Return to Zemia (WIP - updated 26 Dec) - game dev question post 276!



I mean… we’re only debating about your story this intensely because we’re interested in it. :wink:


human can live be 100 but that weak and old


Thanks for making me feel young.

My mc would disagree about the “pleasant” it’s still a prison and insofar as it is “homey” that only serves to make him miss his real home all that much more.
And my mc finds Kaya far from pleasant, she is annoying and tells me some sob stories about dead people, like my mc should care about them. What she makes a point of not doing is actually debriefing us and answering meaningful questions. So she is more of a polite jailer than a benevolent companion they way my mc sees it.
To be honest my mc might have preferred the simple industrial sterility of the simple spaceship compared to the fake and ostentatious environment of the Imperial Palace.

Hmm…learning how to balance the two has in mine. There’s a lot of formal and even ritualized stuff I have to do and you’re right that not all clients always appreciate being told an honest assessment of their situation and learning how to intuit which is which has been an important part of gaining practical experience over the last couple of years. However most of them eventually want to be told, they just have to be eased into it. Some also ask me straight away and since unlike the characters in this story, I’m actually on their side if they do I’ll tell them. None of this means you should ever be impolite, but the false veneer of the people around us in the story is really starting to grate on my mc’s already frazzled nerves.

But apparently, we do need to be treated like we’re little kids. My mc is not interested in family sob stories (when it is abundantly clear our alien “family” never particularly cared for us) or playing hide and seek in the garden, nor in a fairytale. The fairytale is actually the least egregious there because those used to be for adults before Disney got their paws on them and even now there are hidden jokes and dual layers in the everywhere and it cannot be ruled out mr. Spy was trying to communicate something adult by it in a more roundabout way. However to get to the hidden meanings of those things you need to speak and preferably master the language they’re being written/told in and you need to be versed enough in the cultural background, two things my mc is definitely not.

Kaya and Samir remain particularly egregious in their babying of the mc and hot piece of ass he may be but if Samir cannot talk to my mc as if he was both an adult and an equal, no intimate relations of any sort are ever going to happen. I really doubt he’d have dared treat any of our late brothers, aka the true princes like he just did us!

Of course we can’t actually speak the language because they make exactly zero effort to give us even a basic alien education, including language skills that are not filtered through a piece of crap censorship chip. :unamused:

About the diplomatic tour, my mc will be very clear since he cannot actually speak the language there’s no way he will do it, as he refuses to “talk” through the censorship chip for much longer. :angry:

If my mc’s only “role” is stage prop for alien media they’d better start doing that and fast. Because it is a role my mc will never agree to, certainly not without being told what is actually going on.

Note that canonically as it stands my mc tries to reason with and ultimately bluffs the rebels, yet that bluff inadvertently hammers home how much we are not an actual “prince”.
My mc definitely won’t be doing such a thing a second time, certainly not on camera for the alien media.

Oh, just like what the establishment is doing right now? Pick your poison I guess. In the rebels case at least they did not kidnap my mc from his real home and parents, nor abandoned him there in the first place and they actually told him something important, which the establishment people around us pertinently refuse to even contemplate doing. So, yes, those are all points in their favour.
Besides if they want my mc to really marry and become the personal sex slave of some alien princess he really might just to the rebels handiwork for them and kill himself, if there really is no other way to escape it.

Well that and our situation gets markedly worse not better once we get to the damned palace. Really at this point the gilded cage can go screw itself as it is rather obvious we have zero choice of where to eat and sleep, when to eat and sleep or even how to dress. Let alone any of the actual perks that should come with our supposed, nominal position.

Not that much, still as a gay man hailing from the lower classes I’d probably have preferred Lenin, but definitely not Stalin to the Tsar.

In any case in the game it is abundantly clear they don’t plan on ever letting the mc actually enjoy the authority and the perks the (crown) prince position normally would probably have entailed. As right now we’re clearly subordinate to even the young waiters in the palace hierarchy as even they won’t actually take orders from us without looking to our prison minders around us for permission.

Yet actually even starting to educate us as if we were a real prince is very clearly an absolute taboo to him!
He could do it for his first two sons but clearly not for the mc.

Okay pure speculation about the War Council: from the tiny snippets they actually tell the mc, but the colonel clearly seems under the impression we might successfully have joined the rebellion, which implies they might not have killed us outright. Indeed, if they had wanted to do that they had multiple guns and a clean shot at it on the train. Assuming they were willing to sacrifice themselves they could have pumped the mc full of bullets or vaporized us right then and there, yet they too chose to talk.
Then there is the suspicious “car accident” of our first brother, that the good colonel apparently investigated. Maybe I’m getting the subtext wrong there but Samir does not seem to trust that “investigation” or its findings. Therefore might it be possible that our eldest brother, the original crown prince might have been sympathetic if not to their methods then at least to some of the rebellion’s (stated) goals and might that sympathy have gotten him killed?
Certainly would explain why we are not being prepared to be an actual prince but kept as a dumb pawn instead.


Shouldn’t it be harder for a soldier to be captured cause it just seems like we get captured at the start to easily.


I didn’t know the MC was a soldier


Young officer even, assuming you choose the military as your mc’s Earth career path. On Zemia we’re less than nothing at present of course. :unamused:

Hmm…from the Tumblr, I see my mc is the only tall and muscular one (think Chris Hemsworth) among the guys, possibly discounting his asshole sperm donor of course.

Which makes Samir and Kaya’s babying of him seem even more patently ridiculous, given that he could probably manhandle them quite easily. :unamused:

Actually goes for Carina too, an impromptu “dance party” again is something a young kid mc might have liked, not my adult one.

Only the colonel actually takes us on a more adult activity, but there it is frustrating the even young waiter won’t take our order without waiting for a confirmation nod from the colonel first. That sort of thing hasn’t happened to me since I was nineteen and before balding I looked exceptionally youthful, for most of my friends the waiters looking to their older companions before doing anything ended around 15-16. :unamused:

So this kinda goes for all the ro’s if they actually want to impress my mc maybe treat him like an adult and do adult stuff with him? :disappointed: :worried:

Ugh! that is exactly the information my mc does not want to know about them. Again I’m sure we’ll be told they were the most wonderful, intelligent, handsome and all-around awesome aliens and we’re a pale shadow imitation at best. :unamused:
What my mc actually is interested in is learning about what their actual daily lives looked like and what sort of education they received. Otherwise they are as dead to him as he was to them.

In any case cooperation from my mc is not going to be forthcoming in the short term unless they at least begin to teach him the language and the alphabet for real, without that piece of garbage chip in his brain filtering and censoring everything.

And @obieblu if they actually need an argument why it is in their best interest to start cooperating with my mc at least as far as hurrying up about actually teaching him to speak, read and write the actual language goes how about this: “If my mc had the chip from birth yet Yusra is the one who added the Earth languages to it then that obviously wasn’t done when it was inserted at birth, which means it can be remotely tampered with”. Wouldn’t it be awfully embarrassing to them if say the rebels or the actual opposing side in the war managed to hack the piece of garbage during a live interview or society event? That would seem to have the potential to severely destabilize daddy dearest precious plans that we’re apparently oh so vital to.

Also my canon mc, for some inexplicable reason, chose to lie and bluff the would-be abducting rebels on their behalf, he obviously can’t do that again if they learn how to control his piece of junk implant.
Nor does he even intend to do that a second time, as at the moment “good behaviour” is treated exactly the same as bad and trying to bluff the rebels makes them exactly as cooperative and forthcoming as trying to join them. Which in both cases is not at all. :unamused:
They have already wasted two weeks, my mc could probably have memorized the basics of the alphabet by now if they had actually deigned to allow him to start learning it.


I forgot what I chose, sorry :sweat_smile:


I really like the demo. I really like you can have two approaches when it comes to romance, either you can be more bold or more shy, which I love. But I do have a few questions. Will there be any relationships the father will disapprove of or is that to spoilery? My other question is, even though the brothers are dead, will we get to know more about them, like how they were like and what they looked like?


“suddenly a squadron of Imperial soldiers bursts from the shadows” How do we know they’re imperial soldiers, I feel like it’d be more tense if it was something like “a group of armored men burst from the shadows.” Maybe it’d make the scene more tense


Being a soldier doesn’t make a person invincible, especially when outmanned and ambushed, and beyond that, at a certain point, you have to suspend your disbelief

I actually answered these on tumblr! I’ll post it here. There won’t be a detailed physical description of them because the way they look depends on you to an extent.

Yefim, the oldest, was definitely the typical older child. He wanted to please his dad, and he was ready to take over when the time was right. He was old enough to remember you and your mother, but he never knew the truth

Yegor was somewhat jealous of Yefim’s spotlight, but they were still close. His relationship with your father was more strained. He would have been a good older brother. He also remembered you and your mom, but only barely. He missed the idea of the two of you more than he missed the reality

He will have opinions

You’re a strategic asset to him, so he wants you to marry strategically. He will disapprove outright of some, be lukewarm about others, and approve of a few, but you’ll have to wait and see who falls into which camp (though I think you can guess)!

@BrandonH that’s a good suggestion! I’ll think about it :slight_smile:


As a player would it have changed anything if he did?
In any case the one thing my mc knows for sure is that his alien family and the members of the court never wanted him there and he’ll never be anything more than a disposable asset and a “prince” in name only to any of them. :unamused:


I’m not exactly sure what you mean by this. Would his knowing change the story? No, but it might change the way some people perceive of the character. Different players will obviously feel differently. I don’t “want” any players to feel a certain way about any of the characters or situations. I’m just sharing lore :slight_smile:


More would his knowing have changed his opinion of and eagerness to please his dad? I know he probably wouldn’t have had the power the bring us back earlier even had he known and wanted to.


Gotcha! I’m going to save deeper explorations of the characters for in game, but that’s a very interesting question to consider when I write!


Aww…this is something I actually wanted to know as the reader and player, because my mc has a low enough opinion of his alien “family” that he’s utterly convinced the answer would have been a firm “NO!”.

@BrandonH that “escape” scene is actually from the POV of our “escort”, either Hasan or Lia as the rebels stun the mc and Hasan and Lia probably know what imperial soldiers look like, particularly if these are regular soldiers and not undercover commando’s.


Then stay tuned haha!


I may have found a bug? I chose to escape with Lia this time and it looks like Hasan decided to tag along…


Thanks for catching that!


One way you may be able to have both a spacecraft and palace reveal that is you give the option on the spacecraft to coerce/force/somehow convince them to tell you before you get to the palace, which could unlock an extra dialogue or two later but also causes you to lose loyalty or somehow have a negative effect that the reader is warned about. That way those who want to know earlier can find out, but those who are more trusting or more willing to wait will have the big reveal at the palace.


I was thinking something similar the problem being I could see that working for mc’s who are persuasive enough (like the lawyer background) to trap Hasan or Lia in conversation in such a way they reveal things they don’t want to. Which might just be possible for somebody used to working with uncooperative people and witnesses a lot. The other way is of course for hacking focused characters to be able to hack the spaceship computer, since Yusra is foolish enough to allow the mc to mess with it.
The problem is that I don’t see an option for the stealth and tactics focused characters to gain the info, as I doubt they’d have it lying around on a physical scrap of paper somewhere or that taking one of the crew hostage would work in getting them to spill the bean, so to speak. That is of course assuming that the censorship chip wouldn’t prevent the mc from doing any or all of those things in the first place.

“However long it takes tbh right now I figure it’ll take place over about a year, but it really depends on how things turn out”

That seems awfully short to grasp the intricacies of an alien culture, let alone receive the sort of education the mc would need to be able to effectively govern. :thinking:
Unless the mc being able to “take over” that you also mentioned on your tumbrl really is more of the mc graduating from “prince” in name only to “emperor” in name only while being the good little slave of some despicable alien princess. :unamused: Cause that is a fate worse than death my mc would do anything up to and including suicide to avoid.

Finally at the end of chapter 2 when the mc is returned their suite gilded cage. Can we at least try to take the opportunity of an evening off to try and escape our cage to at least explore the palace and grounds on our own, without any minders and handlers present. There seems to be nothing to do in our cage anyway but go to sleep early or stare at walls, which is something my mc definitely does not want to do at that time.
Oh, and assuming that locket still works my mc would like to do said exploring with the implant turned off.

Continuing on from this Tumblr ask:

Not that my mc is likely to care but how does the emperor react to the mc not wanting to marry at all, certainly not within one year of being kidnapped?