At your exclusive boarding school, will you rule the roost or be a royal disaster? Court publicity, sway the fate of nations, and find love!
Welcome to the Developer Diary thread for Royal Affairs! This is a standalone game that takes place several years after Crème de la Crème, with a brand new player character.
The story so far: I started working on this game in April 2020. It was released in March 2023!
As the middle child of the Westerlind royal family you live a charmed, if sheltered, life. But with the royal family facing criticism for being out of touch with the lives of ordinary Westerlind people, it’s time for you to leave your gilded home and prepare to take on more royal duties! You’re headed to Archambault Academy, where you will study leadership, rhetoric, and politics and be moulded into the perfect royal scion … and, likely, with a perfect royal betrothal on the horizon.
Work hard, play hard, or both! When political upheaval starts to hit close to home, where will you stand? Will you be a shining example, or bring scandal to the royal family?
Playable Genders and Orientations
You can play as male, female, or non-binary; gay, straight, bi, pan, asexual, and/or aromantic.
Creme de la Creme to Royal Affairs Continuity
At the start of Royal Affairs, you can set some things that happened during Creme de la Creme. Alternatively you can randomise it. Currently the customisable elements are:
- Creme protagonist name and pronouns
- Creme protagonist personality: “scheming and sharp”, “bold and no-nonsense”, “flighty and charming”, “graceful and calm”, “earnest and helpful”, or “my character isn’t really like any of these, I’d rather use my imagination”
- Did the Creme MC romance anyone? Did they get engaged to anyone?
- Did the Creme MC help Lady Renaldt with her plans?
- What happened to Lady Renaldt at the end of the game?
- Was Gallatin College still open at the end, and if so who was the headteacher?
- What were the Creme MC’s life plans after graduation?
- What are the major Creme characters’ prounouns?
- What did Karson and Hartmann do after graduation?
Westerlin is a country with a staid, formal culture in the upper echelons of society. Currently only adult owners of property above a certain value can vote for Members of Parliament, cutting off democratic participation for most of the population. But change is stirring, with peaceful and not-so-peaceful activists working to bring voting rights to all adults.
Archambault Academy is an exclusive boarding school in the mountains of southern Westerlin. Attracting royalty, titled aristocrats, and those who have amassed enough money to send their children to such a place, this is where Westerlin’s future leaders are trained. They are expected to become academics, politicians, military leaders, thinkers – luminaries in high society.
Your pet: a dog, horse, or bird of prey which comes with you to Archambault.
All Peer characters are can be befriended or romanced. They are gender-flippable, and you can pick their genders as they are introduced, have them be randomised, or set them all to a single gender.
My aim with this game is to provide rich interactions with the characters, whether romantic or non-romantic, as well as allowing asexual protagonists to have as fun romantic interactions as allosexual ones.
Of course, there are rivalries as well, and romances may not always go the way you planned…
I made some major character introduction pages during the lead-up to Royal Affairs release. You can read the collection here. There is also a collection of skintone references taken from the Humanae Project.
Asher Garnett: your bodyguard, a traditional, eager to please person who thrives on duty, and whose family traditionally serve the Crown as guards. Asher is your age, and you’ve known them since you were a pre teen
Lord/Lady/Noble Laurie Beaumont: intense, aloof, outrageously wealthy heir to a financial empire. Beaumont works very hard, and is popular among some of the Archambault staff, but the teachers sometimes don’t quite know what to make of them or how to handle them.
Honorable Dominique de Saint Martel: excitable, unthinking, and wants to be everyone’s friend and for everyone to get along. Dominique’s family is close to the royals, and you’ve known Dominique since you were children: you can have friendly, antagonistic, or romantic history with them.
Hyacinthe Van Clare: demure ballet dancing prodigy attending Gallatin College. Hyacinthe adores performing and works very hard. They follow etiquette rules with painstaking care, and are polite to a fault. They are rather shy, but onstage their power of expression is notable.
Prince/Princess/Heir Javi of Zaledo: the younger sibling of Rosario, Javi is a sceptical, flamboyant royal who likes to think they are very worldly wise. They have a strong passion for the arts, and love to be the centre of attention. They want very little to do with you.
Estell Trevelyan: the hotheaded Head Prefect at Gallatin College, Trevelyan is a staunch supporter of universal suffrage and has their eye on political office after they leave school. Trevelyan isn’t afraid to tell others what they think, but they aren’t all fire and bluster - they study hard to achieve their aims.
Multi-Romancing and Polyamory:
Some of the romanceable characters prefer monogamy. Some can be romanced in parallel (in some cases, the player’s metamours may be friendly, in others they may grudgingly put up with each other), or in a triad.
More detailed notes about romances (even more spoilers!)
- Asher and Hyacinthe are both monogamous. If either of them are romanced, you cannot romance anyone else alongside. If the MC doesn’t romance either of them and gives them their blessing, they will get together.
- Beaumont and Trevelyan can be romanced either separately or as a triad. If the MC doesn’t romance either of them and encourages their relationship, they will get together.
- Dominique can be romanced alongside Beaumont or Trevelyan, if Dominique and Beaumont or Trevelyan are in a romance with the MC and not with each other. This does not apply if Beaumont and Trevelyan are together, or if the MC is in a Beaumont/Trevelyan triad. Dominique isn’t romantic with Beaumont or Trevelyan.
- Javi is asexual and does not do kissing or sex with the MC.
- Dominique can be romanced alongside Javi as a triad. They don’t get together if they’re not romancing the MC.
At the Royal Court
Queen Estell IV: your mother, who has strong expectations about how your life will be mapped out
Princess Josiane: your elder sister, who is anxious for the future of the royal family
Prince Oliver: your younger brother, who is at a rebellious mid-teen stage and starting to push boundaries
Lord Fabien de Cadaret: your mother’s university friend and Westerlind Seneschal, which involves diplomacy, negotiation, and a lot of scheduling
General/Setting: some favourite moments to write, parliament setup, gym uniforms, class sizes in Archambault and Gallatin, university timeframes, plots of the Drama Club plays, Archambault and Gallatin relationship, angsty endings, Archambault mascot, cut scenes
Georges, Estell, and the royal family: Georges’ appearance, sibling responses to naming your pet after them, the nature of Georges, Estell and Fabien’s relationship, trivia about Josiane and Oliver
Fabien: Fabien and Javi
Friends and romances: who speaks which languages, who would comb over letters for romantic clues, some very approximate face claims, MBTI types, kinds of people they find it hard to talk to, colours I associate with characters, Enneagram/D&D alignment, virtues and vices, strengths and weaknesses, favourite flowers,, singing voices, favourite classes, talents, things they’d secretly like in a relationship, fears
What if: ROs if MC got a pet and called it their baby visiting a haunted house, going through a haunted maze (I had forgotten the related ask haha!), what fancy amenities they would choose, a child starts crying in public, desert island survival, the Creme characters played Royal Affairs, surprise hugs, ROs discovered ghosts were real, rivalry romances, pokemon the characters would like, being told they’re beautiful in the middle of a fight, trick or treat, responding to a protective MC,, responding to MC being flirted with, response to MC pointing out something pretty that reminds them of the RO, if the MC planned a surprise anniversary party, using language of flowers, noticing something like a hickey a Romeo and Juliet situation, how long they’d spend on their phones, the MC fell asleep in the study area, trolley problem, if they saw childhood photos of an MC that were very different to now, an MC planned ROs’ favourite activity
Dominique: random trivia
Hyacinthe: how they would react to Florin
Javi: some random facts, vulnerability, if the MC had a crush on Rosario, how Javi feels about the Creme MC
Trevelyan: getting engaged?, random facts
Creme MCs: jobs when married to Rosario, possible cameos, subjects taught
Walkthroughs: increasing Asher boldness score, preventing Asher/Hyacinthe or Beaumont/Trevelyan getting together
What time period is the Crème de la Crème series set in?
As it’s a fantasy setting, it doesn’t correspond exactly with a real world time or place - which is delightful for me, because it means I can play fast and loose with science and tech. I used 1920s Europe as a very rough, very general upper limit for technological advancement but am happy to include exceptions when I felt like it. In general in Royal Affairs, most ordinary people don’t have cars or telephones, but modern or wealthy farmers have trucks and tractors, and aristocrats will tend to have at least one car. When phones are mentioned, they’re candlestick telephones.
Do you have a particular gender in mind when writing gender-selectable characters?
No, I don’t think of selectable characters with any one gender over another.
In this setting, do children have to be biologically related to their parents to inherit property or titles?
No, in this setting there’s a lot of institutional classism but it’s based on lineage records and generational wealth and influence rather than concerns about whose genetics are involved.
What characters appear on the Royal Affairs cover art?
I see a lot of aspects of characters in the cover art but I don’t always find it easy to visualise them myself with exact details, so my answer to this is that I’m not totally sure either way - but please feel free to imagine what feels right to you!
Which characters from Crème de la Crème appear in Royal Affairs?
The Crème MC appears if they’re a teacher at Archambault or Gallatin, or are married to Rosario. Their RO will appear briefly at graduation as a guest; they’ll also get a letter from an RO at the Festival of the Birds (though the RA MC doesn’t know the details about this). If a teacher, the Crème MC can be called upon under some circumstances in the late game.
Hartmann appears if they’re a teacher at Archambault or Gallatin. They have some small special descriptions if romancing a teacher Creme MC.
Karson appears if they’re working at Archambault. They can be called upon under some circumstances in the late game. They have some small special descriptions if romancing a Creme MC teaching at Archambault.
Florin is gossiped about a few times.
Freddie occasionally appears in the “next up…” section of one of the news articles (these are randomised so it won’t always come up).
Gonzalez’s mother is in Parliament as a suffrage supporter, and can be called upon during the late game under some circumstances.
Lady Renaldt, Mr Griffith, Mr Blanchard or Ms Dalca can be headteacher of Gallatin; the teachers may be working at Archambault.
Pascal is Lord Haberlin of course; Stefan Fischer and Lady Edith are at the Crème graduation and appear more in Royal Affairs; Vere is Lady Serafin, who briefly appears in Crème and is mean to Karson
Rosario’s spouse Darian, when not the Crème MC, is connected in a very spoilery way to one of the characters in Noblesse Oblige. Rosario always appears.