Tell Me If There's A Way Home (WIP: UPDATE 7.17.21)

Hey, y’all!

I’m new to creating interactive fiction but am not new to writing. I’ve had this idea in my head since the beginning of the pandemic and it wasn’t until I discovered this particular medium for storytelling that I finally felt ready to pour my heart into this project. The events, characters, and themes in this story are all held very close to my chest and I’m excited (and scared shit-less) to finally be able to share a piece of myself with y’all.

Currently, the prologue and part 1 of chapter 1 are available to play through. It’s very short right now, but I’m hoping to keep my updates shorter just so I can push more content out more consistently. I would love any feedback on mistakes that I’ve made, be it formatting issues or technical issues. I am brand new to coding, so please feel free to point out my mistakes in that area, as well.

“Red beats its way into your eyelids, the heat of the air fills the smallest crevices of your lungs. Kicked-up sand settles into the collar of your shirt. You are not home.

You will never be home. There is no home for people like you.

But this place holds a stance of familiarity, tastes like a memory you’ve digested and regurgitated before. Sickly sweet, the lick of saccharin against your tongue and the reminder of rust against your lip.

You are so terribly, terribly lost.”

Fated forever to roam an existence unknown to you, searching for this concept of absolution that escapes your every grasp, leaves you bleeding, leaves you gasping, you find yourself stuck in a town for the lost. Here, you will find what you’re looking for. Here, you will remember who you are.

(Or will you?)

There’s something to be said about the monsters you keep.

Tell Me If There’s A Way Home is western-gothic created with ChoiceScript that has a heavy focus on choice, love, and grief. Set in a place both strange and familiar to you, you seek to unravel the mystery of this town, figure out who you are, and what it is you’ve lost along the way.

  • A fully customizable MC including gender, appearance, and sexuality

  • Time loops, glitches in reality, and a rotting town that collects The Forgotten

  • Key choices that will influence the game. Careful, Traveler, are you ready to find out just what kind of person you are? Who you’ve become, who you’ve lost?

  • Unravel the mysteries and bones of this strange town you find yourself in. Old western curses, demons, and ancient gods will rattle the very foundation of this antiquated town.

  • Four love interests will reveal themselves to you in various forms, all ancient and familiar gods in this new and strange world. How will you hurt them, Traveler?

  • A story that is heavy on choice, love, grief, hope, and recovery. Is it better to get what you’ve lost back or move on? You will make this decision yourself

The Reverie: A foreign figure that you know the taste of, the lick of blood from the underbelly of a wound. Intoxicating. The taste of grandeur and gilded agony. There is something so lovely about the color of hunger when it shapes your mouth into a thing of want. The Reverie is either a man or a woman depending on your sexuality, Traveler. You have broken their heart. You will always break their heart.

Death: The scent in the air before the crack of lightning, the choke of the slaughter after. Death is a woman who will show you that to love is to burn, Traveler. Her ribs are intertwined in yours, the lick of her tongue in your mouth. Tread carefully, but remember that Death always gets what she wants.

The Tower: There’s the promise of danger in his arms. Chaos follows him like a black wind, violent and fast. But there’s the redemption of liberation in the palms of his hands. The Tower is a man. Will you risk the fall, Traveler?

The Hierophant: The keys to heaven are at their feet, Traveler. The kiss of promise and happiness is in your mouth, waiting for you to take the bite. What are you willing to do to taste salvation? The Hierophant is non-binary Beautiful things often have the sharpest teeth, Traveler. Take care where you wander.


Shaking as I write this post, I think a combination of nerves and excitement, but I really would appreciate constructive feedback and thoughts. I’m always looking to improve in everything that I do. If you’re looking for more information on this project and updates, check out my Tumblr linked in my profile. Thank y’all for reading !! <3

Chapter One Title Art

DEMO Tell Me If There’s A Way Home
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245 Likes

Damn. I like this synopsis. It reminds me of purgatory with the ‘forever trapped, always lost’ vibe.

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that was one hell of a ride. the first part with the whole driving and picking up people reminded me of the dude from the underworld that i think rides a boat. throughout the whole thing i was just utterly confused like “what the fuck is happening right now”. i have to admit, the first choice we got threw me off because it just came out of nowhere. very vague and just when i was kinda adjusting to the setting it throws me into another place or does something that throws me off. overall, im confused lmao. great start if that’s what ur going for. also, i adore ur title. lately been obsessed with phrases or sentences as titles.

6 Likes

Wow! Nice writing skills. I was very confused and disoriented. (which I believe was your intention)

It is, of course quite short to say anything about the story, but it is enough to suggest that this is going to be a well written story!

The only thing which was a bit off was your “next” button text, it is too long.
On wider screens it looks alright but on small phone screens it looks a bit clunky.

Overall, it was very good to read and the flow was perfect, especially the Before and After thing. It reminded me of Simulacra.

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hey!

that’s exactly the feel I’m going for, always lost and never found with the confusion of not really knowing where you are or what you’re doing. Thanks for checking this out <3

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ahh thank you so much for reading this little project of mine! the intention is that hopefully everyone is confused, the player doesn’t know where they are or why and I wanted to see if I could implement that into the play experience. I wanted things to feel disoriented and overall like Something Is Not Right here. Things will become clearer as the story progress (or at least, thats my intention!) Thank you so much for your feedback and I hope you have a great day! <3

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oh my gosh thank you so much!!

confused and disoriented is completely what I was going for so thank you for understanding that one!

oh and thank you for the feedback about the next buttons!! I hadn’t even thought about how it may look on the phone, I’ll see what I can do about that.

thank you again for checking this out <3

4 Likes

A western gothic you say? :eyes:

Lemme just say, I loved this wip! Your prose is wonderful and lyrical, and did a good job conveying the feelings of confusion and eeriness. And w o w, this wip is confusing. Most of the time I was sitting there like “what? how?” as I read, trying to piece things together. It adds to the overall creepiness of the WIP, to the point where I’m very worried for Traveler. I’m really excited to see where this wip goes!!

5 Likes

Just finished the demo. It was quite an interesting read and I really love the mysterious vibes so far. Since it has just begun I can’t really say much more other than I’m really looking forward to see what’s to come.

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hey thank you so much for reading and for wanting to stick around!! I hope you have a wonderful day <3

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oh ahh you’re so sweet, thank you!!! soon enough things are going to start making more sense, hopefully! thank you so so so much for reading! have a good day <3

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hi! i really like this!! i think the concept is unique and i love the way you word things, you wrote this world in a very grey light and i’m loving it. great story flow and good pacing. looking forward for more! you did great <33

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hi!! gosh, thank you so much for checking this little thing of mine out!! you’re so incredibly sweet ahhhh <3

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Woah, what a start!

Your prose is incredible and read the same as a dream-like haze would to me, which is fitting. The western gothic aesthetic comes out strong and I love the allusions to rotting flesh and bone to describe the town. The horror elements all mesh wonderfully – The more physical, “heavy” type of horror introduced by the western part is a match made in heaven with the otherworldly, delicate prose the gothic part offers.

All in all, a delightful read! I’ll keep my eyes peeled for the next update :eye:

3 Likes

Wow, what a demo! I felt like I was stuck in a nightmare right from the beginning. The opening is striking (the static radio and the big white smiles in the dark really got to me) and the ‘show don’t tell’ descriptions you have work really really well. Like, bloody hell let me turn on the light kind of well.

I’m genuinely looking forward to seeing the next update and hopefully finding a clue as to wtf is going on and what happened to get us where we are.

I don’t trust any of the other characters we’ve met so far and I highly doubt that I ever will. If I were the MC I would just curl up into a ball in my cowboy hat and have a horse trample me so I could escape whatever is going on. It gives me the creeps and I love it!

A question about the sexuality choice and reveal.

Am I right in assuming that romance will be compulsory? I only ask because there’s no option to say that you aren’t attracted to anybody, which is completely fine by the way! It’s the authors choice after all. I was just curious if you were going to make romance optional or not, because if it is, possibly adding a ‘uninterested’ option would make that clear?

And I was also wondering if there could be a choice for our mc to be attracted to men/women/both without blushing under Alice’s stare? Even if she’s beautiful, I can’t imagine my MC being bashful of anybody because they’re a hardass. Once again, this is just some feedback. I really hate pointing things out like this because I’m not trying to be rude and I like this world you’re building a lot.

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Sounds interesting

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I haven’t played the demo yet but I have to say I adore the title- it makes me feel a little sad I think? In a good way!!

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A trans-inclusive, trapped in purgatory-style horror game? Sign me up!

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hey oh my gosh you’re so incredibly sweet for checking this out and giving it the time of day! <33

it makes me so happy that you’re experiencing the vibes and emotions I tried really hard to implement throughout what little amount that I have available to read right now!!

so as for the romance, I don’t imagine that I will make it a compulsory choice - I want this, above all, to be as inclusive for everyone as I can possibly make it.
And thank you for bringing up the blushing issue! I actually have been thinking about that very same thing since I posted it. I think it’s because I myself am so enamored by Alice that I could imagine myself blushing, so if you have any other ideas for how to implement and change that, I would love to hear!!

and oh please don’t feel like you’re being overbearing or too rude about making suggestions. This is why I posted it here, I genuinely am wanting feedback from people who are interested in this story. Comments and suggestions like yours are what will make me a stronger writer and a better listener, so THANK YOU!! <3

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hey!!
I hope you do find it interesting if you choose to check it out!! thank you so much <33