The Hidden Sanctum by Dariel Ivalyen (WIP) (Updated: June 26, 2022)

@Bizimo To be honest, I think you’re right. Marco and Sephtis shouldn’t use too many words, and it’ll make sense to cut down on them. I’ll try to pay closer attention to these moments, and let us hope it increases the overall quality of the game.

Thank you again, Bizimo! I really appreciate your feedback! :yellow_heart:

5 Likes

Screenshot 2022-04-19 at 23-17-09

I got attached to the protagonist. Such a sweetbean, gotta protect uwu

Typos, missing/wrong words

Screenshot 2022-04-19 at 23-03-41
Typo on of the stuff, should be or the staff

Screenshot 2022-04-19 at 23-04-26
Typo on for a right?" shouldn’t it be for a fight?"

Screenshot 2022-04-19 at 23-05-09
Typo on the very next choice, first is should be if something is

Screenshot 2022-04-19 at 23-06-08
Typo on every single out of you, should be every single one of you

Screenshot 2022-04-19 at 23-06-53
Continuity error, should be Odyss instead of Sephtis

Screenshot 2022-04-19 at 23-07-24
Worded a bit strangely, missing an you to hear the sigh and if its a question then it should be should we not be going to sleep?

Screenshot 2022-04-19 at 23-07-45
Typo on to the etrance, should be entrance

Screenshot 2022-04-19 at 23-08-01
Wrong word on felt their tents, should be left their tents

Screenshot 2022-04-19 at 23-09-49
Missing a sense in it makes, considering

Screenshot 2022-04-19 at 23-10-06
Misplaced an extra you after but you that should

Screenshot 2022-04-19 at 23-10-31
Typo on was with a chuckle, should be say with a chuckle

Screenshot 2022-04-19 at 23-10-50
Typo on the second choice, is should be if this is true.

Going off on a tangent about a minor detail

Screenshot 2022-04-19 at 23-09-31
Is it right to use it is more clear instead of it is very clear? And throughout the next paragraph, it is specified as singular you instead of simply suspicion of you and your peers because of the murder.
There’s no action that singles out the protagonist as suspicious/bad to come to that conclusion…?
I’d suggest to either make it apply to everyone or have the Archon also accuse the protagonist separately of the murder, or even silently stare or other bias to show dislike/hate to think that it is, indeed, clear the Archon doesn’t like you in particular at this point, since later on he does glare at you

Suggestion

Screenshot 2022-04-19 at 23-08-56
Would be nice to use the protagonist’s eye color in this passage, like your [color] eyes

3 Likes

@dawn Thank you for your feedback, and I’m so glad you enjoyed the game! I think I’m going to change just about everything you pointed out. Thank you for adding screenshots, too! They’re very helpful.

Oh, and thanks for the screenshot of the stat screen. It proves that the stats are working as they’re supposed to now. They no longer go below 0 or over 100. :blush:

@quartz Thank you so much for giving me so much feedback! I’m glad to hear that you’ve been enjoying the story so far, and I hope you like the final version, too! I won’t go through the things you likes, as that would feel like stroking my own ego, but thank you! :blush:

To be honest, I think I might just be used to choosing my MC’s interests at the beginning of the game. I might make it more natural–for example, add this choice when the first RO appears–but I don’t think I’m going to delete it altogether. I know that it’s very important for some people that they can be very precise about who and what they are, and I want them to have this option. For some people, labels are very important.

I’ve already fixed those moments. Thank you so much for pointing the issue out!

I’ll most likely edit some of that out when I finish the first game. I’ll have to read and edit the whole thing, so I’ll take care of that then. Thank you, though! I appreciate it.

The game won’t have routes (you may know them from Visual Novels). The main story will be the same, but there will be three drastically different endings in the last book. Replay value should come from path-specific and character-specific scenes (rom. or friendship)

Yes, that’s how I’ve been doing things for this project, and actually I think this might be what’s keeping the pacing right. But, to be honest, there is no right or wrong way. Both approaches can work if you know what you’re doing.

There already is branching. Every path has a unique scene in Chapter 2 (when you pick your path) and in Chapter 4 (during solitary training). These scenes are fully unique, and there is no copying involved. There’ll be two extra path scenes in the first book (in later chapters), which will give us four scenes per path (around 25k words).

Flavor variations happen when I add path-specific options outside of these unique scenes, so I supposed you could say it’s a mix of both. :blush:

As for Hikaru, he was inspired by a real life person, and I ended up deciding that it was a bad idea to have him in the game. That real life person is no longer with us, and it just felt disrespectful. I was actually considering cancelling this project because of that, but then, Odyss came to me in a dream, and…here we are.

8 Likes

Played through the demo and I’m liking what I see so far (I’m around the start of chapter 3). Really curious where you want to go with the plot.

What I liked:

  • The pacing and the uniqueness of each character (though I might be biased here because I saw the concept art of the characters and read their descriptions before starting the demo)

  • The story just “flows”, I cannot explain why, but I’m always looking forward to finding out what happens next

  • The formatting of the pages, the fact that each page roughly fits on the screen and does not need scrolling

  • I like games where you get to know the other characters and what they are going through. This game reminded me of Persona 4 which Is one of my all-time favorites.

  • From what I’ve seen so far, there are no stat checks, which I think works well for the type of game you are making

Stylistic changes that may or may not improve the experience:

  • I have read all of the comments until now and am aware of the request for adding an aromantic route. I don’t see a reason to actively give the option of hiding romance options for the MC. If a player does not want a romantic relationship with any characters, they can ignore the flirtatious. Another option here to express an aromatic MC would be to have the other characters “hit on” the MC and give them the option of expressing that they are aromantic. This goes the same with choosing the MC’s sexual orientation at the start of the game, why does the player need to lock in the option at the start of the game, instead of allowing them to hit on whoever they want in the game?

  • There are certain scenes where you have to go through X options before choosing an unelectable option. In some cases, it kind of “spoil” what happens next and break immersion. For example, there is a scene where you have 4 options to talk to other characters, then a “Tell them something is wrong” option which is greyed out. In this scenario, I think that it would be better to not show the option until you can select it.

  • There are multiple scenes in the game where when you ask other characters about certain things, they respond with things along the lines of “I can’t tell you that now”. Which is fine, I understand that some information needs to be revealed to the player later, but it gets a bit repetitive after a point. You can add a bit of diversity in these kinds of scenes by having some “accidents” happen that stop the characters from revealing said information.

I’m planning on posting a demo for a game I’m working on in the following months and the following questions are curiosities that I have as a writer, rather than a reader.

  • How do you plan on structuring your game? Will there be multiple branches early on that lead to totally different experiences, or will it be more like a “string of beads”, where each chapter will start and end in roughly the same spot that will somehow change the ending?

  • I didn’t get to read the first version of the demo. From the comments, I understand that there was a character, Hikaru who you replaced with Odyss. Can you give a bit more details about why you did this?

  • How will you handle branching for the different powers that the players can choose? Will there be unique scenes for each power or similar ones with flavor variations?

Looking forward to playing the final version :slight_smile:

3 Likes

Changelog
April 25, 2022

  • Corrected all issues pointed out by @dawn. These include: correcting typos, making it more obvious that the High Archon is accusing the MC in Chapter 4, and pointing to your MC’s eye color in one of the scenes.
  • Turned some *selectable_ifs into *ifs to avoid spoilers. Thank you @quartz for bringing this to my attention!
  • I’ll fix the things brought up by @Bizimo and @XaosMinion in the next update.
  • Patreon update: The Alpha Build has been updated with the first 12.000 words of Chapter 5, there are three lore posts available (The Veil of Storms, The Legion, The Hidden Sanctum), and a new Twine short story is coming later this week.

Very true. He’s definitely not a nice guy, and his views are…controversial. Still, he’s been in power for many decades, and power often changes people. :no_mouth:

16 Likes

The only guy sus is the guy in charge of the island. Someone dies and they don’t care and point fingers wherever they want. Worse if u try anything to prove yourself he’ll kill u. Besides there are a lot of reasons why he is shady in earlier chapters

6 Likes

At the beginning of chapter three, even though Odyss isn’t staying in my room it seems to be putting up the text of both alternatives.

3 Likes

Progress Update
While this demo hasn’t been updated, I thought I might update you on what’s going on with the Alpha Build. In short, I’ve just reached 250.000 words and managed to finish Chapter 6. I have about 150.000 words left to write, and I think I should be able to do that by September. This means that the closed beta will likely happen in late September/early October (2022).

As always, I post semi-regular updates on Tumblr, and if you really want to be up to date with everything I do, there are daily progress updates and almost daily content updates on my Patreon.

The links are in the main post! :yellow_heart:

21 Likes

I wonder… which of the powers is the most powerful and which one is the most useful in the long run? It’s probably a little subjective but I’m curious regardless. I went for Mischief the first time, which felt a little bit… odd… for my skittish, worrywart of a MC, but it kind of fits with her playful nature.

3 Likes

I always thought that Mischief would be the underdog winner against all the powers tbh, but i havent played the demo in a bit so i forgot most of them

3 Likes

Probably the power of the Sun is the most powerful out of 5 allowed to pick. Sun is a star. Stars can go supernova when they’re old. The output of power destroys the whole system (basically all planetary bodies caught in star’s gravity pull). But it’s pretty OP so I doubt MC can wield so much power.

2 Likes

That power is pretty fun though. Even the training was hilarious

2 Likes

Maybe but I doubt the author will make it such an op power. Regardless all them definitely have their unique perks

2 Likes

Thats what i would’ve thought i as well. On paper, Sun just sounds like a power that you should choose no matter what, but I just always thought that making people unlucky or making yourself slightly luckier against an opponent would be over powered, it would kinda be like a power to control Fate itself.

4 Likes

Progress Update
I’ve just finished Chapter 6, and I’ll start working on Chapter 7 on Monday. Chapter 7 will be all about the party (mentioned near the end of Chapter 4!), and it will also be the moment when you’ll be able to start a relationship with some of the ROs (Marco, Elena, Odyss, Sky).

The Alpha Build has a word count of about 274.000 words, which means I have something like 130.000 words left to write. The Alpha Build is available on Patreon, and all the links are included in the first post.

I’ll also be doing some edits soon, so you can expect small updates to the public demo in June and July.

There’s also another Twine side story available. This one lets you play as Sephtis and find out what happened to her in the prologue, before she reached your apartment. The other two stories are about Mr. Bells and Sky.

21 Likes

I always wondered what the others did before we found them. So thanks

3 Likes

New type of content on Patreon
Things are coming along well, and I’ve decided to add a new type of content on Patreon. I’ve always been fascinated with maps, and I decided to start making them using Inkarnate. The first interior map for The Hidden Sanctum is already available on Patreon, and many more will be coming soon (Already working on three!).

I also plan to recreate the map of the Temple of Amun from Temple of Endless Night (there’s a simple map available right here on CoG), and this new map will be available for free on my Tumblr! It should be up sooner rather than later.

Oh, and here’s a little sneak peek. It’s from the House of Toeris.

13 Likes

Progress Update
The Hidden Sanctum has just reached 300k words, which means I have about 100k left to write. I know some projects are much longer, but I still remember when writing 200k words for Temple of Endless Night felt like a lot, and now, I’m already at 300k.

From other things, I should be able to finish Chapter 7 by the end of this week. I only have a couple of scenes left, and they’re all about romance and confessions…

In a few days, there’ll be an update for the public demo (as well as the Alpha Build) because I’m in the process of line editing the prologue. I’m cutting words, simplifying some paragraphs, and splitting blocks of text by adding more choices.

Remember that the Alpha Build is available on Patreon, and so are the maps I made for the House of Toeris and the Hall of Bastet (that’s where the party takes place).

As always, I look forward to hearing from you! :yellow_heart:

24 Likes

Concragtulatsions on reaching 300k! That must be a huge milestone, and a totally awesome accomplishment :))

(how the hell do you spell concgragtulations, I’m crying, I hate English)

5 Likes

Progress Update
I’ve just finished spell-checking Chapter 7 and added it to the Alpha Build.

As for the public demo, I only have a few thousand words left to line edit, which means I may be able to add the updated version of the prologue tomorrow. :yellow_heart:

@E_RedMark Hi there! We might have a problem because I don’t see any trees… There’s a woman with a star and a moon, and she represents a not physical version of the Oracle.

As for the snail? I think it’s a jumping animal (a deer?), but it’s up for interpretation! :smile:

The “w” is corrected in the updated version, but I’ll be uploading the edited version of the prologue tomorrow! :smile: The edits are all about making paragraphs and sentences shorter, ad well as adding some choices to get rid of those pesky blocks of text.

Goood. :cowboy_hat_face:

You can definitely point out typos or mistakes! :blush: Especially from chapters 1-4 because I haven’t started editing them yet.

@E_RedMark Thank you, thank you, thank you! This will be very helpful. I’ll use all those notes as soon as I’m ready to edit chapters 1-4! :blush:

9 Likes