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



tsk tsk…spoiler right there…mah dear…beware…:rofl:


Oh, no! No spoilers, I promise! Talbot is just…so not a people person. He/she is a little more flora than fauna, unlike Staci and Sasha. Staci enjoys socializing and is exceptional at it (or, you know, thinks he/she is) and Sasha is the introverted extrovert.


was talking about the ‘Human’ slip…

So tell me moaaaaar…:smirk:


Oh, Talbot is human - even if he/she doesn’t want to admit it. They’re all human. Their opinions on the supernatural - as they perceive it - varies between them. Asher is more of a traditional occultist in line with figures like John Dee.

The MC’s opinions can vary as well on that topic. I wanted to leave it up to a reader’s interpretation of the wards instead of just telling you, “hey, the wards are this.”


Just played the demo and I really liked it! It’s fairly interesting and the characters are great so far, I can’t wait to meet the rest of them and see how the plot unfolds after this point. ^^

Although, I do have a bit of a problem and I will admit that I feel very awful for feeling this way since it’s all my fault but I thought I’d at least mention it. Please don’t get the wrong idea it’s just… I’ve always had trouble with names, especially with names that start with the same letter and/or look similar and since we just met the ROs at this point, I’m having some trouble telling Staci and Sasha apart.

Like umm, I know what they look like and (from what we’ve seen so far) their character, I just can’t put the right name to the right character is all. I’m not saying to change their names or anything like that (and I’m very sorry if it comes off that way) and like I said it’s my own fault. Once we meet up with them more, I’m sure I won’t have this problem!

Also, I thought I’d make my MC with one of these avatar maker games since their fun. :>


From here :
[Everything is in Japanese but I feel it’s easy enough to get around.]

Her name is Rose Bishop, a gentle and thoughtful young woman with a deep respect for the town and it’s history (whether that’s a good thing or not, we’ll have wait and see). Can be very professional for the most part and hates having to keep secrets so she tries to be honest whenever she can, is rather shy about her love life (which I’m sure Faye loves tease to her about) and can be a bit shy around men.

At the moment, I’m not sure who she’ll romance. I think I’ll have wait until we know them a bit more before choosing an RO. ^^



I LOVE the avatar. I actually played around with the link; it’s always fun to get a visual representation of a character. I’m also very casually SUPER thrilled that you have an MC in mind already. That’s so encouraging to hear.

Your point about the names is something that I had considered, definitely that there are two “S” names. It’s actually caused some mistakes in coding because I’ll accidentally write ‘sasha’ where I mean ‘staci’.

Initially, I had gender-specific names for the characters (for instance, Sasha was originally Saul/Sarah), but the coding was just not working out, so I scrapped it and went with more neutral names. I was bound and determined to keep Staci-with-an-i, I really have no idea why other than the fact that I’m partial to the idea of a big burly person rough and tumbling around with the name ‘Staci’.

I’m not especially keen on Sasha’s name - it was a very last minute choice before posting the demo and deciding that the naming variables weren’t working out. I’d actually considered Gil or Cal just for the fact that they didn’t start with an S.

Anyway, I think it’s a very valid point. I may pose that as a question in the next update. I have the feeling you’re not the only one thinking it!


eye twitch…that’s alot of S dislike in here…huhuh…

ever though about a poll for names? how about Shaar for Sasha? :stuck_out_tongue: (Shaar was originaly Shar )


I have an S name…oh! I should just name Sasha after myself, gender neutrality be darned. That way I can just vicariously reinvent my life as a successful doctor.

But yes! A poll is a great idea.

Not too familiar with the Forgotten Realms. I’ve done more Pathfinder than D&D…


I’m glad you like her, I tried to match her personally with the options that I choose to the best of my ability. I was a bit unsure if it was a little soon to share my MC (since no one else did) but seeing that you’re that thrilled makes me glad that I did.

First I want to say that I’m glad you didn’t take what I said about Sasha and Staci name thing(? not sure what the right word would be) the wrong way. I’m not the best at choosing the right words and I didn’t want to come off as rude and/or demanding.

I agree with E_RedMark with poll idea but at the end of the day, it’s your call. If you go with the poll idea and need help with names, there’s a site called Behind the Name that can help. Unless you knew that already then you can forget what I said.


I just want to protect Sasha… I am already in love with him.



Oh no! You didn’t at all, I am the only person working on this thing (I guess that how most of the hosted games work but ugh) so unless I get feedback from all of you…I just don’t get feedback. The earlier in this process that people share concerns or ideas with me, the easier it’s going to be for me to implement them or make larger changes.

So, yeah, if anything, I was really appreciative of you bringing that up! If there’s anything else you notice with future updates, please wave your hands and shout!


Just a shout out to let everyone know that Chapter Four is finished! Well, it’s written, unedited, and sitting at about 20,000 words. You’ll likely see roughly half of those in a run-through.

The writing pattern seems to be about two days per scene. Chapter four has five individual scenes so…we’ll see if that productivity increases or decreases.

I’m still deciding on how I want to update the demo from here out. Any opinions are appreciated. What I mean is that obviously I don’t want to go around springing all the spoilers and all the content, because then what would be left to play? I’m going to look into how other authors have done this, but any thoughts on the best way to accomplish this would be appreciated!


What a lot of authors seem to do is put out four, five chapters for public beta, then do the rest as a private beta. Gotta get that feedback! And, u kno, the kudos for writing something really awesome.

I already love Talbot. He reminds me of a Cheshire Cat, and I suppose time will tell if he’s more like the movie Cheshire, or the Cheshire from Alice: Madness Returns.



Sasha is sweet and kind and should be protected from all the Porthecrawl spookiness!


Congrats for finishing the 4th chapter !

I agree about the Sasha/Staci part, it was ok for me but my MC was named with an S as well so I changed it – too many S otherwise. I love gender neutral names and got a long list for my characters, so if you’re thinking about changing Sasha’s and don’t have ideas, I can send it to you. :blush:
(Btw Saul is one of my favourite name, good taste good taste!)
On the “naming” front, I was thinking maybe it would be good to have some choices for MC’s name/surname as well? I usually name mines myself, but sometimes I don’t have any idea/am too lazy to think of one/don’t know the kind of names used in the game, so it might be handy. Well, it’s certainly no priority but the subject made me think of it, so.

From what I’ve seen, like sleipnir said, a lot of authors release a few chapters of their games and then start a closed beta. I personnally think it’s a good way to go! You can always decide to do a public demo of like 5 chapters, then change your mind and add some later anyway.


Want that extra chapter I see :smirk:


@sleipnir is right and I’d add that for demos on published/ to-be published games the usual advice is to have content on the demo that’s consistent with what comes afterwards and clues in the reader on what they can expect from the full thing.

Regarding the Sasha & Staci names I don’t really have any suggestions expect for this one very specific thing; I have a terrible awful lisp and also have a lot of friends with names containing the letter “s” and sometimes even “z”. I think it would be pretty funny if the MC could also have a lisp and be utterly ridiculous. This is just a suggestion so feel free to ignore if it would be too much extra work lol.

Also this is a very small thing but imo it would be more interesting if the MC’s surname was fixed? Since all five families are established and important I think maybe having something set is better but Idk.


Damn, was that so obvious? :smile:

I actually agree with @Caleb about the surname! (A lot of agreeing, ahem.) That’s also why I changed my MC’s name: when I saw the families’ name, I thought the one I chose didn’t fit. So yes, a fixed surname could help on that front and might be easier coding-wise than giving choices like I was suggesting.


People have said that a demo usually consists of about 5 chapters, but that’s all relative. It depends on how many chapters the end product will have and the overall length in general. I’d say about 20% of the full length is sufficient for a good demo; something that gives the reader an accurate impression of the style, characters and upcoming direction of the plot. And it’s a very big plus if the demo contains an inciting incident, something to spark the curiousity. A demo that contains enough content for readers to be able to explore and replay a few times before the full release, without giving away any details about the end.



Thanks! I’m excited to see things progressing.

If you have any recommendations for gender neutral names for Sasha’s character, please feel free to share them! I think a poll is a good way to get people involved - especially since so many folks already seem to enjoy his/her character. Also, it takes some of the pressure off me.

I also spent some time yesterday coming up with selectable names. There will 7 each for male/female/neutral characters - obviously the choice to still put in your own choice will be available.

There’s been loads of feedback on the demo issue! So, I’m thinking 5 to 6 chapters, whatever feels right when the time comes.