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.
I hope you are all as safe, well, and financially stable as can be achieved during these trying times!
How can I play?
A discerning query that illustrates your percipience! To play the demo, please follow this link:
How can I Tumble… Err… you know what I mean.
I appreciate your interest! Please follow this link:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For real, why are you so annoying?
I am encouragable incorrigible. Please accept my deepest apologies.
Please refer to the second post below for more background about the story itself, including character profiles!