Smalltown: Butterfly Effect [WIP]

I’ve been working on this story for about two and a half months now. In it, you take over the life of a non-gender specific character who seems to be living a normal, unsatisfactory life.

You do have a not so normal past however, and as time trickles by, this only becomes clearer. The excitement comes in the form of your own demons, long and recently buried, springing back up and forcing you to make hard choices that will have resounding consequences.

It’s your past versus your present for your future, which will define you?

As you go ahead to read the first three chapters, keep in mind that this is my first official attempt at a story, and for some reason, I chose not to start very small. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

You can play the demo here: S:BE

Feedback
I’m open to all all kinds of reviews, but here’s what I really need:

Primary: Your thoughts. What worked, what didn’t work for you.

Secondary: Errors of all kinds, especially logical plot holes in the story.

Tertiary: You ideas on making the story better.

I want to promise to update the story every single week or two, but I don’t think it’s very possible at the moment. I can however promise one major update every month.

Extra Details
The story will be in parts

The story will be in three parts.

Part 1: The Present

This will consist of the first five chapters, all of which will focus on the MC’s present life and trying to come to grips with it.

It involves the most amount of world building, variables and foreshadowing, so in many ways, it’ll be the most complex.

The first three chapters are currently available and the other two are mostly planned out.

For the next month or so, my attention will be solely on this Part, trying to complete and edit it into something far more coherent.

Part 2

First look expected by late March 2023.

Part 3

First look expected by late June 2023.

Smalltown's Butterfly Effect

In this world, decisions made in the past always alter the present dramatically, but hardly change the future. The future remains almost completely fixed, with the only missing detail being how you get there. It’s kind of like being stuck in a time loop.

This twist on the Chaos Theory is the guiding principle for the story.

The story could have been named either Controlled or Reverse Butterfly Effect for clarity, but those would have made it sound more Sci-fi than it really is.

Fancy Synopsis

To be uploaded with a complete Part I.

Notes
  1. This is essentially a time travel story without any actual time travel (as of now at least).

  2. The inspiration for the story structure is from the fact that the MC’s past is usually of very little real importance. Here, I’m trying to focus in on it.

You’re literally trying to escape your MC’s past (which you had no hand in creating) so this story in itself is asking if you want to become your MC or take full control and become someone entirely different.

Updates
Major

Initial Demo - 23/12/22
*Contains the first three chapters

Minor

No minor update yet.

52 Likes

Is the stats page supposed to look like this?
Can you at least make it to show the cash?

And this page keeps repeating and i choose Lea not Lot. It happens if i don’t try to wake her up.

1 Like

I had the idea of making the stats only be available at the end of the first chapter, sounded smart at the time lol. I’ll change it to show cash as well.

Okay, that one’s a plot hole. I’ll get right on it.

3 Likes

Alright, I just fixed these issues. Sorry for the inconvenience

3 Likes

ooo interesting concept! i don’t have much time rn but i enjoyed the first chapter and am excited to read more !!!

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Thanks for the reply, it’s been so quiet in here. Feel free to drop any ideas you might have on improving it

2 Likes

Hey so i just read the wip! the plot definitely shows promise and i seriously think it’s cool as heck. the code is kind of wonky but from what i gathered by reading wips thats normal at this stage

nitpicking

my mc chose to beat up the thugs aggressively😞 lot/lea showed up and i have to say, it came as a bit of a shock how they nonchalantly told us that they tailed us, and afterwards it felt really off how they could just join us for dinner without commenting on it. Also there’s a choice to share the bed with Lot/Lea and imo it felt too intimate for a stranger we just met, unless of course there’s something i’m missing.
The conversation with them also looped. lot/lea would leave once when my mc went jogging, a second time when my mc woke them up and a third time when mc left for work.
-if i choose the option to wave goodbye at them, lot/lea would still show up to have a conversation about the mc’s family.
-i think the last question with thomas the neighbour led to a blank

ideas for additions

Personally i feel like some more character descriptions (like eye colour or a unique thing that sets them apart), would be nice and can add a layer to the characters, but i totally understand if leaving a part of it up to the reader’s imagination is a conscious choice. Also more name choices for us indecisive readers would be a nice addition lol, along with more details about the mentioned family line like perhaps a memory of their guardian or parent.

Sorry for the wall of text or if some parts of it didn’t make sense, english isn’t really my first language so i still get occasional hiccups lmao. Hope you’re able to understand what i wanted to convey, and happy belated new year😄

2 Likes

This is exactly the kind of reply I’ve been waiting for. Thanks for the nitpicks, I actually want more of those.

I’m very aware of how wonky the code is. I spent way too much time and attention developing a particular mechanic for the game (coming in chapter 4) and that had negative effects on the editing process, because I’d already set a release date.

I’ve taking some notes from your reply, I’ll get straight to work. I expect to roll out a minor update some point this week.

Thanks for your interest and faith in the story, it’s really appreciated. Also, I actually couldn’t you weren’t a native speaker, I’m not one either though. Happy New Year.

2 Likes

I really like it so far! I just have a few notes (through chapter 2)

  • Who’s Lex? And when did he get into my house? If you’re going for a time jumpy thing where we miss some stuff, I’d recommend showing how much time has passed (“a few days later”, “that Thursday” etc.). Otherwise, I’d suggest either showing us or telling us who he is and why he’s here. Unless that scene is in the wrong place, then I would look at your coding

  • There’s a loop. After work you have your todo list. When you choose to talk to lex, it brings you back to work. Then you can actually go to lex. But then the money doesn’t actually show up, and it thinks that you didn’t actually choose that option. I think I’m going to wait to go on to the next chapter until that loop is fixed.

  • How prevalent/important do you see relationships being (both platonic and romantic)?

2 Likes

Hiya. Thanks for the reply.

I don’t remember Lex’s character coming over to the MC’s house, just Leia/Lot, and there isn’t supposed to be a time jump either, the story is pretty continuous. Maybe there was a mixup with the name variables? Can I get a clearer description of where this happens? A screenshot could also help.

Okay, that makes sense. The to-do list is still very much a work in progress. I’ll look into it.

The platonic relationships are nothing short of essential here, as I hope to make clear in the coming chapters.

To be honest, romantic relationships haven’t been a priority so far, but I do have plans for them. Besides the fact that I wouldn’t want anything to feel rushed, they’ll make the most impact later on in the story.

That’s kinda sad, sorry about that. Now I know for sure I need to get an update ready this week. I should probably get to work

So, it’s actually Lot who’s in my house mysteriously. At the start of chapter 2, there’s some options of what to do before work. One of them is to wake up Lot, but I don’t know when he got here

Here’s what he says at the end of that section of the chapter

Oh, now I get it. I can even begin to imagine how creepy that must have been lol.

I think the error’s fixed now, you shouldn’t see any options about Lot at the start of chapter 2

2 Likes