Myrk Mire (working title) WIP

Myrk Mire is my first attempt at a choice script game. I wanted to start this post topic to test out a few concepts and ideas with you wonderful folk in order to address issues as early as possible within the writing process. So please, if you have the time to spare, drop comments, feedback and suggestions below.

Set in a version of old England not too dissimilar from our own, where the mystical world of folklore, spirits and bogeymen are far from mere stories told around the campfire to frighten the children. In a tiny town that clings to two lonely islands on the edge of the mighty Mire, a marshland that few but the foolhardy dare enter, and fewer still return from, you must find a way to survive what lurks beneath the darkening waters.

Details

You take on the role of a young traveller, the single carer of a seven year old child.

Whilst making your way back to the town of Aldmirham the child spots a strange shape on the banks of the causeway, prompting you to investigate. As you near it, you discover it to be a body, half drowned, slumped admits the tall reeds.

What you do, and how you approach are up to you.

It comes as the latest in a series of strange occurrences around the town. Medicinal plants and herbs are withering, the fish have fled, there is little game to hunt along the spare shores, and waters beneath it all have started to grow dark.

With a cast of colourful characters, and a lingering presence of dread, you must find out what you can, learn what you’re able, bear what you must, and survive the coming mists as they draw ever closer to you and your family.

Initial Choices

You may determine the following about yourself:
Name (given and family/first and last)
Gender - Male, Female, Nonbinary
Sexual orientation - Gay, Straight, Bisexual
Hair Colour - Pre-determined list plus custom text
Hair Style and Length - Pre-determined list plus custom text
Relationship to Child - Biological parent, Adopted parent, Aunt/Uncle/Pibling, Sibling
Child’s Name (given and family/first and last)
Child’s Gender - Male, Female, Nonbinary
Child’s Hair Colour - Pre-determined list plus custom text
Child’s Hair Style and Length - Pre-determined list plus custom text

There are many other choices throughout the prologue and first chapter that will develop your characters, but for the sake of simplicity I won’t post them all up here.

A big concern of mine is making sure everyone who reads the story is comfortable with how they can navigate through it, representation wise. With this in mind I’d like to know if folks would like the option to play as Trans characters?

I’m not going to write any sort of ‘outing’ of characters within the story, mainly because I want Myrk Mire to be an escape for readers, not a reminder of current social problems. So, if the options were included they’d more be an aesthetic choice than any real change to the current routes. Please let me know what you all think on this issue.

Romance

There are currently four romancible options open to the player regardless of gender.

A character’s gender will be determined by the player when they pick their sexual orientation.
(More details to follow)

Male/Female

Peyton/Peidyn


Land@{pg lord|lady} of the Common Lodging House. 

${pn}'s always been good to you. 

Finding clothing and toys for ${chn}, forgiving you a day or two on the rent, sharing a quiet evening with
you both beside the kitchen range, telling such wonderful stories that make $!{chn}'s eyes sparkle.

You say a blessing everyday for the good fortune that first brought you to @{pg his|her} door.

Louis/Leila


@!{lg brother|sister} to Lars, resident of the Common Lodging house, and alongside @{lg his|her} brother stand out town clowns. 

${ln} is as much a new face as you are in the town. @!{lg he|she} and Lars had arrived only two months
before you did. They are fisherfolk, down from the northern coast, far beyond where you have ever 
travelled. The youngest siblings of an enormous clan of a family. ${ln} often jokes there wasn't enough 
room for a flea in the house, let alone two strapping young fishers like themselves. 
					
So they'd left for warmer waters, tracking the coastline down, stumbling into the mouth of the river that 
drains the Mire, then following it till the local fisherfolk saw them shivering out in the frindges, and brought 
them back to town. 
					
It's still debated to this day which sibling got them lost in the first place, but they're both secretly glad for 
the accident.

Abelyn/Anadora


Apprentice to Erda Lynn, resident Cunningwoman.
					
${an} came to Aldmirham not that much before you. Born and raised in the grand city far upriver by @{ag 
his|her} father, @{ag he|she} was plucked from the role of an apothecaries assistant by a visiting Erda to 
become the old woman's apprentice. 
					
@!{ag he|she} has dark hair, olive skin, and heterochromic eyes, with one green and one blue.

Keldan/Kelda

???

Now that would be telling wouldn’t it? :grin:

Content Warning

Whilst I aim to make the story as inclusive as possible, and therefore as accessible as possible for the majority of readers, do be aware of the following topics which will be discussed within the text:

  • Problematic masculine behaviour in relation to the objectification of others
    (Players will have the opportunity to call this out and react to it.)

For the first choice this character crops up in within the game these choices will include at the most verbally passive end of the scale, laughing along with what is said, at the most verbally active end of the scale the player can tell the character to never say such things again, and at the most physically active they will be able to walk away.
Please note that this is only the first meeting with said character, I’m not going to give you the oppertunity to punch them right out of the gate.
As the story progresses and events move forwards the player will have the oppertunity to be more proactive. Whether this does any good or not is dependent on the individual choice.
I hope that adds more clarity for people who are cautious about this particular topic.

  • Unwanted romantic attention (Players will have the opportunity to call this out and react to it)

  • Community based panic and mob hysteria (Players will have the opportunity to this out and react to it)

  • Mild body and gore horror (players will have the option to ‘look away’ without effecting the later storyline)

  • Attachment stress in relation to the child If you’re the type to get overly protective of dependents in interactive media (I certainly am)

Things that will not be included in the story:

  • Risk of PC death/ wrong choice = early ending I find playing stories where this is a possibility incredibly stressful, so regardless of how much you screw up, you won’t be able to prematurely end the story.

  • You will not have the ability to abuse the Child character Not to say you can’t be apathetic to their existence, but you can’t actively harm them.

  • Depictions of sexual violence

  • Racist, Homophobic, or Gender Identity based bigotry My world (kinda) my rules, I think these are societal problems the characters can happily live without.

  • Modern Religion I’m not going anywhere near the topic with a marsh pole. Where I can I use non-religious terminology, where that is difficult to impossible I’ve adapted practices, holidays, and titles to distance things. So there will be no demonising (pardon the term) of modern organised religions or any pagan religious practices and either groups effect on the folklore (see Source Material and English Folklore for more detail).

  • Witches I know, this is an odd one to tack on the end of the list, considering the other entries. But I’m kinda tired of witches and hearing about the persecution of them, also allot of the modern and historical discussion of witchcraft is wrapped up in religion. So there will be no witches mentioned in the story.

Source Material and English Folklore

So, I imagine this won’t be the most clicked on category of this post, but it’s here for the folks who are curious.

The initial idea for this story came from wanting to write a story set in a marsh. Glamorous, I know. You see, I live in a National Park in the UK called the Broads, and while it can be glorious and sunny during the summer, I think the place is at it’s richest in the gloomy grey winter months, when all the tourists have fled and the murky mists reclaim the waterways. Call me an old style gothic romantic but an environment like that is made for ghost stories.

I knew I wanted the story to have low fantasy elements, but firmly set in place. I also knew that I found the idea of relying on the Celtic folklore mainstays of Fey, Elves, etc, or the Hellenic folklore of Satyrs, Dryads, Harpies, Centaurs, etc, unappealing. So, I brought a wonderful little book titled The Oxford Dictionary of English Folklore and started building from there.

The world of Myrk Mire is firmly based within the local folk histories, in the sense that the monsters of the Mire are pulled or adapted from living folklore of the area, the accounts in that book, and Old English texts (which forms the largest adapted content because Old English is so removed in certain situations from modern English I’d have little hope otherwise).

So, prepare to meet monsters and mythical creatures with a distinctly different twist to them.

One last note in this section to bear in mind though. I am only using documented source material. So if it doesn’t have detailed citations and review, it doesn’t make it into the story. I’m contemplating the idea of adding in a bestiary to the stat page if people are curious, but it may break the immersion and flow so I’m not sure.

Current Sources:

  • The Oxford Dictionary of English Folklore

  • Beowulf

  • Old English Translator

  • Ecclesiastical History of the English People Bede

  • Glossary of the Norfolk Dialect I might have lived here for the better part of twenty eight years but heck if I know what half the bred and born folk are saying

Links

Myrk Mire Demo

Patreon Page

Discord Server

Tumblr Blog

Current Status and Updates

The Prologue and Chapter 1 are complete, and the other chapters are ticking by nicely.

The current word counts are as follows (this includes all routes collectively and command lines):

Prologue - 30,423

Chapter 1 Aldmirham - 108,349

Chapter 2 Rising Lights - 68,560

Upcoming

Chapter 2 Demo Not sure when this will be yet, but I will do my best to keep all platforms informed.

Changelog

1.0.1 - 29/03/2021
Major spelling update to prologue.
Minor changes to some terms and labels in attempt to help with intial choices.
Bug fix on available choices at the end of section.

Favourite Lines so far

Silly little section for my own amusement really, and a tiny teaser for you all.

I sigh, pressing my fingertips to the headache I can feel forming at the front of my skull. “I’m really not that keen on being attacked again.”

“I’d be worried if you were.” Erda snorts, though her expression is not unkind. “I don’t know what will happen when we enter, but you have my word $!{pcn}, we will all be walking out of that room. I’m not in the business of getting people killed.”

Not the greatest reassurance I’ve ever heard, but Erda has a point. High mortality rates would reflect badly on the shop.

385 Likes

Wow, just read it all the information and this wip looks very interesting :slight_smile:

I really like that we will have the opportunity to react. :ok_hand:t2:

“If you’re the type to get overly protective of dependents in interactive media”
fck, I’m that type of person @ HelloStress :joy:

What a bad person,okno :rofl:

Sending virtual support, I will be back when the link is avaliable
images

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I must say it sounds like a fun game good luck in making it.

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@Catt
Either I’m blind or I simply can’t find a link to the game. Without a playable demo this is just an “idea thread” and I don’t think those are allowed in this section of the forum. You need a playable demo for the WIP section IIRC.

Solved.

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Yeah there is no demo, its just an idea thread ATM, and the demo seems to still being worked upon considering author putted an teaser in the end.

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It is recommended that a Demo be available to play, but not required to post in this section

I understand that the lack of a current demo here may be disappointing, but I hope to amend the issue as soon as it is ready to play.

Sorry about that, you were right, and it’s all been sorted out.

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Please have a link to a demo before posting a WIP. The author should let the moderators know when a link is available; at that time the thread can be opened.

Edit: @Szaal here. In addition, please use the Interest Check Thread to gauge interest, discuss early concept, or general pre-alpha discussion stuff. Thank you.

Read the demo really enjoyed it. I am intrigued with anything that has english folklore

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There are not many games where you get to take care of a child. I liked this feature of the story and that you give us variety of options for our relationship between MC and the child. Also, the ending got me curious. For example, what do you mean by drowning? I’m sure that it will be explained later and can’t wait to see what kind of force (magic?) or creature influenced the MC. Great description and character interactions as well! :relaxed: Good luck with your game progress​:smiley:

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@Catt im loving this, beautifully written, simple and not too complex. keep it up. :+1: :grin:

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This was certainly an interesting start. I assume that the switch to third person at the end was intentional, rather than a mistake… :sweat_smile:

I would suggest changing the save name from mygame, though, as otherwise it can clash with other games that use that name (maybe use *sm_init myrkmire | 3 instead).

Good luck with the game!

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Intriguing, so far.
Between the way the story is told and the whole idea of having to take care of a child, it’s very unique.
Not to mention, seems like a romance-horror story, and that’s one of my favorite mixes.

I also like the fact it’s written in first person, with touches of third at the end. I’m not a fan of second person writting, and sadly it’s way too common in these games.

Ah, by the way - since the kid can be the biological or adopted child of the MC, why not add some variety to the sibling status? Like a step-sibling or whatever you fancy?

Anyway, I’ll be waiting for updates! Good luck!

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Damn, do we get to kick the ass that forces the unwanted attention?

Ooh lovely :smirk_cat::roll_eyes::neutral_face:

Hell yeah.

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Oi Catherine


Could you tell me what Ren is?!? Is it calling by name choice? Or is it a non-binary parent route?!?

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I really enjoyed the demo! The wip has a dark and eerie atmosphere that I totally like! Oh and the idea of having to take care of a child? LOVE IT! Thanks so much for sharing your demo to us ^^

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Main character with a child? I’m sucker for it. Many options too. I’ll bookmark it.

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yeah thats a name for a nonbinary pa"ren"t

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@VeloursLapin Got their before I did on that one :smile:

Yes, Ren is a nonbinary term for a parent, perhaps I should add a bracket on the end of the nonbinary options to avoid confusion?

:grin: I’m perpetuating the air of mystery and suspense, its one of his/her best qualities!

You are in for a treat then!

I’m really glad folks are enjoying having the child around, I was worried they would be seen as the almost universally loathed escort quest NPC. If he/she/they ever do start feeling like that please let me know.

Cheers for the info! I’m completely new to the technical side of all this. Change implemented and uploaded.

Can’t say exactly why for intense spoilery reasons, but there is a mighty good reason why this is not an option. Spoilery enough to blur even this much info about it :grin:

Kicking ass can be arranged :grin:

Thanks to all the folks who’ve dropped in to like, comment and play the demo so far!

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after i played i must say it look fun cant wait for more
:fire::fire::fire::fire::fire::fire:

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