The Elder Crystals by Dariel Ivalyen (WIP) (HIATUS)

You know when there is an update or something could you change the topic title to let people know, please?

I’m loving this WIP and I don’t want to miss something but I only knew something may going off because I was told there were unread posts other than that I may not have clicked on right now because I didn’t have anything new to add to the conversation or anything that would help with/add to the WIP.


So the game just assumes that we already read our new books, am I understanding you right?

Then that needs to be specified in the game. When exactly did we squeeze that in?

Because playing the game, the impression I got is that we hadn’t.

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Thank you for the feedback! I’ll make sure to add a sentence that mentions doing a bit of reading before bed if you bought a book in Chapter 1.

@Spiritool Thank you! I’m glad you find the story and mechanics promising! :yellow_heart:

This part of the post is for everybody.

I just wanted to tell you that I added a bit of info about future updates for the demo to the main post. You can find it under “UPDATES,” but I’ll also repeat it here.

Chapter 3 will become available in the demo when I finish working on Chapters 3 and 4. Chapter 4 will be up when I’m done with Chapters 5 and 6. The up-to-date version of the game is (and has been for months now) available on Patreon under the alpha build.

Chapter 3 will be around 50.000 words, which should take about 5-6 weeks of writing. Chapter 4 should be similar in size, which means the next content update will be out in about 2.5-3 months. I don’t usually give dates, but this plan seems more or less solid and doable. :yellow_heart:


This game looks very promising with interesting story and mechanic stats. i would like to see it completed


The Elder Crystals reached 100.000 words today!!! :yellow_heart:



I just added the first 5000 words of Chapter 3 to the alpha build, and you’re welcome to check it out on my Patreon if you’re interested, but that’s not why I’m here today. I’m here because the second portrait is ready. It’s Ameda, the female version of the Astronomer.

ARTIST: Izabela Oliwia

The next portrait will be Cerien (male witchling)! :yellow_heart:



If you’re interested in maps, a map of the Secluded Valley is available now on my Patreon! It was made in Inkarnate, and it will likely be followed by a map of Ferndale. :yellow_heart:


Found a goofy little typo. Result of a copy paste? :smile:

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I just added the first big quest to Chapter 3 (alpha build). It consists of 15 new choices and about 10.800 words worth of content. The update also added the second romance scene for our monk, Nelfas/u. I might be able to write another one of these larger quests in February. Let’s hope so! :yellow_heart:


Chapter 3 is already about 32.000 words long, and I think it’s more or less 60% done. Another big update for the alpha build will be going live tomorrow! :yellow_heart:

The next portrait–male witchling–is already in the works, and shouldn’t take too long!



Since I should be done with Chapter 3 by the end of the week (42.000 words rn), I thought I might run a quick poll and ask you, guys, about the first two chapters. There are five romantic moments available in Chapter 2 (with five different characters), and I’d like to ask you about your favorites.

You can vote for up to three characters, and I would also love to learn why you find these particular characters and scenes appealing. Do any of them stand out to you? Are you excited about some of them more than others? What are your thoughts? :yellow_heart:

  • Amedu/a (Astronomer)
  • Nelfas/u (Monk)
  • Cerien/ina (Witchling)
  • Darion/a (Noble Archer)
  • Xarien/ina (Mercenary)

0 voters


Chapter 3 is now available on Patreon. The game just hit 146.000 words, and a single playthrough should be around 54.600 words-long. Achievements (and some extra race-specific moments) will be added on Monday. Hope you enjoy! :yellow_heart:

Edit: Added two achievements and a missing journal entry. And now I need to get some rest and hope this head-blocking cold I’ve been dealing with will be gone in a day or two… :smile:



  • Rework details: Deleted endurance and charisma. Charisma/Charm is now a personality trait.
  • Rework details: Turned memory skills into knowledge stats.
  • Rework details: Deleted lesser versions of items.
  • Rework details: Revised personality stats. We now have: Timid/Bold, Serious/Playful, Humble/Proud, and Charming/Abrasive (prev. charisma).
  • Rework details: Skills are now text-based and focus on mastery and not percentages. For combat, there are three masteries: novice, adept, and master. You will have options to increase them through training at certain points in the game.
  • Rework details: Using the skills will not increase their level.

PS. While this isn’t a content update, Chapter 3 will be coming to the public demo in April. For now, Chapter 3, as well as the first few scenes from Chapter 4, are available in the alpha build. Atm, the alpha build sits at around 154.5k words.


Even if it’s not a chapter update I like it all the same. Stat changes like those are still important and balance between them is sometimes difficult

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Says the demos an unsupported link so can’t check it out :slightly_smiling_face:

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I’m sorry you’re having issues.

Can someone confirm or replicate this? The link works for me, on multiple browsers & devices.

It works for me

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CHAPTER 3 is out!

April 14, 2023

  • CHAPTER 3 RELEASE (ca. 46.700 words, excluding code).
  • New in Ch.3: More racial reactivity (something for every race).
  • New in Ch.3: Four new main quests. (You’ll get to leave Ferndale and follow some leads that will take you all over the Secluded Valley. You’ll visit places like the Whispering Grove and Mireside, and you’ll even get a chance to return to the Forsaken Cavern…)
  • New in Ch.3: A new romantic moment for Nelfas/u.
  • New in Ch.3: A new side quest (foreshadowed in Chapter 2).
  • New in Ch.3: 2 new achievements.
  • New in Ch.3: Journal entries for all quests (side, main, companion).
  • IMPORTANT: Saves made before the previous (March) update will not work.

Chapter 4 (in its entirety) is available on my Patreon, and I already started working on Chapter 5.

I really hope you enjoy the new chapter! :yellow_heart:



The first part of Chapter 5 (ca. 70%) has just been added to the alpha build. Chapter 5 is one of the shortest chapters so far, but it is also quite dramatic so I can’t talk about it too much. I will say that you will spend most of the chapter trying to deal with and figure out what happened at the end of Chapter 4.

Some MCs (those who can potentially romance Qen, the newest RO) can also learn one of Grandma Telana’s secrets at the beginning of the chapter.

The remaining 30% of the chapter shouldn’t take more than a week to write. :yellow_heart:


Chapter 5 is finished and available in the alpha build. There are two new romance scenes in this chapter, one for Xarien/Xarina, and the other for Qen. Qen’s first scene was difficult to write, and I had to delete its first draft and write it again, but it feels much stronger now. Hope you enjoy it!

I’m currently outlining the first part of Chapter 6, and I will likely start writing tomorrow. :yellow_heart:


The first part of Chapter 6 is available now in the alpha build (Patreon), which also brings the alpha build over the 200.000 words threshold.



As most of you know, I recently released my second IF game, The Hidden Sanctum. The feedback I got for that game made me realize that I may not be ready to work on projects as large and expansive as The Hidden Sanctum or The Elder Crystals.

If I want to do these more complex stories justice, I have to work on how I create and explore characters and their arcs. I have to figure out how to make their voices more unique, and that’s exactly what I’ve been working on since the beginning of June.

I’m doing this through the study of personality types (Enneagram&MBTI), as well as through a lot of practice. I started writing scenes with nothing but dialogue, like in a screenplay, and I can already see a difference.

I also decided to take my time with this.

Time—or lack of it—was my main issue with THS, ToEN, and TEC. I kept pushing myself to go faster, which lowered the overall quality of the games. For example, it took me more or less as much time to write Temple of Endless Night (200k words) as it did The Hidden Sanctum (360k words).

Because of this, I have no choice but to put The Elder Crystals on hold. I am making this decision with a heavy heart, but I see no other option. It would be one thing if I disagreed with the feedback, but when even I can see the issues, that means they’re real, and I need to figure them out before I can do anything else.

As for what I’m currently doing, all this research inspired me to start working on a new project. It’s much smaller than THS or TEC, and the stakes are lower. I’d classify its genre as something between cozy fantasy and cozy mystery.

It features a small cast of characters, which is a perfect opportunity for me to work on the issues I talked about. I only have a few weeks put into this work, but I can already see a difference.

I don’t know when I will be back with new content, but when I do return, it will be with a new demo. Take care, and I will see you then! :yellow_heart:


Speaking as a fan of The Hidden Sanctum in spite of its flaws, one thing I’d like to see you work on during this hiatus is meaningful choices. There was a lot of railroading in THS, and basically choices determined how, rather than if, you succeeded or failed. That’s fine in some cases, but other times, it needs to be possible to fail or have mixed results, in order for something to really be at stake.

I hope you’ll keep THS in mind as you grow as a writer, and perhaps practice your new skills by improving it. And I’m still looking forward to reading the rest of the story someday. I believe in you!


@Dariel have you ever thought of doing a Gods Of Egypt (or any others gods. Viking, Greek or Roman for example) style story? Im talking about in the role of one of the Gods.