Skypiercer [WIP] (Updated 30/03/2022)

Hi friends,

I’d like to introduce the working demo of my first Choicescript game, Skypiercer.

Synopsis
After years of toiling away as an Imperial courier, you strike out on your own as the fledging captain of an airship. You’ll have to manage your own crew, fight off rebels, and seek out adventure in fantasy world of floating continents. You’ll race against the Empire to reclaim ancient artefacts and find secrets to reveal your city’s mysterious past.

This WIP will also lean more towards the game/simulation aspect of interactive fiction, in the style of Safe Haven/Lost Heir.

It’s relatively short at the moment (~29.7k), but I’m hoping to make more frequent updates soon.
Play the demo here: https://dashingdon.com/go/9787

Content warnings
  • Mild language, alcohol use, fantasy violence, mention of slavery
Setting

The game is set on the continent of Apotheos. The world used to be much larger, but most of civilization was destroyed by nature’s fury. A congregation of the world’s most powerful sorcerers, known as the Arcanum, used their power to levitate what remained into the sky.

The setting’s main focus will be around the player’s airship. It will serve as a base for the different NPC crew members you’ll be able to recruit as well as the vessel to travel to different locations around Apotheos.

Features
  • Play as male, female or non-binary; gay, straight, bisexual or asexual.
  • Take command of your own ship, which you can name, upgrade, repair and trade
  • Be your own unique captain and choose between 7 classes and 12 origins
  • Become a powerful ally of the Empire or help the rebels topple it
  • Uncover an ancient prophecy and what role you’ll play in enabling/stopping it
  • Discover powerful artefacts and new ways to use them
  • Build friendships or romance with your selected crew
ROs

Your RO will also be your crew members. None of the ROs are genderlocked and sexual orientation will be determined by the player’s orientation. Their first names will be player’s choice (which the player will find out with high enough relationship)

Murdoch [Pilot]. Your closest friend and former crew member under the Empire. Umber brown hair that falls past their brown eyes, fair complexion. Fiercely loyal (sometimes to the point of envy) and somewhat sarcastic.

Kitsunagi [Cartographer]. Mysterious individual with an affinity for history. Black hair trimmed closely to their head, shrewd narrow eyes and a ghost-like pale complexion. Courteous, respectful and straightlaced. They might be hiding something but you don’t know what.

Olowe [Arcanist]. Former Arcanum member who was kicked out for not abiding by their rules. Wiry ashen hair (bald if male) and a rich oak complexion. Crude and old school.

Changelog

30/03/2022: - Chapter 2 done (~29K words)
-Reduce starting gold from 2500 to 2200
-Courier full repair cost increased from 800 to 1000
-Attribute recommendations
-New attribute titles (may change in future)
-Revised some prose in chapter 1
-Added some info to Codex (Still WIP)

As this is my first choicescript game, I would appreciate any feedback or direction you have. More specifically, if there’s any part you particularly like or dislike, as well as things you think that could be expanded upon/added, that would be helpful. Also, if you find any bugs, typos or clunky/nonsensical writing, please let me know.

Thank you and I hope you enjoy the demo.

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Should be fixed, thanks

It won’t even start up.

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should be working now, thanks

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Your setting is very intriguing. I look forward to more from you!

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Kitsunagi is depicted as male here even though I chose the female option for them

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• as is my usual advice, I’d add a save system.
• I find that ending a full stop after each choice results in a cleaner look.
• the childhood options being on one page would be more legible.
• lived off the land → lived of the land.
• it would be helpful to offer an explanation of the jobs we can choose from.
• I encountered a bug while trying to visit dockside services that wouldn’t allow me to proceed.

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I’ve reread this section and can’t find any instance where Kitsunagi is hardcoded as male, did you mean Murdoch by chance?

This should be fixed now, thanks for spotting!

I appreciate the thorough feedback!

  • I have to admit I’m struggling a bit in implement CJW’s save system, but once that’s figured out it’ll certainly be added
  • That makes sense, I’ll go back through and tidy everything up in the next major revision
  • Now that I look at it I think you’re right having all the childhood options on one page is more legible
  • I was going for a term meaning homesteading (i.e. farmers living off the land, growing their own food etc.) but maybe I’ll need to find a clearer way of saying that haha
  • Noted, I’ll add a description for each role in the codex soon
  • I wasn’t able to replicate the bug, do you remember what ship you picked and maybe if your character was a bosun or not?

Thanks again for all your thoughts!

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I picked the second ship and played an arcanist character

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Hello! I only gave a quick partial read-through but here are a few initial comments:

  • For the reason the MC wants to go looking for treasure, I would’ve liked an option along the lines of wanting to do it for the sense of adventure/to discover new things (but not particularly in a scholarly way). None of the listed options seemed to fit with this, as many seemed to focus more on what reward the MC wanted out of doing this instead of why they would enjoy actually doing it
  • Right on the first page (if I remember correctly) there is a point where the tense switches from present to past. The past tense was “yelled Murdoch” but I don’t remember the greater context
  • I chose for my MC to be a pilot but then it said Murdoch was the pilot? If Murdoch is going to be a pilot regardless of the MC’s position, maybe having them both be described as co-pilots would be better in that case.
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Maybe Murdoch, ill play again and see if I didn’t just accidentally misclick

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Yup it was Murdoch

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Still wasn’t able to replicate the bug, but I’ll keep an eye out for it, thanks for letting me know

Yeah I thought so haha but the gender should be corrected now, good spotting!

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Hey thanks for checking out my game!

  • That’s good suggestion, I’ve added it to the list of aspirations at the start of the game
  • I had actually been contemplating between writing in past tense or present tense, I must’ve missed making the start consistent with everything else, it should make more sense now.
  • My intention was to have the classes more like skillsets rather than strict roles. I didn’t want to have any hard requirements on the ship roles (even so, I started MC off with a pilot just in case) so the player could freely customize their crew and MC. But I might add a system where you can assign ‘main roles’ if the crew had double-ups.
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Update: The save system should be working now

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Found an error, this appears when u try yo click “Visit the dockside…”

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The error should be gone now

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@rocklobster found this:

Uncaught Error: SaveMod: Unable to *sm_save before *sm_init

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