The Monster of Rome (Mini- update 7/2/2017, link in original post)


#1

I don’t know if any of y’all remember this, but sometime in November, I began work on a little WIP called ‘Notes from the Underground.’ For personal reasons, I ended up going underground myself, and the thread died.

Now here’s the latest version thereof. You start out as a monster and have a variety of options through which you navigate the paranoia of post-Augustus Rome: will you divert yourself with occult studies, support the totalitarian regime of the Emperor Tiberius or work to undermine him?

Play through and tell me what you think. I’d be much obliged for any feedback, especially on the gameplay mechanics or aesthetics (but also on the writing): I’m more of a writer than a programmer.

https://dashingdon.com/go/1450

Warning: Mature content, potentially triggering.

UPCOMING FEATURES:

-Adding options to the upcoming ‘increase skills’ stats, sort of like the free periods in TIn Star.

-Fixing a bug in the Thrasyllus conversation, which takes you to Chapter II when you die.

-Adding more story and making the exposition sections with Livia a bit less painfully clunky. Romance options, including several historical characters, are in the works.

7/2/17: Finished the dinner party, set up a ‘skill development’ scene, and began a choice to bond with Bellona.

6/18/17: Added part of Chapter III. Apologies for the lack of length–I’m beginning a master’s program at the moment, so I may be a bit pressed for time. However, I WILL STILL BE ADDING UPDATES REGULARLY.

6/14/17: Fixed the series in Chapter Two, at the expense of one of the if-conditionals (now we don’t get Bellona’s death confirmed until the next chapter). The current WIP has now passed Quicktest and should be playable.

6/13/17: There’s a chance I won’t be able to work on this for a bit, so I’ve been hastening to hammer out rough drafts of chapters as fast as I can instead of polishing what I have. This update brings Chapter 2.

6/1/17: Cleaned up the monster selection screen and added a bit more actual plot. I’ve also revised the storyline to make things flow more smoothly: instead of being assigned to one of three different people, you’ll be assigned to bodyguard the Dowager Empress Livia. This technically places you in what used to be called the Gangster path, but you’ll have other occupational options (the Occult and Revolution paths) open up as the story progresses.

5/25/17 Update: Added a new monster option and sub-types for various other monster options.

5/15/17 UPDATE: Fixed @DUNGEON_MASTER’s ‘infinite stats’ bug.

5/14/17 UPDATE: Switched the meat of the story to second person, setting it up as a sort of ‘archaeological found footage.’ Added gender and name options. Added stat bonuses for family origins.

5/11/17 UPDATE: Added ‘reconsider’ options for each monster type. Fixed the bug in the small portion of Chapter Two.


#2

For starters you don’t need the *finish here. I’d say that was causing the first bug.

 #a slave doctor.
  In many circles, the trade was considered beneath a freeborn Roman, so it was left to educated slaves like me--and I excelled. From Galen to Hippocrates, leeches to lotions, I knew just about anything that could return a human body to a semblance of functioning. I'd also picked up a decent bit of patter, as half of my clients were rich senators who wanted you to cure their gout RIGHT NOW, science be damned. None of this saved me, of course, because slaves are slaves.
  *set healing %+ 10
  *set charisma %+ 5
  *goto transform
*finish

What I’d suggest is running quicktest. It’ll tell you exactly what line the problems are on so you can probably work most of them out and post specific pieces of code for the ones you can’t. It’ll give you more directed feedback and make life easier for anyone going through your code.


#3

line 84 and line 103 are overlapping with their respective option(# symbol)


#4


#5

I can’t get through the first choice, when I like on them there is no continue button.


#6

Pretty good so far but I might suggest it might be a good idea to add a saving feature other then that it’s got a good concept in my opinion :smiley:


#7

Solid beginning - believable origins, tied to history and the reality of Roman life and an engaging story. I hope you keep at this project, it has great potential.

1st thing I’d consider changing: allow the reader to chose their monster form again, if they are not happy once making the choice - it seems this will be the greatest and most significant choice made in the story - it is better to have a confirmation/reselection available instead of forcing a gamer/reader to restart.

2nd thing: some pages are long - that is ok for people who use the computer browsers but for those reading on the phones or tablets you will have a lot of scrolling - something they will complain about …

While I did not really enjoy the perspective of directing the monster as an independent actor - I did not yet feel the disassociation I often do in these types of stories. That is the biggest writing style or preference danger I see in this short sample.

Keep up the wonderful prose - that is definitely a strong aspect of your ability.

:heartbeat:


#8

Thanks, and good call. When it gets to a sufficient length I’ll set up save checkpoints.

Excellent points. I’ll see if I can break up the big blocks of text. It might take me a while to get the hang of confirmation/reselection options in ChoiceScript, but I’ll add those too.

You mean writing in first-person? To some extent, I agree; I’ve found that 1st-person games like the ‘Life Of’ games are less effective, and I was worried about it here.

I normally wouldn’t have written it this way, but the opening segment (which I cribbed from my previous WIP) was in first person, and I thought it was a good enough piece of writing to warrant changing the rest of the story’s viewpoint.

I might reconsider later on, though. Perhaps I can present the opening segment as a sort of ‘found diary’ from the monster’s viewpoint, and then have the rest be written so that the reader can act as the monster more directly.

Thanks for the lovely words of encouragement! I needed that.


#9

I was hoping this WIP would resurface sooner or later.


#10

What is dead may never die, but rises again, harder and stronger.


#11

the asterisk(*) must be under ‘T’ Backspace once on each and that would solve the error.(Chapter two)


#12

Thanks–just fixed that one. I really appreciate the help.


#13

I really wanted to make a penis joke, but instead I will say that this far I am enjoying this WIP.

Rome has always been a passion of mine, and I can see believable roman experiences surfacing here and it makes me so happy. I’ve been reading through all of the errors people have been having and see that you have fixed them. Good on ya, I’ve had typing errors in mine for the past month)edit: since it’s been out tbh):woman_shrugging:t2:#oops #ohwell

Quicktest is easy, just select
It out of the main folder of the file you downloaded and open it up in Firefox, that should catch most of the errors. Ciao, my dear and gl.

( that penis joke is still there in my mind,
I will fight it for you I promise)


#14

Thanks for the advice! Now I can finally use Quicktest as @Jacic suggested. And I appreciate your restraint. :slight_smile:


#15

Just finished the latest update: see the title post. Thanks again for recommending Quicktest, @Jacic and @Arasia_Valentia: it’s been a massive help.

Looking forward to your feedback!


#16

JUST SEE MY STARTING STATS (I love gaming bugs)

For solution I think you should raise the stats after the player confirms his species not when he initially choose it


#17

Overall your plot is good


#18

Facepalm. Thanks for pointing out that game-breaking bug; I’ll fix it in the next update.


#19

No problem buddy *psst(whispering) I’ve got a saved game with those stats


#20

And no it wasn’t game breaking it was a bit more like cheating