The Cursed Lady and The Weakest Knight (Updated: 3/24/2019)

I like the game so far and that suprises me since I don’t like playing choice games that do not let you make your own character. One thing that I think would be nice is if you could add a save system into the game. Other then that nice work.

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Oh, whoops! It looks like I forgot to add the new startup file into dashingdon;;

Thanks for catching that Delphi and Logan.

The pit was inaccessible before so it wasn’t in any previous updates. So that’s just new content.

And thanks! I just wish there was more to see.

Thanks, I plan to update the debugger in the stats screen soon to allow players to leap further ahead so they don’t have to replay the opening over and over again.

Otherwise I don’t believe choicescript itself really supports save states, so there’s only so much I can do there.

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No update today. I’m gonna make a bit of a change to the story I could use some advice on. I’m planning to cut the latest segment I’m working on. Which means it’s probably gonna be a while before there’s another update :confused:

The latest file got away from me and it’s kind of a mess, and despite not being nearly done is about 33000 words.

My original plan with the first mission was to give the player a limited amount of time to get ahead of a dangerous situation. The player woudn’t actually have enough time to put out all the fires though, so all they can do is make the upcoming attack less dangerous by partially defanging it ahead of time.

I still like the idea of doing this, but my approach needs to change. The current system involves little islands of prose the player jumps between, losing time on each jump, and losing more time depending on their actions. But it’s definitely gotten a little out of hand.

I’m not sure what my approach should be, but while I want to give the player options for pursuing this mission at their own pace, I need to find a more focused way to write story segments. I’m just not quite sure what my approach should be…

At least I can still repurpose a lot of the prose already written. Probably.

Thanks to everyone who’s been following this story. Sorry it’s still gonna be a bit before there’s anything new to check out.

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Since the ultimate goal is to minimize & not stop the attack, the player just needs to decide how they want to minimize it. Maybe you could allow the player to choose their method: 1. Battle the bug like creatures only, 2. Battle the main threat at the gore pit, 3. Battle middle threats (stone creatures and such if there are others you plan to include) or 4. Find equipment to help defend the village. Once the player chooses, you could incorporate your original time-limit plan and original prose: each goal has a limited number if tasks, each that take a (programmed) amount of time to accomplish. Depending on the choice some take longer than others but the player is able to pick in total 2-3 options to accomplish thier goal.

This way the player would have limited amount of time to accomplish a number of tasks within each goal; but it’s less explorative, though more goal oriented for the player. Code-wise, it may be more organized.

There are several CoG/HG games that do this(or something similar to it), but I’m not able to think of a specific example right now. CAN ANYONE ELSE THINK OF SOME EXAMPLES?

Hope this makes sense, and is helpful to you. Great job!

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Yeah, that’d probably work pretty well…

It feels like a lot of people want the mechanics of their choices hidden to an extent, so I think I just have a bad habit of over designing scenarios, which on the programming side of things winds up being a staggering mess to deal with.

Thanks for the advice, Joi.

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The interaction between Adel and Marie is always cute, bringing her along for the mission was fun , i do wonder whether other characters such as Leona of the mercenary corp or those officers in the guild would play a part in future story ? It would be interesting when these characters are involved in the married life of the 2 protagonists :slight_smile:

about the time limit within a course of action, i remember your method in Vampire House is very well done, giving MC a time frame to do whatever they want before finishing all necessary tasks to gain a romance partner for the Halloween party, perhaps you can apply the same method ? :slight_smile:

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They definitely will. Probably.

And to an extent that is pretty close to what I’m doing for the time management. With just a touch of complication added.

I know I said an update would take a while, but apparently I was lying: https://dashingdon.com/play/odichastings/the-cursed-lady-and-the-weakest-knight/mygame/

There’s not a ton to do, but the first choice to search the fields is done now. As before, the actual mission is incomplete, so people playing may fall out of the game file if they try to do more than what’s available.

More importantly however, I’ve updated the debug menu. The debug menu is in the stats screen. There’s two more options. ‘Jump far with Adel’ and ‘Jump far with Marie’. This choice with leap you straight to the mission as either Adel or Marie. Not sure how stable the jump is yet, but I think it works. For now.

Thanks to anyone following this. The next update will probably happen in a week or two.

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I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this, but I was impressed and I feel like even though you have to play as one of two pre created characters. This is an amazingly well woven love tale. I can’t wait for more and I wish you good luck.
@OdicHastings Is the end of the current demo at the “Manage Villagers” part?

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I really liked this. I only played Marie’s side, but both her and Adel are both charming and interesting main characters. The story so far is fun – I didn’t expect Marie to join the guild, but it makes perfect sense since it’s a great way for her to see the world. The other side characters, including the father and Loric, are interesting, and I’m definitely wondering about the origins of Marie’s curse.

I know others have said this already, but my biggest complaint is the lack of choices (especially at the beginning). Since these are predetermined characters I can understand why, but there were a few instances where I thought you could sneak a few choices in, if you don’t mind suggestions.

Summary

He apologized. Because of me. Because she saw me.
Perhaps after this line, instead of moving to the next page with “I didn’t know why at the time”, have a choice where Marie guesses as to why he apologized.

I spent the entire evening trying to understand what he could have meant.
Instead of having this line about not having harmed anyone, there could be choices here where Marie thinks of reasons as to what her father could have meant.

I quickly respond, “Yes, ma’am. This is what I want.”
Perhaps here there could be a choice where the player can choose why Marie said that – whether’s it because she doesn’t want to anger her father, or because she believes it’ll free her from the castle, or because she really does want to get married, etc.

There are stores/there are tall houses/there are other cars
During the drive Marie points out all these different things. Perhaps this section can be turned into choices where you go into a little bit more detail for each one.

There are six left. Five wooden boxes of various sizes, and one large metal one.
Instead of Marie wondering if she could carry them, this could be a choice where she expresses more or less confidence or awareness for her strength.

I step forward. “We’ll kill the demons! We’ve still got hours of daylight!”
A choice here could work as well where we the player gets options as to why Marie stepped forward.

Also, I really like this first mission and the management system. It may be the simple village quest but we’re getting to see how both Marie and Adel react to this sort of situation and to each other. I’m looking forward to the next part of the mission with the villagers. :relaxed:

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Has anyone else ran into the issue of when get to the part where they are getting ready for the demon attack and you have x number of hours to get ready and no matter what you do it won’t let go past that scene.

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Ya I had the same issue and I asked about it, but I haven’t gotten an ensure quite yet.

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Thank you very much! Sorry, there was more content in that segment, but I just had to cull a lot of it when I realized I let that segment get out of hand. You can manage your villagers and scour that field, however within the next couple of weeks I’ll put out updates for the rest of the mission.

These are good! It’s something I want to go back to, since it came up as an issue way back when I first put the work-in-progress up. Right now I’m just focusing on plowing forward with new content.

I’ll have the rest of the scenes in that file coming out within the next couple of weeks. I had a lot of content written for that mission, but I recently had to cull a lot of it out to rework how I’m writing the mission. The code got a little… messy.

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And we’ve got a minor update today: https://dashingdon.com/play/odichastings/the-cursed-lady-and-the-weakest-knight/mygame/

I’m very glad I restructured the mission’s code. I haven’t actually written that much new content, I’ve just moved stuff around and I can finally say…

We’re FINALLY almost done with part A of the mission (where you go out and try to defang the threat). I still feel like I need to add a little more to this file, and I also moved the gorepit from that pond to a new location but… eh. I’m actually not feeling that decision, I want to put it back in front of the pond, but then also move where the pond massacre is.

And after I’ve done those things I’ll be ready, after several months, to move into the second half of the first mission.writing is a nightmare

That part should be more linear though at least. As always, thanks to anyone who reads this. I’ll keep you all posted when the next update come out.

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Firstly, I want to say that this is such a good premise and I feel like it has a lot of potential. That said, it just felt like I was reading a regular book. Now I love reading and if this were only intended to be a book, I’d be all over it. But this is supposed to be an interactive story/game so I was a bit taken aback by the lack of interaction available.

I chose Adel’s perspective and we go through the following before we get to the first choice:

Summary
  1. Adel’s childhood and not being able to measure up to his brothers.
    How does that make him feel: Disappointed in himself? Resentful of his brothers? Angry that so much is expected of him? Indifferent because he doesn’t care about what’s expected of him?

  2. Adel failing his initiation.
    Why does he only use his shield: Afraid of getting hurt? Not wanting to harm the imp? No confidence in himself? Not wanting to pass the initiation in the first place?

  3. Adel’s father becoming distant.
    How does that make him feel?

  4. Adel discovering his talent for healing.
    Is he excited that he finally has something he’s good at? Ashamed because healing is the opposite of what was expected from him? Amused for the same reason? Afraid of what his family will think?

  5. Finally being completely shut out of his family.
    How does he react: Does he despair? Is he numb to the abuse by now? Maybe he can make plans to leave his family (possibly to be a fulltime healer). It would make the father’s announcement have more impact.

  6. Adel being told about his arranged marriage.
    Does he argue because he’s angry such a choice is being made for him? Does he argue because he wants another chance to prove himself as capable? Does he agree because he wants to be a dutiful son? Does he agree because he wants to escape his family?

  7. Adel arriving to his wedding.
    Is he resentful that he’s being made to do this? Is he numb from shock that this is happening? Is he sad that his family is pushing him away? Is he happy he can leave his family? Is he calm and only doing this out of duty to his father?

And it’s only when we arrive to “You may now kiss the bride” that we are finally able to influence the story. Now here’s what happens before we reach the second choice:
(Note: I’m not counting the house exploration because that was simply choosing the order of the rooms you got a description of.)

Summary
  1. Adel and Marie being gifted a house by Marie’s father.
    Is Adel genuinely grateful? Is he only acting grateful to be polite? Does he respond rudely because he never wanted to be married? Does he respond rudely because he resents Marie’s looks?

  2. Adel gets insulted by his brother. This was the first time a lack of choice completely took me out of this story. Here’s how the exchange goes:
    “The Roklan family has money,” he replies. “Simple as that. Getting on his good side can only bring our family fortune. Luckily for us, the man’s been trying to pawn off his deformed daughter for a while now.” He smiles at me with a faux grin. “Luckily we had a spare we didn’t want too.”

“Right…” I jerk a 2thumb (typo there) back toward Marie. “I should go check on my wife.”

He gives a vague grunt in acknowledgment. I walk away.

So Adel is completely fine with being treated like that? He went into the conversation hoping to make a connection with Ethel and gets treated like shit. Adel just walking away without saying or feeling anything made me feel like Adel’s kind of spineless.
Could Adel maybe insult Ethel back? Or feel angry but not say anything so as not to make a scene? Or maybe he doesn’t react because he expects nothing less from Ethel? Or Adel is to happy to get away from his family to let it affect him?
(Note: I’ve only ever heard of Ethel as a female name btw)

  1. Marie asks “How did this marriage come to be?”
    I really feel like the player should have a choice of answers here. A mix of honest, kind, hurtful, and neutral would be ideal.

  2. Arriving at the ramshackled house.
    Responses: Angry at the betrayal? Sad? Optimistic at the potential? Still numb? Laugh at the ridiculousness of everything?
    Also now would be a great time to have an actual conversation with Marie. I really feel like sometime between arriving at the house and leaving for town, Adel and Marie should sit down and have a discussion. So much as happened so quickly and they need to talk to each other and get their bearings.

  3. Marie wants to join Adel as a mercenary
    Responses: Refuse because he doubts her ability? Refuse because he doesn’t want to spend time with her? Agree because she could be useful? Agree because he wants to spend more time with her?

  4. Marie wanders away in town. This is another time when Adel’s behavior took me out of the story. He acts like he’s ashamed of Marie, which I really didn’t like. Either that or he’s afraid that people would be afraid of her (more understandable but that’s the townspeople’s problem). Here’s the part:
    There’s a pause, and I think I hear Marie respond from somewhere nearby. A second later the crowd parts in a straight line between myself and her.

There’s a lot of people giving her worried looks right now…

I smile sheepishly at the people staring as I quickly approach her. “Marie, I think we should try to stay out of the crowds.”

“I was just looking around…” There’s a slight whine to her voice. Its kinda cute.

But we need to be careful. “I know.” People aren’t used to seeing her yet. “But-”

“I understand,” she quickly says. “I’ll stick close.”

“…Thanks,” I say, relieved.
I really feel like there should be different ways of handling that than “smiling sheepishly” (implying embarrassment) at people.
Responses: Concern for Marie’s safety? Embarrassment at being seen with her? Defiance towards the crowd? Public romantic gesture? Indifference?

  1. Marie gets turned down because she’s not registered. This is where I start to get a bit angry with Adel. It’s true that the clerk gives very good reasons for why Marie can’t come along but Adel doesn’t even try.
    Responses: Argue with the clerk? Try to persuade the clerk? Agree with the clerk and ask how to get Marie registered? Agree with the clerk and take the job without Marie?

  2. Interacting with Oswin. This exchange got me so disconnected from Adel that I gave up on the story:
    “Fine, fine!” He’s just giving me this grin , and its annoying the hell out of me. “I’ll let it go. Sorry you drew the short end of the straw on the whole ‘marrying a monster’ thing.”

“It helps the family,” I respond. “I’m happy to do it.”

Adel is happy with how things are going?! The lifetime of neglect and emotional abuse, his family throwing him into an arranged marriage with no warning, the ruined house, all of the insults and Adel is “happy to do it”. That cemented Adel as a spineless pushover in my eyes and combined with the rather thoughtless way of treating Marie had me stop reading the story.
Responses: Pretty much the same suggestions as Ethel’s

To sum up, the player is has no control over how the character feels, what the character thinks, or how the character acts. This is not a good thing for an interactive story. The story is well written (though I do recommend adding some emotions to Adel) and I was invested but please let us have some influence over it.

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