The Bread Must Rise (WIP) - Now in beta testing, thread is closed

Hello all!

The Bread Must Rise is a humorous eldritch horror / fantasy / baking game with just a teaspoon of isekai elements added (for flavour, you understand).

Godstone, renowned throughout the twelve mostly civilized realms as the “city of a thousand bakeries,” is not what it once was. The queen undying, a necromancer rumored to have a taste for human blood, has filled its streets with terror, while the well-muscled members of the Carb Freeon cult threaten bakers with impunity. And something is off with the city council, a group of shadowy figures who nobody ever remembers actually seeing.

None of this should be your problem: you just want to honor your dead parents by running a successful bakery. But when you’re chosen as a contestant for the Great Godstone Bakeoff, a baking competition that brings fame and fortune to its winner, you’re thrust into the center of the mess. Worse, the queen undying has registered herself as your assistant for the challenge. Can you balance your goals of becoming the best baker in Godstone with winning the Bakeoff’s crazy challenges and avoiding the increasing unrest in the city?

And don’t worry. Losing is part of the fun!

The game is co-written by James Beamon (author of the Pendulum Heroes series, among other fine fictions) and Stewart C Baker (author of many short stories and former editor of sub-Q magazine).

  • Vegetarian, vegan, and omnivore modes!
  • Various romantic entanglements!
  • A setting that mashes up late medieval Constantinople with baking shows and sports arenas!
  • Genderflux and nonbinary NPCs!
  • Jokes so terrifying you won’t know whether to laugh or cry or do something in between!

The game is kind of sweary at times.

ETA July 2023 - Game is now in beta, so I’ve removed it from Dashingdon. Thanks for your feedback!

ETA Jan 2023 - Turned on save files!

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Not words I expected to see together, but a superb concept.

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We aim to please! Or at least confuse. :joy:

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It’s a pleasure to see you here, Mr. Delightfully Appropriate Name.

I can’t wait to see what everyone makes of this. I really want to know what people are going to think about the characters. I wonder if anyone else is going to not-so-secretly wish we could romance Clyde?

And I always thought “reaction videos” were a really stupid concept, but I’d really like to see everyone’s face when they get to Chapter 6.

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Bahahaha! Ironically, I am pretty terrible at baking. All those… ingredients. So troublesome! (Maybe that’s not ironic, given how things go in the game.)

Your critiques and commentary have been absolutely fantastic so far, by the way! The game is definitely much improved for them. :slight_smile:

(I also think it’s hilarious that I didn’t have to unblur the spoiler to know who you were talking about.)

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I really like this game! The humor is so witty, definitely a plus in my book! Also can we have saves?

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Well, if it makes you feel better, you’re probably better at baking than I am at jousting and invading the Holy Land.

Thank you so much for your kind words! I’m glad I’ve been able to contribute!

:joy::joy::joy::joy::joy::joy::joy::joy::no_mouth:

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I’m not sure how to set that up on Dashingdon, sorry!

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The sense of humor and story’s voice is great. I appreciate the opportunity to reject being addressed by any pronouns/gender.

@Stewart_Baker
I used this to set up saves for my dashingdon WIP’s.

Several possible bugs before I get deeper into the story:

From the stats screen, this may be an error. I’m playing in omnivore mode but the text reads Vegan Mode.



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It says vegan mode in stats even though i chose omnivore

That’s enough, Tom," the queen says before facing you again. “You will know in due time, {fname}. You can’t help but know. But right now we have people to see, magic to unravel. Like Tom says, best to get this sorted first.”

What’s especially odd about that fname variable is that my character is male, so doesn’t that mean it should be mname?

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@stsword {fname} might be “first name”

@Stewart_Baker
This was fun to read! I laughed at many spots, the humor carried the experience. Definitely curious to see how the game’s endings and relationships play out. The challenge with humor—especially such a distinctive, persistent voice—is building a narrative grounded/believable enough to pay off for the reader. I’m curious how this story will handle wrapping up the relationships (parents, other characters) and stakes in a rewarding way.

My own game has a character like the queen undying in how their relationship with the player character can seem inevitable. A good number of players have strongly disliked this inevitability and the character as consequence. You may want to give them more options to avoid this relationship or react with hatred/violence.

I would benefit from a clearer sense of where the characters stand in age. From her introduction, I would not have guessed that the queen undying was someone from our characters’ parents’ generation, for example.

I wish we’d gotten more time with the Chosen Hero before he died, so I could feel something about his death besides “huh” when the body showed up.

A few more bugs below





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fname = first name

Also, is “The Bread Must Rise” a reference to the Biblical “the dead shall be raised”?

It’s a lot of fun for me to see you enjoying this, because this and yours are two of the most delightfully original works I’ve ever had the privilege of reading. As as dramatically different as this is from Teahouse on the surface, they actually have some weirdly specific elements in common: the juxtaposition of mundanity, absurdity, and mystery; lots and lots of food, at least some of which sounds delicious; and an enigmatic chaos/death woman who is weirdly attached to you for some reason. :joy:

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Stewart and I connected via the SFWA! I’m glad to have been directed to this project as a result. And yes, my reaction to the queen undying was very much “huh” with a sense of deja vu.

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Stewart! I’m so excited that you’re making a CoG (I could rhapsodise about sub-Q all day) and this is delightful. I haven’t played all of the chapters yet but I enjoy how hard it goes with its madcap tone! I’m curious to see if it continues being so wild throughout or whether there are quieter bits - if the latter doesn’t happen it could get a little tiring (I liked the ongoing signature joke but felt there could have been maybe a couple fewer, so the repetitiveness didn’t get too much). It’s sparkling with originality and I look forward to clashing with the Queen who seems wonderfully unhinged so far!

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Thanks, @HarrisPS – great to see you here! :smiley:

We have some quiet moments, usually when you’re chatting with other characters, but mostly it’s dialled up to at least 11. Definitely something we’ll keep in mind as we keep writing.

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I wonder how much of this is background reading/watching in common. Do you watch a lot of anime or anime-inspired stuff? Because I have watched an awful lot of anime and I’m pretty sure James is pulling from that well for inspiration too, at least some of the time.

I feel like

enigmatic chaos/death woman who is weirdly attached to you for some reason

is a solidly established trope in comedy/fantasy anime, even if it’s not as common in western SFF! (Although I can think of some examples there, too. I’m pretty sure it’s in at least a couple of the Discworld books, which I devoured as a feckless teen.)

I updated the scene files to fix (I hope) most of those pesky multireplace and variable output errors, and also updated the stats screen to say “game mode” instead of “vegan mode.” (It used to only say vegan mode was on or off, so it made more sense as a section header.)

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