Generally speaking, and this is very subjective but… I’m not sold on mc being a diplomat. Perhaps it’s the fact mc lacks a certain elegance and eloquence to her speaking, perhaps it’s the fact mc is a newb and all she does is sit on the sidelines and take notes while watching the big players make moves. So far mc’s opinions and positions on political matters seem to be largely irrelevant. To be honest, mc could’ve just been a diplomat’s sister accompanying them on their travels and it wouldn’t have changed the plot one bit.
In regards to stats, while codediving i noticed that some skills tend to be used more often than others, eloquence for example is relevant all the time, stealth on the other hand hardly has any uses. And so far eloquence seems to be the only one to lead to successful diplomacy? Which makes me wonder what are the other stats even for?
On the topic of romance: I will agree with TheGhost, the russian diplomat RO is very much at a disadvantage so far. He’s introduced late ingame, at a time when you had the chance to get to know other ROs and maybe already have commitments, so you either can’t agree to his invitation or have no real reason to. Based on his introduction he simply doesn’t stand out from the rest. Sure, he’s handsome but so is every other RO? Him being described as ‘bookish’ is not enough to make him an appealing enough prospect so late in the story.
Another thing that I’m not sure about, in your description you say ‘The romance leans toward the slow burn’…but does it really? All the ros seem instantly attracted to mc and mc to them, they are flirty, they want to get to know mc better, there is no real… slowness to be found here? At most it’s mc who occasionally says ‘lets take it slow’ but it feels more like an artificial way to stop romance from progressing faster than idk a legit slow burn story.
This is my biggest issue so far, though it’s early enough that I’m in a wait and see pattern. Really it would make more sense if MC is someone’s relative out to get work experience or (if they’ve other “experience”) away from a scandal at home. In my prior comment I even edited out some ideas that would free a female MC up for misbehaviour, like young widow rather than young unmarried woman. But yes…the job doesn’t really click with the characterisation.
Thought I’d let you know there’s now an error that appears if you go to the opera with Jean-Claude and are in the carriage on the way home. At least 2 of the choices don’t continue on (I don’t know about the others)
This is what it says:
2_opera-4-fm line 2602: Non-existent variable ‘lpk’
Based on feedback above which resonated with what I was feeling myself, I’m going to set the PC up with some sort of an undercover mission to give her more tense personal stakes. But it might be a while before the changes get uploaded.
Things are going well, but I’ve been very busy. Besides giving the PC an undercover mission, I’m altering some of the romance with the Russian. I originally had it early in the game, but it seemed like too much all at once, so I moved it later, and now I’ve moved it back a little more. I will keep plugging along! This is like writing 4 novels at once, my head sometimes gets a little full. So many circumstantial variables…
I really like the setting and it’s kinda saying something because I’m more of a medieval/antiquity gal. I felt very immersed in the world and the story. In fact too much, because for me this wasn’t romance but stress simulator lmao. I was so invested in doing my job well that anytime kinda romantic options came I was like “not now” at best and “LEAVE ME ALONE” for the rest as I anxiously tried to weight each of my actions.
And I think that’s why I agree a lot with what others said. I wished that the game gave you exposition on the general context for people like me who know nothing about this period. But most importantly held your hand a little more with negotiation. I mean not solely in character but kinda more meant for the players.
Ex : You know that X choices is likely to cause Y and this is how the French are likely to think/behave about you proposing that.
Kinda thing. Because personally I didn’t feel my MC knew what they were doing at all because I as a player had not a single idea on what their were doing and this made me stress about a lot of choices that in hindsigh seemed to not be as important as I thought.
I religiously followed Alnwick and Erthshile ? Sorry I don’t remember her names. Because I thought that since they are the more experienced following them would lead to better result.
I would have like to be more assertive about our delegation plan of action and get to coordinate our team a little more. It just felt weird that none of us would talk about our expectations for a point of negotiations and have a discussion about what to aim for with a change for the MC and James to pitch in about the plan even if they don’t call the shot. Like the MC telling what they think the english delegations should aim for like they do in their dialogue before each issue is discussed and others sharing theirs. I don’t know how it all worked historically but I got the impression that Alnwick is in charge with the 40 Lady whose name I forgot. With MC and James as subordinate. (But the feel is more like intern for my MC personally XD)
Now something that would greatly help is for the stats to be explained. I’m not sure what some are supposed to do (I think the fact they are not separated by personality, abilities, relationship and reputation also contributed) as it may just be me but except for the more obvious like cautious or being wary of people intention I had a difficult time seeing which stat was for which choices. (Also is only Alnwick important since the other two with us don’t have a relationship bar ?)
As for the romance, I was surprised, pleasantly so, but still surprised that gay relationship were accepted. The historical accuracy was so present I fully expected the game to follow the mores of the time. I’m sad their wasn’t any chance to be on the asexual and/or aromantic spectrum though. I always felt a disconnect with my MC when she would begin to mention how attractive people are physically while I was more along the line of “I actually wanted to talk because their personality looked interesting and did not pay attention to their appearance that much honestly” and was taken aback when my MC seemed so quick to begin a romantic relationship and reciprocated to the RO flirting so fast when I took what I believed was the more slowburn romantic option. Like with the count and saying you are not ready for a kiss and then MC kiss them on the cheek. I chose to play a more reserved MC and this seemed out of character for her to be so quick to do that.
I didn’t really feel the slowburn aspect for the romance because of that and all the ROs being so eager to invite MC out or flirt with them. I was in the mindset that we would first befriend them a bit and then the romantic options would start making themselves more obvious.
Overall I really like what you have put out so far and frankly if there wasn’t much romance and this focused on the historical fiction side I would have no problem because I’m hella invested in the treaty thing lol
It’s a nice story. However, it feels that we are thrown into the action too quickly. I understand that most of our reactions have longer-term impacts, but even the shorter ones feel like it’s not for a martial pacifist who tries to act low-profile. Also, maybe the lack of an intro stage/mission makes things feel that BAM! we are thrown into the action too quickly. Moreover, it doesn’t feel if any action itself is happening, and you are debating on seemingly major issues (free trade, for instance), for a relatively inexperienced junior diplomat.
Of course, there are no special weapons to select (unlike a certain game), but character customization takes quite some time to get used to. Moreover, stat explanations, of what you do, and the aforementioned character profiles, could be included to make the story more engaging. Also, please provide more backstory and context. There are areas to visit- what roles will they play in the story?
Personality vs experience: “shy” is a personality, though, from what I interpret. A slow-burn approach would be more realistic. Having a legal background, and doing a diplomatic mission game is fantastic. Good luck with this project!