Return to Zemia (WIP - updated 26 Dec)

science-fiction
nonbinary-inclusive
gender-choice

#21

Can we get each of the ROs ages? I’m already drawn to a couple of the ROs. :blush:


#22

Ages are a bit of a sticky situation since Zemians age differently, but I’ll give you the ages that they look by Earth standards!

RO ages
  • Arvin - mid to late thirties
  • Carina - late twenties
  • Hasan - early to mid twenties
  • Jin - hard to pin down! At least thirty, maybe as old as 45
  • Kaya - late twenties to early thirties
  • Lia - mid twenties
  • Samir - early thirties
  • Yusra - late twenties to mid thirties

Can I ask which ones?! :grin:


#23

I honestly don’t know… maybe remove the whole descriptions, or a part of it. Or even mixing the 2 lines, like this:

(Arvin is in the print just to show how it is at the moment)


#24

I’m pretty drawn to Jin, Arvin and Hasan! But I’ll definitely give all the ROs a chance.


#25

Will you be doing anon asks for your tumblr?


#26

Yep! Very excited to hear from people :smiley:


#27

Love the game so far! It’s a very interesting story


#28

A lot of the choices feel pointless in my opinion.


#29

here all my escape plan if take from my home to Emperor castles
1 find the least guarded spot and try to sneak out
2 find were they put the sewage might be help you get out
3 take a very powerful person hostage and let he or she go before far away from them
4 fake your death classic romeo and juiet but don’t fall the whole script take you on life thing
5 try to befriend the pilot she may help you escape
that part one escape plans there will be more folks on daring plans


#30

Or you could just kill a guard and steal there uniform and walk out the front door you know hitman style.


#31

but don’t get blood on it :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


#32

Hitman never gets blood on it.


#33

If we have to start cooperating at some point my mc can change his outfit to something more fashionable at that point, but not before. Right now it has been less than two weeks since the mc was kidnapped and two days since they even arrived. It also doesn’t help that our sperm donor is a grade A asshole, who considers us nothing more then a disposable backup and wouldn’t even have told us anything ever if either one of his real sons had lived. So excuse my mc for not having warm fuzzy feelings towards his deadbeat dad.

That’s another thing, I don’t think that censorship chip will like my mc’s efforts to be seriously cooperative and actually learn the language in order to read up on the viewpoints of all three or four (assuming the opposing state has their own dissidents or would be rebels too) sides to this conflict.

When my mc is done with being white hot angry with his “dad” and about his shitty situation him cooperating starts with them actually answering his questions, something no one seems to want to really do.
But the first order of business of my mc cooperating would need to start with them turning off that chip, assuming that Hasan kid is right and that is even possible, so he can at least try to learn the language and learn to read on his own. After that would come unrestricted and uncensored information about the current conflict that was important enough for them to kidnap my mc in the first place. And it really needs to be uncensored because right now my mc is not inclined to believe for a moment that his “dad” even represents the lighter shade of gray in it.

After that would come him actually trying to devise a solution to the whole mess. and since my mc is likely to be heavily influenced by his Earth’s version of Star Trek, expect him to vastly prefer a diplomatic one.

Which neatly brings me to jet another point, the mc is currently blind, deaf and dumb to what’s actually going on the wider galaxy, is the current war confined to just the shared homeworld, or given the fact that they have FTL drive are vast space colonial empires involved too and possibly even the reason for the current conflict?
What are the other alien races, what is their view on this civil war, does their viewpoint even matter, is there a Republic/Federation/Union space UN that could possibly be called upon to mediate this?

My mc needs to learn all this info and much more and fast too, so if they want his cooperation they actually have to start telling him things, as he will never willingly serve as just a dumb “asset” for his asshole father whose only job is to stand there and look pretty.
For my mc cooperation is a two way street the more they cooperate with him by actually telling him what he wants to know and giving him at least a rudimentary alien education that does not rely on whatever suspect and untrustworthy fake knowledge that chip’s library computer may or may not impart, the more personally polite, agreeable and cooperative he is inclined to become.

For example in photoshoot scene my mc would really like to be able to bargain in that he’ll wear the damned costume and follow instructions if and only if she promises to (temporarily) turn off that damned chip get one of the other translators and answer honestly and to the best of her abilities one question for every picture her photographer takes of him.

Currently we are just a dumb asset for our sperm donor who does not know anything and that fact may well doom us since our mc’s will probably never receive the education or know all the stuff a “real” prince would or ought to know, since at present we probably don’t even know what alien elementary school children ought to know.

Effecting escape in and of itself is actually the easy part it is what comes after that is the real challenge. So what if we escape or even get our hands on an FTL capable starship, it’s no use if we don’t have a crew or navigator and where would we even go? We know nothing about the wider galaxy and as long as our “dad” the rebels and maybe the opposing side are hunting us trying to resume our mc’s normal lives back on Earth would just invite more alien bounty hunters to show up and this time likely endanger our loved ones back on Earth.
My mc wants to “escape” his current situation, sure, but not blindly flailing without a plan for what is supposed to come after. Like I said any resolution to our kidnapping situation runs through some sort of accommodation with either the imperial or the opposing government, or maybe if we’re really, really lucky the Federation/Republic/Union/Space-UN.

Although if the latter exists, it may actually be a sub-optimal route for our “escape” at least if returning to our lives on Earth is the goal, for while both Star Trek’s Federation and the Orville’s Union are apparently willing to extend citizenship to denizens of “primitive” pre-FTL civilisations who end up there through no fault of their own they are not generally amenable to letting them return to their original primitive, pre-FTL lives.

Indeed, through my mc is probably more of a bleeding heart than yours, while he does not care for whatever spat between elites started this whole mess he does care somewhat about the likely millions of ordinary soldiers and civilians endangered by this stupid conflict.
Though since at present the rebels are the ones who actually seem to want him dead and are likely responsible for killing both of the brothers he never knew…
Let’s just say the rebels are possible the only side he likes even less then dear old dad right now.


#34

I am on side of rebels everyone has the right to call me rebel scum


#35

I am on my own side everybody else can go to hell.


#36

god dammit on Han solo :laughing:


#37

I have never been a fan of Han solo i like boba fett and jango fett.


#38

Thank you so much!

It’s true that chapters 1 and 2 are fairly linear, but this is only the exposition where you get to create your MC and meet the other characters. Chapter 3 should have more opportunities for branching. Do you have suggestions for how I can make it better?

All of the characters will be able to help the MC achieve their goals if the MC recruits/befriends them! Right now I don’t think there will be any other opportunities to escape because that’s just not the game I’m writing, but I’ll keep it in mind if it might fit in later!

Do you think it would be better if I made the flight to Zemia longer? Also I definitely don’t expect everyone (or anyone?) to like the Emperor! He is an asshole.

It’s totally reasonable for your MC to suspect that the translator chip might do more than translate, and I think maybe I’ll add a scene to chapter 1 where the MC can ask one of the other characters to turn off their chip and show them their native languages. As the creator, I can tell you that other than translating text and speech, the only other thing that the chip might do is act as a tracking device. I haven’t decided if this will be the case yet or not, but it will be a major plot point.

I really like the idea of bargaining with Carina in that scene! Though if I add it, it probably won’t be to turn off the chip. Hopefully when I edit the chip scene, your MC’s worries will be addressed.

More information about the world is definitely incoming, though I haven’t decided where the best place to put it is yet. How would you feel if after the photo shoot scene, Kaya gave the MC a dossier with all that kind of information? I’ve already had a few info dump scenes, so I want to avoid doing that again. With a dossier, I figure the player can decide whether or not they want to engage with the information (and it would be permanently available on the stats screen).

I’ve come up with some ideas to allow the MC more time to process what’s happening. How long (how many scenes/choices) would you think appropriate before it’s realistic that the MC has accepted what’s happening?

Thank you all so much for your feedback! It’s very helpful, and I hope that you’ll stick with me long enough to see the changes. If I have time tonight, I’m planning on making some updates


#39

Since my mc really, really distrusts that chip and suspects it acts like a censorship device he naturally wouldn’t trust any info he gains through its suspect “translations”, which is why for him to cooperate with Carina and keep his end of the bargain she needs to use one of the other translators and at least temporarily turn off the chip. Otherwise he just won’t trust her answers. The same goes for any intel briefings and dossiers Kaya might have him read while under the influence of that chip.

You can say that as the creator and as the reader and player I naturally believe you, due to his circumstances my mc is not inclined to believe anything his captors tell him about that chip.

Best way is to do both, gradually work that info into the story naturally and then have a codex in stat screen for the player to read up on any info or clues their character should know.

Actually since his handlers on the starship seem really disinclined to tell my mc anything, that is liable to make the situation worse not better. As right now the worst part of his situation is that he is being kept deaf, dumb and blind to what is actually going on, with his alien “family” the conflict/civil war and in the wider galaxy as they refused to tell him anything on that starship.


#40

What if the dossier was translated into the MC’s native language (physically, not through the influence of the chip–like if the MC speaks English, the document is in English)?

Couldn’t another translator manipulate the communication too though? And even if the translations are accurate, everyone could still be lying to the MC regardless of which language they use.

Confession: the chip only exists to begin with because I needed an explanation (other than magic) for why the MC could communicate with/understand everyone. Your MC’s concerns are completely valid (and they would also be my MC’s concerns), so maybe I should just rethink the chip altogether.

Do you (or anyone else, please jump in!) have suggestions?

Maybe a wristband/watch type thing (maybe the locket???) is a translation device? That would only take care of spoken language, but documents could be translated for the MC?