Mind Blind (7/31 Demo Update. A story in which you are very much NOT the Chosen One.)

Mind Blind Genres: Alternate Reality, Science Fiction, Comedy, Mystery, Romance, Bromance, New Adult Fiction, Super Hero Fiction

(7/31) Demo Update #6 is live! (now 71k words)
All of Chapter 2, with average playthrough now 13k words.

New to this update

New Material includes:

  1. Finish your assignment, for better or worse.
  2. Get asked out on a date?
  3. Establish your relationship with Sally.
  4. Go to the bathroom, a plot critical event.
  5. Be indecisive.

This update tries out the main gameplay style, missions that will be part of the narrative. In particular, please let me know if there are any parts that feel overlong/boring or unclear, if choices pop up that you think shouldn’t, if your MC’s dialogue doesn’t reflect your personality stats, or if there were any responses that you wanted to be options but weren’t. Also any broken pathways, etc. There’s a lot of options, and I want to make sure they all work.

Please let me know in the comments of any typos, coding issues, and bad writing, as well as what you did and didn’t like so I can make more of the first and less of the latter.

Description:

You’re special, and it sucks.

In a world of psychic heroes and villains, you’re a walking Achilles heel with zero mental defenses. Set in an alternate, near-future version of Chicago, Mind Blind follows your freshman year as a trainee at Unity, an international peacekeeping organization responsible for dealing with dangerous “Ments.” Your brain may be an open book to anyone with a modicum of telepathy, but the MIV Program is your chance to prove yourself capable to your famously superpowered family. As a future Manager in Vicinity (or, as Unity’s more elitist field agents may call you, a “Man in Van”) at Unity’s Aeon Academy, your decisions determine whether a mission succeeds or fails. Cooperate with your precog partner, uncover government conspiracies, and save your school from terrorists. . . or help blow it up.

Highlights include:

  1. Choosing your gender and sexuality,
  2. Defeating your rival blindfolded,
  3. Setting up your brother on a date,
  4. Moonlighting as an art critic to identify a terrorist,
  5. Channeling the spirit of Inigo Montoya, and
  6. Making out with one of five ROs on customizable bedsheets

Mind Blind is fully plotted out, with 71k words in the current demo (average 13k per playthrough). I plan on updating the demo as fast as I can figure out how to code.

To play the demo, go here: https://dashingdon.com/go/5902

For more updates, background info, and bad poetry, go here: https://mindblindbard.tumblr.com/

To view Mind Blind art created by people far surpassing my own stick figure skills, go here: https://mindblindbard.tumblr.com/tagged/amazing-art-that-made-me-cry

For a poll on Chapter 1 routes, go here: Post 388

More Info:
(Please be warned the following tabs contain way more information than you ever wanted to know, poorly formatted for your nonconvenience.)

Personality Stats

Confidence lets you bluff, barge, and bedazzle your way through life. Confidence projects authority and will make people listen to you, but being too cocky can come across as abrasive.

Humor lets you laugh, tease, and deflect yourself out of the most awkward of situations. Jokes can lighten moods, but constantly refusing to take things seriously may cause people to think you don’t care.

Morbidity has you embracing the shadows and hissing at light. Kindred spirit to Edger Allen Poe, soul sibling to Sylvia Plath. Your grim fatalism means that you aren’t easily phased or shaken, but you may also freak people out.

In addition to 3 main personality types (Humorous, Confident, and Morbid), I’m working on implementing “hybrid” types. For example, an MC with split scores in Humor and Morbidity might earn a reputation for telling dark jokes. An MC scoring high in Confidence and Morbidity, however, can creep someone out from across the room with a single unblinking glare (the ultimate goth gang leader).

Mini-maxing your personality scores will not necessarily help you succeed. In fact, some characters may be turned off by someone whose qualities are too in-your-face. Just pick the answers you want to, and enjoy seeing how people react.

Adeptness Stats

Aka your MIV Stats, aka what kind of strategist MC can be:

I is for . . .

Innovative:
Where others see a packet of hot sauce, you see an opponent’s potential downfall.
Inventive, imaginative, and perhaps just a touch insane, the innovative strategist takes the tools they’re given . . . and creates bigger, better, more lethal tools.

Interpersonal:
A smile, a wink. A bribe, a backstab. These are your weapons.
Interpersonal strategists use their knowledge of others to achieve objectives. After all, the easiest way through a problem is through people, because there’s no more malleable substance than the human psyche.

Insightful:
Wise, versatile, and downright terrifying.
Be it a crack in a wall or an enemy’s childhood trauma, insightful strategists can pinpoint exactly where and how to push. They know which domino will send the others crashing down, and exploit vulnerabilities that are invisible to everyone else.

E is for . . .

Effort:
Really, it should be “F is for Failure” because that’s how your mission ended. But Rosy grades on a curve. Effort rises when you try really, really hard . . . only to fall on your face. Either go back and rethink your decisions, or pray that your dogged persistence will eventually compensate up for your lack of competence.

Sometimes an option won’t work even it corresponds to your highest stat. Don’t expect jury-rigging a blackout to prevent a blind telepath from finding you. Be smart, and make a decision that might realistically work. Ingenuity can matter more than the stat screen, and even a nerd with a -5 in physicality can smash someone over the head with a metal baseball bat. (FYI, physical violence? Falls under the Interpersonal Stat.)

Your Family

Nick Wiseman
Codename: “Justice”
Age: 26
Pollard Score: 10, telepathy and low-grade telemetry
About: MC’s older brother, whom they live with. Nick’s combination of thought projection and psychic farsight make him a rarity even among other Ments. He currently leads Unity’s Crisis Response Team (UCRT, referred to as “The Ideals” by its fans, which Nick complains makes him sound like the main vocalist in a 1970s rock band). Nick took up baking as a teenager in order to surprise MC with cookies when they would come home after being bullied at school. He’s ferociously protective of his younger sibling, in part due his illogical guilt that he somehow “stole” their share of mental abilities.

John Wiseman
Former Codename: “Justice”
Current Codename: “Dad”
Age: 58
Pollard Score: 10, telepathy
About: MC’s father, a special forces veteran of the Korean Reunification Wars and one of Unity’s founders. He led Unity’s military operations for years under the name “Justice,” deposing telekinetic dictators and empath warlords, before passing the role and title to Nick. His former codename comes from a corruption of “Just John,” his answer when asked by the media what they should call him. Reporters took the adverb as an adjective, and UCRT’s field agents have been assigned handles based off abstract virtues ever since.

Hope Wiseman
Former Codename: “Hope”
Current Codename: “Mom”
Age: 59
Pollard Score: 10, telemetry
About: MC’s mother, a former UN diplomat assigned to oversee Unity’s creation. After receiving training from John, she began joining him on missions as an operative before the two eventually married. She delights in retelling the story behind her husband’s accidental “superhero callsign,” as well as rubbing in the fact that she still got to go by her first name even after UCRT changed its policies.

Your ROs

In addition to wooing their own better (or worse) half, the MC can also “matchmake” between two particular characters. Because of this, one of the RO routes will be more difficult to complete (since the RO is initially interested in someone else). I wanted to make sure readers could still enjoy a (hopefully) fun and fluffy romantic side plot even if they don’t find any of the ROs personally appealing.

Salomé Alavidze (f)

  • Appearance: Untamable red curls, light brown freckled skin, and hazel eyes with Elizabeth Taylor-level lashes. 5’1” and curvy. Affects a French accent and replies “Martian” when strangers inquire about her ethnicity.
  • About: MC’s best friend since second grade, when both she and MC were bullied (MC for their condition, and Sally because she was a year younger due to skipping first grade). She and MC applied for Aeon Academy together, and received a special dispensation to work as partners due to MC’s “special needs.” Sally’s brain works lightning fast, calculating future probability with a speed and accuracy that makes her one of the few recognized Precognitive Ments in existence. Her ability isn’t deliberate, however, and she often foresees more than she wishes. She copes by being an unrepentant troll, frightening people with dire futures that she’s 99.998% certain won’t come to pass.

Grayson Black (m)

  • Appearance: Brown hair, serious brows over deep-set blue eyes, tan skin, and a constant five o’clock shadow that is the bane of his existence. Broad-shouldered and 6’2”, but sometimes pressured into saying he’s 6’3” so that Nick (3 inches shorter) can claim to be 6 feet tall.
  • About: Despite his monochromatic name, Gray has a heart of gold and a pedigree to match. Upon his graduation from Eton at 18, Gray broke family tradition by eschewing Oxford for Aeon’s London Academy. Four years later, he transferred to Unity Headquarters in Chicago, where he and Nick almost immediately became best friends. He now serves as Nick’s second in command on the UCRT. Compassionate yet reserved, Gray’s sense of humor at times wars with his ingrained sense of propriety, causing him to blush at his own infrequent jokes. He is extraordinarily embarrassed by his repeated inclusion on The Buzzer’s ranked lists, including his number one spot on “The Top 20 Ments We Wish Would Save Us from a Fire.”

Kent/Kenna Zarneki (gender changes with MC’s preferences)

  • Appearance: Soot black hair, steel grey eyes, with the flinty expression and pallor of a freakishly tall child laborer during the Industrial Revolution. Classically attractive, with the elusive allure of a tormented soul.
  • About: The only child of Chicago’s current mayor bristles like a cat at casual conversation, and usually just ignores those who talk to them uninvited, especially if someone has the audacity to ask about K’s deceased mother. Despite being registered as an empath, K relies more on their exceptional athleticism and gymnastic skill than their mental abilities while in the field. With the help of Glitch, their MIV and only actual friend, K has held the top spot for successful missions since freshman year—perhaps in defiance over the inexplicably persistent rumors that Mayor Zarneki paid for his child’s acceptance into Aeon.

Taliaferro (“Glitch”) Parker (gender changes with MC’s preferences)

  • Appearance: Shaved head, and hooded brown eyes that give the illusion of lethargy despite their high energy. Skin is as dark as K’s is pale (Glitch has given up trying to find a setting that will let the two take a flattering “bff selfie” together, much to K’s relief). Has multiple piercings that they take out before dinners with their mother.
  • About: MIVs don’t receive codenames. Glitch considered this to be horrendously unfair and gave themselves one anyway. K (and only K) is allowed to use their first name. They are technologically savvy and defiantly smarter than nearly everyone around them. Although Glitch enjoys sarcasm, they also grow frustrated when people refuse to be open and authentic about their feelings.Glitch broke their mother’s tenured heart by enrolling in Aeon rather than following in her footsteps as an academic. Still, being raised by a Professor of Poetry left an impression, and Glitch recites as frequently from the works of Hughes and Dickenson as from Star Trek and Lord of the Rings .

Ambrose/Ambrosia Kim (or “Rosy,” if the MC is willing to risk being murdered)

  • Appearance: Dark, penetrating eyes and immaculately groomed black hair either gelled back (m) or in a bun (f). Sharp bone structure offset by unexpectedly lush lips. Exudes an aura of authority that makes them seem taller than they actually are.
  • About: A grew up amidst the turmoil of the Korean Reunification, the child of Northern refugees. Given A’s reluctance to discuss the past, all that is known is that A marked “none” for family when enlisting in the South Korean Army. Despite being only 18 when they joined, by the time fighting ended three years later, A had earned numerous medals and become somewhat of a legend for their daring infiltrations. A spent another six years serving in Korean Special Ops before retiring to work in the nebulously defined “private sector.” Now, A teaches hand-to-hand combat and sharpshooting at Aeon. As an instructor, A is strict and possesses zero tolerance for subpar performances. That being said, an urban legend on campus claims that A was once seen crying while watching Homeward Bound by a student . . . who was never heard from again.
Your Questions (that you didn't actually ask)

Q: Why Chicago? Everyone writes about Chicago. Why not Baltimore, or Little Rock, or Kathmandu?
A: Because I live in Chicago. Ever notice how evil Willis Tower looks during a power outage? I did, and it inspired this story.

Q: The MC doesn’t get cool powers? Like, at all?
A: Depends on your definition of “cool.” The MC’s brain is the way it is. (Broken.) How they use it is up to you—after all, faulty circuitry often shoots sparks.

Q: Can characters fly? Lift buildings? Breathe fire? Conceal their identity from law enforcement using nothing but a black domino mask?
A: No, no, and maybe (but only if it was super dark outside). Think less Wolverine, more Professor X. All powers in Mind Blind are based off parapsychology. Telekinesis is about as exciting as it gets, and moving stuff with their brains gives most Ments migraines.

Q: What is a Ment?
A: Ment is short for “Mentally Agile.” Ments include anyone with a Pollard Score of 6 or higher, so roughly 10% of the general population.

Q: Okay, but what the heck is a Pollard Score?
A: Pollard Score refers to someone’s score on Pollard’s Scale of Mental Agility, created by Maximus Pollard to measure of the strength of extrasensory abilities, with 1 being the lowest and 10 the highest. The MC scored 0.

Q: What if you didn’t answer my question?
A: Technically, I didn’t answer anyone’s question. I just manufactured a few of my own because social distancing has taught me to talk to myself. Anything else you want to ask, please do, and I’ll try my best to either give you a real answer or make one up!

Past Update Log

Update 1 (5/27)

  1. Having a traumatizing flashback
  2. Giving Nick a nickname (ha.)
  3. Defining your sexuality via shih tzu
  4. Winning a staring contest against your first RO
  5. (also, just a suggestion, go in the creepy house)

Update 2 (5/29)

  1. Driving to school, and arriving with various degrees of punctuality.
  2. Making a lot of wrong conclusions! So many. It hurts.
  3. Bonding with an RO . . . or pugnaciously staring out a window instead.
  4. Having your stats define your dialogue and flavor text.

Update 3 (6/2)

  1. Powerwalking to school (choose that option at the crossroads to read the new material)
  2. Meeting Cookie Monster (falling for Cookie Monster?)
  3. Defining your high school persona
  4. Having your stats define more dialogue and flavor text.
  5. Freaking out someone in a Starbucks
  6. A save system!

Update 4 (6/7)

  1. Go to school. Again. For the third time.
  2. But in a new way! By Metro!
  3. Negotiate with the pancake mafia
  4. Get revenge on Rhonda
  5. Collect a clue (or two)

Update 5 (6/27)

  1. Meet Satan.
  2. Also meet Glitch, Rosy, and Sally.
  3. Learn a bunch of terms in a hopefully not boring way.
  4. Potentially reunite with someone, or meet them for the first time.
Coming Next Time

Up Next (sometime in August):
Chapter 3!
Face the consequences of your assignment choices.
Get closer to someone special. Or don’t.
Have lunch with your father.
Rosy’s tutorial in chapter 2.
A rework of the Metro route to include a text message from Sally.
Smaller tweaks to Chapter 1 driving and walking routes.

649 Likes

Nice WIP. You have a very interesting concept,and so far,you have managed to pull it off. :smile:

9 Likes

Say, we can use hot sauce as an weapon!? I’m in love with this WIP already😍

On a serious note, the concept is quite intriguing and your writing is good too. Can’t wait to see more of this😁

8 Likes

I was fully expecting to be continually frustrated and annoyed due to the title based on my experience with The One Chosen, but having the ability to actively force people to see/hear the worst shit I’ve ever experienced is a fantastic power (albiet with an awful downside). Plus, I’m the only one who can. And your personality stats allow me to be the bitter goth bitch I am (and especially would be in this circumstance). This is full of positives.

31 Likes

Really liking this so far! Especially the writing style, it’s very amusing. Can’t wait to play a high morbid PC and freak everyone out~

10 Likes

I love this! I am already looking forward to meet the cast. Love the sibling dynamic we need more of those !
I will definitely follow this and try to give feedback. As for now I have nothing to say other then I like your writing and I look forward to more;)

7 Likes

Seems interesting so far, but will we be able to have a negative relationship with our brother? Join the bad guys maybe and who are the ROs we can matchmake?

6 Likes

A few pages in and I already love the tone of the writing. I look forward to seeing creative ways for the MC to wield their, ahem, extreme open-mindedness.

Summary

Little typo here:

8 Likes

So Romantically Apocalyptic without the talking cups and rocks and the parasitic multidimensional flesh eating, world killing lawyer wife?

I’m in. So gonna call my character Snippy.

4 Likes

I’m here for this. I’m here for this. Have I mentioned that I’m here for this?

This is my kind of story for sure. You had me at hello with this one.

12 Likes

The concept is really interesting.
Can’t wait to get to know the other characters.
Thanks for letting us play the demo.

3 Likes

Thanks! I was a little bit worried about how “Morbidity” would be received as a defining trait, but it’s hands down the most fun to write.

8 Likes

Thanks! Yeah, given the fact that the MC’s mind is an open book, they have try really hard to surprise people. Thus, hot sauce.

12 Likes

Thank you!

4 Likes

Thank you so much! I’m lucky enough to have a really great relationship with my own little brother, so I really like writing about siblings who actually get along!

(Although the MC can totally become Nick’s arch nemesis if that’s more your jam)

18 Likes

Haha, thank you! I love your way of referring to their “ability” :joy:

And it’s Fake Bacon!

6 Likes

The phrase “bad guys” is awfully subjective :wink: But yeah, you don’t have to join the stereotypical “good guys”

While your relationship with Nick does start off positively, because he’s a doting big brother who is blind to your faults, you can definitely ruin it!

As for which ROs . . . I think I’ll hold off on revealing it for now. That way I can see if readers pick up on their chemistry without being already knowing.

14 Likes

I can’t wait to purposely freak people out with my Morbidness.:laughing:

10 Likes

Love it already!!!

You did an awesome job so far, I cannot (but will) wait until you write more!

4 Likes

ayyy, another one of these! this one seems quite quirky too (mha pun intended). love it.

3 Likes