Relics of the Lost Age (WIP) - UPDATED 17/05/2020 (Chapter 6) - Post 362 for details

Hello all!

I’ve been working away for a few weeks on my game “Relics of the Lost Age”, and I’ve got the first chapter (of a projected six) out and up as a demo! The demo is roughly 50,000 words.

The game is basically a fun (I hope), swashbuckling Indiana Jones-em-up, in which you play as a 1930s archaeologist trying to locate a number of occult artifacts before various nasty types can get their hands on them. There will be high adventure in far-flung corners of the world, wacky stunts, Nazi-punching, the possibility of romance (4 possible ROs in total, although you don’t meet them all in Chapter 1), loss, betrayal and all kinds of good stuff along those lines. Give it a go; you never know, you might like it!

I’m looking for feedback of any and every kind, from the lowliest typo to the most cavernous plot-hole. Thank you for your time!

Content Warning: It’s not the most potty-mouthed game, but there are a few instances of strong swearing. Some relatively graphic violence. One character makes a racially-inappropriate comment, but in the game’s defence that character is a literal, actual Nazi, and the MC certainly doesn’t endorse what he says! The MC is ethnicity-locked, for important story-reasons that will become clear in later chapters.

The game can be found here: https://dashingdon.com/go/5009

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A very intriguing story.

Would you consider in adding in the choice to pick the doctor’s ethnicity?

The comment by Obersturmfuhrer Albrecht Schneider about the MC being Aryan took me out of the story since I head canon the MC being of mixed race across all IFs I play.

Alternatively, you could remove that comment altogether if you don’t feel like treading those particular waters?

Also I noticed a pronoun error after the MC gets knocked out and Sam shouts “S/he/their awake!”.

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Hey, thanks so much for reading! I’m glad you find it intriguing. And thanks for spotting the pronoun slip, can’t believe that got through proofreading. It should be fixed now.

On the “ethnicity-locking” question (is that a term people use?), I really, really agonized over this. The issue is that this is a story in which themes of race and ethnicity will actually be quite important, and in the end, for a variety of reasons which I hope will become clear later, especially in Chapters 3 and 4, I felt that the MC needed to be a white American (and specifically a college professor in the segregated South …). I would absolutely not do “ethnicity-locking” unless I felt it was essential to the story. I know that some people won’t like it, I understand that completely, but I hope people will stay with it. I don’t want to spoil too much too early, but I promise it’s like that for a reason!

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Aww, I wanna be Australian

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If it’s any consolation, there’s a very memorable Australian character coming up in Chapter 2!

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you sure as hell know how to get our attention

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Well that’s a good thing, as an Aussie I think we need a bit more representation in these stories/interactive fiction games around here.

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I like the story so far. It kind of remind me of Indiana Jones, just wanted to say these belong in a museum… love the story.

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Haha yeah, just giving the people what they want!

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Thanks, Indy’s definitely a big inspiration for this. And in a later chapter you’ll have the chance to say that exact line!

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Well if there’s actual Nazis in your story, the themes of race/ethnicity will undoubtedly be important!

Thanks for the explanation.

Best of luck!

By the way, I enjoyed the in medias res style narrative of the story. If they aren’t executed well enough, that style of storytelling can be very abrupt and confusing, but I never felt that that was a problem here.

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Personally I do not mind at all (having created/played myriad of characters in various rpg games of different races), especially when it’s related to the story and events to take place - in fact, I rather appreciate going that route, not often undertaken by other authors. If anything, I’d suggest informing of ethnicity-lock in ie. content warning section, so players - like myself - don’t craft another persona in their heads that varies from it.

On the game itself, it’s been an enjoyable read as far as it goes and can’t wait to see what you have in store for coming chapters. Definitely had that Indiana-vibe while offering unique adventure - big fat plus ;). Having prefixed it with that, I hope you don’t mind me throwing some thoughts and ideas about a few things in particular.

Thoughts

relics of the lost age
While that might be true ;] it came off to me as too… aggressive? Maybe distainful is a better word. Either way, I didn’t fancy the kind of mc I had in mind making that remark this way. Perhaps there could be a choice of words or better yet - given as a player I don’t actually know the city - we could have Sam’s opinion there being muttered, to establish partially their personality, but certainly opinion on the place.

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I’m not sure if there’s a word for it it english, but I found her telling player to sit down after we’ve seemingly already done it rather weird.

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Getting the idea of the kind of person Schneider is, I missed the option here to hold our tongue and just do so - however, given the circumstances (and what follows) maybe it could be achieved with mc “taking a second to calm their breathing”, so the scene still leads where it does, but players get a choice to not answer verbally.
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Nitpick really, but isn’t our revolver supposed to be unholstered, if we drew it before? :wink:
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Another tiny thing, but I hoped to aknowledge a certain beauty of the landscape, while remaining focused on the job.
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A general note, but perhaps you could reduce the direct mentions of nazis within the paragraphs, especially when their presence is implied. On that note, I’d suggest applying the same to:
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…and instead of outright stating it as a fact, you could dress it in hearing rumors of either disappearing or finding her rival’s dead body and it being known that both were after the same thing, so from mc’s perspective the murder is suspected rather then known (that is unless such knowledge comes in play afterwards).

Again, those are just some things I’ve had in my head while playing and figured I’ll share it with you. Otherwise keep up the good work :wink:

PS: seeing as we’re all wearing “beduin-styled dresses” while on camels to blend in, what do you think of our brave party (or just part of it) adopting nazi uniforms while driving their military truck for the same reason - as to not draw too much attention?

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I love your writing style and the story is very intriguing. Quick question, is Maria a RO? Please tell me she is, and that she will always be terrible.

Best of luck, I’ll be keeping an eye on this one :smiley:

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Thanks! I was nervous about that - it’s always a risk to dump your readers in the middle of a story. I’m glad you think it paid off!

Wow, thanks so much for these really thoughtful and helpful suggestions. I’ll get back to it tonight and make some changes. And yes, I’ll mention that it’s ethnicity-locked in the Content Warning section of the description above - thanks for the pointer!

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Thanks! Maria’s an interesting one, and she’s going to go on quite a journey in this story. She’s actually not an RO in this book - BUT I do have very hazy plans for a sequel, if this goes well, and let’s just say that if you’re very very patient you may well get your chance with her in the long run!

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Is Sam a RO, who are the ROs in general? Kinda lost interest in Esme and the other guy after my character heard them having hardcore sex in the other tent, honestly don’t know if they’re ROs or just one night stand types lol.

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Sam’s not an RO. The problem there is that Sam’s a PhD student, and the MC is their professor, and so I thought making them romanceable would be just icky and problematic. I definitely don’t want the MC to come across as a predator!

In terms of ROs, both Esme and Abdul are romanceable, either individually or together. There are two other ROs who the player hasn’t met yet - one’s coming in Chapter 2, and one’s coming in Chapter 3. The first half of the game, nothing serious happens, you just get to know them and maybe start to lightly flirt or signal your interest. Then in the second half you can “lock in” on the person you want and start to make more serious things happen.

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How’s that gonna work with Esme/Abdul since they’re together? Do they just break up with the other even though they’ve been together in part 1 and part 2 even though they just met you if you romance them separately.

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They basically live in a poly-type arrangement. They’re committed to each other, but they don’t mind the other person pursuing relationships on the side.

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