Sabres of Infinity: Low Fantasy Cavalryman Simulator


#1

So, I have this low fantasy setting called The Infinite Sea, it’s got a functional magic and starts at a late-18th century tech level, but starts progressing, both socially and technologically as the story goes along. I’ve been trying to tell some kind of long-form story in this setting for quite some time now, though I’ve never been able to push something substantial out (save for a few short stories). I usually end up just stopping because of lack of feedback or because I genuinely feel like my writing skills aren’t good enough.

A few months ago, I came up with an idea to write a story in my setting in Choicescript, something set near the beginning of the main Infinite Sea Universe (or Infiniverse) timeline. So, I wrote and sent a pitch, then promptly forgot about it.

Three weeks ago, I figured I might as well get on with it, thus, Sabres of Infinity was born.

Sabres of Infinity is set during a war between the Unified Kingdom of Tierra and the League of Antar. The player is a cavalry officer in the Royal Tierran Army during the first phase of this war, going through training, a rough sea voyage to the front and a series of raids and patrols leading to a climactic set-piece battle between the massed forces of both belligerents. Think of it as Sharpe to Choice of Broadsides’ Hornblower.

The war itself is just one portion of the story. In addition, the player will interact with several major NPCs, whose careers and lives often depend on the player’s actions. As the player vies for riches, favour and patronage, the player’s NPC compatriots will be doing the same, often aiding or clashing with the players interests.

The rough drafts of a prologue and two chapters (out of twelve) are finished. You can rifle through them here:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/49716174/Sabres%20of%20Infinity/web/mygame/index.html

NOTE:
You may have noticed that I’ve had to unfortunately pigeonhole players into playing the role of a male of noble birth, there are a couple of reasons for that.
1: The pre-existing setting, which is already developed with a wide cast of characters (some of whom are long dead, or haven’t been born in the time covered by the story), which kinda prevents a full genderswap.
2: The magic system basically requires me to make the player a certain social class, else I’d basically be making three separate games.
3: I plan on doing some art for this as well, and seeing as I don’t really have much time to work on this in the first place, allowing for the full range of humanity at character creation would raise the amount of work I’d have to do to ludicrous levels.
4: Because, I am at heart, a lazy sucker with a narrow comfort-zone for writing. As such, I’d prefer to stick to what I know for my first foray into Choicescript, and have no confidence in my ability to write properly fleshed out female characters.


Guns of Infinity
Guns of Infinity
Guns of Infinity
Guns of Infinity
Guns of Infinity
#2

there an error when you pick to join the boarding party in chapter 2.


#3

The exact error reads as:

line 252: Invalid expression at character 2, expected NUMBER, STRING, VAR, or PARENTHETICAL, was equality [=]

From what I saw before I hit the error, things were fairly good. Admittedly, there was not a whole lot of setting development. I was taking shots in the dark about how the government worked and where some locations were in relation to each other. Or why our nation is at war with the other one. But like I said, good; well-writen, intriguing, and I felt that I could gleam hints of personality from the current character interactions.


#4

It’s a great game .


#5

although the statistics aren’t very well rounded .


#6

The writing is strong, and just needs a few typos fixed. I think Choice of Broadsides managed to have more significant choices more frequently, though.

Instead of just telling us things like “you and Cazarosta become better friends,” show a short scene or dialogue with Cazarosta doing something friendly, and our character reacting appropriately.

Also, it seems weird that Cazarosta barely acknowledges me when we first meet, but takes offense when I reply in kind.

Bug: Captain Walken turns to Cazarosta, his expression furious.
“$!(crank) Cazarosta, you were in command of this fiasco, were you not?”

Bug: I got “This gives you plenty of time to think back to the boarding action, and the free tackle block which nearly killed you.” but there was no mention of a tackle block in the boarding scenes.


#7

I like this game, a good setting that feels familiar, yet has some original twists.

Two comments:

  1. I also missed any reference to a tackle block, so either I failed to notice that or it wasn’t in there

  2. I felt like Cazarosta and Elson switched personalities at various times. I wasn’t sure who was supposed to be the gruff, standoffish one and who was the more outgoing.


#8

I’ve fixed the two syntax errors, which, I think might have led to the thing with the tackle block.

(spoiler)If you hidden “enemy” relationship value with Cazarosta is high enough and you trip the right flags, he WILL try to kill you during the boarding action.(/spoiler)

Also: I’m editing this directly in dropbox, so all updates are in near-realtime.


#9

I got an error that illegal mixing of spaces and tabs on line 104


#10

I got the same.


#11

I’m really not seeing why a female protagonist isn’t possible.


#12

Mostly, it’s the mechanics of being a deathborn-bastard and adultery as a whole that’s preventing a Broadsides style full genderswap. If a male baneblood sires a deathborn, then he can deny that it’s his, but if a woman carries a deathborn child for nine months, then the “guilt” is obvious.

Normally, I’d change the idea itself, but it’s a rather integral part of the setting and drives a ludicrous amount of world events over the main timeline.

As for female protagonist in a fully integrated fighting force, that’s actually a bit complicated, and can either be interpreted either as “I’m helpless with female characters” or “The story takes place before gender integration of the armed forces takes place story-wise”.

There’s also the issue of the art I’m planning. I’ve been meaning to represent the player as a generic male silhouette, which obviously means more work if I have to double up for female ones, or an entirely genderswapped Royal Army.

Fixed the error btw.


#13

I’m still getting an error, I chose a “_______ at your service” to the Deathborn and when the other character enters I get an error on the next page


#14

Nabbed that one too.


#15

@Cataphrak Or you can just have a setting which doesn’t have misogyny.


#16

I find a setting without some kind of inequality between groups to be unrealistic and bland. There is ONE society within the Infinite Sea with near-total gender equality, but they have their own unique problems (like their belief in their world-wide manifest destiny), but inequality, especially inequality between immutable categories leads to conflict and conflict drives story.

The main conflict in the Infinite Sea is between the concepts of heredity and ability. Gender inequality is certainly addressed in that context. The fact that I chose to start at the beginning has the side-effect of meaning the story starts two decades (in story) before the first gender-integrated armies (except for the one exception).

I could have a setting without misogyny, or misandry. I could have a setting without racism, homophobia or irrational fanaticism of any type.

I wouldn’t find it a very compelling setting.

ADDENDUM: I AM self-aware enough to know that I’ve been raised in a society with a very specific set of cultural predispositions and prejudices. I am also aware enough of the fact that I don’t consider myself well-versed enough in sociology or anthropology to build a setting entirely free of those predispositions. If you forced me at gunpoint to create a setting without any kind of gender inequality from the beginning, I’d probably make a hash of it.


#17

I for one don’t find a misogynistic setting compelling.

It is entirely possible to have a setting without these problems and still have conflict. How does rehashing any of these make a setting any more interesting?


#18

I have to agree with cataphark a realistic society without these common day to day conflicts is just plain dull and unrealistic . Just ignoring these problems and pretending they don’t happen in nearly all society’s (Real or fake) its simply disrespecting the very people which fought for equal rights in the real world .


#19

There’s a difference between having a setting with misogyny (which I use as a source of conflict) and a misogynistic setting.

I don’t consider myself a misogynist, I have a setting wherein some of the cultures are misogynist. I use that as an opportunity to spark conflict. Seeing as my setting and story are very political ones, and political conflict are based off groups of people with conflicting interests. The best of those conflicts are between people who cannot simply be convinced to join the other team.

That being said, I DO find a pre-modern, “civilized” (and I use the term figuratively) society without any kind of sexual, racial or any other kind of discrimination based on some sort of immutable difference to be unrealistic, and even shallow.

Societies are based at least partially on hate: the belief that they must stand together because somewhere, out there, are people out to get them who are not worthy of joining them. Classical Greece, Rome, Imperial China and Japan (even today) are all excellent examples. In addition, these cultures are held together by common cultural codes, which include setting up a privileged class, be they warriors, priests, women or men. I don’t know of a single culture that did not disqualify certain categories of people from leadership, due to the circumstances of birth. Societies are built on inequality, an inequality that is only rectified when that society is able to worry about competition or survival so little, for so long that they can turn themselves to self-betterment.

I would consider myself a dishonest worldbuilder if I created a setting with many cultures, many societies and no such inequality.

That being said, after this one, I can always write a story set elsewhere (and elsewhen) in the Infinite Sea, that DOES take place within a fully gender-integrated society. Just let me prove to myself that I can actually crank out a completed story first.


#20

Why is this always a huge deal on new games?