The Nameless [WIP] (Minor Update 9/15 - Restructure the sequel)


Hi all! Posted in the Interest Check thread a couple weeks ago about a story, and am excited to share it! This is my first foray into ChoiceScript, so definitely looking for plenty of feedback.

The Nameless (working title) is a fantasy story that is character and romance driven, with your race (sheevra) loosely based on stories about the fey and other myths, specifically when it comes to deals and the meaning of names.

You play as a sheevra investigating the complete disappearance of one of four sheevra Clans in the world.

Current Demo Word Count:
27k w/o code | 31k with
17k avg playthrough
Contains: Prologue, Chapter 1

I’m currently working on Chapter 2, and am hoping to update a chapter at least every month, with biweekly check-ins here and on tumblr mostly to keep myself honest with progress :smile:

Summary

Legend goes when the world was formed, the mortal races, mortalis, were created with the gift of magic. But as time passed their hubris grew, and the sheevra were created to curb their pride.

When it comes to these chaotic and malevolent beings, the lands are full of cautionary tales.

Some would tell you that the stories are just that. Tools people use to scare children and curse enemies, exaggerated accounts to cow opponents and impress lovers. To them, names have no power. There are no mysterious deals to fear, and the figure who seduces you into an alley at midnight is certainly no malicious spirit.

Which luckily for you means easy prey.

But it isn’t always so simple. Most mortalis are paranoid about the existence of your people, and knowing someone’s true name is the most intimate secret a person can offer.

You never imagined fearful weaklings like these would be any threat to you. But when an entire sheevra clan disappears seemingly overnight, you’re sent to an oasis city far from your home to investigate.

Will you find out what happened before it comes for you?

Features
  • Play as a sheevra of your gender choice (non-binary inclusive) and sexuality
  • Select either dryad, unseelie, or leanhaun with different magic bonuses for each
  • Stats for personality, interactions with mortalis, relationships, and magic/might
  • Customize the look of your sheevra (additional customization items outside gender, hair color, and eye color currently coded in Chapter 2)
  • 4 gender swappable ROs
Romance Options

(Mild Spoilers below)

Casual outfit doodles

  • “Oisein”
    Race: Sheevra
    True form: Rouge pink skin with light pale freckles like deer spots across their face and body. Bright pale-yellow antlers and shoulder-length golden blond hair normally tied half-up. Lavender irises and black schlera.
    Disguise: Honey blond hair and tanned skin. In this form, their freckles become earthy brown. Adamant about keeping their lavender eyes in any disguise they take.
    Personality & Skills: Sarcastic and sometimes flippant. Skilled with pathos magic.

  • “The Healer”
    Race: Mortalis
    Description: Warm russet skin with black hair in an undercut. The longer strands from the top of their head are usually tied back into a loose bun. Dark golden eyes with black lines tattooed under them. Black geometric tattoos across their body.
    Personality & Skills: Open and friendly. Proficient in healing and illusion magic.

  • “The Sage”
    Race: Mortalis
    Description: Dark umber skin with golden undertones, wears their long black-brown hair in braids, and ties them back loosely with yellow ribbon. Hazel eyes with bright flecks of topaz and green. Usually wears sunflower yellow liner along the bottom of their eyes.
    Personality & Skills: Patient and caring. They are unmatched in elemental magic.

  • “The Magesmith”
    Race: Mortalis
    Description: Cool beige skin and auburn hair. Generally soft brown eyes which change in color. Insists that it’s not dependent on their mood, but others would tell you otherwise. Multiple scars across body and a hollowed brass left forearm embued with magic.
    Personality & Skills: Stoic, but impulsive. Specializes in magical smithing and artificing.

Magic and Might

When confrontations inevitably happen, your stats are split into the following:

  • Magic vs Might
  • Within Might: Strength and Agility
  • Within Magic: Elemental, Illusion, or Pathos magic
  1. Elemental: The chaos of nature is intuitive to you, and you are proficient in magic utilizing the elements.
  2. Illusion: Deception is the game you play, and conjuring hallucinations and apparitions is what you’re best at.
  3. Pathos: An opponent’s emotions are your best weapon, and you excel at manipulation.
The Sentiments

These are vials of memories you’ve collected with different effects depending on who ingests them. Game-mechanic wise, they can be used as an instant-success, or else to throw a little chaos into a situation. Still deciding if there is a way for you to restore these, or if they are a one-and-done deal.

The player starts out with one of each, and they come in pairs, totaling six:
Delight, Despair | Devotion, Repulsion | Fury, Fright

Warnings

The Nameless is not suitable for all ages, and will contain depictions of violence and light gore, strong language, and sexual content.

Depending on player choices, the game may include brief mentions of suicidal thoughts and abuse.

Currently working on inserting warnings closer to the content in-game. In Chapter 1, the first deal choice second and third options have implied suicidal thoughts and abuse, respectively.

Things I'm still finessing:
  • Stat changes and balancing
  • Expanding a bit more in Chapter 1 about the relationship between the sheevra/mortalis/the world
  • Looking to find a good way to introduce some other core characters earlier

Demo Link
Tumblr (Extra RO asks and sometimes silly art)

Thank you for taking the time to read and for any other feedback, and hope everyone is keeping safe! :blush:
~Parker

326 Likes

Can I just say I fell in love with this project. Im gonna bookmark this and i can’t wait to see where it goes.

5 Likes

Interesting. I will definitely keep an eye out I like the characters so far and the world building is very interesting I look forward to learn more

Summary
  • How is flow/pacing
    The pacing is good . I think it keeps one interested while also not feeling dragged.

  • Do various personality choices work?
    No problem so far but I think it is a little early to tell

  • Any inconsistencies?
    Not that I could tell:)

  • Are the dialogue labels dumb?
    Nope

  • Is there anything else potentially triggering I should label/add warnings for?
    No, but I am pretty insensitive :sweat_smile:

4 Likes

Oh I remember this from the interest check thread, and ahh it’s so good! The worldbuilding is lovely, and the characters are all so charming (I’ve already fallen for the magesmith oops). I love the Sentiments mechanic as well, it seems extremely innovative and I’m curious to see how it’ll be implemented.

Long feedback and thoughts, beware
  1. Flow and pacing was great; I think mixing it up between the dialogue, flashbacks, and descriptive moments kept the story pretty engaging. It was also nice how you hinted at the reader’s initial purpose and then actually gave us a good backstory flashback. I got a tad bit confused with the time jumps between the initial crossbow chase scene, present time, and then the Clan flashback, and the flashback within the flashback…but maybe that’s just because I already struggle with remembering what day it is ^^;

  2. I’m…not exactly sure what you’re asking, but yes, the different personality choices did make it feel like I could play a distinct MC. There haven’t been too many personality dependent choices yet, so I think it’s still too early to evaluate how well the MC’s variable personality is implemented. But given the amount of personality stats, I would hope distinct MC personality types come into play later in the narrative.

  3. Not that I noticed! (:

  4. I personally did not use the dialogue loop labels, because my time of playing other IF has trained me to generally sense when there’s going to be a looping choice, haha. Though I do think it’s a helpful option for those who are unsure of when they can ask multiple dialogue questions vs if they can only pick one.

Other stuff…

  • Gender imbalance in NPCs?

Hmm so the first thing I noticed is that all the characters I met at the start are male: the portal records keeper (minor, but one of them), the Healer, the Sage, and the Magesmith (and a bit later, Oisein). I could immediately sense that they were main characters or ROs (I clicked on the demo without reading the details, I was too excited haha), and as soon as the Sage showed up and was also described as male, I was…off put? and thought, “Oh. Well I hope there’s another main character who’s not male!”

It seems the gender of the ROs are based on the MC’s orientation. So I’m wondering, are you going to have any non-gender variable characters in the core cast to combat possible lack of diversity caused by the gender variable ROs?

  • Stats

It seems the stats are pretty packed, which is exciting but also daunting. How important are magic/might and relationships to this game? If they are going to be used and changed often I think they would do well placed on the initial stats screen; usually primary stats are located on the initial “show stats” because then it’s easier to see the immediate effects of your choices. That’s just my opinion though, and separating the stats by category does work well for organization.

  • Specific Choice/Option notes

At the magic vs. might choice, would it be possible to have a “prefers magic, but is also adept at agile fighting” option? Just noticed that was the only combination not present ^^.

I was also unsure what the choice in ch.1 about sheevra and mortalis working together was asking. Was it referring to the two races living together, constantly making deals for mutual benefit? Or just for the benefit of the sheevra? Because I just took a man’s memories and don’t know if he even remembers his family…kinda tragic, and I’m not really sure if that’s the same as helping or living harmoniously… :pensive:

I hope this helps a little bit? I did really enjoy your story, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the plot with Clan Harpoc unfolds! I also want to talk with all the lovely characters again… I’ll definitely be keeping up with this one, thank you for sharing this!

2 Likes

The demo is so good . I love all the RO too

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This WIP is so interesting! I’ve never played a character like this before. I can’t wait for the next update! :’)

2 Likes

This is amazing. I’m so happy to have discovered this wip.

There was a small typo if you choose the second option for your first contract memory where it says you extracted devotion when the option says it’ll give you despair.

Is Sirin’s name derived from Sirin and Alkonost, the birds of Joy and Sorrow?

3 Likes

First of all, thank you so much for all your responses!! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

@pikachu_boy oh my gosh, for this to be the first comment I got on this was wonderful, thank you! Can’t wait to share more soon!

@Isi_Talks Thank you! And I’m so glad the world building has been interesting! I was worried it was a bit too much of an information dump so that’s great to hear C:

@Aerin ASDF thank you so much for taking the time to write all this out this is absolutely great!!

Responses!
  1. No yes, I was definitely worried about this flashback within a flashback so I’ll have a think on how to make this flow better.
  2. Yup that’s it! Yeah definitely too early, but wanted to make sure there wasn’t any glaring “serious callous MC suddenly becomes bright and bubbly” situations haha

Oh! This is a great point, yes the main four you meet at the beginning are immediately the ROs, so those do change depending on orientation. There are definitely more core characters that are female/non-binary that come into play in Chap 2 and on (and once you see more of Clo, Kehs, and Atra :eyes:). But I’ll take another look at if I can introduce some of the others before then. I definitely had blinders on to this, so thank you for bringing it up!

Stats: Another great point, especially because I’m someone who makes a choice in a game and then immediately checks the stat page to make sure I didn’t royally mess something up :joy: Relationships I think are more for your own tracking (+the flirt tracker), and magic/might will be important for a couple situations, but less used than personality. All of them will be more story-driving, less situation-failing (or well, there will still be consequences, just another branch to explore!).

Would maybe having just the magic vs might scale on the primary stats page be good while still having the sub categories on another page? Or would that complicate things too much?

Oh flip, yes, thank you for catching that, I’ll add that option in!

And ah yes, I’m glad you pointed this out, the Ch 1 choices and explanations were definitely something that felt very…this-made-more-sense-in-my-head like haha. That choice in particular is mainly to grab more stat points on how you feel about the mortalis, but I think I can either word it differently or put something else there instead. I’ll definitely take a look!

Thank you so much again for taking the time to read and respond!! :blush:

@Fardil_Husain Thank you!! I’m glad you enjoyed it and the ROs already!! C:

@HuiHui Thank you so much! :smile: I’m glad you’re enjoying the MC!

@Sel_Lee Oh gosh, thank you! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: And flip, yup, thanks for catching that haha. It was initially devotion before I wrote the first option, so I must’ve missed that change.

:eyes: :eyes: :eyes: :eyes: haha yes! Sirin is a combination of a couple of myths, but one of the main inspirations is from Sirin and Alkonost.

Thank you again!! :heart:

4 Likes

Wow, I really enjoyed this! I was sucked in right away, as I felt you built the atmosphere of the city and the world well (particularly with the way every-day people interact with names/true names in such a setting) and the writing flowed very nicely! All of the characters we’ve met so far I’m definitely looking forward to meeting and interacting with again, as well as learning more about the Clan systems and Harpoc, and definitely did appreciate the option to use dialogue labels during conversations, as I’m not always good at predicting when choices will loop in text games, how many questions I can ask etc.

The little section about making our first deal as a sheevra (and the different types of vials we could gain from it) was especially interesting, and I was wondering if we’ll see more of that mechanic? Also curious to see if/how the different vials can be used in-game!

The only thing I noticed in that bit was that when you choose the second option, it says +1 vial of despair in the choice set, but at the end of the memory it says that the ‘to the High Sheevra’s delight, the memories were even potent enough to create a vial of Devotion.’
I’m not sure if this is intentional though.

Again, thanks so much for sharing your work, and I can’t wait to see how you continue this!

2 Likes

This is really well-written! And I love me a good romance heavy story. I also appreciate that, so far, most of the ROs have darker complexions.

4 Likes

Thank you both!!

@bric Thank you!! I am an absolute sucker for romance in fantasy and I’m so excited to try my hand at it and bringing these character to life :blush:

@RobinsUnderground ahhhh thank you for the kind words!! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: and I’m glad the dialogue labels help! I’m always a big fan of the option in RPGs where it’s VERY CLEAR what dialogue options are information so I’m happy to hear that :joy:

looks at planned angst oh yes. ohhh yes. haha I’m definitely still finding the right balance for the deals and the Sentiments in my planning, but that will come into play later on, and hopefully in future books (if I’m so lucky to continue the story as far as I want!)

Yes! I got this feedback earlier and just pushed the change. Couple of small updates for everyone:

1. Second “first deal” option (+1 Despair) should actually match in the writing now.(was Devotion in-story)

  1. There’s now a “prefer magic, but still pretty agile” choice in the magic vs might preference decision.
  2. The tumblr is a little more put-together now, if anyone would like to check it out! First time answering RO asks so I hope I write them okay! haha

Thank you again! :blush:

5 Likes

This was very very good, you got something really solid and rich with lore without boring you .

So questions:

1- Did you do those sketches yourself? the drawing I mean? Cose thats kinda cool lol

2- Still with the drawing, are you gonna do more? like a Sheevra true form ? (Though thats what I understood, I could be wrong lol)

3- As for your questions, nothing look bad or anything , its all good . Save for one tiny…miniscule thing at the beginning . You get a choice to pick ‘‘Whoever it is, should be afraid of me’’ but then you get shot and your character goes back to meowing like a mouse…(Yeah kinda made me laugh) , which made me wonder why we could pick that choice…at all :sweat_smile:

4- Ohhh how did you get the ‘Earring’ idea? Cose I’m getting Earring-Fusion flashback here :smile:

5- I think my favorite part of the story, is the ‘background’ of those deals you made . You know, when you pick one ? Gotta say that for a) those deals remind me of some demons-deal with your soul from NWN2 MOTB , so it was really nice touch there . b) I was surprised how each turned out, and that speak volume about the quality of this story (hey I love surprise, and they don’t happen often!) .

Anyway, I think you got a gem here :+1:t2: :+1:t2:

P.S: I’m so digging Oisein :kissing_heart:

6 Likes

Thank you!! :smile:

And answers!

1/2 - I did! haha I’m just okay at sketching, but it helps me visualize C: And yes! I have a couple of sketches of the true forms of the 3 MC choices, as well as Oisein, Sirin, and more on Clo, Kehs, and Atra. I’d love to post more of the sketches on tumblr if that’s something people are interested in! :blush:

3 - Ooooh that’s a good point! yes I’ll take a look if I can add something in that adjusts if you select that, that way it makes more sense!

4- I’ll be honest, it was mostly a little silly self-indulgent powerful-jewelry trope :eyes: haha, each Clan has a different glamor focus, so for the MC’s, it’s an earring.

5 - Yay I’m glad you liked that!! Yeah the deals are probably one of my favorite parts too, and I can’t wait to write more of them! And I’m glad to hear they were each a surprise, that was the goal :grin: I had a friend playtesting who picked the first one because “it seemed the least sad” and welp… :grimacing: haha

Thank you again for all the feedback and taking the time to read, and hahaha I’m so happy you like them! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: I’ll have to do a poll after Chap 2 is released and people get to know the ROs more, I’d be really curious on everyone’s favorites! :smile:

3 Likes

Those sketches are good, don’t sell yourself short!!!

Yeah, the 2nd background got me deep in the feel! I was like 'Noo!!! bawl Take it, I don’t want it …so sadddd Cry&Bawl&UseKleenex :joy:

well if you post any more sketches, don’t forget us Forumer, some of us are allergic to Twiddle :wink:

3 Likes

You’re too kind, thank you! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: Always a little conscious haha but I’ll definitely be sure to post some art here as well either in update posts or edited into the main one!

Writing those really did bring out the evil cackling in me hahaha :joy: but! I’m glad to know that they conveyed some feels, that’s a wonderful compliment!

2 Likes

The demo is good. Love the pacing and the flow! Love the worldbuilding! Can’t wait for the next update! I really love a non-human MC, hope we could do more of the sentiments. ngl, felt really bad of taking the memory of that money-hungry person.

Summary

image
should be I’m

3 Likes

Thank you!! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Ack I’m sorry! (though I’m happy the writing makes you feel something, but it feels weird to say “yay thanks for feeling bad?” :joy:) Tried to make them all sad in unexpected ways from the description.

Thank you for the catch!! Just pushed that fix, and also @E_RedMark pushed a change to make the beginning scene a little different if you choose strength!

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I know right? Lol all writer are Vilains lol welcome to tha club :smile:

2 Likes
An Error

I don’t know if the game has been updated or something because of an error but it restarts from the beginning after meeting The Magesmith. It does let you continue on the second time around, though.

I haven’t finished reading it yet, but I like what I’ve read so far. I look forward to seeing how the story progresses :smile:

3 Likes

Really liked the like ominous buildup to when Oisein appears to us

5 Likes