No Proper Thief


#1

Hello everyone,

This is my first post and my first time writing/coding a multiple-choice game. It is called No Proper Thief and follows Clyde Lamm, a young but experienced con artist on his first bank heist. As the greenhorn of the team, Clyde has to maintain their trust, keep his identity a secret from the authorities, keep his conscience relatively clean, and try not to get hurt. If any one of the these four stats (Identity, Health, Trust, or Conscience) fall to 1% it’s game over.

There is original artwork included for the title screen and the five different ways to lose: a Rat for losing the team’s trust; a broken scale for feeling too guilty to go on (replaced with rooster mask image for now); a bloody hand for losing too much health; a rooster mask for having your identity found out; and an insanity trophy for those who can find any one of the three hidden insanity endings. Only one insanity ending is available in this two chapter sample.

Note: I had an issue with images upon compiling the scene data, and had to link directly to a web file, so they may load more slowly than the final product will, but it shouldn’t be more than a few seconds delay.

Two chapter sample:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/b27p5cg9zrky5mx/No%20Proper%20Thief%20(Sample).html?dl=0

The game is mostly done (I hope), and I’m looking for and would greatly appreciate all feedback on any or every aspect of the game from the story, to the writing style, to the choices, to the characters, to the art.

Thanks for your time!

-Russell


#2

You’re a good writer. The game felt like it had just the right balance between stories and choice.

Are you planning to publish through Hosted Games, or through your own games company?

It’s such a shame that you chose to go with a locked male protagonist. From what I read it doesn’t look like it would be too much of a stretch to allow for a female protagonist and if you did so you’d be opening up your story to a lot more players.


#3

Very exciting so far. It feels almost like the free chapters of a full game.


#4

I am loving this so far, I can’t wait till I can read more.


#5

Oh wow. This looks really cool. I’ll be watching with interest …


#6

I agree you are a great writer and the story is very interesting.


#7

Oh yes, please, female option would lovely to have, if you would be up to adding that, @OSFox . :smile:

Either way, good writing, as been said. :+1:


#8

I really enjoyed playing through had a great combo of humor and action


#9

The game is amazing and very professionally done, I will be supporting you where ever you publish this title =)


#10

Writing style: Really good. Feels like it’s based on a book, comfortable reading chunks, nice characters.

Choices: Hard to say without replaying it. I assume the start is mostly there to build character stats? The only point of the story where I felt that it felt a little bit shoehorned was when the sprinklers came on and the mask slipped off. It felt like the mask had to slip off no matter what, and once I had picked all the “wrong” choices to get it pulled off, it had to go off anyway. Maybe have another choice there, even if it is a fake one that all leads to the same result: your mask gets taken off? I dunno, that situation just threw me a little, because choking under the mask is understandable, but it slipping off when you are standing up feels a little weird.

I will also say what’s been said before, while it will be a bit of work to go back and “gender proof” the entire game, I think the end result will be worth it. Being able to pick the gender (and name) of your main character REALLY helps to add to the immersion. Otherwise you risk having people go “this was a great idea, but I don’t want to play another white, male protagonist again”. It’s the choices that people really seem to like in this game.


#11

Bonnie and Clyde, huh? :wink: Anyway, the writing is really good, the story seems interesting, though i agree with what others said, that it would be nice if you could add the choice to pick your gender.


#12

Thank you!

I am planning on publishing through Hosted Games. I saw that gender, and often sexual orientation, were a big deal in the Choice of Games titles, but didn’t realize there was such an interest in the Hosted Games label. I chose to write No Proper Thief because I’ve always enjoyed choice reading games and because I wanted a prequel to A ZebraFox Games animated RPG production, BLAME, which is slated to come out in the future (few years) through a medium different than a reading game. NPT is stand alone, of course, but the lead character will be a variant of Clyde Lamm in both. I’ve always been a linear short story writer, and have written plenty of stories from the female prospective, and as such I guess it never really crossed my mind, so thanks for bringing it up.

@JTAL

Bonnie and other female characters do play big, influential parts, but I can understand a desire not to have to play as a male. I can definitely look into adding a gender option and sexual orientation, as well, considering the interest in it.


#13

@Rebelgirl You caught me. Ha-ha! Yes, the names are certainly influenced by the infamous Bonnie and Clyde, and the surname Lamm in a play on the term “on the lam.” Thanks for your comment and for playing! The below response concerns you as well.

@malinryden I responded to the others about it briefly, but I’ll tell you the same in more depth, Bonnie and other female characters do play big, influential parts in the latter parts of the story, but I can understand a desire not to have to play as a male. I can definitely look into adding a gender option and sexual orientation, as well, considering the interest in it. No promises, but I’ll do my best. It may or may not be super difficult to add some choices in the beginning and make the pronouns through out the rest of the story able to change upon making a gender orientation choice, so we’ll see. I might even add a non gender, alien life form option if it turns out to not be a herculean task (just for fun as it will add to the insanity aspect of the game). I will say that I have another choice story I’ve been thinking of writing called Gone Pockets that is more of a magical adventure, and I will definitely add gender options to that one from the start, as it is less dependent on future sequels like NPT is. For, as I mentioned in another response, I chose to write No Proper Thief because I wanted a prequel to A ZebraFox Games animated RPG production, BLAME, which is slated to come out in the future (few years) through a medium different than a reading game. NPT is stand alone, of course, but the lead character will be a variant of Clyde Lamm in both. I’ve always been a linear short story writer, and have written plenty of stories from the female prospective, and as such I guess in NPT, my first choice based story, it never really crossed my mind.

As for the sprinklers, I see what you mean. It is perhaps my least favorite choice juncture, as well. Not just in the first two chapters, but in the entire story. I believe it is essential that the mask comes off or that Clyde’s identity is revealed somehow at that point to progress the story, but I can give it some more thought and come up with more diverse, perhaps some delayed reveals for the identity incident.

@Crotale Thanks!

@Lobo420 Hopefully you won’t have to wait too long.

@gkkiller Thanks for your interest!

@Zanity Thank you! Very happy to have your support.

@Zeus Thank you! I knew that crime was serious subject matter and wanted to offset the gravity of the scenario with more lighthearted characters and some humor. Glad you enjoyed the humor aspect. :grinning:

@reaper95 That’s nice of you to say. Thanks for giving the story a look.


Are you working on a game in ChoiceScript? Let us know!
#14

Love it. It was very well written


#15

@Boman19 Thank you! :sunglasses:


#16

I second boman. Amazing plot, and well written to the point where it feels like I’m watching a movie


#17

If you can play as a girl, will she be known as “The Chicken?” -bad joke was bad-


#18

While a choice for gender and sexual orientation aren’t required for Hosted Games, they’re always appreciated. There’s a lot of those who read the official games who also look for the same qualities in the Hosted Games.

I do greatly admire the Hosted Games authors who go out of their way to be inclusive, especially when doing so brings them out of their comfort zone. It’s important for all the same reasons it’s important in the official games though.

I’d say offering a simple gender-flip to the main character shouldn’t be too difficult. There’s plenty of other games who set examples that you can follow on how to implement it. From just leaving everything but the pronouns the same, to adding subtle differences. Personally I’d keep the main character’s name as Clyde regardless, however I think some people like to be able to name their character so they might ask to change that.

In so far as sexuality, well there’s a few options there. You can gender-flip Bonnie into Benny, which, I certainly think would make for an interesting turn of events. But, if you were doing that you’re further reducing the amount of female characters in the game.

You can leave Bonnie as she is, make her bi, so that she’d just as easily go on a date with a female main character.

You could lessen the attraction that’s written into the text so if a player wants to play a protagonist who’s not attracted to women they could. I know Clyde’s attraction to Bonnie an important theme for you though, and erasing that might run the risk of erasing some personality.

While a lot of the Choice of Games are all “gay or straight” that’s not the only options available. Clyde does also offer to kiss a guy (whose name I’ve forgotten) in order to trick the policeman. So hey, maybe you’ve got a bi protagonist.

Anyway I’d say just explore the ideas yourself, how you could implement a bit more inclusivity without sacrificing character and the themes you want to explore in the game. Have a look at how the various other games do it.


#19

@Doctor Thank you! It’s great to hear things like this, as it means I haven’t mess up the flow with clunky metaphors and such as I have in the past. Thanks for giving the game a try!

@Juggtacular That “bad joke” made me laugh. It also brings up a good point as a rooster is of course a male, so I wonder if people uncomfortable playing as a male character will have an issue with a generally male nickname? I meant the name as Clyde Lamm being a cocky young con artist, so I suppose it could stay should the gender choice come into play as women can certainly be cocky too. Otherwise, I’d need a new identity loss image to replace the rooster one:

@FairyGodfeather My fear is compromising the quality of the writing to accommodate this gender choice. I am working on implementing a possible gender selection, as I’ve said, but I’m finding lots of things throughout the story that will need to change as well, so as to keep the character unique, but also believable. There are the pronouns, as mentioned, but also things like the kiss you mentioned, in which it would then be a female lead asking Narsico if he’d like to kiss instead. Narsico (Stag) has a girlfriend himself (brought in later on), so it could be that he declines out of remaining faithful, but that’s just one of many changes that will need to happen, some easier than others. Plus, I’ll have to add a note at the beginning that Clyde (male) will reappear in a sequel on a different medium, perhaps leading to players who choose female Clyde to feel cheated, or having to implement a gender selection in the sequel BLAME, as well which runs the risk of Clyde being less iconic. I might just have Clyde be the bank shift manager and Bonnie the con artist if female is selected, and then find another boy name and another girl name for the lesbian and gay selections so as to not look like I’m presenting only straight characters. So, in a way, adding gender has opened up a can of worms, as with a single gender-locked character, Clyde is a standard, a vessel everyone must follow closely and guide but not alter, yet as a figure that players can alter with a simple choice or choices he/she become more of message, and I wouldn’t want that message to be one of heterosexual exclusivity. Then there is ethnicity on top of all this. As is, I feel that Clyde is merely a character in a story with a series of choices that players help make–he’s set not to make people feel unwelcome, but to portray a character players can feel connected to and remember. I realize the fact that I wrote this in second person betrays this notion to some extent (“YOU, YOU. YOU”), which is why I’m open to your gender suggestions, but it’s starting to feel like I’d be playing favorites if I included just gender choice, or just gender and sexual orientation, rather than gender, SO, ethnicity, economic bracket, etc. I’m already asking players to suspend their disbelief and accept that Clyde is from a background of economic struggle and crime, so I guess that’s why his gender, SO, ethnicity took the backseat.

I’m looking through these forums for posts on gender choices and other games, so I’ll see if anyone has had to make a similar workaround and hope that helps me. Again, thank you for your thoughtful comments and interest, FairyGodfeather. They are very much appreciated.


#20

Bonnie and Clyde? :wink: The story is well written with a very interesting plot. I love how every character has a distinct personality that clearly shows, especially Bonnie. Can’t wait to see more, good luck with it!