New Atlantis - WIP

Hi everyone!

So, if anyone still remembers me then you’ll know me as the author of ‘Atheina: A Story of the Gods’ WIP. I lost the file I was working on and instead of being a big boy and write again a 14k word chapter, I sulked, threw a tantrum and just avoided working on the game altogether. Writing lost scenes the second time around drained me to the point of hating the thought of writing.

But I decided to try and write a different game so that I could build up the motivation to finish off my first WIP.

Pre-Background of the Game

Proper Background of the Game:
I can’t pinpoint the exact place I got the idea to write about a Game of Thrones choice-script game set in the 21st century. Most of the games here in the forum are usually set in medieval times. Since I think of myself as a special snowflake, I knew I had to set the game in modern times. Like any scholar who has to cite their sources, I got my first inspiration watching House of Cards.

Frank Underwood is a character I love to hate. I take off my hat for him. So I thought, how about I create a game where the MC is the president of the USA?

Well, I believe there’s already a WIP with that premise called Oval Office. I actually like it but I had one problem with writing such a game, it seemed too daunting to write a game that had so many possibilities. There are so many variables to take into account like policy decisions the MC could take and their consequences. My poor mind isn’t for that life. My mind is already swamped writing essays for my philosophy and political science courses.

The second game I took some inspiration from is ‘The Crown’, it’s a short WIP (at least to this writing) but it planted the idea of having the MC as a modern day monarch.

But the problem I came across quickly is little tension. If you’re already a monarch, you can do whatever you want. And that means an infinite amount of possibilities to take the game.

Admittedly, I gave up convinced that it was not possible to write about a 21st century monarch and have the game remain interesting.

HOWEVER!! What if it was a tyrannical regime that oppresses the masses? Nah, a player could simply agree to play along with the evil regime and thus no tension is created. Evil Empires are interesting to play around with if you’re going against them. At least to me.

So, I read Seven Heirs several times in order to understand why this WIP was so good. I thought it was because it’s set in the medieval times with an MC who is not liked because of their mother. AN MC THAT IS NOT LIKED!!

The MC must become the heir to an Evil Empire but the denizens of this empire hate the heir.

So that was my game, an MC in medieval times being forced to become ruler of an Evil Empire.

Alas, my heart still wanted a modern fiction. It would take watching a video by Overly Sarcastic Productions on the legend of Atlantis that would generate the final essence of this game.

Over time, the Evil Empire turned to be more complex than first planned. In my attempt to create a society that was different from the mainstream, I ended creating a Complex-Greyish Empire… just read the game, you’ll understand.

About the Game:
You were never meant to inherit the throne. And had everything gone according to plan, you’d have lived a normal life with normal problems - never knowing about your royal bloodline. But Fate is a cruel mistress. With the unexpected death of your mother, you’re thrust in the middle of a political arena. Who can you trust when everyone around you has something to gain by manipulating you?

Welcome to New Atlantis!
https://dashingdon.com/go/4500

Feedback is welcome, as usual. The game is still rough on the edges but I had to publish it or else I would have gone mad continuously editing the darn thing.

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“No, I’m not saying anything that I can’t read.”
Should be signing.

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It seems interesting, I will watch this as it progresses and I wish you good writing and hope you will be able to finish this wip

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couldn’t you just have gone to the game like this https://dashingdon.com/play/darkner/atheina-a-story-of-the-gods/mygame/scenes/startup.txt and just copy and paste the whole thing?

PS: I am starting to think that many people don’t know about this.

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Keep in mind that if it is the one he was working on, he probably did not have it up yet. Still, a good suggestion.

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@Darkner I am so glad you are back to writing in any sort of capacity. I’m also sorry for the loss of the files, I was very anxiously waiting for the continuation of Atheina.

I’m sure this next endeavour will yield positive results and be as, if not more, entertaining. Good luck on this new venture. :slight_smile:

P.S.: Give me a little bit of time before I tear this WIP to shreds with my usual round of speculatory delusions.

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Fixed. Thanks.

Thanks. This time around, I have several backup files just in case one gets lost again.

As @hustlertwo pointed out, I didn’t have it up yet. I used to keep my files only on my laptop, rarely ever putting a copy online. But I’ve learnt from my mistakes. Hopefully.

Lol :grin:, glad to see you again. I always look forward to your theories. I do love foreshadowing events but I also know there are people like you in this world who go through every word written. Keeps me on my toes.

I haven’t given up on Atheina so don’t lose hope.

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@Darkner Well that was dense… certainly a lot of content to digest especially in terms of the Atlantian society and overall power structure.

Get the popcorn ready again.

The Setting

Summary

Alternate reality 2070s Earth where Atlantis is a thing! Exciting. A landmass in the middle of the Atlantic would surely make things interesting in terms of the balance between global powers, especially if it’s inhabited by a people distinct to the Americas and Europe - as it is the case. Also, is it just me or does it seem like history repeats itself? It’s clear there’s been a resurgence of Imperialism and highly Conservative regimes… I think this is somehow a reenactment of 1910s Europe with a dash of 1850s America.

From the text it’s easy to infer that Atlantis is extremely militaristic since they’ve taken possession of not only the Caribbean but also a large portion of southern United States. Although, I’m sort of failing to grasp why they would do that. Is the landmass that Atlantis occupies so small that they needed territorial expansion? Was it due to lack of resources? Was Atlantis invaded first and the annexation of these territories was ceded as war reparations? We’ll have to see in the future.

The Society As A Whole

Summary

A highly militaristic and imperialistic matriarchal, theological monarchy with strong aspects of collectivism… phew that’s a mouthful. Why do I think you took all the different things from Atheina and crammed them into one? Not that I’m complaining, it makes things even more alien and interesting.

The Xenophobic Question

Summary

The First Matriarch’s speech was a good source of information as she proclaimed the Atlantian’s disdain for Democracy, Individualism and Human Rights. The last part makes them seem far more Xenophobic than they actually are, considering the Atlantians are a completely separate species. In actuality I believe they’d be no more Xenophobic/Racist than typical 18th and 19th century Western Society was towards the Negro population. Nothing too left field there.

The Matriarchy

Summary

What’s the most intriguing part is the Matriarchy aspect. It’s evident that women have preferential treatment since their head religious figure in a very theocratical society is a woman, not to mention how every high ranking military official and the head of the State’s intelligence service are all women. This puts into question the role of the men since in our reality men (in matriarchal societies) take the role of either politics, spiritual, military or business - such as the Chinese Mosuo. The presence of a female monarch, female religious figurehead and female military means men have severely reduced influence in Atlantian society. Not to mention that if you play as a male MC, Jessica - your hybrid liaison - strongly suggest you wear very conversative clothing further enforcing this assumption. Are men only fit for labour and, perhaps, teaching? I’d like to learn more.

The Collective

Summary

My assumption that their society has, at least, some aspects of collectivism comes from the First Matriarch’s denouncement of the notion of Individualism. Now that begs the question if the Atlantians live in an entirely feudal society or if they’ve adopted a lot of Marxist ideals, if not politically, as evident by the perpetuation of the monarch, then at least economically. That would explain their reluctance to have an open market and open borders for trade with the globe at large. It does beg the question of how prosperous the Atlantians really are… if they have resources that are unattainable anywhere else on Earth it would certainly be an advantage but I fail to see how a self-reliant society would remain prosperous and ahead of everyone else for millennia otherwise. If they’ve been facing a decline in prosperity and resources for a few decades it would explain their expansionist and imperialistic tendencies. Have to wait for more.

The Heir

Summary

I can’t help but wonder why the late Empress took such precautions to shelter the MC from Atlantian politics to begin with. Were the MC the sole child I would’ve been quiet but the head of the CBI is the MC’s Elder Sister, so being a sole child is not the case… unless if there’s a catch to her status as “Sister” making her wield no political power. Perhaps the Atlantians are a society of Castes as well as a Monarchy, meaning that because she took the path of a “Warrior” or, at the very least, public service (which I’m assuming a Governmental Institution such as the Atlantian equivalent of the FBI classifies as), her right to the throne becomes forfeit.

On the topic of the Sister, I’m having a difficult time believing her story that the assassination attempt on the MC’s life when they were a child was the product of a jealous concubine is completely ridiculous. The concubine is confirmed to be a male and, as discussed before, the male population holds little to no power in their society let alone politically. It would make zero sense to make an attempt at the heir’s life unless if it was literally out of spite which again is absurd considering their lives probably improved once they were taken into the royal household.

There’s something else happening behind the scenes for the late Empress to be so weary of her child’s life being threatened that she’d rather send them away to another country and completely keep their heritage hidden to the extent that they do not even know their mother tongue… something that both Jessica and the Sister are definitely hiding, the sister more so than Jessica. Speaking of which…

The Immediate Family

Summary

That sister is incredibly suspicious. There’s definitely some faction dispute within the Government. Jessica was perfectly fine with keeping the MC in the company of several Atlantian Chiefs of Staff in the royal bunker but she froze and grew resentful at the mention of the MC’s sister, who’s head of the Intelligence Service. That sort of friction exists even in the real world but not to this extent, there’s political implications behind this.

Speaking of political implications, I get the feeling the Sister was also bluffing about what was actually written on the missive that the MC was asked to sign. While I do believe the Army is capable of taking overly harsh measures to problems, I also see why she would lie about the contents so she’d seem to be more level-headed and amicable than she is in actuality… as a way to ingratiate herself with the MC.

Why I’ve cast such suspicion on her? Her insistence on the MC wearing the ring then subsequently taking a picture. This is clearly a way to create evidence for something, be it blackmail or something far more ignominious. Everything about her screams deceit in my eyes.

The Homo atlanti

Summary

An entirely new species of augmented human beings, oh gracious joy! My inner sci-fi buff is positively giddy with excitement. I want to know how else they differ physiologically and, possibly, psychologically to the regular Homo sapiens. If they have better mental acuity to the point they’ve developed telekinectic powers or if their eyes allow for more than simply polychroma. Give me more biotechnological goodness, you teasing Author bastard~ … Ahem… sorry. Got carried away.

All in all this was extremely entertaining and I want to see more. I want political turmoil with obscene levels of cloak and daggery, rampant sodomy in the Church and blatant levels of shenanigans with the society at large.

Bottom line is: MOAR! :heart_eyes:

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I am going to be honest, I want to bitch slap everyone.

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Hey glad to have you back. The only mistake I noticed is that it says navy uniform instead of military uniform for the generals

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@TheZod You have to tell me, are you a detective in real life? While I was expecting some analysis, I wasn’t expected this level of analysis at this stage.

I took much inspiration from Plato’s Dialogue on Atlantis, and according to him, Atlantis was a mineral rich island. Some might even go so far as to say that Atlantis is cursed with so many resources that elites have little incentive to change the country’s social structures. And the only thing I can say about the annexation of the southern United States was caused over a dispute involving Cuba, in the late 1800s. I can’t say because that will be too spoilery.

I think Atheina is egalitarian compared to New Atlantis, sure it’s headed by Apseudes who identifies as female but males aren’t penalised for being males in Atheina… which cannot be said for New Atlantis.

Besides, I needed to create a society that was significantly different from the rest of the world and justify why New Atlantis would feel threatened opening up to the world. Even in societies that consider themselves matriarchies, they still hold a lot of egalitarian values. I know that some political medieval games in the forum have it so that females are discriminated but they can fight against societies norms. I thinks it’s about time we saw a reversal of this trope :grin::smile:

The MC’s brother is going to show up in chapter 2, which will illuminate more about the gender roles in society. But your observation is correct, men hold little influence in society as inheritance passes through a matrilineal line from mother to daughter or non-binary child. As the Atlantians say, sometimes a roosters lays an egg and thus inheritance does pass from mother to son.

The answer here is simple. It has to do with a person’s eyes. The inheritance of the throne goes to the person who either has the best ‘eyes’ or more accurately, the largest number of functioning cones. Usually it’s the person who has 21 cones. But if there is none available then the person who has 20 cones can inherit. And the problem you’ll learn later is that there’s half a dozen members in the imperial family who have that many cones. So a fight was certainly going to break out but your MC saved the day. :sweat_smile:

Silence…

I think it’s better to keep your MC’s emotions in check or else you might find a dagger embedded in your back. :grin::grin:

I was referring to the colour of their uniforms, so I changed that part into ‘navy blue uniform’ to clarify. Thanks for pointing that out.

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Love it, already hooked and want to know what happens next. Although won’t lie got a little disappointed when I already had what decided what my MC was like and then it tells me you’re skinny, weak and nothing without Ben and he must go everywhere with you.

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Well I’m super interested. Doctor!MC routes are my favorites. And the inverted fighting back against social norms is a great take.

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You flatter me but, sadly, I am not a detective. No, it’s a matter of me very much enjoying the subject matter and the way you write so I put a lot of attention and effort into these.

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As soon as I heard the word Atlantis I immediately thought of my MC looking like Jason Momoa, then it said we were weak lol.

Same
com-optimize

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That was interesting although I am curious why has the royal family had to gouge out their eyes?

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I personally don’t know but if I had to guess it works like some monarchies of the past where if you had some disability like blindness or missing a hand you wouldn’t be a candidate for the throne unless there are no other members or because the more cones in your eyes their are the more royal you are and no eyes means no cones

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Okay, so far I’m loving the lore and worldbuilding in this story, but I must start with a few things I take issue with (so that I can end on the good stuff).

1. Ben

I felt way too confused when Ben started acting like he knew we were the prince all along. I feel like the player needs to have a small exchange like:

PC: “Wait, Ben, how do you know all about this?”
Ben: [insert justification here]
PC: “Whoa dude, hang 10”

Okay, that last part might be a bit off but you get what I mean. Either do it soon in the next part or preferably even earlier as it gets kinda distracting/off-putting to be frank.

2. My name!

I was really confused when my sister started calling me by my middle name cuz I made mine Michael, so if we could get a hint or something that we should make our preferred name our middle name, or maybe give us an option later to choose which we’d like to be known by (maybe even with some outrage from the nobles and people if we choose our fake name :eyes:). Please just help out dumb people such as myself from restarting the game due to our own stupidity!

3. MAP PLEASE

This is kind of a nitpick but I feel like the little history lesson of this alternate reality was awkward. It was so detailed that it made me want more, but not detailed enough to momentarily satisfy my curiosity. So to put it in normal words, it was an awkward size info dump to throw on the player in my humble, singular opinion. Also talking broadly about geographic things in CYOA games, maybe see if you could present a map of this alternate reality later in the game because I am way too curious about how large the island of Atlantis is as well as what exactly constitutes the empire’s territories. I’ve seen pictures in other WiPs but I’m unsure how to do it yourself, so don’t worry too much if you can’t do that. A really good detailed rendition of the empire’s holdings would suffice.

4. Railroading

Okay, this is where it turns more from critique into desires for the direction that this game is going. Off the bat, the plot seems like it’s going to force the player down some kind of moral path (hence the title railroading). I’m not saying that it will because I could be wrong, but that’s just what I perceive from the text. I mean I dunno if I’m the only one, but I would love to do a traditionalist run where I attempt to curb the power of the nobility as well as isolate from the rest of the world further. I felt from what has happened so far though that the only consistent path to take will be one of liberalization and modernization of the empire, just going off of how the text reads. I’d love to see lots of freedom in how the PC can impact their empire and the world as a whole. Who the heck knows, maybe even reinstate monarchies across the world or attempt to convert the world to the Atlantean faith. I just think it’d be funny to have some funky achievements for accomplishing really difficult and specific things such as that. :stuck_out_tongue:

Okay, now for the stuff I really liked about this:

5. The worldbuilding as ironic as that is!

I really love the random differences like the US Civil War and the absence of WW2 resulting in the British Empire still remaining at the very least partially intact. An amazing thing to explore about alternate history is not only what stuff doesn’t happen, but also what stuff does happen. I really hope you do enrich the lore of this world with stuff like that. Is Russia still under the rule of the Romanovs? Is Japan a world power? Who used the first nuke and what were its impacts? Juicy stuff like that would be awesome to discover as we navigate Atlatean cutthroat politics.

6. Iminika

I can’t relate to the feeling of wanting to slap everyone in this WiP because honestly I love Iminika right now. I can’t tell if she’s a loving sister happy to see her brother back again after not seeing him in many years or secretly plotting my demise and laughing at me deep down as she does it. And I really don’t want that uneasiness to go away. I want to always feel like I’m on the fence between wholeheartedly trusting my sister and seeing her as the devil incarnate. It really grants a vibrancy to our interactions that I love. Please make more characters as uneasily hard-to-read as her (except of course make them unique in their own right, as Iminika must remain #1)!

7. Personalities

Not much to say, I just appreciate the personality balances being relative opposites of each other. Can’t say too much since obviously we haven’t had many big decisions yet. Still though, know I appreciate that detail!

So yeah, that’s all of my half-baked thoughts on the matter. I hope you continue on with this WiP as it seems to be heating up and I can’t wait for more of it. Oh, also one last word of advice! To make it easier for people to tell when new content is added, update the title of the thread to something like “New Atlantis - WIP [Update XX/XX/20XX]” whenever you upload new stuff to dashingdon. Just keeps everything neater and also will attract lots of people to comment on the updates when they happen!

Once again thanks for allowing all of us to read your work and I wish you the best of luck in continuing this. Know that I’ll be commenting dumb stuff intermittently the whole way through. :smile:

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I really really want to like this game. I mean I kinda do but the railroading from the point you leave your parents home until the end is kinda ridiculous. I understand that you need it to create the plot but I felt as if the MC transformed into a 4 year old child. MC does everything without a real reason, we get several hints that something is wrong and still just blindly follow.

To name a few examples
Hm my doctor is on the very same special plane
Oh a completely different country than expected
Obvious military people with a bunker cosplayer
Suddenly surprise riddle
Drink a unknown fluid

I don’t want to come across as harsh. Ultimately it’s your game and you can do what you want, it’s just that these reasons are putting me (and maybe others, don’t want to assume) off to play this game wich is a shame because your writing style is solid and I like the idea.

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This seems to have some similarities with Return to Zemia, which is very good but currently stuck in development due to the author’s real life.
The big difference here seems to be that this poor heir is fated to be disliked from the start where in return to Zemia we’re simply a big, blank, “alien” (in practice and culturally, biologically the mc always was alien all along, just a near-human one) canvas.

Will actually read this one when I have a bit more time, maybe over the weekend.

Hahahahahahahah hah! No! Unless you want to end up dead very soon. Monarchs usually tended to be more restricted than rulers who could claim some sort of (democratic) “mandate” from the people.
Monarchs tend to be constrained, invisibly to the larger world perhaps, by a small number of oligarchs whether those people call themselves “nobility” or not. And that is in addition to whatever currents of civil society and delicate social balances they have to navigate.
Rule by (personal) might makes right tends to be reserved to warlords who rule over mostly small and insignificant backwaters and various criminal gangs that tend to disintegrate when the person who held them together dies for a reason. The more sophisticated the system gets the more the ruler tends to have to share power and the more checks and balances there are, even if they only stem from bureaucratic inefficiencies.

That not to say that some rulers cannot have a profound effect and change the course of their nation and history but it usually takes considerable finesse to pull such things off. Not to mention they require a significant amount of buy-in from either the elites or the people, or preferably both. That said the mc here cannot even read so we’re hardly in a position to try for a crown-commons alliance for social change against the elite. :unamused:
In any case trying to be a bull in the China shop usually goes badly and even Trump and Johnson can only do what they do because of their perceived mandates and because they have a hard core of enablers in positions of power and influence.

Coming back to it not educating the mc to read and speak and the language was the very stupidest thing our foster parents ever did even if the mc would have lived a normal life and the late empress’ opening to the world had succeeded we could have had a sideline as a translator at least. :unamused:
Lots of people after all simply like learning languages with no nefarious strings attached and if you’re raised bi or multi-lingual it becomes even less of an issue.

Okay I did play it briefly during my break, but my mc would be inclined to just order Ben to read the entire document out loud to him. Why Ben and not Jessica? Because my mc is convinced he knows the guy well enough to tell if he’s lying.

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