The Hidden Sanctum by Dariel Ivalyen (WIP)

When a traitor dies, divine souls will give birth to a new world, while the old one will drown in despair, disease, wrath, lust, and madness.

The Hidden Sanctum is a modern fantasy game set in an alternative, more unusual version of our world. It takes place in a magical world called the Hidden Sanctum, where unique people—just like you—are taken to learn the truth about the world and discover their true potential. Are you ready to become a touched soul and find out what fate has in store for you?

When your old neighbor, Mrs. Kendrick, calls you late in the evening and asks you to watch over her daughter for a couple of hours, you have no idea your whole life is about to be turned upside down. The girl arrives at your door, but with her, so does a legion of mechanical soldiers. They’re after you, though you don’t know why. Under fire, you leave your home and start running. But where can you go? Will this be your last journey, or will it be the beginning of your new life?

  • Play as male, female, or nonbinary.
  • Be gay, straight, bisexual, or asexual.
  • Romance or befriend one of six unique characters. Will you get close to one of your fellow students, or will your heart draw you to an ancient Oracle?
  • Influence how these characters change throughout the game. Will you be kind to them and help them with their problems, or will you push them over the edge?
  • Choose one of five unique soul paths and reach your true potential!
  • Shape your personality and views. Every choice will define who you are!
  • Keep a diary and decide how you feel about certain events!
  • Explore the Hidden Sanctum and uncover its secrets.
  • Want more? How about speaking with ancient gods, dealing with mythical creatures, and being a part of a forgotten prophecy?

Will you be strong enough to protect the Hidden Sanctum from danger? What if some of that danger comes from within? What if even people who claim friendship turn out to be traitors? What if you figure out something is wrong, but cannot find any proof?

Demo word count: 200.000.
Demo words per playthrough: 77.000.

Alpha Build word count: 363.400.
Words per playthrough: 135.500.

ROMANCE OPTIONS

ODYSS

Name: Odyss.

Gender: male.

Nationality: Dutch–Greek.

Occupation: freelance artist.

Physical appearance: taller than average (180cm), slender and fit, a tattoo—three black stars—on his right ankle, well-defined jaw, black earrings, deep blue eyes, and blue (dyed) hair (undercut).

Pinterest link: Odyss.

Personality: cold (at first), stern, artistic, rude, and quick-tempered. At the moment, he’s struggling with his mental health.

Likes: moonlight, water, painting, silence, honesty, and earrings.

Dislikes: music, cruelty, shouting, lies, and violence against children.

Blurb: Abandoned by his parents as a child and raised by his cold, stern grandmother, Odyss’ greatest dream has always been to have a real, loving family. When his grandmother passes, Odyss realizes he’s all alone in the world, and everything seems like it’s trying to get him. When your paths cross at the turn of the age, will you help Odyss find his inner strength, or will you give him to the void?.

Songs: Petals and Close my Eyes.

ELENA

Name: Elena.

Gender: female.

Nationality: Greek.

Occupation: (ex) biology student.

Physical appearance: quite tall (178cm), naturally fit, strong jawline, warm complexion, long dark hair, hazel eyes.

Pinterest link: Elena.

Personality: caring, loving, smart, bright, kind, and patient.

Likes: nature, alchemy, earth, history, myths, and animals.

Dislikes: cruelty, machines, war, conflict, ambition, and cold.

Blurb: Raised on the outskirts of the city of Athens, Elena has always felt more drawn to nature than to people. When her parents tell her they’re sending her to study in London, she’s excited, but she knows she’s going to miss her beloved grandmother. When Elena uncovers her true potential, will you help her become one with the Sanctum, or will you watch her succumb to her dark urges?

Song: Colors of the Wind.

MARCO

Name: Marco.

Gender: male.

Nationality: Italian.

Occupation: (ex) architecture student.

Physical appearance: tall (185cm), strong and well–built, dark brown hair, warm complexion (black tattoos on his torso and along his right arm), deep brown eyes.

Pinterest link: Marco.

Personality: passionate, daring, impulsive, funny, and blunt.

Likes: rubies, fire, humor, passionate people, and red apples.

Dislikes: governments, laws, seriousness, and stupid heroism.

Blurb: Born to a family of liars and criminals, Marco has always found it difficult to relate to normal people. When his uncle sends him to the UK to continue his studies, Marco is excited, but he knows his uncle never does anything without a reason. When you stand face to face with some of his darkest secrets, will you show him a different path, or will you watch him become just like his uncle?

Song: Runaway Horses.

SKY

Name: Sky.

Gender: male or female.

Nationality: French.

Occupation: student, adventurer, mercenary.

Physical appearance: medium height (F – 172cm, M – 179), in good shape, dark complexion (entire body covered in a web of barely visible intricate tattoos), white (pinkish) hair, and white–purple irises.

Pinterest link: Sky.

Personality: smart, impatient, creative, spontaneous, and real.

Likes: storms, wind, lightning, spontaneity, and classical music.

Dislikes: planning, responsibility, labels, rules, and green tea.

Blurb: Raised on the streets of Paris, Sky knows that nothing in life is permanent and all things fade away. Entering the Hidden Sanctum might have changed Sky’s life, but it certainly didn’t change his/her views. When you find Sky standing at the edge, will you help him/her find a safe passage, or will you push him/her to take a risk so great it could mean the end of all things?

Song: Je veux and Vivaldi’s Storm.

MINJOON

Nationality: Korean.

In three words: BUBBLY, happy, and curious.

Inspiration for his dancing: Want.

Pinterest: Minjoon.

Note: Minjoon is a side character in the first book. His romance will have more content in the second and third books.

THE ORACLE

Nationality: Greek.

In three words: wise, ageless, and powerful.

Pinterest: The Oracle.

Song: Hymn to Nemesis.

Note: The Oracle is a side character in the first book. Her romance will have more content in the second and third books.

OTHER INFO

FAQ

How many books will there be?
One book with a HFN ending (for now), and a possibility for a sequel.

How long will it take to write?
The closed beta should be up in October. Then, it’s a few months before the game gets published.

How long will the demo be?
The demo is already complete, so you can play through the whole thing right now!

Will there be cliffhangers?
Not really. There’ll be a happy-for-now ending and a possibility for a sequel.

When will it be possible to lock in a romance?
Chapter 7 for the main romances: Marco, Elena, Sky, and Odyss. Chapter 9 for the smaller ones: Minjoon and the Oracle.

Can I play without romance?
Technically, yes, but this game is more character-focused than Temple of Endless Night, which means there’ll be less action and much more talking, spending time together.

Does the game assume that souls are real?
It does, but it has nothing to do with any particular religion. When it comes to religion, the only religious motives used in the game come from Ancient Egypt and Greece. The game assumes that your soul is immortal and that it is the same as your ability to think and be aware of your own existence.

CHARACTER ART

All art has been made using the Artbreeder website!

ODYSS


ELENA

MINJOON

SEPHTIS

PROGRESS

Prologue – 100% done. (Edited)
Chapter 1 – 100% done. (Edited)
Chapter 2 – 100% done. (Edited)
Chapter 3 – 100% done. (Edited)
Chapter 4 – 100% done. (Edited)
Chapters 5 – 100% done (Alpha Build). (Edited)
Chapter 6 – 100% done (Alpha Build). (Edited)
Chapter 7 – 100% done (Alpha Build). (Edited)
Chapter 8 – 100% done (Alpha Build). (Edited)
Chapter 9 – 100% done (Alpha Build). (Edited)
Chapter 10 – 100% done (Alpha Build. (Edited)

FEEDBACK

Feel free to leave comments with questions, ideas, and any possible errors (including grammar and punctuation) or bugs you might have encountered.

ON UPDATES

The public demo is already complete, and there won’t be any new content updates, but I’ll keep adding smaller things to Chapters 0-4.

CREDITS

Art for The Hidden Sanctum was created by Izabela Kramarska.

CHANGELOG

November 25, 2021

  • Demo release (ca. 60.000 words, excluding code).

November 28, 2021

  • Corrected a couple of typos.
  • Fixed a bug that made it impossible for Hikaru to notice that you’re good at balance, regardless of your earlier choice. He’ll now say something different.

November 30, 2021

  • Corrected some typos.
  • Corrected the sentence that repeated itself in Chapter 1. There was a bug that made it impossible for nonbinary characters to see any of the sentences. Things should be okay now.
  • Fixed the ‘last name bug’.

December 1, 2021

  • Deleted the old demo.
  • Uploaded the rewritten version of the prologue. Chapter 1 coming in a few days!
  • Fixed some Sky pronoun issues in the prologue.

December 3, 2021

  • Added the rewritten version of Chapter 1 to the demo (ca. 45k words, excluding code).
  • Changed some descriptions of the Sanctum (buildings).
  • Made flirting with Odyss much less in-your-face than it was with Hikaru. The MC no longer thinks of their feelings. (Too soon for that!)

December 31, 2021

  • Added the first part of Chapter 2 (ca. 26k words, excluding code).
  • The above includes the first few scenes of Chapter 2, path events for three of the paths (Sun, Mind, Ice), as well as a couple of small scenes that happen after those events. The remaining two events will be up next week.
  • Added some achievements (all hidden!).
  • Added a few entries to the glossary.
  • Added the save system.

January 5, 2022

  • Added the Sound soul path event (ca. 5250 words, excluding code).
  • Corrected some typos in Chapter 2.

January 8, 2022

  • Added the Mischief soul path event (ca. 5700 words, excluding code). All Ch2 path events are now present in the game.

January 15, 2022

  • Added another two scenes: Sephtis’s power issues and a short conversation with Elena, Marco, and Odyss (ca. 7100 words, excluding code). The latter serves as an introduction to the next three scenes that’ll come later this month.
  • Added a choice that lets you confront Odyss and his attitude. (I’ll go back and add more bold/mean responses to earlier conversations, too.)
  • You can now use your sound power via singing in the scene with Sephtis.

January 29, 2022

  • Added the rest of Chapter 2 (ca. 18.500 words).
  • Chapter 2 is done, and I’m off to work on Chapter 3. In Chapter 3, we’ll be going on a little field trip with our “missing” theater teacher!

February 12, 2022

  • Added the first part of Chapter 3 (ca. 15.000 words).
  • Tell me if you feel like there might be some lines or paragraphs missing in Chapter 3! There shouldn’t be, but you never know.

March 3, 2022

  • Added the second part of Chapter 3 (ca. 20.000 words).
  • Added a new scene in Chapter 1 that lets you customize your room (ca. 1700 words).
  • If you want to ask about the thing that happens at the end of Chapter 3, please, mark your question as a spoiler.

March 12, 2022

  • Added the first part of Chapter 4 (ca. 11.000 words).
  • Important for Minjoon’s romance: If you want to romance Minjoon, you need to stay as long as possible at the end of Chapter 3 and then, in Chapter 4, when you get the option to confront him, you have to pick romantic answers. Otherwise, he won’t trust you in the long run.
  • The next update will bring new path scenes!

March 31, 2022

  • Added four out of five path events. Sun, Mind, Mischief, and Sound are already done, and Ice will be added in early April. (ca. 25.000 words, excluding code).
  • Fixed a bug in Chapter 2. When your MC was helping Odyss unlock his power, it was only possible to see the end of the scene if your MC was on the Sun path. Now, all other paths have their own versions of the second part of that scene.
  • Fixed some typos and deleted unnecessary commas throughout the game.

April 6, 2022

  • Added the last path event (Ice). (ca. 6100 words)
  • Added some missing info to the other path events. (In the brackets, when you pick how your power is supposed to manifest.)

April 14, 2022

  • Added the rest of Chapter 4 (ca. 14.000 words). You can now sneak out with your RO (or friend) and experience the last scenes available in the open beta!
  • Turned all [Flirt] tags into [Romance] tags.
  • This is the last content update for the open beta! I’ll keep making smaller updates, but they’ll mostly add cosmetic changes (character customization, new dialogue options, perhaps an extra scene or two).
  • Chapters 5-10 will be available in the Alpha Build. I’ll start working on Chapter 5 this Monday (April 18, 2022).

April 15, 2022

  • Added character customization (hair color, hair length, eye color, skin tone).
  • Added a couple of lines about your physical appearance on the stat screen, right below your MC’s major.
  • Deleted the vigor stat.
  • Broke a large block of text in the prologue (>1200 words) with a flavor choice.
  • Added two new entries to the Glossary.

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 pointing 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.

June 26, 2022

  • Uploaded the edited version of the prologue.
  • Edits: Added several new flavor choices.
  • Edits: Got rid of large blocks of text.
  • Edits: Cut over 1500 words to get rid of wordiness.
  • Edits: Moved the sexuality choice further into the story.
  • Edits: Corrected lots of typos.

September 10, 2022

  • Added a revised version of Chapter 1.
  • Edits: Added several new flavor choices.
  • Edits: Got rid of large blocks of text by cutting over 2300 words. This should also make dialogues feel much more natural. I ended up revising the whole chapter line by line…
  • Edits: Introduced many of the changes suggested by @E_RedMark and @Cerununnos.
  • Edits: Corrected countless typos.
  • Added achievements (25 in total).

September 22, 2022

  • Added a revised version of Chapter 2.
  • Edits: Added a new choice right after you leave the cave and find Sky. You can now react to what they did to your character earlier in the chapter.
  • Edits: Cut over 5000 words, mostly by rewriting paragraphs and making the dialogues less descriptive. They should feel more natural now.
  • Edits: Corrected countless typos.

September 28, 2022

  • Added a revised version of Chapter 3.
  • Edits: Added a tiny mischief moment. It’s a different version of something that already happens in the chapter. I just found it appropriate to add this as flavor.
  • Edits: Cut over 3500 words, mostly by rewriting paragraphs and making the dialogues less descriptive. They should feel more natural now.
  • Edits: Corrected countless typos.

October 4, 2022

  • Added a revised version of Chapter 4.
  • Edits: Cut over 4000 words, mostly by rewriting paragraphs and making the dialogues less descriptive. They should feel more natural now.
  • Edits: Corrected countless typos.

October 6, 2022

  • Added a revised version of Chapter 5 to the alpha build.
  • Edits: Cut over 2500 words from Chapter 5.
  • Edits: Changed a small detail in the prologue (also in the demo). MC remembers that the Legion attacked 4 weeks ago, not 2. It makes more sense when you consider MC’s attitude.
  • Edits: Corrected countless typos.

DEMO
TUMBLR
For weekly progress updates and asks.
PINTEREST
The general board.
PATREON :gift:
For access to polls, posts about lore, Twine short stories, personalized short stories for your MCs and the ROs, as well as for access to the Alpha Build (incl. Ch. 5-10).

MY OTHER GAMES
TEMPLE OF ENDLESS NIGHT
THE ALCHEMIST

360 Likes

Looks interesting, I’ll keep an eye on this one.
“wise, ageless, and powerful.” I really like powerful RO’s, can I at least flirt with her in book 1?

5 Likes

It’s great to see a new book of yours so soon after Temple of Endless Night :slight_smile:

4 Likes

@Gildarth Hello! I’m glad you find the concept interesting. You will definitely be able to flirt with the Oracle in the first book, and it’ll also be possible to form an emotional bond with her. Minjoon and The Oracle can both be romanced in Book 1, but their story will become heavier in the later installments.

@Frieza Thank you! I hope you enjoy this one, too. :blush:

@yb_minhee Hi! In the prologue, you can only pick one person because there’s not that much time before the soldiers get to you. You’ll be able to spend time with all the characters in Chapter 1. (I’m glad you’re enjoying the game!)

@Ashten I might add a few of those things, but there will be no full-blown character creation. It’s just not something I usually include. There’s some customization in my other game, The Alchemist, but this one will be closer to Temple of Endless Night (at least in that aspect).

8 Likes

just a quick question, im at the part where we have met hikaru and sky, the options to stay with sky or check on the others, are we going to go through all of that or is it just a one time thing? cause i want to stay with sky but also kinda want to check on the little girl (i forgot how to spell her name lmao)

from what ive read so far though, it’s very good. im already at the edge of my seat at whatever the fuck is supposed to happen and how were supposed to stop legion

3 Likes

Are there going to be character customization…Like eye color,hair color,Hair type,Hair length and Tatoo with different designs…

5 Likes

Very interesting. Definitely enjoy a good fantasy. Will keep an eye on it defintely enjoying it so far. So bookmarking this for the time being. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

2 Likes

Any chance for the save system?

4 Likes

@Gapaot Definitely! I already mentioned it in the main post (ON UPDATES). The save system will come with the December update. Chapter 2 will be much less linear than the first one and the prologue, and it will need a save system. I wouldn’t want you to have to play the game five times to check out all the soul paths.

6 Likes

Typo: “man” instead of “may”

3 Likes

Loved Temple of Endless Night. Love what you got here too. Can’t wait to see what happens next. Keep up the good work, brother.

2 Likes

17 Likes

Changelog
November 28, 2021

  • Corrected a couple of typos.
  • Fixed a bug that made it impossible for Hikaru to notice that you’re good at balance, regardless of your earlier choice. He’ll now say something different.
9 Likes

Hello.
I really like the uniqueness of the plot. The genre is quite borderline on the power cliche but I can see the uniqueness the story holds.
The pacing is very smooth and i enjoy the lack of confusion throughout the story even though we as readers went through some chaotic ordeals. The explanation to various events, their followups, descriptions of the Sanctum were all very well done.
I really liked the scenes with Marco and Sephtis when we chose to spend time with them, very well fleshed out scenes which were quite enjoyable.
On the pacing, I felt it was a bit rushed when the High Archon gave his speech, and the part in general after that till we got to our room. Maybe a lengthy introduction on the High Archon’s part will be better, personally speaking.
The sense of mystery is well maintained throughout the story and is intertwined with the immersion of the plot, which is a bonus.

Question - Is Sephtis’ power related to death? If it is, how is she able to light the candle? Does that mean she can control life force as well somehow?

typos and such


Into her pocket


I chose female RO’s


Late


Repitition of sentences.


Old book


Lower paragraphs will be italicized

Keep up the good work, best of luck🍻

2 Likes

great story I love it keep up the great work cant wait for the next chapter

1 Like

I loved Temple of Endless Night so much and this one seems just as interesting. I’m super excited for it! I do find it sad though that Hikaru’s character seems to be closely related to Jonghyun, particularly being overworked in the industry and losing himself to the void. Maybe I’m just grasping at straws here but it hits a little hard

1 Like

Yeah, she tells that she can talk to the dead/ghosts and her grandmother used to too… Also she tells MC that the ghost girl she was trying to find in that crypt/catacombs told her that if Sophtis needs any help she just needs to think of her and snap her fingers and that’s how she lit the candle,the ghost girl lit the candle.

3 Likes

Also @Dariel it’s finger not finder.

3 Likes

Aight.

It’s a she? I thought MC and Sephtis were referring it to as ‘the voice’.

1 Like

@Zain_Asghar Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed the demo. I’m currently outlining the scenes for Chapter 2, and I believe it should be ready by the end of December.

@Paradox1 Thank you for your detailed response and for those typos! I honestly appreciate the effort, and I’ll makes sure to update the files as soon as I can. I will also take another look at the assembly scene.

That’s exactly what happened. Sephtis simply channeled the power.

Thank you!

Sephtis actually mentions that “this place” (as in the Sanctum) is full of ghosts. The ghost that told her how to light the candle wasn’t the one calling her to the crypts. Because of her abilities, Sephtis is often in contact with ghosts. She even mentions one during your first conversation in the prologue.

@View I’m glad you enjoyed Temple of Endless Night, and I hope you like what I make of The Hidden Sanctum, too.

As for Hikaru, I cannot deny that he was inspired by JH and his story. Actually, Hikaru was the first character I created for this book, and he made me want to write it. I will be trying to distance him as much as possible from JH (because JH deserves his peace), but I’d like to keep the main themes (mental health issues, being overworked) as they are.

If it turns out that the similarities go too far, I will most likely rewrite some parts of Hikaru’s story and character. I’d rather do that than disturb his memory.

Still, I will need feedback for that, so thank you for yours!

1 Like