Relics of the Lost Age (WIP) - Submitted, demo removed

Welcome back, and congrats on making it through the semester!

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I greatly enjoyed the WIP, even though I started it on a whim without really knowing what to expect! The quality of WIPs can really vary, so I was pleasantly surprised to see the level this one had.

Some thoughts:

Maria

Anyway, I’ve got to say it’s really tragic that we won’t get Maria as a RO in the first book! I wasn’t sure who I was going to go for the romance, but I quickly decided to roll a MC still in love with her the moment she came into the picture :heart_eyes: The chance to daydream about her in the latest chapter just solidified my belief, what a delightful little scene lol Really shows that the MC can still carry quite the torch for the woman despite their current antagonistic relationship. Maria or bust!

I do have to wonder how you’ll go about setting up that particular content, tbh. Maria doesn’t seem especially receptive, given her goals and personality; she could change her stance if the MC saved her life or something like that, but given her personality, she might just keep despising them despite that.

Given the fact that Selfish is a stat and it controls stuff like greedy behavior and such, I’m pretty sure a Dr. Spillane that wants to get back with Maria will need to have at least a high selfish stat, which in turn will most likely mean they won’t really care for morals as long as they get a profit out of their adventures.

One thing I’d like to see would be her actually mellowing out and starting to respect you the more selfish you become if possible. Imagine a “you and I are not so different, after all” scene! It could be quite poignant in showing that the only difference between them is that the MC is nominally a “good guy” and only because they despise Nazis.

Cleopatra

To be quite honest, Cleopatra is probably my least liked companion character. This lessened in Chapter 4, but Chapter 3 was bad in this. This stems from issues that have already been voiced in the thread - I do not know how it was before since you edited the chapter with the feedback given, but I did feel at certain points that I was playing as the sidekick to the MC, that being Cleopatra.

I won’t repeat points already made and I don’t write this as a real criticism, just as an observation of my experience. As a character, Cleopatra didn’t click as it were for me.

How many chapters are there gonna be? We know there will be at least 6 (two for each companion - wonder how that would work, given that Zhu is dead:smirk:), but after that? Maybe two? An escape from the Semiramis and probably an epilogue, I’m guessing.

Well, I’ll be waiting eagerly for the next update. And then, the sequel. Maria García Pérez demands it so! :triumph:
PS. Her surnames should be accentuated, given they are Spanish ones. Source: am Spanish :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Thanks for your comments, I’m really happy you liked it! There will be one more major chapter, then an Endgame (which will resolve the framing narrative stuff and see you hopefully thwarting the Nazis’ wicked schemes with the Relics), and then an Epilogue. I’ll probably do the Endgame and Epilogue as a single update, so basically two more major updates and it will be finished!

Maria: I’ve had a lot of thoughts on her. She will change a little over the final portion of this book. I’m not going to give her a redemption arc, exactly - a lot of her appeal stems from her villainy! - but you will begin to see some sides to her character that you perhaps wouldn’t expect so far, especially in the Endgame.

Cleo: I agree, I think there’s still more work on her that needs to be done, especially in Chapter 3. I think the current version of Chapter 3 is a lot better than the version that I originally put out, thanks largely to the excellent pointers from Urban higher up in the thread, but there are still some issues with her. At present, I’m going to try to get to the end, and then rework Chapter 3 a bit after that.

And on Maria’s name: yes, there are quite a few words in there that should have accents on them but don’t, because when I was starting out I didn’t actually know how to include accents in a Notepad document (I really am that incompetent!) Again, once the full version is pushed, I’m going to do a full sweep and add in lots of accents where they are currently missing. That will be a fun job!

Thanks again for your comments! :grin:

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Can’t wait! I’m kinda terrified of the final showdown, because pretty much all the relics have been stolen again (guess getting filthy rich does have a downside to it! :grimacing:) and that means either the Nazis have them or some third party is also a player in this game. Not gonna be fun going against them all at the same thing, if that’s what’s going to happen lol

Maria: Definitely don’t give her a redemption arc! All characters are fine, some are great, but she just stands out (to me at least) and such a huge factor in that is the fact that she’s been unapologetically amoral so far, though not completely evil to the Nazi’s level. That said, I will appreciate a lot further complexity in her character, which is what I think you’re getting at.

Now I only need to get Amazonian on my side and we’ll have a power team for glory and riches right there! :sunglasses:

Cleopatra: I understand. Also BTW, two things I noticed regarding her: at some points in Ch4, the narrative seemed to be pushing me onto her not that subtly? I’m not sure if this is true for all paths, but I think I stayed as friends, didn’t pursue her at all romantically in ch3 and the narrative in ch4 sometimes came across as if we were starting to become an item lol

And I’m not sure if this is an error, but after the fight in the fort in Ch4, I think the MC reacted like Cleo had died when she was alive. I might be confusing her with Sam, though. It’s a bit where the MC is reflecting on Sam after they are gunned down during the post-battle wrap up. Her thoughts move towards a “she” and she quickly shoves it aside due to grief. Sorry I can’t post pictures, all my saves are past that section!

As for the accents, I should have probably considered something like that beforehand, my bad!

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Thanks again! The post-fort thing sounds like an error. I’ll take a look!

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Hey everyone, welcome to the amazing Art Assets Show and Tell post!

As I mentioned above, I have hired an artist to make me some assets for the game. Before we get to the pictures, I should say that the artist I hired is the extremely talented Michael Chang: you can see more details on him and his work here: Cover Art and/or Single-Page Illustration! His work is amazing, his prices are very reasonable and he’s a great collaborator. If you have a WIP and you will need someone to do your art, definitely consider hiring Michael. You won’t regret it!

First up, Michael did some amazing chapter headers for me. Each one reflects the culture and art history of the place where that chapter’s Relic comes from. I think they’re all great!

And last but by no means least, we have a stunning splash screen, which focuses on our recurring villains. It’s Maria, Schneider and Paulus, standing around in the desert from Chapter 1 looking badass and intimidating. I think it’s spectacular:

There’s one more image I still need, the store-front image. I will be sure to show that off when it’s ready. Hope you like them!

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This is go good! And that picture of our villains is superb!

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Wow! Those are awesome!

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Just so you know, the header for chapter 3 doesn’t read well in dark mode.

Anyway, these are amazing! :heart_eyes:

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Oh no! You should see a different version of the header in dark mode. I must have set it up wrong, I’ll take a look. Thanks!

EDIT: I think I’ve fixed it. You should get the special “dark mode” version of the Chapter 3 header now when you open the chapter. It works for me, anyway!

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So as you may have seen, I’ve had a ton of feedback this week, which has been great, please keep it coming! I spent yesterday and today addressing as much of it as I plan to for now, with the exception of a couple of jobs which I’m leaving for later (see below). I’ve made a multitude of minor tweaks, too many for me to do a full changelog, but the most significant changes are as follows:

  1. Added the chapter header images
  2. Included some new grandfather backgrounds (Indian, Russian and Jewish). At present, these backgrounds have precisely zero effect on gameplay, but when I’ve finished Chapter 6, I’m going to go back and make sure that each background gets at least one cool moment in the gameplay.
  3. Added a new conversation branch in Chapter 2 which lets players probe Zhu’s opposition to the Nazis.
  4. Made multiple changes to Chapter 4, including:
  • Provided better motivations for non-adventurous, non combat-focused MCs to undertake some very dangerous activities;

  • Added the option to defer the decision on whether or not to forgive Cleo;

  • Put in more customization of the text at Cleo’s funeral;

  1. Removed the bit where I dictated the MC’s response to Schneider’s comment in Chapter 1.

I tried to address the “I feel like Sam’s sidekick” comment, but I just ended up being puzzled by it. There really, really aren’t that many moments in this story when Sam can do something that the MC can’t. So in the end, I didn’t do anything about that at all.

Jobs which I intend to do but am deferring for now:

  1. Integrate the backgrounds more into the main story (will do this after Chapter 6);
  2. Work more on Cleo in Chapter 3 (again, will do this after Chapter 6);
  3. Address issues with the “flashback” structuring of the work (will do this after the whole thing is out in first draft).

In terms of new content, I reckon Chapter 6 will be good to go in about a week or so. Thanks for all the comments; it’s getting better all the time!

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Finally played chapters 4 and 5. So much fun!!! Chapter 4 is indeed a highlight with so much content plus the battle. Just wondering, are there consequences or rewards for doing the battle poorly or especially well? I didn’t do to well but seemed like everyone named made it. Was also fun causing a mess in Britain and ending up in debt to a gangster will be interesting… Probably will play again soon but focused on an esme/abdul romance as opposed to Cleo!

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Thanks, glad you liked it!

There are consequences if Cleo dies or if Sam gets injured. If you make it through the battle without either of those things happening, you’re basically OK!

The gangster debt is for another book, but yes, it absolutely will come back to bite Dr. Spillane in the future, you can be assured of that!

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Typos and grammar
Hi, there!

Hi there. I combed through the text files for the prologue and the first chapter. Unfortunately, I won’t have time to do it for the other ones, since it takes a lot of time. I might be able to do it in a couple of weeks from now.


First, I’d just like to point out some things I noticed which I did not include in the list below because of the sheer amount of annotations that would cause, and besides they could very well be a stylistic choice (in which case, just disregard me):

  • For the most part, you use the American Standard Spelling, but then sometimes you use the British one. It’s not a grievous faux pas by any chance, but I just thought of pointing that out just in case:
    ○ For the most part, you use honorifics with a period (Dr. Spillane) which is the American way, and sometimes without (Dr Spillane), which is the British one. I didn’t know if it was on purpose or an honest mistake;
    ○ Same thing with verbs suffixes -ize and -ise;
    ○ Same thing for directional adverbs (towards, onwards, forwards, backwards, etc.), however, in this case, most of the time you use the British Standard (with s) and only sometimes the American (without s).
    ○ Same thing for “academic” vocabulary, e.g.: you use “archaeologist”, which is British (as opposed to the American archeologist), but then uses “paleography”, which is American (as opposed to the British palaeography).
    Again, I don’t think this is a real issue. It’s just something that stood out to me because I’m a huge bore. :joy:
  • There were quite a few instances of double spaces between words;
  • Every single ellipsis (…) is separated from the preceding word by a space—which I can only imagine was on purpose, but I can’t imagine for what purpose. It’s not aesthetically pleasing and it’s not standard. :thinking:
  • On that note, sometimes ellipsis had more than three dots.

In order to expedite the feedback I used the following pattern:

  • line number
    original text
    suggested correction

prologue

• 20

3am, and you’re far from home.

Three a.m. and you’re far from home.

• 81, 120

You shoulder open the door and look around.

You shoulder the door open and look around.

• 149

man clad in a hole-ridden sou-wester

man clad in a hole-ridden sou’wester

• 151

“This is procedurally irregular.”

“This is irregular procedure.”

• 194, 213

outwitiing

outwitting

chapter1

• 20

East Jeruslaem buzzes

East Jerusalem buzzes

• 79

“Murdered? Why? By who?”

“Murdered? Why? By whom?”

• 126

who watches your every moment intently.

who watches your every movement intently.

• 130

sprawling backwards, unbalanced You hear angry shouts

sprawling backwards, unbalanced. You hear angry shouts

• 130

flying tackle at you. bringing you to the ground,

flying tackle at you, bringing you to the ground,

chap1medina

• 5

Nazi patrols are already scouring the streets and alleys for you.

Nazi patrols are already scouring the streets and alleys after you.

• 77

tourguide

tour guide

• 77, 80

crennellated

crenellated

• 83

irridescent

iridescent

• 127

banging into things and people out iof distraction

banging into things and people out of distraction

• 156

the shopkeeper belows at you furiously

the shopkeeper bellows at you furiously

• 158

and they have already identify you

and they have already identified you

• 163

the second soldier barely has time top react

the second soldier barely has time to react

• 214

breakingf into a jog, you cross the thoroughfare

breaking into a jog, you cross the thoroughfare

• 216

Ands directly into the path of a pair of patrolling Nazis.

And directly into the path of a pair of patrolling Nazis.

chap1hotel

• 28

Plus I rather like adventure.

Plus, I rather like adventures / an adventure.

• 269

So this confirms it. the document is about the Roman siege of Jerusalem.

So this confirms it. The document is about the Roman siege of Jerusalem.

• 277, 313

So let me see if I have this.

So let me see if I have this right.

desert

• 86

You are simply not fast enough,.

You are simply not fast enough,

• 89

poision

poison

• 93

Abdul won’t die. But it was a close thing.

Abdul won’t die. But it was a close call.

• 203

“Howdy, boss,” the say perkily.

“Howdy, boss,” they say perkily.

• 256

I didn’t know her or nothing, we only had that one conversation.

I didn’t know her or anything, we only had that one conversation.

• 259

And I’m sad for her, of course I am, but seeing the do that

And I’m sad for her, of course I am, but seeing him do that

• 305

“Remember what Schneider said?” he asks.

“Remember what Schneider said?” they ask.

• 344

It’s always made you proud

It always made you proud

• 373

he found himself increasingly opposed to the narrow, pedantic, judgmental from of Judaism practiced by his own community.

he found himself increasingly opposed to the narrow, pedantic, judgmental form of Judaism practiced by his own community.

• 375

He alwaus

???

• 472

Well, papa did used to say that Americans are excessively forward.

Well, papa did say that Americans are excessively forward.
or
Well, papa used to say that Americans are excessively forward.
or
Well, papa did use to say that Americans are excessively forward.

• 501

You are a morally normal human being, Nobody

You are a morally normal human being. Nobody

• 583, 610, 621, 652, 675, 697, 709

“Morning,” she says, as if nothing has happened at all.

“Morning,” she says, as if nothing had happened at all.

• 714

built for precisely these kind of grueling off-road conditions

built for precisely this kind of grueling off-road conditions
or
built for precisely these kinds of grueling off-road conditions

• 725

As the day wears on, you spot a few more small Nazi expedition parties

As the day wears on, you spot a few smaller Nazi expedition parties

• 784

“Thank you Mehedi,” Sam says quietly from the beside you.

“Thank you Mehedi,” Sam says quietly from beside you.

• 790

If everybody keeps their heada and nobody spooks her

If everybody keeps their heads and nobody spooks her

• 817

You drive on, the desert getting less rocky and more sandy.

You drive on, the desert getting sandier and less rocky.
or
You drive on, the desert getting sandier and sandier.

• 878

I helped her with the rest, she came home with my that night,

I helped her with the rest, she came home with me that night,

bullshorns

• 225

and a light vibration on the mechanism face.

and a light vibration on the mechanism’s face.

• 263

who wrote an eyewitness account of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70.

who wrote an eyewitness account of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.

• 337

The clue wants you to press west, then south,

The clue wants you to press west, then south.

• 506

undisturbed for milennia

undisturbed for millennia

• 703

You reach out your right hand to touch the one of the stones, instinctively

You reach out your right hand to touch one of the stones instinctively

• 716

from the perspective of a bird suspended on a thermal high above

from the perspective of a bird suspended on a thermal height

• 733

Those stones started glowing real bright.

Those stones started glowing really bright.

• 854

Being reminded how much better I am at this than you.

Being reminded of how much better I am at this than you.

• 1029

You and Sam start running towards the speeding truck The two standing soldiers scatter

You and Sam start running towards the speeding truck. The two standing soldiers scatter

• 1053

and within a couple of minutes you are ourside once again

and within a couple of minutes you are outside once again

• 1080
unnecessary extra line

• 1111

As you’re truck speeds away from the scene

As your truck speeds away from the scene

• 1164

“Get in!” belows Sam to Esme and Abdul

“Get in!” bellows Sam to Esme and Abdul

• 1260

the unpredictable joltinging of your vehicle throws off your aim

the unpredictable jolting of your vehicle throws off your aim

chap1ending

• 95

And the museum is backed by Rockerfeller money

And the museum is backed by Rockefeller money

• 143

This was the most fun I’ve every had in my life!

This was the most fun I’ve ever had in my life!

• 187

You manage to take the punishment wiothout giving him any information

You manage to take the punishment without giving him any information

• 189

In the endgame, you will suffer from the following penalties because of your injuries

In the final game, you will suffer from the following penalties because of your injuries
endgame means something else

• 224

Tie to teach you a lesson, Dr. Spillane.

Time to teach you a lesson, Dr. Spillane.


Feedback

The project I’m working on right now is also an Indiana Jones-y Archaeological Adventure, so I was reluctant to read your WIP because I don’t want to be influenced. Let’s just say I’m glad I didn’t resist it :joy:. I like the story so far. You made me realise I don’t have enough puzzles in my game :scream:—at least, quality ones—and that I didn’t do enough homework (I thought I had by the amount of time I spent “researching”!)

And I have to thank you so much because I learnt the word “paleography”. This is exactly the field of study of one of my characters, I just didn’t know the name :joy:.

My story is heavily influenced by H. Rider Haggard’s novels, so it was a delicious surprise when you casually dropped his name in the narrative.

On the flip side, there’s a car chase scene I haven’t written yet and now I’m afraid I’ll be influenced by your own. So this is something I’ll have to keep at the front of my mind when writing that scene (if I get there).


In the file bullhorns, at line 854:
Dr. Spillane tells Dr. Maria Garcia Perez that he never expected her to stoop so low as to join forces with the Nazis. She replies: “You never could stand it could you? Being reminded how much better I am at this than you.” I think there was a real missed opportunity for Spillane to snap back at her, saying something like “Well, who’s trying to rob the other one at gunpoint?” (Mic-drop.) I was so sure he was going to do it, that I was surprised he didn’t. :joy:

In the same file, at line 919:
Herr Paulus asks Dr. Spillane where are Esme and Abdul. I’d like to suggest that one of the options be for Spillane to (successfully or not) answer him that they died in the trap inside. It makes sense in my mind, since there was a trap inside. Much more so than saying that they kicked them in the desert (and I get it was ironic… I think).

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Wow, thank you so much. This must have taken a long time. I’m rather embarrassed at so many lazy uncaught typos (I thought I was doing a good job avoiding them), but very grateful that you pointed them out for me. And wow, another Indy-style game in the works! I remember being surprised that there wasn’t already a game of this type on the Choice of Games roster, and now two come along at once. I can’t wait to see your take on the genre.

British / American English: Yeah, it’s a pain. I’m a British English writer, but I’m trying to write this in American English to suit the MC’s perspective (I think I get better at it in later chapters, but I’m sure there are still lapses).

And on “homework”, I cheat a little. Irl, I’m an academic ancient historian, and Chapter 1 relates to my own specialist field, so there’s definitely a lot of real knowledge up front! The quality of the history takes a steep nosedive after Chapter 1, I fear!

Thanks again. Once I’ve pushed out 6, I’ll get to making these changes. Much appreciated!

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No way! After a while reading the same text it gets harder and harder to spot them. So another pair of eyes always helps.

:sweat_smile: It’s still going to take a while. I’m a slow writer, so I want to have most of it ready before posting a WIP. I know if I posted it now the update rate would be agonizingly slow. It’s a risky bet, though. I know I’ll be more resistant to feedbacks if they mean making huge changes after so much investment.

In my story, the guys go after a mythical make-believe ancient civilization (and a good chunk of it happens in the ruins of said civilization). So I don’t have to worry too much about historical accuracy. But I was impressed by your references since I’m a little of a history buff (though I probably shouldn’t brag about it to a real academic! :joy:).

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Sounds excellent, I can’t wait for the WIP thread. Always nice to know there’s something to look forward to!

I don’t think I qualify as a history buff. Like most academics, I know an unhealthy amount about one tiny slice of history, and nowhere near as much as I should about anything else!

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If your British then why is the MC American?

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A couple of reasons:

  1. Because Indiana Jones, the main inspiration, is American!
  2. More seriously, because I wanted a story about segregation in the hero’s home-town in there, and we didn’t have segregation laws in the UK.

But I smuggled a certain amount of Britness in there too, by making the MC somebody who’d studied for a while in Britain, and by setting one of the stories in London.

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LACK OF PROGRESS UPDATE

So ten days ago I promised you Chapter 6 in “about a week”. My apologies, I guess I done lied. Not intentionally: I’ve just had an unbelievable amount of crap to deal with from my real job recently which has taken up most of my time. I can get back on it now, though. Give me about another week, and 6 should be done. For reals this time!

In the meantime, there’s a nice article in today’s Guardian about the Indiana Jones films, which chimes quite a lot with why I love them and ultimately why I decided to write a story in that genre. You might enjoy it while you wait for Chapter 6:

Stay safe and keep sanitizing!

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