Years ago, in the kingdom of Koth, a corrupt noble assassinated the royal family and took the throne by trickery and deceit. The only surviving royal, still a small child at the time, was smuggled out of the palace in secret by servants loyal to the crown. They raised the child in secret far from their homeland and birthright, preparing for the day when they might depose the usurper and take back the throne. To protect the secret heir from all manner of dangers, they were assigned a devoted companion to follow them always, from childhood all the way to the crown.
You are that companion. Your charge has only just turned twenty one, the formal age of majority. You have done all you can to tutor them and keep them safe, and now it is finally time for them to claim their destiny and take back the crown. This could go very well for you, or very, very poorly.
Snake in the Grass (working title) is an intrigue story set in the neighboring kingdoms of Koth and Tigonne. The plot begins in the capital of Tigonne where you, the guardian of the secret heir to Koth’s throne, have come to recruit allies for your battle to win back the throne.
The story is divided into three acts. In the first act, you establish your cover and get to know the major players. This is also where character customization takes place. You can set a few important biographical details for your character here, some of them cosmetic and others lot-critical. In the second act you select your route and begin hatching your plot. This is also where you get a chance to start influencing the heir’s decisions and molding their approach to both war and rulership. The final act is the execution of the plan, and it takes place back in Koth. This act may be cut short if you made poor decisions along the line…
Character profiles and other details are forthcoming.
I’ve resumed work on an early stages game for HG. It’s a spin on the well-worn trope of a usurped kingdom and a long-lost heir raised in secret. The hook is that the story is told from the POV of the heir’s lifelong companion and guardian. Not necessarily exactly a bodyguard (as in the title) but someone charged with keeping the heir safe for the years intervening, and preparing them for a time when they are ready to take back the throne.
The tentative title right now is Snake in the Grass. I am working on coming up with something better.
As the bodyguard you direct your own actions and influence the actions of the young heir, although you do not control them directly. Both of these characters have a customizable gender. You determine what type of upbringing your charge had, and what their disguise has been in their secret life. This also determines what skills they’re proficient in and how people react to them in their common persona.
Once the main plot begins, your job is to recruit powerful allies in a neighboring kingdom, to help the heir depose the usurper and ascend to the throne. You assess the allies for their skills, their political clout, and especially their reliability. Choosing who to confide your secret to is dangerous, as there is always the possibility that they will betray you to the reigning monarch. Otherwise, a powerful ally may betray you to conquer your kingdom for their own power, or try and manipulate the heir and control them.
My current main dilemma is whether to tie route selection to skills e.g. if you’ve been disguised as mercenaries and are proficient in military-type skills, you would by default choose to ally with the prince who is trained in combat and beloved by his troops. This would also then mean taking a military route to taking back the throne. However, I’m still not 100% on whether this is a good idea.
At some point I will probably introduce a very small amount of optional romance content. The genre I am aiming for is intrigue/political fantasy so this seems most appropriate to me. Not ignoring the subject altogether, but certainly not focusing on it.
It’s too early yet for me to assess what the word count will be, and I don’t have a playable demo because the script I’m working on doesn’t have quite enough meat. I did however want to float this idea out there, to gauge interest and get some feedback on which parts of the game seem interesting versus what seems boring or contrived. I would appreciate any feedback. I don’t bruise easily so don’t be squeamish if your feedback is negative. I can take it.
I think it’s okay to post about a game that’s in such an early stage of writing, but if I’m mistaken, please delete this thread.