The Porthecrawl Witness - a WIP (Chap 4 of Demo added - 3/19)


It is the end of chapter one but it wasn’t resetting correctly after the last update. It should be fixed now so that it takes you back to the beginning if you so choose.

Thanks for letting me know!



This seems pretty interesting, although I am dreading it quickly losing its appeal to me as people start getting killed off left right and center.

@respite-and-nepenthe I don’t remember reading anything else from you before but this doesn’t feel like a first effort at all. I’m not good at describing something as subjective as good writing, but yeah, good writing.

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No worries on that front! People can certainly die but it won’t be a ‘frequent occurrence.’ Personally, I feel that character deaths serve little purpose if there’s no driving emotional impact.

Depending on how you play, you may not lose anyone at all - though I’m trying to make it so that the traditional ‘perfect’ run isn’t the really the goal.

I haven’t published anything with Hosted/COG before but I’ve been reading them for about a year now. I thought the coding would be the most daunting part but it’s the scope of writing all these different scenes.

Thanks for reading! Don’t be too concerned with the death toll rising just yet.



As a suggestion, have you considered having the relationship stats as text rather than just a percentatge bar? I mean, seeing as you’ve said that the game will be mainly character-focused, I’ve thought it would be nice to give us some degree of knowledge on what the characters think of us (based on our decisions and actions), instead of only a number that may, or may not tell us anything.

(I… I don’t know if I’m explaining myself well enough?)



I have actually! That was my original intention until I started fooling around with the stat coding. I’ve seen other games that have used that text-based model (I think Tin Star was one) and I really enjoyed them. I’d like to incorporate something the along the line of “if your relationship with Asher is 60% = a textual stat of ‘Asher will do you the honor of killing you quickly’” …or both even?

It’s going to take a little bit more practice with coding to figure out how to incorporate/trigger those text prompts.

But you’re absolutely right. I think it’s an excellent idea.



I really enjoyed what I’ve read so far. You’ve got a very nice narrative going. Maybe just add a few more choices, even if they are small ones, more frequently as there was a lot of reading where we couldn’t interact. Other than that, I look forward to your updates



Thanks for reading.

One of my concerns is the initial amount of choices vs. the dense paragraphs. I think it will be less of a problem past chapter three because there will be more interactions and choices. It did occur to me in this first chapter that there’s a fair amount of “talking at” the reader character, so going back and inserting some basic responses to break that up should be simple. That way things feel a little less one sided (hopefully).



What you have so far is well written and I’m intrigued. I am curious if all these ghost sightings are just something specific to the 5 families, or can others see them as well? I feel like a little more exposition on that could clear things up. Like “how you’d been seeing these things from a young age, but most people couldn’t and thus wouldn’t understand.”

Of course that might be expounded upon in later chapters, but it would be clearer earlier on so you don’t say to Faye “Lots of ghosts this morning, huh?”. Instead its something you accept and know almost no one else will believe.

Also, theres something about Faye I find highly enjoyable. If she can’t be a romance, despite her older age (which would actually be quite innovative for one of these games) I hope she can be a good friend. She seems nice. She has problems (a stutter, an ex)…and thus, she feels real.

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There’s definitely more information during the meeting that takes place in Chapter Two, but after looking back over the first few pages of chapter one, it won’t be any trouble to elaborate without tacking on too much extra bulk.

Some of that information can be uncovered through pursuing certain actions or inquiries - but I need to clearly establish the basics so that you’re not obligated to do those things if you would rather chase other routes.

The older bloodlines have this…elitist streak, I guess, so when odd things happen, they’re accustomed to mentioning it among one another. The idea in the demo is that this a particular ancestor (Asher) has appeared, who NO ONE alive today has seen. It is meant to be a very jarring sighting for the reader. He’s sort of a party crasher. If that wasn’t clear, I definitely need to clear that up, so I’m glad you pointed that out. Otherwise the reader’s continued motivation/curiosity is just going to come out of left field.

Unfortunately, Faye isn’t going to be a romance but I hope readers will take the opportunity to cultivate that relationship. I thinks she’s a lot of fun to write and I’m happy people are enjoying her character already!



There is an error when I choose that I’m attracted to women.



Ok, it should be fixed now. I added a variable while coding chapter 3 that confused things.

Thanks for pointing that one out!

EDIT: updated it again because that update had the wrong pagebreak/finish tag. It should reroute back to the “play again” page

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Alright - update to the demo.

There are now three chapters posted. Please do let me know if you find any bugs! I need to make certain that I have all of my variables - or most of them anyway - established correctly.

Otherwise, enjoy! Thank you all for your feed back :grinning:



Absolutely loved the demo which is why I literally went “No!” out loud when I found this error:

demomeetcute line 115: Non-existent variable ‘staci_himhere’

About to replay and see if I can get a bit farther :slight_smile:

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Thanks for letting me know! It should be fixed now!

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Not a bug report, just passing by to say that I love the variety in the dialogue options, and that this part made me laugh a lot. :smile:

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Okay, so I finally gave myself the time to play the update, and oh, boy.

The “meeting” part was just depressing, as it should be. I couldn’t help but feel a pang of sadness each time the narrative described the melacholic stares of the ancestors, so all the more kudos to you. (I also like how you gave a 3d personality to the supporting characters, specially Edwin and his wife, it makes the game feel more realistic)

And, well, then there’s the ROs. They certainly are… an odd bunch, to say the least. We have a roguish hipster, an auburn-haired pirate, an even-less-than-sociable doctor, and a murderous 18th century occultist.

Things will prove to be… interesting.

PD: Also, may I say I love everything about this line?

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Haha! I’m glad you enjoyed it! That second chapter is very important to filling in some of the remaining blanks from the first.

The ROs certainly all have their own individuals dramas that make them a little…kooky? I think they’ll be a lot of fun!



Played the demo and super interested in this! I agree with others that the town feels alive. It probably felt more comfortable and homely than any other COG I can think of off the top of my head. Even though I feel skeptical about the whole ritual I also could not feel anything but a bit of a sense of protectiveness of the town’s secrets when the ROs started inquiring. Also definitely liking the ROs. I am mostly interested in Sasha, hello awkward but adorable doctor, but the others seem like they will be fun to hang out with.
EDIT: Also, Sasha says that a patient has mentioned you and I am totally here for Faye deciding to play match maker for the two of you.



Soo there was an update ? You may need to update your WIP Title…like others author do , so peoples come and check it out and you get feedback about new and old content .

Other then that…

Talbot scare meh…and can’t decide who I should romance…


Edit: ok…

so played the new content…

and I decided to be ‘friendly’ , since…there is no harm to let out-towner snoop about ghost . Thinking…we or I would be able to keep a better eye on them and steer them clear from time wrap and stuff…and who know ? what could go wrong ? right ? only something tell me…everything gonna go wrong! one of these ladies…gonna find the truth…or stumble…or tear…or push a button and BADABOUM! Hell break Loose!..

Ahh…I cant wait to see what gonna happen next…your writing is So vivid…or maybe my imagination…is…either way…both have to be vivid for a picture to be born…:sweat_smile:

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Fantastic demo! I love your writing, it’s atmospheric and the pacing is really good.
I didn’t encounter any coding error, but noticed a small typo, I think. I don’t know if it would be useful for you, so feel free to disregard this:


When the MC speaks with Faye about Sasha, we can choose to say “Oh no! Don’t make that face me. I can snag a date all by myself.” I think it should be saying “at me” ? English isn’t my first - or even second - language, so if I’m wrong, well huh my bad.

I read that Asher was supposed to be a real shock, since nobody ever saw him before the MC, and I have to say I didn’t quite catch that in the beginning. It’s in the first couple of pages, so I was still getting a grasp of things and didn’t understand that seeing him was supposed to be weird. Maybe adding something about MC seeing someone else first, and recognizing the other “ghost” could clear that up?

In any case, again, I loved the demo! The characters so far feel real and distinctive. Faye is adorable, the relationship between MC and their Aunt seems interesting and the ROs are definitely making me want to romance them all (but probably Ash first, because “problem child” is always the best selling point, right?).
I look forward to reading more!