I’ve rewritten Talon City, and I’m finally happy with the plot! In it, you play an owl attorney who finds themselves in the middle of a high-profile murder trial that threatens to tear the city apart! The story has elements of fantasy and legal/crime thriller, so basically it will move pretty quickly with lots of short chapters.
I’d guess the story would be rated PG-13, possibly R, based on some intense scenes and violence, just to give people a heads up. Themes of the story include the injustice of a system where most residents face death one day a week (the Balancing), and the conflicting ideas of the sometimes cruel natural world versus a more “civilized” society that forces both Raptors and Feeders to make some trade-offs. If you were a Feeder, would you rather take your chances in the Open, where nothing is guaranteed, and death can come at any day or hour, or would you rather live in Talon City, where for 6 days a week, you are safe, protected by law, but knowing you face the the murderous Balancing on the 7th day, where every Raptor in city has their eyes on killing a fellow citizen?
I plan to introduce a romanceable character before Chapter 10, but when I say “romanceable,” I mean just that, a character who the MC might become attracted to, based partially on appearance perhaps, but much more significantly on intelligence, character, and chemistry. A slow build, if you will! There will be no “bird relations,” just in case someone is into that sort of thing!
The demo has the first two chapters, about 5300 words, but I have a lot more material drafted (still fine-tuning it) that I should be able to post later this spring. I anticipate about 35-40 chapters in all. This is something I want to submit to Hosted Games before year end. Anticipated length is about 100k words, with about 2,500 words per chapter on average, although some will be shorter to account for the much longer final chapters that include the trial.
To play the demo, go here: https://dashingdon.com/play/ericmoser/talon-city/mygame/
Errors, if you find any!
Comments/suggestions on pacing, worldbuilding details, etc. This is my biggest area of concern, because on one and I want to keep the scenes moving with too much description slowing things down, but on the other hand, I do want to paint a robust picture of the world. I’m trying to sprinkle in world details organically in every chapter instead of starting with an info-dump. Oh and I might also get a city map done at some point.
Feedback about the protagonist’s personality. I am avoiding the empty slate approach for this story, so it’s the opposite of CCH in that respect. The story requires lots of dialogue and I want to be able to include some zippy back-and-forths without having to have the player choose everything the MC says, which really slows it down, and/or renders the dialogue sort of generic. The player will have the ability to mold the MC as the story continues, but the MC will always be a bit egocentric and verbose.
All this being said, I have a pretty tight plot pretty much mapped out, BUT, as we all know, sometimes one of you fine folks will come up with a great idea, one that’s just too good to pass up, so I will remain open-minded. Also, I’m very open to suggestions for possible endings down the line!
Here’s something else you could help me on. I’m torn about whether I should include “side missions / small cases” for the MC to complete while the main story chugs on. One one hand, I fear it might slow the momentum of the main plot, which takes place only over a few days and has high stakes. On the other hand, I know that including a few “side missions” might appeal to the more “gamey” side of interaction fiction and would add replayability. So thoughts about that are welcome!
UPDATE: 5/06/19 added Chapter 3 (7,350 total words, 7.5% finished)
UPDATE: 5/10/19 added Chapter 4 (2,700 new words; 10,050 total words, 10% finished)
UPDATE: 5/13/19 added Chapter 5 (2,525 new words, 12,575 total words, 12.5% finished)
UPDATE: 5/16/19 added Chapter 6 (1,896 new words, 14,471 total words, 15% finished)