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



I’m thinking of adding height, I just don’t know where I want to stick it yet. I’m open to other customization options as well, though I’m not sure if I want to do detailed clothing stuff


That’s okay, I can imagine the princely costume porn myself. What I would like now, and that is entirely the fault of your Tumblr, is matching earrings, with whatever outfit the mc happens to be wearing. :grin:
Since even the casual style is probably high-quality, expensive designer brand stuff. . My mc I think leans towards the fashionable, but the current system of describing outfits by their (currently four) outfit styles is entirely satisfactory. Except maybe for really standout pieces that the aliens might be exceptionally curious about, like the earrings.
I have my own imagination of what fashionable looks like for princes on Zemia anyway, and I imagine everybody else does too.

It’s easy to work in a conversation, being tall my mc could, for example, probably look other tall characters, like Samir (and most likely his asshole sperm donor) straight in the eye while standing.


So, I’ve been lurking the forum for quite a bit and, having played both versions of the game, I’d like to throw it my own two non-helpful cents:
I really like the fixed career change. While I wouldn’t have gone with teacher, when I was given the choice -I was partial to the civil engineer myself-, now our life on Earth is more concrete. The loss of their life before, of their family on Earth is more real, since we had the chance to play a small snippet, and it made the more emotional responses have more of an impact, than them being a choice just for roleplaying purposes (first version I went with the “I’m still slightly miffed for being kidnapped, but you guys are growing on me” approach, now I was compelled to be a little more emotional about the whole situation. Hell, the thought that mc just talked to their parents and made plans to see them next morning, only for them to arrive to the cabin and not finding their child…man, that hurt me deep).
As for customization options (I will hide my essay under a cut to save some space),


while I’m all for it (to paraphrase Cassandra from Doctor Who: “Customize me!”), hair/eyes/height seems like enough flavour text without it being too much to code and enough to satisfy the need for some personalization. Other options could be things like scars/tattoos/piercings/freckles, but since they are a bunch of trouble to code in, I’d only recommend them as plot devices (they could be used to give more info on the mc’s past and/or personality “I got this scar on my face from my barfighting days, lemme tell you all about it. It all started when I was a child./ I got this tattoo of a baby ghost cause I like baby ghosts * stealth increases, they never see me coming*”, or if they have an impact on the story or stats
Emperor: No child of mine will go out with a bunch of metal on their face, it’s not royal-like
MC: Oh, buddy, that’s so sad, Hassan play Despacito * rebellious increases because we gotta fight the system*)
An example of this is the WIP Reports form Philomena, which has a -very lengthy- character customization which, while very descriptive, also plays a part in the story.
I think that, while a bunch of option is really fun, it’d be a pity to add too many just to have them there. Better to have fewer that will pop up as flavour or story related, than too many that will either never be useful or that will force bits of conversation in there and end up clunky.

So these where my thoughts (and “recommendations”) on the whole thing, I’ll go back to lurking now, can’t wait to see what’s up next for this WIP!


Another WIP that I’m really excited about! I was actually thinking of that when considering expanding my customization options, and since you’ve brought it up I am definitely willing to consider it more. Thank you for coming out of the shadows to help and share your ideas!


Glad I can be of help!
Still, in the end, do what fits your story. We can all pitch ideas, but in the end, you’re the one who will have to decide what fits/helps/adds to the story and what doesn’t -and like I said, while options are always wonderful, if it’s forced without actually helping it becomes chatter-
I can’t wait to see what you decide on, I wish you the best of luck with your WIP, I’m so excited to see where it goes (and to woo J and A. I am a weak woman and a romantic at heart, I can’t help it)


Hey guys! As I delve into the chapter 2 edits, I’m adding an important new character interaction/branch, and I wanted your opinion on what to do with the character scenes (the J, A, S scenes after the war council) that are already there. Vote in the poll to give me your opinion!

  • Cut those scenes completely
  • Keep those scenes as a reward for cooperation
  • Do something else that I’ll mention in the comments

0 voters


While those scenes were always a little awkward it is always sad to lose character interaction scenes.
That said the way they are written now they are not exactly rewards for cooperation either as the mc gets to actually do very little in them and unlike Hasan, Lia and Yusra, particularly after the edit none of them particularly tries to make the mc comfortable or answer their questions. And let’s be clear while Hasan, Lia and Yusra actually do a good job this time around of making the mc feel more comfortable none of the palace characters seemed very interested in doing that in the old chapter 2.
Much like the new chapter 1 I hope the palace characters will be a bit more considerate this time, or at least react to “good” and “bad” behaviour differently.

As far as the old lunch scenes go with some editing they do have potential. In particular, let the mc at least try to ask Sammy some questions in the maze.

About cooperation however, since this time it is our asshole sperm donor who asks directly and my mc is beyond furious at him for stealing his family from him not once but twice even if my mc is leaning towards cooperation (at least until he figures some things out) the fact that the emperor is the one who is asking still makes him heavily inclined to say no to the guy’s face, if only for the simple pleasure of saying no to the guy’s face.

True, though the Tumblr did establish that wearing earrings would make the aliens more curious then anything else. Up to the author if they want to work it in, but given the Tumblr ask I think it definitely has potential. If allowed then my mc was probably wearing simple silver stud earrings when they kidnapped him.
As far as this goes:

My mc would retort something in the vein of: “Well then it’s fortunate we established really early that you never thought of me like that before!”

Okay, I can’t (and won’t) ask anything on Tumblr due to my social media ineptness (that I am pleased to keep this way) but if you have the stomach for it please expand this ask to include Sammy and a male mc.
“What if Jin or Arvin Sammy walked in on the MC pleasuring themselves whilst calling out their name?” Let’s flood Tumblr with more smut in its closing days. :grin:

By the way is 20 a viable age for a starting elementary school teacher, since it is the absolute soonest it would be possible here in the Netherlands (due to teacher training not accepting anyone below 18 and lasting at least two years for the most basic qualification)?

Pwew! That’s a relief. If the aliens at the palace are as nice as our initial abductors in the first chapter then I don’t think my mc sees much point in making their lives unduly miserable or being anti-social in the new chapter 2. The big exception to that might be the guy/girl (hopefully guy) his asshole sperm donor wants him to marry, should you choose to dabble with that plotline.


“Cooperation” here more broadly means your behavior to the characters up to this point, not necessarily how you responded to the Emperor. If they are kept (and it seems that people want to keep them), they will still be edited/different. A lot of new content is going to be added to chapter 2, so the edits will reflect their new context in the story as well as regular updating


I get what you’re saying.Hell, my headcanon (for all my mcs really) is that they have piercings (because I shamelessly self insert). And this is the type of customization that is good for a game -be it earrings or whatever- because it can add something to the story. In this case, it shows you a very small difference in culture (it’s not groundbreaking sure, but I think in everyday life, small differences can have an impact). But it’s a thin line, adding something that will help in a story versus trying to please to the point of being overwhelmed. So as I said, if it’s useful for the story, customization is awesome and I will never tire of it.

Your MC is much more willing to throw hands with dad than mine. she’s already done with his bs and doesn’t want to spend more energy on him than necessary, not until she figures out how to proceed from there on. She is more friendly with the crew as well, it never hurts to try and gain allies in an unknown situation (okay that is the lie I tell myself, I’m too much of a goody-two-shoes to be mean)

Pause the tunes, the arranged marriage plot is established? cause as far as I lurked it was only a possibility (mmmmm sweet sweet drama)

Lunch with J and A is still a thing, be still my beating heart
Good, cause I thought my passive aggressive reaction of “Nah, I’ll stand” would kick me out of that (because I’m such a rebel)


It isn’t, that’s what the “if you (meaning the author) chooses to dabble with” line referred to.

Hope if you do the new ro is either a guy ( who prefers other guys and maybe non-binary too, since the ro’s are currently unbalanced in favour of female mc’s) or gender-flipping to the mc’s preference. If it’s another alien woman she really does stand zero chance with my very gay mc.

Hope we actually get to ask some questions or take some initiative with Sammy this time around. And, yes, if they establish a positive relationship my mc will totally take to calling Samir, Sammy most of the time as a nickname.

My mc never shies away from a good verbal sparring match. :grinning:
Not that he considers the guy his “dad” asshole sperm donor is most accurate for the time being, stealer of two families also works.


Not yet! But it’s still under consideration! I think after I’ve finished all the editing for ch 2, Imma make some big decisions for how things go down the line

Being a dick to the emperor is A+ and will not lock you out of anything though other choices might!


Yeah, I mucked up reading the sentence properly (because that’s where my life’s choices have led me).
I saw the mention and I thought I missed something about it on the forum.

I feel my passive aggressiveness rising!
If given the option to be a dick to Papa, I gotta do it, it says it right here in the rules!

let’s see if my hugging every available character will pay off.

So if it isn’t too spoilery, are the parents ever gonna pop up again? Like mc secretly sending them a “I am not dead yet” message, or them taken hostage by the terrorists to get us to cooperate (okay, maybe not the last one, I’m just desperate to see them again. It will pass, I’m not heartbroken about them still, nope…)





Unless my mc actually still plans on returning to Earth after a while (more difficult now that he doesn’t have a great career to go back to), I don’t think he’d want to make the situation any worse than it already is for his Earth parents. Any letter we might send without actually revealing the whole aliens thing would be taken as a particularly cruel prank more than anything else. In any case it is perhaps better to let them remember my mc for the son he was, as after enough time on Zemia that person would likely be so much changed as to be mostly dead anyways.
I’m more curious about our only other family outside the emperor as Kaya let slip our mother’s parents, our maternal grandparents still live. Though I think they might be kind of furious with the mc, sadly enough, for being the little brat who killed their precious daughter and never informed them he was even still alive, not even when he turned adult himself. :fearful:


“Stealer of two families”!! I love this, you’re going all out with the nicknames!!

I don’t think they could get mad at the MC, I mean it was established that intergalactic travel is expensive af, and communication difficult, so, unless MC is made out of money, I don’t see any way they could’ve dropped them a message. Not sure that will be the case with deal ol’ Papa, since he never said anything about the MC. And if his marriage was arranged for unity between nations (as was often the case), this could mean a diplomatic episode, with Mc being in the middle (to either appease or fuel the controversy)
Now that’d be fun.

I can see not wanting to go back (my MC would think of staying, especially if they get emotionally invested in Zemia and her people, not to mention the other characters).
But we don’t know how much time has passed (because my grasp of time in space is none), so they wouldn’t necessarily be near dead. You’re right about the message, although, since I’m playing an openly emotional character, she would be the one to act on this without thinking what yours would think (which is on the logical side of things, especially since we can’t prove that it really is us)

Bless be the Gods of Zemia (you havegiven me hope)


It’s true, while my mc has a much lower opinion of all of his alien family in-game the meta knowledge from the Tumblr makes it clear that our two dead brothers woud have made pretty great siblings actually (our alien grandparents might not have been so bad either) and our Earth family seems nice enough too. Stealer of two families is the nickname I use as myself, the reader and player, while my mc in-game probably uses asshole sperm donor.

If the fiction is going to be that the mc was living like one of the galaxy’s idle-rich on planet Earth, they probably think we were made out of money. As it was also established that apart from the occasional scholar or scientist only the ultra-rich of the galaxy travel between planets (sorry, solar systems, there might be in-system colonies in the Zemia system, from Lunar bases to asteroid mining operations to even perhaps a more terraformed Mars or even Venus analogue) at the moment. So they could still be furious at the mc. It all depends on what’s gonna be in that damned press release our mc has no control over, I suppose. :unamused:
Either way they cannot be pleased about having to find out their grandchild is alive through the news media, who they direct their displeasure for that at, the mc, or his “father”, likely depends on both the contents of that press release and their opinion of the emperor.
While this is besides the point even if FTL travel is not yet all that cost effective (hopefully it just needs some more breakthroughs to get to the classic sci-fi level, not that such is the subject matter of this particular game) I half expect a significant deal of the Zeyvian empire’s wealth might come from asteroid and lunar mining for stuff like the incredibly useful, but rare on planets like Earth stuff, such as Helium-3.

I suppose if the mc’s maternal grandparents are the rulers or wield significant power and influence in their own country, assuming they are not from the Empire proper, I guess it’s possible. After the emperor my mc kinda dreads having to meet them in person, if only because he doesn’t want to hear more sob stories about his alien “mother” when he just lost a real one back on Earth.

Yeah, wanting to go back depends on the ending and our mc’s circumstances in that ending.
But assuming my mc really does come to terms with and grow into his new role, he’s not going to let his asshole sperm donor steal his life from him a second time. Particularly not if my mc actually proves significant or even crucial in resolving the various crises of the Seyvian empire. If he has worked really damned hard to integrate on an alien world and done well for himself then, as I said, my mc is not going to let his asshole sperm donor steal his life from him a second time. Especially since this time around, he might have an actual power base, is not a helpless baby and can and will fight back, if necessary.

[quote=“Ch3rryB0mb, post:135, topic:46633”]
You’re right about the message, although, since I’m playing an openly emotional character, she would be the one to act on this without thinking what yours would think (which is on the logical side of things [/quote]

That’s a valid sentiment, even if it would make things worse for the mc’s Earth family, assuming you cannot reveal the whole aliens thing.
Even if we can make Earth a part of the humanoid planets information and ultra-rich tourists exchange, a very big if, then assuming my mc has integrated reasonably well on Zemia and actually grown into his new role then there may not be all that much left of the son they once knew. So it might still not be a particularly kind thing to do.
I’ve said this before but I kinda wish Hasan and Lia would have used their advanced alien tech to give my mc’s Earth family a charred corpse with his dna all over it in order to give them more proper closure.


Ask and ye shall receive

Really up to the imagination. Writing from an American perspective, I imagine 21-22 to be the average minimum age for a teacher as American teachers must earn a 4 year degree, but I doubt my story will ever directly mention age.


A small progress update!
Wanted to let you guys know that I’m not dead, still working on chapter 2. I’m about halfway through the major edits (not including adding the new content). I probably won’t be making as much progress as I would like until after December 19th. That’s when my semester ends and all the papers are due. After that, I expect to have the next update out before Christmas. If you want to know/ask more about the game or read/request extra content, feel free to come visit my tumblr!


Okay I might have another ask, but I cannot and will not use social censorship media to ask it.
But essentially it is this. What if anything would the ro’s do to try and cheer a really homesick mc up a bit during their first holidays/Christmas away from Earth?
As with the new rewrites while my mc might well be able to come to intellectually and logically some sort of peace and accommodation with his new situation relatively quickly. Such an intellectual understanding still wouldn’t diminish the force with which the melancholy and grief/homesickness at the loss of the only real family he’s ever known would hit, particularly that first Christmas away from Earth (but probably to a gradually lessening degree for decades afterwards).
The first Christmas is most important for the ask though as at that time I don’t imagine his relationships on Zemia go beyond a few tentative friendships, among the alliances and power-base building and obviously neither the Emperor nor his maternal grandparents are “family” in any of the ways that truly matter.

Most curious about Sammy and prince mc of course.


I actually can’t answer this because it will be in the game!