Monster Maker (WiP) [updated 4/20/19]

modern-fantasy
nonbinary-inclusive
gender-choice
#1

Ok, so, here’s a thing I’m making.

In Monster Maker, you take on the role of a human agent for the Preternatural Intelligence Agency, an institution dedicated to the study and conservation of preternatural creatures–or at least, that’s what they do now. Prior to this, the agency was an informal (and unsanctioned) group that studied these beings in order to fulfill their primary goal of exterminating them. With that change so recent and so hotly debated, politics are just one of the many things you’re stuck in the middle of. More immediately, you find yourself dealing with a missing persons case–a lot of missing persons–and what many are calling “a werewolf problem.” You’ve already got your own werewolf problem but you’re about to have more.

The game is more story-driven than stats-driven, though stats do play a part. There’s also a heavy focus on your relationships with characters and their relationships with each other.

Oh boy, someone’s thinking (me too), another supernatural mystery. Wowee. Fair. But I love the tropes in horror/fantasy (this is not a horror game) and I love inventing pseudoscience and this is a great excuse for both! Also I’m having a good time. So I hope you guys can have a good time with it too.

Characters/ROs

Romance is 100% optional; it won’t take anything away from the story if you don’t want to romance anyone. This list doesn’t include every character, only the main/“companion” characters, all of which are smoochable regardless of your protagonist’s gender. There will definitely be two poly routes; you can romance all of those characters together or separately. More info blurred under character info.

Right now, you can only meet the first three characters in the demo.

  • Eloise - A vampire from an illustrious family; aka: the only one who has her shit together. Maybe not as tough as she seems.

  • Castien - 50% demon, 50% sarcasm, 100% way too nice for it to be real. Right?

  • Einan - Just a weird dude? Mysterious, ohh, ahh.

  • Auria - A selkie. As sweet as sugar and as deadly as batrachotoxin (given those comparisons, I would advise against licking).

  • Bernydine - A shapeshifter. Looks like they could kill you, could actually kill you. Would actually kill you, too, so I mean, watch out for that.

  • Cyprian - Emotional Plant (Taxodium distichum, swamp cypress); likes plants and emojis.

  • Eli - Werewolf who enjoys showing off, showing off, instigating, and showing off.

Poly Routes:

  • Auria and Castien.

You can romance them together or separately; they will usually get together if you don’t date either of them.

  • Eloise and Bernydine.

You can romance them together or separately; they will not get together outside of their relationship with MC.

HERE’S THE DEMO
I post dev logs, updates, and goals every Friday on tumblr. You can also talk to me there if you want to.

So Far
Wordcount with code: 70,200+ (up from 64,000+)
Wordcount without code: 61,900+ (up from 56,000+)
Average playthrough: ~16,000 (up from ~15,000)

Feedback is so, so appreciated!

Some specific questions:
  • Did you have a good time?

  • Did you feel like there was too much/too little narrative, dialogue, exposition, etc? Over all and per page? Any places where the amount of text was overwhelming?

  • What choices and dialogue options did you find yourself missing or wishing you had? Did you ever feel like a lack of choice disconnected you from the story/your character? Where was that and what would you like to have been able to say/do instead?

  • Did you find any errors? Continuity, code, grammar, spelling? (My ‘e’ key is broken, so I’m sure there’s a lot of that…)

  • Any initial impressions of things in general? Of characters and the supernatural in general? Hot takes?

  • Do you have a favorite character so far? Or someone you’re most excited to get to know more? Asking for science.

Of course feel free to comment on anything and everything else, these are just some of my main concerns right now.

Thanks for checking it out! :slight_smile:

EDIT: poll on #38: wanna help name a cat?

232 Likes
#2

Love the demo so far! Half way though the demo, I stopped and check my stats and then return to the game but it seem to reset. I don’t see any mistakes, yet. Are there going to be a save system implemented?

#3

The Demo is great so far! I liked the back story and the possibility to play as a disabled character, is something new especially in that setting! Also, I liked every character, they are well written (as well als the whole game!) and the story itself looks great! Is there a chance to become something different than a human?
Hope there will be more character creation, but just cause I love character creation xD
Had the same problem: checking the stats and the game reset itself.

#4

Don’t tell me what to do!

licks
dies

16 Likes
#5

I really enjoyed this, and I’m looking forward to more!

I think the pacing of the exposition is good! I’m also really interested in the worldbuilding – what we’ve seen so far is very cool, and there are a lot of interesting takes/details with respect to things that could read very another supernatural mystery. Wowee, but don’t.

I sometimes have a hard time with characters (especially potential love interests) with whom the MC has a preestablished relationship, but I think the relationships with Eloise and Castien are built out well. (Or, alternatively, I just really liked them both so it didn’t bother me?)

Basic character impressions: Omg Eloise – adorbs, into fashion, and interested in righting biased/flat-out fantasy racist medical science? Be still my heart. I am intrigued against my will by Castien’s whole endealment (Castien, my dude, I totally understand why you’re withholding information; I would also be withholding information; but please stop withholding information).

Wanna spoil who’s involved in the poly route? Please? (Edit: Awesome, thanks!)

Very mild critique re: choices (Ch 1 spoilers)

I sent Eloise away with the kid, and decided that Castien and I should stick together. Him breaking off to explore, and me not following/not having a choice to go with him, did feel slightly railroady, but I get why, narratively, you did it.

I think it only stuck out to me because he was the one who was very “let’s stick together” (which the narrative points out!), so I, the reader, was immediately suspicious? (Also haunted house/murder mystery rules are pretty clear on not splitting the party.) But it was resolved quickly and really wasn’t that big of a deal.

A few missing "e"s and other typos

"e"s all in relation to Castien? Have you considered that your keyboard may be haunted?

I agree. Demony stuff is sketchy and she deserves to b aware of things like this.

He grins right back at you and laughs. “The library can b a good place for that.”

As if on cue, one of the librarians come over with a CD case in hand. “I found it,” he says, grinning widely and leaning down to hand th case over to Castien.

She throws her head back and groans. “Technicians are the worst patients! Yes, I’m bing careful with it!”

Missing period:

He grins. “Sorry. I tried”

Grinning?

Gabriel towers over her, ginning, at least a foot and a half higher.

Typo (capitalization – looks like a multireplace issue, since I didn’t notice it when parent used they/them):

he leads you windingly, for what feels like hours through the bustle, his hand so warm and solid in yours.

I love you so much. he isn’t saying it. he didn’t then; he was talking about something else:

Coachella is the concert, isn’t it? Coach?

This job doesn’t afford you Coachella, by any means, but you make do.

(Edit: Added in a few more typos.)

5 Likes
#6

That is real weird. I have no idea what might cause that, honestly. Could you both tell me where you were in the game? I’ll look into that!

There are a few things I was considering adding (like height), I just haven’t found a good place to slid them in yet. Are there specific things you like to see? I’m always on the fence about IF character creators, so I started very basic with the intent to add if it was something people wanted.

As for being non-human: Originally, it was a CC option, when the game was just becoming something in my head. Then I actually started writing it and it went all over the place so I 86’d that. But it is something I’ve kept in mind as an option much later in the story. So, it’s a possibility, though your options would be more limited than the cast.

Also thank you! I’m glad you both liked it!! :smiley:

Oh, you’re absolutely right. I had a time with that too and it’s on my list of Things To Deal With. I wasn’t in love with how I finagled that, but it was one of those things that if I didn’t just move past it and get it done, I was gonna get stuck, so I let it be for the time and I’m coming back for it. :male_detective:

As for the typos, thank you!! My keyboard’s been acting up for a couple months now and my ‘e’ key specifically is pretty much dead (with a whole host of other letters following it to the grave, yay) so I tried to go back and find them all but I knew there would be some leftover.

Also, also: I added the poly route into the main post, with a spoiler blur just in case.

3 Likes
#7

I really enjoyed this! I’m always a sucker for supernatural elements. The writing is nice and seems to flow well, and the dialogue felt pretty organic.

Castien is definitely my top guy right now.

I only gave it one playthrough as of now, but I know I’ll be looking it over again soon.

A spoilery? question: I’m never interested in poly routes and I know it’s optional, but I’m wondering if that means Castien and Auria are going to like or pursue each other? I was already loving Castien, but if it’s one of those cases where 2 RO’s get together if you don’t romance them (or if it’s hinted that they like each other even if you don’t choose poly) then I’ll just have to choose a different male RO. Hope my question isn’t too spoilery (and also makes sense)!

3 Likes
#8

I think I was at the part where MC decide to split up or stay together when I encountered the problem.

#9

It’s somewhat late so I’m gonna answer your questions tomorrow but for now I want to say I’m loving it so far. Because of everything, really. I’m looking forward to save slots being add, because I’m curious about many answers and options. Guess I’ll be replaying this one a lot.

#10

Re: game resets on stats_screen
This happens when the author do a file update at the middle of your game session. Doesn’t always tied to the stats_screen to. That’s why it’s advisable to do update in a bulk, instead of continuous micro-fix hotfix.

#11

So cool~ Can’t wait for update!
Suggestion: Add customisation for the mc

1 Like
#12

I :grinning:read story to me it fun read

#13

I enjoyed what I saw so far! really good . But man that Title is so misleading! :sweat_smile:

well Monster Maker , I though it could be about being a wizard and taming monster! Dungeons crawling! y’know…

Question: Is there a reason why we are a boring human ? yet again?

lol I just like more being a supernatural . I’m in real life after all…a boring human :unamused:

3 Likes
#14

I announce I’m in love with this demo from now on. *smash the button of my time machine

yeeeaah @E_RedMark u’r right I’m a little bit disappointed (on a joke degree) too that we are just stupid pity boring little human while our teammates are sooooooo fantasy, but that is life, right? *pout

aaand, can here be some describes about other characters’ appearances in the people codex, like hair, eyes, height? maybe it’s just a me thing, but it help me a lot to imagine in my brain cinema. don’t tell Dane DeHaan and Thomas Sangster they usually portray my MCs, and Callum Turner portrays main ROs.:stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: shush

aaaaaaaaaannd, I don’t know if it is a bit too much request that if you can exchange the descriptions of relationships into…bars, like one friendship bar and one romantic bar? like I’m confused about if tell Eloise “Just wanted to come by and see you.” is a flirt choice or not. aaan add MC traits too…

and like @VenusHeart said, I’m a little bit uneasy about intervene others’ relationship, so I’m very curious if Auria and Castien are already in love or just a thing or just at starting line or something…and if they are deeeeeeeeeeeeep in love will there be a scenario MC break their poor little heart?:smiling_imp: buut when MCs are bad guy I think I’ll flirt with the entire universe *cough

“Could I drive this time?”
Her mouth falls open. She closes it, opens it again to say something, closes it again. Nothing comes out and you’ve never seen such abject horror on her face.

dunno how to say that but I like this scenario!!! just imagine it’s very funny!

#15

I’m kind of disappointed that, what with the option of “One juicy human is as good as another for bait” that we apparently can’t choose an option in which we use ourselves as bait.

I thought we’d have a scene were our character tries to get attention “Here vampire vampire, I happen to taste great and I’m less filling!” while the demon prepares to jump them.

5 Likes
#16
some spoilers

Get a closer look.
Check on Castien.

when we choose ‘get a closer look’, there’s nothing mentioned about the red mark on Castien’ neck, but MC can still choose ‘You’re more worried about those marks on his neck’…can’t we just do these two things altogether, check one Castien make sure he’s ok, then get a closer look at that man, find out some weird things about him? cz we’re…on the mission, and we are a team, we should check on teammates and investigate every detail at meantime(umm my English kinda suck…I can’t make myself more clearer sry)

#17

Maybe I misread it, but I thought that’s exactly what I was doing. As far as the protagonist is concerned at that point, he’s the only other human available.

On another note, I really liked Eloise’s excessive concern for the completely unharmed main character and blunt “go to medical” for the actually injured Castien.

1 Like
#18

The point of using bait is to set a trap.

The MC then either suggests the demon goes away, which therefore leaves the MC bait without a trap, or the demon flakes out and leaves you alone, leaving the bait alone without a trap.

#19

Sounds like I misunderstood what you were calling attention to, then. Nevermind!

#20
Screenshot

At one point Eloise’s relationship stat disappears and stays that way for the rest of the game. I was generally friendly towards her