Nocturnal Aurora, Book 1: Sin of Sloth (WIP: Alpha | Update #1: 12/23/2020)

Welcome, dearest reader, to my first ChoiceScript game, which also happens to be my first proper work of fiction shared in a fairly public setting as well as my first true programming endeavor. :smiley:

I hope you are all as safe, well, and financially stable as can be achieved during these trying times!

Description

How can I play?

A discerning query that illustrates your percipience! To play the demo, please follow this link:
ALPHA DEMO

How can I Tumble… Err… you know what I mean.

I appreciate your interest! Please follow this link:
TUMBLR

Basic Background

Who even are you?

An excellent question! I am Sam-I-Am a lifelong avid reader, a longtime partaker of interactive fiction, and a very recent lurker on the Choice of Games Forums. I’ve always wanted to be a writer, in a part-time if not necessarily full-time capacity. (Rest assured that I’m very much aware of how unlikely the former is and how difficult the latter is; it is a minor wish, not a goal.) In any case, I decided to try my hand at writing through this format, for what seems like a truly wonderful community. :sparkling_heart:

What’s all this, then?

Nocturnal Aurora is a work in progress in every sense of the term; please be aware that the scope, premise, plot, and even title of this project is subject to change as creativity (or dullness) strikes, although not without good reason.

For the nonce, it is a tale about demons, set in a multiverse parallel to our own. In particular, each universe has its own so-called lesser demons that are more akin to apex predators than to forces of nature, in contrast to the reputed greater demons that are thought to exist on a more fundamental, multiversal scale. Having said that, lesser demons are certainly supernatural – at least to our limited understanding – for all intents and purposes. These entities are both like and unlike the common connotations carried by the word “demon.”

The Seven Deadly Sins, seven powerful lesser demons who represent the Seven Heavenly Virtues, actually, and are just misunderstood the sins after which they are respectively named (or were the sins named after them?), have attacked Earth with currently unknown designs. In particular, they happened to target your hometown as the base of their operations, and it looks like it is up to you to do something about it.

Why would demons bother with this? They are constrained by their need to possess human vessels to manifest on Earth, and their powers are drastically limited in turn. Why can’t you ignore this and instead just drink copious amounts of caffeinated beverages, or avalanche your sorrows with delicious cookies, or take a nice, hot shower with a good loofah? Life sucks. Were you chosen to stop them? Alas, no. Do you have the ability to? Quite possibly! Will you try? Well, yes; you don’t really have a choice in that regard, assuming you opt to play. Will you succeed? That probably depends on your decisions!

Besides the obvious plot impetus, the demons are meant to serve as demonstrations of the sins and all that they represent within us, and the story is intended to be character-driven with something meaningful to say. (It probably won’t be, since I’m bad, but that is the hope!)

Please read the introductory section included in the Stats Screen in-game for more information!

How long will this work be?

I am admittedly not certain. My current expectation is that this will comprise a series of seven books, but I have no range in mind for total or playthrough wordcount for any of them. Furthermore, the story might expand. If it does grow, I imagine I will consider writing multiple pieces in the same universe; in such an event, I might compact this work into one single, large volume – which would probably be advisable for a first attempt anyway. We shall see!

The first book in the series may be relatively short, but hopefully not excessively so. The last (seventh) book is likely to be quite long. I cannot make any claims regarding the others.

There is also the possibility I simply decide to succumb to my laziness time constraints and abandon this project entirely, since I have clearly learned nothing from perusing such fables as the story of Icarus. Hopefully I will make a better decision than this. :yum:

How frequently will you update?

Unfortunately, given my real-life obligations, I imagine I will only be able to update this story infrequently and without any real regularity, and cannot necessarily offer large amounts of changes when I do update.

We shall see if circumstances change for any reason, but please do not expect too much in this respect for the time being.

Points of Contact

Your presence here is already unbearable, so I don’t know why I ask, but do you happen to have a Tumblr or something like that?

This thread will be the hub of this project and will probably be the best way to contact me.

You may also visit my Tumblr linked above if you would prefer that platform for any reason, such as asking barely relevant but fun questions. :stuck_out_tongue:

I will try to check in on both this thread and the Tumblr as often as I can! Please be aware that I intend to read and consider all feedback and other posts; if I am not able to respond to you, it will almost certainly be due to limitations of time, and because I wish to avoid replying to every last thing – as I am otherwise wont to do – and thereby spamming. I sincerely apologize in advance for such an offense.

If you wish to discuss anything privately, you may certainly PM me!

I may consider opening accounts on other websites if time allows, provided I am able to figure them out, if it might help foster discussion and community.

Stuff to which to (Not) Look Forward

Will there be romance?

There will be romance, and it will naturally be optional! I want to strike a balance between the extremes of having romance permeate the main plot completely and of having it barely register on the side, so as to both reward those who pursue romance and to not make those who choose not to engage in romance feel like they are missing out on everything.

Since this is planned as the first book in a heptalogy, you will probably only “lock in” a romance towards the end of the book if you were pursuing one. I will try to allow for opportunities to break up with people and to date others (or the same people again if you maintain a positive relationship). However, at some point in the middle books, I will expect players to have chosen: either a steady significant other from the options available at that point, or no one.

Will there be bromance?

There will certainly be bromance, as well as sismance or womance – or an actually clever female equivalent of the word that I am not nearly witty enough to think of.

In any case, the story will feature a shameless amount of sibling affection, although the frequency and intensity of it depends on player choice to at least some extent. Kynaston and Kiara will always love you, though. :two_hearts:

This is not just limited to your siblings, as family is more than blood and a name. Friendship is an important part of this series!

Will there be hanky-panky?

For a number of reasons, primarily to facilitate publishing if it comes to it, I have made the decision to write the game at a rating that would range from PG-13 to R under the MPA film rating system if it were a movie – something like Moderate+ to Adult in some book content rating systems.

That is, the entire story will be PG-13 – possibly R for some adult material – and as such, there will not be passages of an erotic nature.

I am hardly an expert in erotica despite having read the Fifty Shades series on a dare, and I do not want to draft graphic content just for the sake of it; but if it is popularly requested, I might write saucier stories as Patreon content or for Ko-fi submissions, provided I set those up in the future.

This additional content might be anything from extended canonical scenes (in place of what is fade-to-black in the story itself) to what would essentially be lascivious fan fiction for my own characters – it would be up to the commissioner (Ko-fi) or voters (Patreon)!

If you mean to ask in the overall sense of the existence of sexual intercourse in the story, then coitus will certainly eventually be implied at some point for all allosexual MCs in relationships, and it will be more generally referenced on occasion.

Will there be magick, or preternatural or supernatural entities or events beyond the Seven Deadly Sins themselves?

The genre is low fantasy, so any such considerations would be few in number but hardly nonexistent.

It is important to note that what is present in one particular planet in one particular galaxy in one particular universe is not necessarily representative, nor is it a sure descriptor of how that world has always been. It is also entirely possible that parallel worlds have everything from dragons to pixies. (In this multiverse, magick and that sort of thing has particular rules governing its very existence and its application. Some might be mentioned over the course of the story, as you start to see more of it.)

The answer, then, is “kind of.” There will no doubt be some stuff of that nature, and more as the story continues; and you will encounter more supernatural entities of different types as the narrative unfolds. If I can handle the branching (and actually writing the content without getting too far off course the main plot), you will be able to choose the extent to which you dive into the supernatural world – but I hope to save in-depth supernatural tales for other works set in the same multiverse.

I am happy to answer background questions if they do not spoil too much, with the stipulation that what is canonical to this work might change at any time.

However, most of the story will be character-driven, based on – hopefully – teamwork, and is meant to be representative of human solutions to supernatural (but, ultimately, fundamentally human) problems. That does not mean that you will not have supernatural solutions; I can say with confidence that you will at minimum meet an extremely ancient vampire, a proud but friendly trio of werewolves, and a practicing mambo, as examples. Rather, these solutions will be dependent on your own collective capabilities as people.

Feedback on Feedback

What type of feedback do you want?

I welcome feedback of any sort! I would be pleased to receive all manners of critique; readers are always the best guide for writers, particularly in early stages.

This includes criticisms of a smaller scope, often referred to as low-level feedback. This entails such corrections as typographical errors, grammatical or syntactical mistakes, coding flaws, and simple oversights. In particular, I would like to know if there are passages that are awkward or simply “sound wrong” even if they are not obviously incorrect, since these are the most difficult low-level mistakes for me to catch. Everything in this vein is exceedingly important and much appreciated!

This also includes criticisms of a larger scope, often referred to as high-level feedback. This entails such recommendations that pertain to the narrative itself as pacing, characterization, plotting, implications, themes, tone, and other literary devices. In particular, I would like to know how things “scan:” whether the mood is consistent where it should be and the tone of the diction always fitting, whether or not I am successfully showing rather than telling, and whether I am being appropriately illustrative without being blatantly expository. Everything in this vein is absolutely essential; I will read and carefully consider all feedback of this sort, and will be happy to improve my story on its basis if possible.

If you wish to discuss inclusivity, please peruse my note on it in the introductory section in-game beforehand so that we are on the same page. I welcome feedback of this type as well, within reason!

I don’t mind things getting a little rough, but please try to be gentle as you crush my hopes and dreams. :laughing:

Miscellaneous

How organized is this work?

At this point in time, this work is not very organized at all! I must admit that I simply threw some things down onto the page.

If Nocturnal Aurora proves somewhat popular, I will begin to take notes from my mental brainstorm, consider the construction of a timeline, and start to actually plot out the storyline and to write initial drafts of some later scenes in advance. No doubt such an endeavor will result in Book 1 taking five years to publish rather than “only” three, but I do want to make an appropriate effort. :yum:

For real, why are you so annoying?

I am encouragable incorrigible. Please accept my deepest apologies. :slight_frown:

Please refer to the second post below for more background about the story itself, including character profiles!

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Details

These details are placed here for your convenience, in case they might be helpful or answer some of your questions.

I am truly sorry for the terrible formatting of this entire post. As you might expect, it is not my forte. (Then again, neither is writing. :rofl:)


Changelog

23 December 2020 | Update #1

  • Alpha Demo uploaded for the first time.
    Includes: Introduction, Prologue, and Stats Screen sans Codex
    Features: Have a… dream?.. and some visions, and meet your family! Relive some blatantly expository memories, customize your sass machine character, and also refuse some delicious cookies, you monster. If only you weren’t so sick…
    Total Wordcount: 31,954 including code; 22,971 excluding code. (It is a little short, for which I apologize.)
Next Update(s)

The next update will include the following:

  • The code will be cleaned up as much as possible, and simplified where necessary if I can learn how to accomplish that.
    The Prologue will be converted into Chapter 1, and potentially fleshed out in some areas. For context, the Prologue / future Chapter 1 was originally conceived as massive and part of a single book, and as such was cut. If readers think I cut too much from it or paced it poorly, I would be happy to rework it.
    A proper Prologue, written in the third person from a different perspective, will be added before the repurposed Chapter 1.
    The personality system will (hopefully) be completely overhauled. This does mean that save files will no longer work and will have to be reset, but the Prologue / future Chapter 1 should be short enough that the inconvenience is manageable.
    Hopeful Projection: January 15, 2021

The update after the next one will include the following:

  • At least one part of Chapter 2 will be published. This will be where you meet your best friends, albeit on different routes.
    Hopeful Projection: February 26, 2021

Note on Character Profiles

For the below characters, the “about,” “interests,” and especially “characteristics” sections are by no means comprehensive! They are merely brief summaries of some of the most obvious traits of the characters. These profiles are subject to change at any time, and I will want to edit them to be more accurate and to reduce overlap. Please do not hesitate to make suggestions based on what you see of them in-game, or more abstractly if they seem too similar to or imbalanced against each other.

Ages are based on the start of the story. The MC only recently turned twenty-one, as will be revealed.

Note on Romantic Opportunities (ROs)

I hope to make the ROs different enough from each other that each is worth pursuing, but not so much so that players with characters of different sexual orientations might feel that they are “missing out” if one or two prove to be particularly popular.

All ROs will be pansexual (save for Izzy, who will be asexual and panromantic) so as to be accessible to all characters, and to better distinguish the smaller number. However, they will have preferences that will matter in how easy it is to romance them, and with certain romantic scenes.

There is no other canonical sexual orientation for these characters: they are pansexual (asexual for Izzy) and panromantic, and have been introduced in the story as such. Under the hypothetical that they were gender-locked, their preferences could potentially have served as indicators of their sexual orientations.

There will be one to two additional ROs introduced in each future book, with the exception of the seventh and last for a number of reasons, and possibly the sixth since it would be too close to the endgame. These will provide a greater variety of backgrounds and interactions, including the Enemies to Lovers trope, among others.

Unfortunately, polyamory is not in the works at this time. I might consider an option with Izzy and Bogdasha, but even if it is implemented, it will not be in the first book: you will effectively “bring” the other into your relationship, in such an event. The reason for my reluctance is simply the difficulty of coding it; I am not a programmer, and have only just started using ChoiceScript.


Characters: You

Main Character (hereafter “MC” or “Pumpkin”): {FirstName} {MiddleName} Möller


(optional nickname, either used commonly or by family and friends; “pumpkin” is an endearment commonly used by their siblings)

Gender: Determinable: male, female, or nonbinary; cis or trans for the former two. Pronouns are determinable between they/them, xe/xer, she/her, or he/him, regardless of gender.

Age: 21 years old

Height: Determinable abstractly; i.e., very short to very tall.

Ethnicity: Skin color is customizable and can imply ethnicity if you would like, but is not necessarily an indicator. (Your surname and your family’s forenames are reflective of a partially set background, but not of a particular nationality or ethnicity.)

Appearance: Determinable. Skin color is customizable; the general color is shared with your siblings. Hair color is customizable and shared with your sister. Eye color is customizable and shared with your brother.

Sexual Orientation: Determinable. You can opt to be asexual or allosexual. For romantic preferences, you can be male-attracted (gay or straight, depending), female-attracted (gay or straight, depending), bisexual (male- and female-attracted), skoliosexual (nonbinary- and trans-attracted), or pansexual. At this time, there is no support for being aromantic without being asexual, nor for being demisexual or demiromantic (beyond setting your own pace to the extent you can), nor for romantic attraction not matching sexual attraction; this is due to the extreme scope of such an undertaking. I am contemplating whether or not to have the game request the MC’s sexual orientation directly, including the question of asexuality. Given the availability of the ROs to all characters and the expectation that you choose Cam’s gender, you could simply flirt with whomever you wish, from no one to everyone, and leave sexual and romantic orientation implied.

Special Notes: Although there are certain constraints of behavior and many restrictions of origin due to the narrative, you are your own person and can essentially be considered a mostly-blank slate. Having said that, there are certain “templates” that are expected of you (or, rather, of the player). They will not be overly restrictive, nor will they require always making the same types of decisions, but the game might be coded around archetypes which may not perfectly fit the type of character you wish to play. Will you help save the world? Hopefully! Will your path there matter? Probably! Will certain personalities make things easier or harder? Assuredly! Will playing to your strengths be important? Definitely![/indent]

Characters: Family

Kynaston “Kyn” Möller


(“Kyn” is a very common nickname; there is another customizable appellation gifted by the MC, used among the family and by Domokos)

Gender: Male

Age: 27 years old

Height: 183 cm (6’0")

Ethnicity: No canonically implied ethnicity.

Appearance: Skin color a similar shade as MC’s. Ear-length and spiky black hair; usually with a T-shaped stubble. Eye color the same as MC’s.

Sexual Orientation: Bisexual and Demibiromantic

Characteristics: Congenial, almost to an annoying extent; Conscientious and perhaps overly Mindful; Compassionate; Wise; Gregarious

Profession: Psychiatrist, recently completed his first year of residency.

Interests: Reading a lot; Baking; Engaging in all manners of outdoor recreational activities, especially kayaking; Playing chess; Playing association football; Singing surprisingly well, not that he would ever admit to it

About: Your brother, approximately six-and-three-quarters years your senior, and an absolute sweetheart. Although almost unconditionally kind and unfailingly cheerful, there seems to be a certain melancholy about him from the loss he has experienced, exacerbated by the sudden fatal illness of his beloved fiancée Miriam two years past. (He is the only sibling old enough to remember your maternal grandfather and your paternal grandparents, and to fully remember life with your parents.) This serves to make him all the more protective of his remaining family, and of his friends. He was effectively the parent – and, when he turned eighteen, legal guardian – to your sister and especially to you for much of your life. He learned to cook (decently, but not nearly as well as Kiara) and bake (wonderfully) for the two of you. Fiercely vigilant and extremely caring, he sometimes comes across as overbearing; this realization probably hurts him more than it does you. He can read people like the books he always has his nose in. Adorably or annoyingly, he likes his puns – most of them bad.



Kiara “Kia” Möller


(“Kia” is a very common nickname; there is another customizable appellation gifted by the MC, used among the family and by Nagi)

Gender: Female

Age: 24 years old

Height: 165 cm (5’5")

Ethnicity: No canonically implied ethnicity.

Appearance: Skin color a similar shade as MC’s. Hair color the same as MC’s; it is almost always arranged in a waterfall braid, almost down to her navel. Sea-green eyes.

Sexual Orientation: Asexual and Aromantic

Characteristics: Extremely Intelligent; Affable once you get to know her, but largely Introverted; Contemplative; Dutiful; Polished but Jittery

Profession: Senior Service Fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (Yes, she has a Ph.D. at that age – more than one, in fact.) Rarely discusses her work due to having signed multiple non-disclosure agreements.

Interests: Isolating and characterizing novel bacterial strains; Researching perfect energy efficiency; Playing chess; Composing music; Cooking; Watching theater; Reading on the rare occasions she still can

About: Your sister, approximately three-and-one-quarter years your senior, and a veritable genius. Her small stature belies her energy, which is fairly nervous. The dryness of her intermittent humor is surpassed only by her brilliance. During her teen years, she often helped your brother raise you and sometimes served as a voice of reason to his occasional overprotectiveness. She also learned to cook for the two of you, much to the delight of your taste buds. (Kyaston had previously done the same, but although he is by no means a bad chef, he is only passable – rather unlike his superlative status as a baker.) Although she is able to make ingenious inductions and deductions, this trait also lends to her a proclivity to have her head in the clouds during serious moments. She can do some pretty impressive mental math and entertained you as a youth in this way many times, a cute display of affection that people often incorrectly would not attribute to her. That is not to say that the descriptor of “aloof” cannot sometimes apply to her, albeit mistakenly: she can seem out of it when she gets lost in her thoughts, which race quickly.

Characters: Major Companions (and possible ROs)

Ikhlas Isadora “Izzy” Asante


(“Izzy” is used often, but only in informal settings; “Ikhlas” is preferred in formal settings)

Gender: Female

Age: 20 years old

Height: 178 cm (5’10")

Ethnicity: Ghanaian

Appearance: Toasted brown (deep) skin. Neck-length, wild, and corkscrew black hair; variously and painstakingly worn in a ballet bun or a fishtail braid just below her shoulders. Chocolate brown eyes.

Sexual Orientation: Asexual and panromantic. No preference; has no experience.

Characteristics: Smart; Sassy, but quite Sweet; Idealistic yet not naïve; Reliable; Obliging

Profession: Student, studying physics; hopes to attend graduate school for condensed matter physics.

Interests: Studying (i.e., reading nonfiction in her field); Playing the violin; Watching classic movies and carefully curated television; Playing standard 52-deck card games; Relaxing at the beach; Watching birds

About: One of your best friends, whom you have known since fourth grade: for twelve years. She is about two months younger than you. You became friends the same day you met, when she coolly but calmly talked down a would-be bully mocking your deceased parents, and subsequently comforted you with a hug and her sole lunch cookie. Izzy has constantly been your lifeline – literally during an ill-advised kayaking expedition surreptitiously following Kynaston when you were thirteen, nearly giving him a heart attack; but also figuratively, helping you care about and be part of the world outside your immediate family despite all the loss you have suffered. As dependable as she is agreeable, you have learned to rely on her consistency – especially so once you all but forced Kia and Kyn to think about themselves and live their own lives after your eighteenth birthday. Izzy can, in turn, look to you for assistance with all matters. She is quiet and observant, which means her jokes tend to be few in number but clever.



Bogdan “Bogdasha” Solovyov


(“Bogdasha” is a diminutive, used only by family and close friends)

Gender: Male

Age: 21 years old

Height: 170 cm (5’7")

Ethnicity: Russian

Appearance: Almond beige (fair) skin. Chin-length, neat, and straight blond hair; maintained five-o’-clock shadow. Icy blue eyes.

Sexual Orientation: Pansexual. No preference; has experience with men and women.

Characteristics: Debonair; Teasing and Flirtatious; Silly yet Prudent; Gallant; Helpful

Profession: Student, studying drama performance; hopes to be a theater actor.

Interests: Dancing; Hiking; Astronomy; Playing video games; Watching B movies both for criticism and for entertainment; Engaging in physically demanding volunteer work; Bowling

About: One of your best friends, whom you have known since seventh grade, when he transferred to your middle school: for nine years. He is about five months older than you. Bogdan quickly befriended you and Izzy when, shrugging off the attentions of most of the student body, he approached the two of you during lunch and politely requested to sit at your table. Izzy had been crying due to her parents’ impending divorce, and he had prepared a few apropos jokes and advice from his own experience in order to console her: a move no less compassionate for its relative transparency. Much like Izzy, Bogdasha constantly and pleasantly fulfills everything that can be expected of a best friend, and you have depended on him to cover you for everything from imprudent absences from class to breaking into rooms in shooter games, as he has relied upon you. He has all the charm and wit of a stereotypical actor with none of the conceit or affectedness, and ironically – considering his personal charisma – can become overly attached to others more quickly than he should.



“Cam” [Camille for f!Cam; Cameron for m!Cam] Flamand


(“Camille” / “Cameron” and “Cam” are generally used interchangeably by acquaintances)

Gender: Depends on player choice. Either Female (Trans MtF) or Male (Trans FtM).

Age: 23 years old

Height: 175 cm (5’9")

Ethnicity: French Canadian

Appearance: Sand beige (light) skin. Variable-length, loosely curled strawberry blond(e) hair: Camille currently wears a pixie wedge; and Cameron currently wears a modern mohawk with curls loose, and is clean-shaven. Steely grey eyes.

Sexual Orientation: Pansexual. Prefers men and women; has experience with women and men.

Characteristics: Courageous; Disciplined; Elegant; Genuine and Serious

Profession: Electrician and all-around handyworker.

Interests: Gardening; Painting; Listening to music; Collecting sea glass; Running; Camping; Homebrewing

About: Cam seems unflinchingly calm at all times, which indubitably serves them well when working with electricity and the foundations of buildings and of relationships. This tranquility carries into their demeanor and their bearing, granting them a rare grace and a trustworthy face as well as vibe. You met them about fourteen months ago, when they managed to track you home to politely return the laptop you had left at the café during an especially hectic day, which initiated a friendship that possibly made it all worth it. The two of you got to talking about a variety of different topics, and you realized that they were acquainted with Izzy after having met her at the Burke Museum. Then there was nothing for it than to gradually bring Cam into your group. Although your respective schedules and obligations limit the time you can spend together, you have only grown closer with each meeting, and you probably consider them to be more of a friend than most of the peers in your university or trade school (whichever you attend) with whom you are on a first-name basis.

Special Notes:
Cam is the only major gender-variable character, at least in the first book. I write my characters as people foremost, and gender identity inevitably results in distinctions that I personally feel are important to preserve. However, to me, Cam feels homogenous whether they are Camille or Cameron; there may be minor differences to differentiate the two, but they will largely be very similar for that reason. Please note that this decision has nothing to do with Cam being trans; it is simply happenstance that this character as conceived suited gender variability most. I decided to include said variability to provide an additional RO for those who might be attracted to women but not men or vice versa. There is no “default” at this time, because the expectation is that the player will always choose Cam’s gender.



Domokos “Dom” Chávez [‡]


(“Dom” is preferred in most situations)

Gender: Male

Age: 26 years old

Height: 185 cm (6’1")

Ethnicity: Mixed Peruvian and Hungarian

Appearance: Golden beige (medium) skin. Short, messy, and tightly curled dark brown hair with a tousled top; chinstrap beard. Warm hazel eyes.

Sexual Orientation: Pansexual. Prefers women and nonbinary people; has experience with women.

Characteristics: Ebullient; Playful; Principled; Rational and Objective; Cautious

Profession: Lawyer specializing in environmental law.

Interests: Writing; Calligraphy; Netflix and Chilling (actually, not euphemistically); Woodworking; Pottery; Playing the piano; Trivia

About: Your brother’s best friend since childhood, Dom has been a fixture in your life for sixteen years. Although he is quite mischievous, managing to drag his best friend Kynaston “I don’t even jaywalk” Möller into playing lighthearted pranks and getting up to a number of different silly things, he is simultaneously rational and vigilant, being the first to take things seriously and to protect others if the need arises. While he did customarily treat you as the annoyance that is one’s best friend’s younger sibling, it had always been accompanied with genuine fondness and mindfulness; he is happy to take you with him to places despite his halfhearted protests, and often acted as a more traditional older brother by being the one to get you in trouble with your guardian (initially your Aunt Airlia, and later Kyn). Domokos’s exuberance matches Kynaston’s perfectly, although Dom’s brand is more reserved and roguish than Kyn’s earnestness. His love for nature is passionate, as is his appreciation of pop culture references.

‡ Special Notes ‡:
Domokos will be the only possible RO who can be part of a “love triangle” of sorts, at least in the first book. However, a true triangle will never develop. Kynaston has had feelings for Domokos for at least one year, but he has hidden them well and has not acted on them because he characteristically considers it selfish to move on from his fiancée Miriam, whom he naturally loved very much – and still does. It will be possible to simultaneously pine after Dom while pushing him and Kyn together, to simply establish a romantic relationship with Dom yourself (whether or not you are aware of Kyn’s crush), or to set the two of them up without feelings of your own.
The relationship between Kyn and Dom will be developed and clarified in the story itself, but I will be happy to answer questions about this phenomenon, provided doing so does not spoil too much.
I do want to make it clear that I personally believe soulmates very well exist, but not that they are limited. That is to say, people can have more than one soulmate (meaning Kynaston can have another true love even though Miriam passed away), and soulmates are formed and confirmed by the existence of a consistently strong and healthy romantic relationship (meaning either the MC or Kyn could get together with Dom, hopefully with the resultant couple being extremely happy together). I fully believe that either the MC and Dom or Kyn and Dom could and would make a great couple, and in the former case, Kyn would one hundred percent be for it. I trust this will ameliorate dissatisfaction some people might – understandably – feel!



Nagi Nakano


(no common nickname; sometimes “Nagi-chan” to Kiara and occasionally to Kynaston)

Gender: Female

Age: 25 years old

Height: 168 cm (5’6")

Ethnicity: Japanese

Appearance: Warm beige (medium) skin. Shoulder-length, usually neat, and wavy auburn hair; often worn in a ponytail extending just above her neckline. Emerald green eyes.

Sexual Orientation: Pansexual. Prefers men; has experience with men and nonbinary people.

Characteristics: Leaderly; Hardworking; Innovative; Meticulous and Organized; Patient

Profession: Senior-level scientist at the CDC, on track to becoming a senior executive.

Interests: Archery; Horseback riding; Origami; Reading; Geocaching; Knitting; Playing board games, most commonly chess (because Kia and Kyn both love it)

About: Your sister’s best friend since college; thus, since Kia was fourteen, so you have known Nagi for ten years. Nagi is the only friend who truly knows Kiara intimately, given her sometimes guarded nature and naturally introverted personality. One of those people whose every move serves to exhibit their competence and capability, Nagi seems to excel at everything she puts her mind to. She is the one who taught Kiara all about makeup and wardrobe, although one might say the student has since surpassed the master. Being an only child herself, she delights in spending time with her sister-in-all-but-blood Kiara, as well as her claimed elder brother Kynaston and her claimed younger sibling, you. Where Kyn is parental and lenient as well as embarrassingly adoring, Kia is doting and vigilant as well as more reasonable than her brother in her protectiveness, and Dom is impish but careful, Nagi is propense to being a confidante who convinces you to try new things and grants you independence to attempt them on your own in spite of her own protective streak. A scientist with an eye towards politics, Nagi is on track to bridging this gap by functioning as an executive in a governmental organization.



Rimon Sabry


(rarely called “Ri” by close acquaintances)

Gender: Nonbinary (singular “they/them/theirs” pronouns)

Age: 29 years old

Height: 173 cm (5’8")

Ethnicity: Mixed Israeli and Egyptian

Appearance: Golden bronze (tan) skin. Chin-length, carefully intentionally messy, black hair, with buzzed sides and a textured top. Brilliant amber eyes.

Sexual Orientation: Pansexual. Prefers nonbinary people; has experience with all.

Characteristics: Scrupulous; Subtle as well as Scholarly; Imaginative; Focused; Adventurous

Profession: Part-time graphics designer; part-time tutor. Formerly a nurse practitioner.

Interests: Programming and designing graphics; Collecting antiques, with a focus on books and manuscripts; Reading; Travelling; Playing chess; Embroidery; Working on cars

About: You know very little about Rimon, although you have encountered them at the public library and at various bookstores a few times and have seen firsthand their love for both reading and collecting books. They were at once distant and courteous in your conversations at these venues. Their wardrobe belies their wealth, being functional and understated but hardly exorbitant; the affluence is evident only from their bids at auctions. Although Rimon is not quite a neighbor, you have seen them at the community center on occasion, usually donating souvenirs from their travels.

Special Notes: I very much wish to include at least one more nonbinary RO in future books if I am able. Unfortunately, I had to set the scope at some point, both for the length and breadth of the first book and for the starting core group. The fact that Rimon is the person with whom the MC is least acquainted when the story begins is entirely incidental to the fact that they are the sole nonbinary RO; I truly apologize if it seemed otherwise. Hopefully this does not inconvenience anyone wishing to romance them primarily or exclusively, as Rimon is fairly experienced in relationships and is willing to move faster relative to other ROs if they find that they like someone.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

As I have yet to be asked any questions, there are no inquiries that have been frequent. Keep an eye on this space. <3

You may also visit the following page on my Tumblr:
Frequently Asked Questions

Unasked Questions (UQ)

Due to the character limit, this will be located solely on my Tumblr. Please visit the following page:
Unasked Questions

35 Likes

I… suggest that, your very first post also needs some hide details


Believe me when I say I’m not giggling like a manic and whispered ‘finally’…oh wait, don’t mind me, there’s already some author doing this, as in ‘you have a crush on someone also your siblings have a crush on’, but I’d say I’m quite a bit happy to see another one, and a potential love triangle, sign me up!


Also, even though I appreciate your effort to make the status page fluffy, but… someone might say it’s a bit tiresome when you have to click some extra options to finally get the access to the actual status page.

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I must say… of all the things, I’m impressed with how organized you are. You even made a second post, which includes a section dedicated to the changelog (did you knew beforehand you cannot edit your first/main post after a certain amount of time? This will facilitate things).

First impressions can be important. I am more compelled and hopeful towards games whose author shows a modicum of care, including how they present the game to their viewers (and that includes the main thread dedicated to their work) than those who just dump some barely formatted text and don’t even mention what kind of feedback they are looking for, plus other stuff…

In other words, you’re off to a good start. :slight_smile:

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The writing is really good and quite interesting. But I do have to be honest and say that the amount of information I had to get through just to start the story was exasperating. It was all really long-winded. Though, I am severely ADHD and have no patience, so I recognize I’m much more irritable than others.

You definitely set a good tone and thematic from early on, even if it wasn’t my cup of tea. Obvious time and care went into this. Shows love!

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I have to say, it’s pretty good but I would recommend you to make the stat screens become one instead of dividing them apart, those quotes from Bible (?) are interesting at first but it become more annoying after, you can put our skill stats and personality stats at the main screen and put stat explanations at another category

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I second what @IvoryOwl said.
Regarding the stat screen, making them into one will be better for the long run I think because going through 3 pages to visit one screen seems too tedious in the long run for persistent and stubborn readers like me who check the stats after every trait selection and major stats- affecting decisions.
The writing style is simply majestic. The subtle line that the writing treds between humour and basic word flow is engaging and provokes me to dwelve further into the book with renewed enthusiasm.
Although, this was my first playthrough, I didn’t experience any typos( I may have overlooked them).
Considering interactions with main characters, the chat with the RO’s is on point and my personal opinion is that, although the MC’s interactions with their brother and sister is wholesome but it still lacks some spice. Spice, in the sense, a tad bit of humour and friendly sibling rivalry on their part towards the MC. Don’t get me wrong, I like how the interactions are right now, but they seem a bit too caring and simple towards the MC, while in real life, these interactions are more energetic, humorous including some banter infused sibling rivalry and well more like how you would converse with your birth siblings whom you’ve known throughout your life than with cousins whom you interact with fairly decently. They are both different types of interactions.
Hope I made any sense, sorry I’m no good with words!
Although I say this, I feel this is fairly a minimal issue against the limelight and regarding that, interactions with Kiara are more or less okay but with kym I think the caring nature needs to be dialed down a bit. A bit mind you!
Overall, a good read and I’m anxiously looking foreward to future updates as and when you can provide them.
On a minor note, I do like the reminder for ‘save game’ at the end. Indeed, chivalry is not dead. It’s the little things that matter, after all.
Cheers🍻

2 Likes

I haven’t read the demo yet, but you have a very clever way of writing. It’s obvious from the way the first post it’s written. Also, demons are cool and I’m always curious to see how others write them.

Good luck with the game! I’ll come back with feedback when I have some time to read :blush:

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I love your writing style. I enjoyed your humor :blush:

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I have to agree with the others, your writing style had me hooked into the story and getting to know the family felt pretty special to me so I’m gonna go ahead and bookmark this one to keep track of your progress with it.

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Looks good I’ll give it a go

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I have really enjoyed this demo thus far as your humour is brilliant. But the save system currently seems to take you straight to the stat screen, and as is the case with all cogs it means you are unable to continue.

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Hello,

I happen to also have a similar set up in my own story where readers can toggle ON and OFF if they want the story to explicitly tell them what Skills are being tested in a skill check. You can read more about the multi-replace command here, but this is what it would look like in my code.

*create skill_check true

*fake_choice
         #Dodge. @{(skill_check = true) [Agility]|}
                 You dodge out of the way.
         #Brace. @{(skill_check = true) [Endurance]|}
                  You brace yourself for the blow.

For yours, it could look something like this:

*create flirt_options true

*fake_choice
          #I wink at him. @{(flirt_options = true) [<3]|}

OR

@{(ted_talk = true) The brunette's efforts immediately become apparent; I leap to ted the hay as had been instructed by Ted during his talk, taking care to unwind only from the unrolled bale. She smiles at me gratefully.|}

You could then create a choice in the stats menu to toggle these hints on and off.

*fake_choice
        *if flirt_options = true
                   #Turn flirt hints off.
                         *set flirt_options false

Or you could do a *selectable_if command to reduce indents.

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My sincerest thanks to everyone for their kindness! Your considerate words are much appreciated, and help assure me that I am not simply wasting everyone’s time. :revolving_hearts:

Regarding the unwieldy Stats Screen: Thank you for your feedback, and I truly apologize for making it that way! I will try to push an update this week to require fewer clicks, hopefully sooner rather than later.

I would agree with you; thank you for the suggestion!

Unfortunately, I can no longer edit my post, but I will be sure to collapse the text under detail tags if I am able to again.

The barely competent writer in me delights in this nefariousness, although the incompetent coder in me despairs at handling it. :laughing:

I think it will be a cute dynamic, with options for plenty of angst and fluff alike.

I am glad you like the idea, and I wish you the best of luck in your own endeavors!

Thank you so much for the kind words! They truly mean a lot, and inspire confidence in me to continue. :sparkling_heart:

To answer your question, I was not certain that the first post could not be edited after a while, but I am slightly familiar with Discourse and thought that might be the case. Thank you for bearing with me; I know it is easy to overlook a second post.

You are definitely correct; it was long-winded! I added an option to skip to the settings, and to skip past the settings and go right into the prologue, for that very reason.

I will try to find a way to retain the information in a more manageable way.

That aside, thank you for the kind words! :smiley:

You made perfect sense; thank you for the feedback!

Unfortunately, the premise of the content makes it difficult to demonstrate the extent of the sibling relationships. They are obviously very caring, but they can absolutely be little shits teasing in the way only siblings can. However, situations in which the MC is sick and expository flashbacks like the ones written naturally bias the content towards fluff and serious demonstrations of love.

In the published demo, choices range from Kynaston using “lambkin” instead of “pumpkin” for an immature MC to injuring the pride of an MC who is a good baker. I will try to add a greater variety of spice, and would gladly welcome suggestions on how to accomplish that in context!

That said, I can certainly see where you are coming from, particularly if you played an earnest MC, since Kynaston tends to be more earnestly affectionate to an MC who is themselves earnest. Kyn can be pretty humorous, however, and I tried to add sibling banter in the kitchen scene – although one’s mileage may vary on how organic it seems.

If Kia seems fine to you, I will try to “tone down” Kyn nearer that level, though this is hard for me to pinpoint. Thus, consistent feedback on this sort of thing will be helpful, so thank you for that!

Thank you for the kind words, additionally. :grin:

I believe that is a bug in the interface of the DashingDon website and CJW’s save plugin. The best way to avoid that is to avoid saving on the Stats Screen (you can tell you are on it when “Return to the Game” is at the top left) or for five or more seconds after visiting it.

If you are consistently getting that bug, or if it seems to have nothing to do with you recently visiting the Stats Screen, please let me know! I have no idea what could be causing it, but I will certainly take a look.

Hello to you as well, and thank you so much for the information! :smiley:

Unfortunately, I am very bad at coding, so may I inquire how that is different from my existing code? That is, assuming you were sharing a more robust way to use multireplace. I apologize if I misunderstood! :sweat_smile:

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I had no idea there were so many types of cookies until I read this. I’ll keep other feedback to myself till probably later

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Ah, I apologize. I assume you didn’t know about multi-replace! My bad. I hadn’t read the entire demo so I didn’t see the parts where you have multireplace! :sweat_smile:

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Kynaston would like for me to relay to you that, though there may be eight major categories of cookies, there are hundreds of cookies and many more variations of each out there. Hopefully you get to taste them all! :cookie:

No need to apologize! It is extremely kind of you to offer such advice – and your examples certainly helps me to see whether I am doing it correctly.

In fact, it is quite surprising that I was already using that command. The safer assumption when it comes to ChoiceScript, or programming in general, is indeed that “I am not aware.” :yum:

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Yeah I am very familiar with that bug unfortunately :sweat_smile: but it most definitely is not that as, it seems to only happen in certain places, I could go back and find examples and images if you want, but I don’t want to spam this post with that sort of thing as I don’t know how to hide it etc.

Unfortunately, I have not been able to replicate the bug on my end yet; save files seem to work as expected.

As for the code, there is only one line that authors who upload to DashingDon have to use in order to enable the save plugin, and it seems to be written correctly.

Are you sure you are not still in the Stats Screen during the instances you mention? As others have said in this thread, the current demo involves a lot of unnecessary clicking, and it can be confusing to navigate – I intend to change that.

If you have not already, try deleting all your save files and trying again. Remember to only save if “Show Stats” is at the top left, rather than “Return to the Game.”

I’m sorry that this is happening! Hopefully trying again helps. :slightly_frowning_face:

You can “hide” content with the details BBCode, incidentally. That is, [details] before and [/details] after the content. You can also use [details=Text Here] in the beginning.

Text Here

Like so.

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I will try what you suggested, but I suspect it maybe a problem with my browser, as I’ve had problems before, or that I’m on mobile. Thanks anyway though and have a good day :smile:

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