably begins with the letter E. One Girl or Boy must complete a bunch of menial tasks for their high school classmates…”

yeah I could have, so here it is. you could ad more choices abd make it less direct, like doing sonething evil to get the notebook, anyway thas all I got

@CJW: Thanks! I was surprised nobody else had done this yet actually - it turned out to be a lot easier to put together than I expected going in (unlike most of my coding projects). Once I’ve polished it up a bit more, I might package the code separately for other people to use if they want; there are a few other HTML5 VN engines out there, but none I’ve looked at seem to be as easy to use as ChoiceScript.

@Deathwriter: It’s definitely not the kind of game that’s everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m glad you took the time to play and comment anyway! :slight_smile: More choices is pretty near the top of the list of the things I’d like to add while revising, since I didn’t have time to write many variations on the errands in the original. There are even a couple of places where I’ve got a #choice with only one option since I ran out of time to write the others. >_<

@heyyoungblood: Glad you liked it! I enjoy playing otome/bishoujo games too, but a lot of times I wish they were more interactive. So I guess this is a small attempt to bridge the gap by squishing some VN aspects onto a CS game. :stuck_out_tongue:

@Shoelip: Haha! I’m so tempted to make that the new official summary…

Why does everyone’s name begin with the letter E anyway?

No particular reason; I named the school ‘St. Expeditus Academy’ first and then named the male MC ‘Erik’, and thought ‘well what if I just made everyone’s name begin with E?’ So I did.

Incidentally, St. Expeditus is a real saint although probably not a real person. That’s pretty much the only name that had any thought put into it. :wink:

I’m actually pretty surprised that Mara hasn’t come in here yet and started ranting about how much she hates the female character’s name because it reminds her of another character she had an irrational hatred of in Zombie Exodus… I dunno. It just seems like something she’d do. :stuck_out_tongue:

Then again she seems like she doesn’t post in games she doesn’t care about, and games without any opportunity for violence don’t really seem like her cup of tea, so maybe it’s just off her radar.

Writing some backstabbing and poisoning would be fun, but I think I’ll have to leave that for another game. Don’t think it would quite fit with the theme of this one, haha.

Update: still plunking away at the code - work keeps taking up all my time - but took a break to come up with two new characters:

Elliott and Estella are twins who always seem to have some kind of mysterious project going on. They need the MC’s assistance, but it’s not quite clear with what…

I’m waffling over whether to make either or both of them dateable - I suspect that would have some appeal to players, but there might not be enough game time to fit that in alongside an unrelated errand.

Aside from that I’ve got several new things planned for the story, but it’ll probably be a couple of weeks before I can make any visible updates to the game.

So. Much. Text.