Phoenix Rising | (updated - 09/15/23) (WIP) | Imperial Chinese Harem Political Intrigue

I’ve begun work on my new game Phoenix Rising. In it, you play a servant of the Imperial Palace trying to survive the twisty turny harem intrigue. Described as Quánmóu jù (权谋剧) or ‘Machiavellian Drama’, Phoenix Rising takes you into the treacherous, high-stakes world of the Imperial Court. If you can last to your 25th birthday, you’ll be free of service, and can leave the palace to live a better life outside. But will you find love within the Palace walls? Or will you climb into your Master’s Bed in order to earn yourself a place among the fluttering fairies of the Imperial Harem?

  • 5% complete
  • .75 Chapters, with prologue complete.
  • roughly 79,291 words
  • Updating every couple of months.

To play the demo, go here: Phoenix Rising Demo on MoodyInk
Phoenix Rising Demo on Dashingdon

  • Play as Male, Female or Nonbinary. Even select your own pronouns!
  • Select a sexuality which will affect how your character perceives those around you. The options are Allosexual Alloromantic (Romance and Sex go hand in hand!), Asexual Alloromantic (Sex sucks, but romance is good!), Allosexual Aromantic (Sex is good, Romance sucks!), Asexual Aromantic (Keep that romance/sex shit away from me!)
  • Use skills like Constitution, Athleticism, Charisma, Education, and Reasoning to navigate your way through Harem Intrigue and the daily rigours of servanthood.
  • Are you Bloodthirsty or Honorable? Brave or a Coward? Scheming or Genuine? Chaste or Hedonistic? Personality traits affect your choices!
  • Keep track of your possessions or steal from others!
  • Relationships can be affected by the trust you have earned! Be careful not to be too suspicious…
  • Relationships can be affected by how sexually or romantically attractive the RO finds you! Each RO has their own preferences!
  • Researching to respectfully implement playthroughs with common disabilities, such as mutism, missing limbs, poor eyesight, etc.
  • Male route says “Eunuch”! Is our character snipped? NO. It is simply that I needed a male specific, historically accurate term, and I was using Servant for the nonbinary route. Thanks to the magic of the Seal of Purity, none of the servants genitals have been altered in any way, and they CAN in fact have sexual relations. That said, if they’re caught it’s thought of as going AGAINST the spirit of the Seal of Purity, and so they can and will be punished. Hence why this is low-fantasy.
  • Are you going to put in save slots? - As I intend to put this game up on Hosted Games eventually, I’m not sure I want to implement such things. Not only that, I’ve tried to do that, and I wasn’t able to get it up and running. It errored out the entire game. So I think it’s better at this point not to.
  • Will there be a poly route? - As of right now, No. The setting doesn’t really allow for polyamorous relationships. See This Post for more information.
  • If we choose to enter the harem, are we choosing to romance Hao Chengling (the emperor/empress) automatically? - As the story stands right now, you can enter the harem and choose Hao Chengling as your heart’s goal, OR, you can enter the harem and cheat on Hao Chengling with your True love. Whom that might be is entirely up to you. Yes, it is just as dangerous as you might think to do so. Yes, you can still make that choice.

Patreon - Coming Soon
Discord - In progress
Code With Me series

Embark on a captivating journey through an Ancient Chinese Imperial Palace! Choose your path in a Tang Dynasty-inspired era, as you navigate harem intrigue for power or seek genuine love. With options for gay, straight, bisexual and asexual orientations, and the ability to play as male, female or nonbinary, with each Love Interest able to be Male, Female, Nonbinary or a random assortment of these, you can decide your destiny amidst royal drama and romantic pursuits. Experience the rich tapestry of ancient China in this immersive Choose Your Own Adventure Game.

TWs (so far)

Implied Child Abuse, On-Screen Child Neglect, On-Screen Maiming (NPC), Indentured Slavery (both PC and NPC), (in later updates) On-Screen Maiming of PC

Planned Love Interests

(All love interests can be Male, Female or Nonbinary, individually or as a group)
Hao Chengling- The Emperor/Empress who rules the country. A stern and stubborn person with a strong sense of justice.
Qin Bolin - A schemy servant with shitty luck, for whom loyalty is earned and when earned is absolute, until they are betrayed.
Xiong Ning - A naive physician, gentle and calm, who would love to meet someone they can protect and care for for the rest of their life.
Zhu Wenqian - An Imperial Guard and brother-in-law to Hao Chengling, who loves the PC, but is socially unable to marry them.
Kavar/Kavari/Kazhad of the House of Sasan - From Sasanian Egypt, they represent Byzantian Egyptian culture in the Emperor’s court. A talented musician and dancer, who was sent with the Sasanian diplomats. Slightly frivolous of personality, flirty and sweet, with a liking for danger.

  • If you are submitting errors (particularly code-related ones), it would be really helpful if you could provide a screenshot to go with it. That’ll really streamline my troubleshooting process. (ctrl+windows+s screenshots on windows computers)
  • Please feel free to check out updates at my Nascent Soul Studios tumblr page. You can leave comments there, or here. I’ll try to answer as many questions as I can, and would love ideas and suggestions! Please keep in mind, I may not use your suggestion, however.
  • I’d also like to see your stats by the demo’s end! It will help me rebalance stats/stat checks for upcoming editions of the demo.
Update Log
  • 01/14/24 - posted third Code With Me
  • 12/13/23 - Posted another Code With Me segment on Youtube.
  • 10/29/23 - decided not to do NaNoWrimo, and continue updating roughly monthly.
  • 10/15/23 - posted an excerpt (with code) on the October Writer’s Thread
  • 10/13/23 - Secured a full-time job, which starts 10/23/24. This may reduce time available to work on the game.
  • 09/26/23 - Moved Demo from Dashingdon to MoodyInk, in order to gain support for arrays. Also, reformated Update section so that most recent update is at the top, for easier viewing. Updated ROs with the new Romancable characters.
  • 09/15/23 - New Demo Uploaded! Enjoy the new updates to the demo, including new character creation options (naughty bits!) and a storyline! (not a full one, but just like, part of the first chapter.)
  • 09/15/23 - Posted an excerpt in the September Writer’s Thread
  • 09/05/23 - Posted a video of some of my work, you can view it here. Have almost finished 3/4 of the first chapter. Very, very behind.
  • 08/22/23 - Made executive decision to remove (temporarily) the disability system, as it requires a large amount of research before it can be implemented. Plans at this time are to implement it in a future update, after research has been performed.
  • 08/17/23 - Posted an Excerpt from the game on the August 2023 Writer Support Thread
  • 08/17/23 - made some changes to the Relationship system - Discuss it Here
  • 08/12/23 - Created WIP page, and uploaded demo to Dashingdon.
  • 08/10/23 - Set Up Tumblr Page. Nascent Soul Studios
  • 07/15/23 - Commenced writing
  • 07/15/23 - posted Interest check, received almost 20 likes.

((Thank you all for your patience with the formatting issues! And thanking @CJW especially for his assistance with figuring out the issue!))


Demo is currently set to private, and inaccessible at the moment.

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Try it now?

Ah hah! There it is. :smiling_face:

For the future, could you put in save slots?


Got a game-breaking bug when I chose to investigate the cubby incident, so don’t think I made it far but interested in the premise. One note, I believe you are using the word eunuch for all male house servants, if we play as male are we really eunuchs (castrated)? Or are you just using that word as interchangeable with male servant?


That’s a great question! I am just using it as a placeword for male servants, like Maid for female servants. I tried to make it clear that no one was actually castrated (the whole Seap of Purity thing) but I guess it didn’t quite go through. I’ll do some editing!

Could you add screenshots to your message, so that I can try and track down exactly where that happens?


Ah, I thought that was the case given the premise but the word just kept throwing me lol. I’ll try to recreate the bug for a screenshot.

This made me laugh quite a bit.


Hey, I’m having trouble finding it. Would you be willing to take stock of which choices you made to get there, and give me a list? I’m having a difficult time determining what might be wrong with line 798.

starting from chapter 1

  • The Tea Store
  • Besides, no matter what, simple jobs like this would keep me safe.
  • Zhong Luli
  • investigate this incident.
  • I’ll speak to each of your suspects, to see if they reveal something.(+CHA)
  • Perhaps an interrogation of each will help? (+CHA)
    And the game breaks after the last choice.

Thank you so much! And would you be able to take a screenshot of your stats and show me? Both the Virtues and the Skills pages, please. I think it might have something to do with the amounts in those variables, but I need to check.


Very nice premise with clear and accurate stats and attributes, i am a bit curious if it would be preferable to make a point or a numerical system for stats instead of percentages as to give the players an idea of whether a given stat has a high enough score, for example you usually don’t know if having a 60 or a 70 in a certain stat is high enough or if it would be a waste of points if you decided to advance it.

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The CHA option is bugged. I would tall about it now, but is the same bug, but here is the screenshot

And something strange, the link for the demo is not a link for me. Like, I can ctrl+c and ctrl+v, but I don’t think that was your idea.


Harem intrigue :eyes: Slight issue if I didn’t know beforehand which sexuality was what I would have a very confusing time I personally think you should ask for prefernce or smth but that might just be a me problem


I think “saved you from beatings” would work better and “You’ve managed to steal from your father’s study at night, and learnt knowledge for yourself.


The link isn’t working for me. I think you forgot to use the hyperlink thingy.

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