The Brightest Stars (WIP -- 21K Words)

Summary:

In the kingdom of Taras, everyone lives with a prophecy. The fortunate call it a gift, the unfortunate a burden. You are the youngest child of House Rauz, a powerful noble family only a tier beneath the king. Shortly after your thirteenth birthday, you travel to the capital with your family with a distressing, newly minted prophecy scrawled out across your skin.

Soon enough, you find that you have other, equally pressing concerns; a key purpose of your visit is to place you at the side of Lux, the younger, more favored child of King Caius. When Lux gets a prophecy, it seems even more damning than yours.

Can you save Lux before it’s too late, or will you both go down the wrong road together? And can you solve your own prophecy? Only the years ahead will tell.

Romance

Note: The Brightest Stars is a single RO game, with a mandatory romance path. This is necessary for the plot.

Lux zi’il Aurym (M/F)

Lux is the favorite child of the king, though they’re a legitimized bastard. They’re charming, passionate, and proud to a fault. There’s a darkness lurking in them, a corruption that could rot and fester, but there’s kindness, too, ripe for fostering. Maybe, with your help, one side can win out?

Lux is tall and lean, with light brown skin and curly black hair. They have bright green eyes, with a mole under their left eye, and a delicate, slender face. Both Male and Female Lux grow to be exceedingly beautiful in adulthood. Female Lux is the same height as Male Lux.

Features
  • Play as male or female
  • Customize your MC’s looks and personality
  • Make choices that raise the MC’s corruption and Lux’s, and impact endings
  • Experience different dynamics with Lux depending on their gender and the MC’s
  • Try to survive the backstabbing, politicking and intrigue of court, and maybe even conquer it
  • Play a game spanning years, from the MC’s early teens to their mid-twenties
  • Bring out the best in Lux, or make them worse!
Changelog
  • Chapter 1 uploaded May 26th, 2024

Demo Link: https://dashingdon.com/play/dawn1000/the-brightest-stars/mygame/
Tumblr Link: https://brightest-stars-if.tumblr.com/

The game is currently 21k words total, excluding code.

186 Likes

Are we supposed to not be able to get past this point?

1 Like

Yes! I just tested and it’s working for me. Is it not working for you?

Edit: Oh shoot. Let me adjust the code, I just figured out what was wrong.

Edit 2: Fixed it!

4 Likes

I really like the story you have here :grinning: hopefully the prince will warm up to us soon :laughing:

5 Likes

Thanks for the kind words, I’m glad you like it so far!

Lux will definitely warm up to the MC haha. Though if you want Male!Lux to like you from the jump, you should either play as a male MC or attend the sacrifice as a female MC .

9 Likes

What about a female lux?

2 Likes

This is a promising start to a story and I enjoyed playing through it several times. I’m impressed by the amount of variability depending on the MC and Lux’s genders, such as Lady Isolde having more influence at court if Lux is a boy. This sort of difference is quite rare in Choicescript games, but I find it a refreshing change of pace from the usual pronoun flip.

I do have a few suggestion, however:

  • Right now, most of the choices are very binary. Either your choose A and increase one stat, or you choose B and increase its opposite. It would be nice for there to be some middle ground options to increase the interactivity.

  • While the amount of world building present so far is unlikely to be confusing, a codex of some sort would be useful for keeping track of the various elements of the setting.

Finally, I’ve noticed a few typos:

Typos


Exposed code.


This can just be a full stop.


Should be weight.


First line repeats.

15 Likes

Unlike with male Lux, you can’t convince female Lux to like you straight away; she’s too suspicious of you (and her mother) for that.

The differences between female Lux and male Lux are ones that I really wanted to include. Isolde’s level influence is a good example of this. Beyond that, however, I really want to explore the differences between both versions of Lux. They still have the same base personality traits, but they sometimes manifest in different ways. Female!Lux is angrier at the world, and Male!Lux feels his isolation more intently.

But I don’t want to delve into all the differences yet, that’s for the game!

As for the binary choices, yes, I totally get where you’re coming from. As I go forward, I’m definitely planning on including more options. This first chapter was more about getting my feet wet with the game.

I’ll consider making a codex, but I’m not totally sure how necessary it’ll be. I have to figure out how to implement it first

Thanks for pointing out the typos, and for all your feedback!

20 Likes

Enjoyed what you have here as @justme pointed out did feel a bit straightforward on choice options, but definitely loved how the characters reaction differed depending on our Mc and Ro. But as you have addressed the issue justme brought up I have no issues.
Either way I’m certainly looking forward to what you have in store as this does seem to be a very enjoyable IF so far.
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10 Likes

I love how controlled and tight you’re keeping the story and premise, I have high hopes for how it progresses, especially with the Lux romance character!!!

18 Likes

Ohh I love this! Been a while to read an IF with only one RO and I’m really excited for it! I like how the interaction (and the intrigue of course) between characters is different depending on both MC and Lux’s gender

Can’t wait to make dear Lux finally trust my shy sunshine MC not only as a betrothed to have tea with but as a good friend as well :wink:

Excited for more! Good luck dear author :heavy_heart_exclamation:

4 Likes

Oh no Lux was so rude to my precious angel! :frowning:

1 Like

Can we choose our own name??

3 Likes

I think I am in love! This is so fun and for 21k it seemed so much more longer than I had thought! Hope you can continue updating this WIP, its too fun and I am so excited to see the development of the MC’s and Lux’s relationship

2 Likes

Played it! Very pleasant demo so far, i like the concept of one RO, though i would like it if relationship bars were added. Im sort of shooting in the dark when guessing my relationship with others lol [unless its intentional]

It would be nice if our name and gender were displayed on the stats window as well [esp the name, as they’re pre-generated and i sort of forget that characters are referring to me when they say it lol]

I really like Lux so far! Can we influence Lux to the ‘bad side?’ In the future (As in, fester their ‘darkness’ without a game over?)

I also noticed a variable slip [the king says its rare to see “mc_girl” at the sacrifice]

3 Likes

Oof. Played as a naïve sweetheart with a male!Lux who obviously likes him and that ending was brutal. Poor thing didn’t get burned, she got oiled down and roasted. And it makes it so much worse that he was being so upfront to her where others would be sly, so much so that I couldn’t help but burst out laughing at the audacity of this man.

I’m gonna totally send him down the corruption route for the gall lol. Great game.

7 Likes

The sister said something about younger siblings and called my princess a boy. Said noble boys or something like that.

Needs to be fixed but I fully enjoyed what we have so far. One RO is a really cool concept. Most of the time I pick the first RO I meet anyway. Sometimes also the one with most red flags. The prince was a straight up asshole. Called my princess just his soon to be wife. No reason to talk to me or befriend me. I will kill him with kindness. He will have no choice but love me fully! :smiley:

1 Like

Damn we were starved for low fantasy WIPS, given how slow some of them have advanced or sadly just faded with time as their writers disappeared, liked the cast and how you’ve introduced the medieval society keeping to the realistic with betrothed being the norm in such societies as asoiaf does it well but few WIPS dare taking a bold step even if only in name regarding romancing freedom is interesting to see.

Here hoping with all my heart that we get a poly relationship among the romance options, giving horns to the king’s daughter is one of those things you would expect in those spicy courts.

The religion is interesting, same with how you can shape clearly your MC’s devotion towards it alongside their personality, liked how no matter your gender we were not restricted to a tradition or the other myself wanted to spend more time with the female cast and possibly future ROS, eager to see more of Lux and her role on the story as well as her supposed pregnancy when the time comes.

3 Likes

Thanks, friend! I’m certainly enjoying working on it : )

Flame, my homie! Thanks for taking a look at the demo. I’m looking forward to digging further into Lux’s character as well!

I was a bit nervous about how people would take a game with only one RO. I’m glad that so far, the response seems to be relatively positive. I definitely enjoy including the gender variations, even if they’re sometimes a pain to code lol.

When Lux finally warms up to your MC, they’re going to be the best friend ever! Hopefully it’ll make up for their behavior now XD

Yeah, Lux can be a bit of a jerk sometimes : (

If it’s any comfort, the MC will be able to never let them live it down, if you have a combination where Lux was rude initially.

I initially chose to make the name choice an early stat boost, but I think I’m going to change that. So yes, once I tweak that you’ll have the option of choosing your own name.

I’m glad that 21k didn’t seem too short! I had debated trying to write more, but I figured a concise chapter was better than one with unnecessary filler. I’m glad you like it so far <3. I plan to continue working on the game, and writing more of the MC and Lux : )

I’m currently tracking opinions in the code, I could probably easily convert that into percentages. I’ll work on adding that in; you’re probably right, it might be more helpful to see opinions others have of the MC.

Yep, it’s completely possible to get good (well, for you at least lol) endings with a High!Corruption Lux. Beware, there will also be bad endings.

LMAO yeah, Lux is sometimes a bit… much. The worst part is that in this scene, Male!Lux isn’t even trying to be mean. He’s just like ??? What more is there to say lol.

Hopefully he’ll make it up to your sweetheart MC.

Hm, I’ll have to go and check for that issue, because it definitely shouldn’t be there. Thanks for pointing it out.

Lux will turn into the biggest simp eventually, pinky promise. They just need some time to warm up to certain MCs. Killing them kindness could definitely work tho.

The game’s only RO is Lux, I regret to say. With that being said, you could still get some jealousy scenes down the line, if that’s any consolation.

12 Likes

This is a great start! I’m a sucker for noble/royal MCs, so I can’t wait to see this continued :heart_eyes_cat:

I like the idea of only one RO, it reminds me of Our Life: Beginnings & Always, and I think it will allow for a more in-depth relationship than you usually see in games that have to balance multiple ROs. Especially since this game starts with them as children and the game will take place over several years. I agree with previous comments that it’s nice to see the differences in Lux’s character based on gender (presumably due to the different gendered pressures and treatment they face, since like you said their base personality/interests are the same). I’d love to see more of that for the MC too!

I played as a female MC with male!Lux and it’s interesting that he’s dismissive of her if he perceives her as a stereotypical girl(?), but I like that it’s not smooth sailing from the start and there’s room for the relationship to develop. But will it just be the female MC has to prove herself to him for them to be friends, or will he have to prove himself to her too? Because I can imagine quite a few MCs will be put off/unimpressed with him after what he said lol.

Some bugs/typos I found:

“That’s a good question,” he says, and you preen beneath his complement, "I was thinking the same thing.” - compliment

“Boy,” Lady Isolde chides as you leave, “don’t go make me sound like some tyrant.” - making? (not 100% sure on this one)

He nods. “I’ve seen the ritual since I could remember,” he replies, "but never at the capital. I’m willing to bet the ritual will take place in the Palace Agora. I’ve heart it’s beautiful.” - heard

Lux sticks close to Lady Isolde’s side. he doesn’t bat an eyelash at his brother’s staggering. If he’s bothered by it, he isn’t showing it. - should be capitalised

His robes are not red, like those of his priests, but golden. Red has been woven into the fabric, but only as embroidering. - embroidery?

You wince a little the thought. - little at the (missing word)

Sonya’s brown pinches. “And what of me?” she asks. - brow

Your mother glances at her out of the corner of her eye. “You will have to grin and bear it,” she replies, "as all women do. As your sister will as well, once she is older. Sonya lets out a wary sigh. “I know,” she murmurs, "I just wish, sometimes, that it weren’t so.” - should be a quotation mark after the full stop.

With brief respite from the courtiers, you have time to select the trinkets you want to offer the cow. You eye all of the trinkets again. - with a brief (missing word)

You remember the time that Sonya asked to ride him, just to see what would happen, when you were all much younger, and the tantrum that your brother had chosen. - I think the word choice here doesn’t fit, maybe “thrown” instead?

After a while, you grow wary of making these offerings. You rise from your position and return the trinkets you didn’t use back to the stand. Once you return, you consider your options. - weary?

You consider your options for a long second. You could either be honest and admit that you haven’t had enough time with Lux for lux_him to have made an impression on you. Or you could lie in an attempt to gain Lady Isolde’s favor. - gender coding & extra quotation mark at the end

“It is a pleasure to have you at court, my lady,” she says softly. "I could not help that you seemed nervous earlier when introducing yourself. Apologies if this is an overstep, but I would urge you not to be nervous at court. I would be happy to help you acclimate, if need be.” - I could not help but notice that (missing words)

Surprise washes over you at her generous offer. She had seemed gentleness before — you had been able to tell that much, at least — but this blatant show of kindness is enough to take you blink. Even back home, you still had your fair share of vipers. - gentle

Lady Cordelia’s eyes widen in alarm. She reaches out to clasp at your hands. “Oh,” she gasps, "my apologies, Lady Calista. I had only meant that boys at your age can be wild, not that you are by any means innoble.” - not sure if this is meant to be referencing MC’s gender, but my MC is a girl

Sonya’s lips twitch. “Of course you aren’t,” she says. "For all I jest, you and Eulen are promising, noble boys.” - my MC is a girl

Lux sits before you on an opposing sofa, sipping his tea easily . - extra space before full stop

“How did you sleep?” Lux asks, friendly . - extra space before full stop

9 Likes