The Goodfellows WIP (Updated 09.14.20 with Chapter 1)

[09.14.20 - Update-specific info on post 20!]
[Demo currently stands at ~60k words with ~34k average playthrough length.]
Poll on post 41 about future update lengths and the name!


Hello friends! I’m Dani, and I have a story to tell you.

This particular story is called The Goodfellows, and the very, very quick gist is that it’s about what happens when mythology meets spirituality meets fate meets a small crew of mercenaries and black market specialists who meet… you.

Despite the name, this has nothing to do with the modern mob and everything to do with fantasy.


  • Rebuild your life from the ashes of your imprisonment! Er, well. That might be overselling it. Keep your life from falling apart any more than it already has!

  • Befriend (or befrenemy?) a cast of, ahem, interesting characters. Do they have dirty secrets? Can you expose them? Will they expose you? Who knows!

  • Pull the strings of fate, both yours and others– you can be the reason why others live and die. And playing god has… consequences… :eyes:

  • Get involved with the shenanigans of the Arcane. This one might end a little badly for you, not going to lie! Do your best to not get killed. (:


Meet the main squad!

Avery of the Isles

Avery has been orbiting the world of black market information for years. They’re smart and well-learned, and they use their charm and easy smiles to fly under the radar. They’re reticent with personal information, but their amicability belies their secretiveness.

They make choices with their head, and they live their life by the principles of curiosity and observation.


According to Winnie, “Avery is one of the smartest people I’ve ever met. They don’t make the same mistake twice, and if they don’t have the answer to something, you can bet they’ll find it.”

Eliza thinks “they’re nice enough, even funny sometimes, but they’re always holding back a little bit. Alays holding something back.”

Eliza Brightland

Eliza first made contact with Fernando in her home city of Brightland. She joined his quest out of hope for adventure and interest in his obvious ambition. She’s a force of nature who lives her life boldly and unapologetically–and maybe a little abrasively.

She makes choices with her head, but generally defers to collective opinion.


Fernando claims “she’s the best close-quarter fighter I’ve ever met. Probably because she doesn’t have qualms about honor. ‘Fight dirty or die,’ she’d say.”

“An absolute gremlin.” - Jakobi

Fernando of the Steppes

Fernando is wildly ambitious. He’s clawed his way from humble beginnings to a person of modest repute, largely thanks to his talent for making friends and establishing connections. He loves a good storyteller.

He makes his choices with his heart, and gets what he wants by charming the pants off anyone and everyone.


“He’s able to bring people together,” Avery says, “in ways unlike anything I’ve ever seen. He could start a cult. The irony.”

Jakobi hums thoughtfully. “He’s ambitious. I can admire that, but ambition can be dangerous.”

Jakobi of Wildeguard

Jakobi has carefully cultivated his current business positioning—the right balance of ruthless and considerate, his reputation is crucial. He advocates for a cautious approach to every aspect of life, and always wants cooler heads to prevail.

He makes decisions with his heart, much to his chagrin.


Winnie is immensely proud of Jakobi. “He’s my family,” she say simply.

“From the moment I first met Jakobi, I knew he was a steadfast ally worth having,” Avery says. “If not a little lost,” they add.

Winifred of the Wildelands

Winifred is perfectly lovely and kind until you make the mistake of pushing her buttons. Her fuse is short and explosive, and it’s given her a reputation as a fireball. She makes her decisions with her heart, which can exacerbate her temper.

Winnie’s choices are influenced by her desire to maintain and protect her family.


“She’s kind of scary sometimes. I like her!” – Eliza

Fernando nods. “She is kind of scary. She balances Jakobi well.”

The Traveler

The Traveler is, has been, and will be watching you. They’re very, very intrigued. You’re a bit of a lost soul. What better kind of soul to guide? (Not romanceable.)

And more!


Changelog

09.14.20 - Chapter one completed, but in need of editing. Avery is now introduced, along with some brief but important interactions with other characters!
I also added some cute little chapter header thingies.

04.19.20 - Demo posted! Ack!
Right now, the demo has the prologue and part of chapter 1. It’s sitting at ~30k words.
Pacing is on the slower side, as I’m trying to “show” instead of “tell” much of the lore, but I might remove some of the scenes and interludes currently included if it feels too dense!

Only Winnie has been introduced thus far as far as the main cast goes.

Have fun, and feel free to ask character and lore questions at my dev blog!
Play The Goodfellows demo! | Tumblr dev blog here!

241 Likes

Your writing is amazing. I enjoy the consistent sarcastic tone in the narration and the choices, and it gives the main character a voice even with the amount of choice provided to the player. A lot of moments are also laugh-out-loud funny, so that’s a very definite plus. The mythology of the setting is definitely intriguing, and I can’t wait to learn more.

Nitpicky Stuff

The capitalization of the Arcanas isn’t that consistent, especially with the various groups of Arcanas.


Your hair, when left to its own devices

Braided hair would need braiding, surely?


If everyone’s covered in orange dust, especially you and the other people at the back, I’m not sure you’d be able to see Maximus’ hair color? The sweat would reveal his skin color.



This apostrophe seems misplaced?

I think this should be “people’s” instead of “peoples’”

*single

This needs a hyphen.

Misplaced period.

*pry

Some visible code

This comma isn’t needed.

*wielding

This should be one word.


Um, I think this is not supposed to be visible?

*moon

I’m not sure if this is supposed to be one word?

*axewielder


Same issue as before.

One of the “tables” shouldn’t be there.

Needs a comma at the end.

Same as the others.

7 Likes

How do you get your fighting skill up?

1 Like

Damn, for a 1st post you know how to slam something good on the table! Welcome, and hope you enjoy your stay while we peruse your work, with a pint! :tropical_drink:

Oh this is too good. And it made me laugh, cose you are a sadist writer!

You know what you did! lol now I gotta wash away the guilt!

Highly recommanded!

4 Likes

Interesting… will be looking forward for future updates! There are a lot of moments are just face up funny to me. Honestly remind me of Castlevania (the animated series) based on how hilarious of each individuals act toward each other.

Summary



image
a little mistake in “Who do you know” section

Please! Pick all the nits! Thanks so much for catching all those, I’ve made and uploaded the corrections. (And, seriously, thank you for taking the time to document them all! :heart:)

TL, DR (for the text below): at the moment, picking the fleetfeet/bar fight origin story is equivalent to picking the fighting skill, but this is going to change!

Much more long-winded answer to your question, if your're curious about the impending change.

Funny you ask! I’m actually in the process of experimenting with the skill system. I was planning to have players rack up skill points in the four main areas (as you noticed!), but now I think I’m going to use them in more of a personalization-plot-way. So, the player has already identified their strength via their arrest background story, and soon they’ll pick a weakness. This will control cut-scenes and personalize some story segments to the specific MC (a very small example of this in the demo being dismounting the horse). This will essentially be the “talent” the MC generally relies on; a wordsmith is going to try to talk their way out of a problem, a fleetfeet will fight their way out, so on so forth.

So folklore/fleetfeet/serendipity/wordsmith is the MC’s talent/a way they go about their life. I’ll be adding in new metrics of the “skills” variety, such that the MC will be able to develop more specific capabilities. These skills aren’t set in stone, but, for example: lockpicking/pickpocketing, close-quarter combat, navigation, etc etc. This way people can go for a “talent” other than fleetfeet and still be able to fight well, if they so choose!

Thanks, and thanks for the error catches! Extra good catch on the stats error, it would seem I haven’t “bee” paying attention either, lol.


And thank you for the positive feedback/encouragement so far, guys! I’m super excited, and I can’t wait for all the things that are going to happen that I can’t tell you about because smh spoilers! (Did you think I would reveal something so soon? Nope)! (:

11 Likes

Hi! Really enjoyed this so far. Only concern was that through a few play throughs I couldn’t figure out how to obtain different skill sets, it’s a minor gripe- the writing is very good and I’m enjoying the story!

1 Like

I very much like what I see here, it’s fresh, intriguing and well written. I do suggest that you make a brief description of the talents so that readers can choose with more confidence what skills their character will have.

2 Likes

This is great! I love the writing style and all the different choices. My one initial critique though is that the skill system is almost… a bit too subtle? I know personally I had no idea how what I was picking was actually impacting my skill set, which I think led to me having a few options closed to me later on. Of course, if this is what you’re aiming for then, you’ve done it well!

(Also, the save system isn’t working properly- not sure if you noticed this already or not!)

Either way, I love the style of this WIP and the characters already! I’ll be sure to keep an eye on this one.

5 Likes

Hi! I really liked your story so far, both the premise and the characters introduced so far seem very interesting. But I do have a suggestion, if you don’t mind (feel free to ignore it if you don’t agree): since English is not my mother tongue I found myself wondering what some of the skill stats meant. I liked that it was different and I understood after a bit, but maybe a short explanation of each stat would be nice (I have seen it done on some other stories and I, personally, like it). Regardless, I’m eager to read more :grin:

2 Likes

Sounds like that’s exactly what I’ll do!

If any of you guys care to share a few more thoughts, do you think you’d prefer a description in the stats panels for each of the talents, and have an indication on the choice (so it’ll say (selecting this choice will set [skillname] as your main talent), or a small paragraph after the talent selection that looks something like:


(For example, if selected choice “This is honestly just desserts for sticking your nose where it didn’t belong (and, ahem, your foot up somebody’s backside).”)
You’re known for your general coordination; there’s no fight you’re unprepared for, no acrobatics forbidden to you, (so on so forth).
Yes, indeed, you’re know for your fleet feet.

Does this sound correct?
(choice of:)

  • Yes, my talent is fleetfeet.
  • I’m not sure… what were the other options?

Ack, I did not! Looks like I broke it when I did the first revisions update, whoops. I’ll fiddle with that now, thanks!

6 Likes

I am, personally, a huge fan of short paragraphs explaining how your choices will set your stats like you provided, but I am aware they can break the flow of the game. So if you want to avoid that, I’d recommend going with the indication on the choice itself!

Of course, it is your game and you should do what you feel will lend itself best to the story you want to tell!

It’d also be nice to have a skills/personality description in the stats screen that you can toggle on/off at will.

1 Like

Thank you for the feedback! For now I’ve implemented an indication, but I think I actually will add a more comprehensive in-game explanation here shortly in addition to the indication. You can never be too sure!

A great idea! I’ve added this in now, too, toggle-able to show both personality and and talent descriptions. Maybe not the prettiest quite yet, but functional!

Thank you both for your input! :heart:

5 Likes

Of course! I’m glad my input was helpful! As always I look forward to any future updates.

1 Like

Hi, I don’t really have any critiques beyond what’s already been pointed out. But I just wanted to say I really love the way you tell stories! I really enjoyed reading the demo, and I feel like you’ve definitely succeeded in the “show, don’t tell” that you’re trying to do.

1 Like

This is really awesome so far. The tone of the MC is engaging, the story and other characters are very interesting and the writing is epic and very engaging. Definitely looking forward to reading more of this.

1 Like

Smol stats update!

  • Stats rework! New, simplified personality stats & updated stats panel. Huzzah, clarity!
  • Skills added to stat panel! (Sticky fingers, weapon specialist, and subterfuge.) Clearly the MC’s skill set is maybe not the most… legal.
  • Upcoming: Graphics for the stats panel/wanted poster! Yep. Gonna be fun n’ funky.

True to form, content-wise I’m writing more than I expected, so the next update won’t be all of the rest of chapter one because… I’m an all-star word-vomit-er, smh.

If you want more info on the stat changes (which are now visible in-game), read on below!

Details details details!

I’ve gone through and reworked the stats; I switched to fewer metrics with names that are less niche (and thus less obscure), with three main “personality” stats and three “outlook” type personality stats. For the former, it’s now genuine/sarcastic, stoic/expressive, and impulsive/cautious. For the latter, it’s optimism/pessimism, spiritual/agnostic, and altruistic/hedonistic.

After the player has completed the prologue, the first page of the stats shows the “degree” to which the player leans in a particular stat; for example, mildly cautious or extremely sarcastic. These will be used as the game progresses for flavor text–like if an extremely sarcastic MC says something very heartfelt and sweet, other characters will notice/comment/be shook!

For talent and skills, the talent now has an in-game mini-description for clarity. The player encounters this and may now click through all four options without committing until they’ve decided.

For skills, I’ve picked three to focus on (keeping with my pattern of three in the other stats): sticky fingers (thievery, lock-picking, etc), weapons specialist (swords, knives, close combat, etc), and subterfuge (deceit, lying, disguises, spy-type stuff). Hopefully, I’ll be able to add in some fun flavor text that accounts for how the MC’s talent augments heir skill(s) so we get some interesting, super MC-unique content!

Lastly, there are now trackers for emotional stability and physical health, because, let’s face it–MC has been through a lot, and it’s not stopping anytime soon. Sorry, MC.


Note: existing save data uses the old stats, which are no longer tracked. Though the save files work, they don’t contain relevant data and thus won’t show in the stats panel–meaning you’ll have to redo any save files!

17 Likes

This is really nice, I like how it can go from morbid to hilarious quickly! Will definitely be looking forward to more of this! <3

1 Like

Woo Update!

Technical bits:

  • Modified relationship stats (bars and text now)
  • Modified earlier stats to fairmath (and boosted amounts given)
  • Personality attributes can now be collected and viewed in stats
  • Quickstart menu added (might be glitchy)
  • Slight modification to the talent stat
  • Added some flirt flags for Winnie in the older chunk, along with some for her and Avery in this chunk

Story content:

  • Meet a former Oracle, and plant some questions—or maybe suspicions!—in her mind.
  • Arrive in Brightland and make an unpleasant discovery. Maybe cause a ruckus. (There’s going to be a ruckus.)
  • Do some light exploration—maybe you’ll begin to uncover some secrets; maybe you’ll uncover nothing at all.
  • Have some life chats with a charming academic named Avery. Maybe piss olf Winnie a bit. It’s fine we’re fine this is fine.
  • Begin to establish your skillset; do you have sticky fingers? Were you once a spy? Could you kill a man with a potato? It’s up to you!
  • Is it just me or are your dreams getting a bit… realistic?

This update concludes most of the “MC origins” type stuff; from here on out, we begin to get into the MC’s relationship with the Arcane (and you-know-who), what/who the Goodfellows is/are, so on, so forth. MC’s been living in the past and the present, but with chapter two and beyond, MC begins to get to look forward–and maybe get some answers to some questions. If you make wise choices.

Misc. info about the update below the cut!

More stuff

Other stuff:

  • I’ve chopped what would’ve been the rest of chapter one and scooted it to chapter two so that chapter one’s sub-story would be a bit more self-contained. Eliza, Jakobi, and Fernando will meet the MC early on in chapter two!
  • There’s some personality/faith checks for flavor text in there; when reading, if you’re getting the wrong flavor text or you’re getting flavor text but you don’t feel like your MC feels strongly enough in that area to get that text, please post about it in the forum thread along with your stat values.
  • If anyone has any idea how to calculate average playthrough, that would be handy!

Lastly, a note on the aforementioned talent stat mod: I had switched the talents to one locked-in stat previously, and I’ve now undone that. Now, talent stats work like this: the MC’s selected talent from the prologue is set very high (since its the MC’s specialty). This acts as a failsafe, of sorts, so that in instances where all talents are present as options, there’s a near-guaranteed “success” route for the player if you’re worried about potential failure.

I’ve now added back in the ability to develop the other stats, and will later include stat checks. There will be a mixture of stat checks (where you can use any stat you feel is high enough) and “you get this flavor text/sub-content because your main talent is XYZ.”

The reason for this is that, after writing the talent variations in this chunk of chapter 1, it hit me that it would be a bit of a waste if people couldn’t see the different variations. Hence, the MC’s main talent, chosen in the prologue, will always be there as a safe way out—but allowing the other talents to develop should let people get insight into the other talents, as well.

21 Likes