I absolutely love your work and to found out there is a Mermaid involve makes your story so much more alluring. Well, some of the reason were I have always got a thing for Mermaid and I’m glad you consider choose Mermaid as your main ideal (we basically need more myths and legends ). Although I wish we could have more choices on our appearance but it’s just my own opinion and overall, at least you give us something to picture our character . Anyway, the work is amazing and I can’t wait for your next update.
P.s: During the play, I basically asking “OK dad, when will I could meet this beautiful Mermaid you keep talking about? Can I go instead of running away? She won’t eat me right? Awwwww, I want to give myself to her.”
B…but… that’s be like ‘Game over, man, game over!’
On the other hand, if one enjoy short games, then it is a good choice.
Agree with seeing options for hair/skin/body type separate, if it is not too much work, as @roxo14 said. And the body type that @poison_mara mentioned. And the options that @alliebee brought up. But, only if it doesn’t kill your urge to write.
Well, who know? Maybe she want to adopt us since she can’t have children ooooooorrrrrr she want some company since she’s too lonely living under dark, cold water for such along time ooooooorrrrrr you right…she might be simply want to eat us but oh well, it’s a good plot twist to end the game
Is it wierd my first thought after the fisherman said he would give up his first child was, oh hey a cool undersea romp where the MC is tranformed into a merfolk and ether tries to live a happy life under the sea or tries to break the curse that was force upon him/her
This has a certain “je ne sais quoi” to it. It’s somber, adventurous, heartwarming, and even vaguely charming, in that Scottish sort of way. It’s a bit short for me to make a fully fleshed out judgement, but that can come in due time. Right now I want to see where this demo will take us to next.
I think this beginning does a good job of balancing fairy-tale whimsy with enough realism to make a believable setting that will be fun to play in. It has a great fairy-tale feel to it without getting nonsensical or frustrating. That might be some of the je ne sais quoi@RagEgnite is talking about.
The only place where that balance slips a bit is the mermaid’s sudden willingness to give the fisherman twenty years with his child, all the while continuing to supply him with fish, even though she knows that he will be less inclined to give the child up after that time.
That took me out of the story. It comes close to the kind of set-up that Roger Ebert called the idiot plot. It isn’t a full-on idiot plot, but it leans in that direction.
Idiot Plot: Any plot containing problems that would be solved instantly if all of the characters were not idiots.
In the original story, the mermaid suffers from Contrived Stupidity (irrational behavior in service to the plot), which you can get away with in a fairy tale. The hero needs a reason to seek his fortune, so she behaves in a manner that gives him one. I don’t think this works so well in a choice game. Imagine you’re the mermaid. You want this fisherman’s child. How are you going to get it? Keep in mind that you have complete control over his livelihood. Take away his fish. From now on, his nets get nothing until he fulfills his bargain. See how long he wants to wait now.
Fixing this issue will probably entail revising the mermaid’s motivations. Maybe she wanted a 20-year-old in the first place. Maybe the fisherman doubled down and convinced her that the MC could bring her something of value in exchange for more time, etc.
I think the scene in which the fisherman explains his bargain to the MC can be cut and summed up in a sentence or two. Repeating information that the player already has tends to kill the excitement, especially in the beginning when you are trying to draw the player in. You can just say that the fisherman explains everything, and skip to the MC’s reaction. That’s the part we care about.
Finally, there’s this:
You may want to address this in the story, perhaps as a reaction option. Being from a fishing village, the MC might have grown up hearing salacious tales of selkie men seducing lonely fisherwives, or sailors tricking various sexy mercreatures into marrying them. A mermaid stealing away a baby is genuinely menacing, but a mermaid stealing away a fit and handsome 20-year-old has somewhat different undertones.
You’ll probably want to quash that, maybe by hinting at more sinister designs. Make it clear that this mermaid has not been waiting twenty years for a baby to grow up so she can make out with it. Sorry, MC. This ain’t a Stephanie Meyer novel.
Incidently, @tmmanques’s comment reminds me of last year’s Bulwer-Lytton fiction contest, in which writers compete to come up with the worst possible sentence to begin a story. The runner-up for the Romance category:
She was a mermaid equally at home on land and water because of her dual-membrane lungs, and she had everything I needed tucked under one beautiful big scale, and her glistening, wriggling, flopping body and melodious Siren’s voice had me in love from day one when I hauled her up along with 600 pounds of Point Judith #3 calamari.
I disagree that the mermaid is an idiot (although I know nothing about this fairy tale, mermaids, or her true motives). It seems like mermaids live a long time because the fisherman says she doesn’t age. Maybe twenty human years is equivalent to five mermaid minutes like when fruit flies are used in science experients and one human month is equal to several fly generations. Maybe she has a poor grasp of human lifespans because she’s not human. Or, she could need to obtain a human voluntarily and all the other sailors wouldn’t give up their children (like any normal person who probably has children because birth control probably isn’t well developed yet) and she didn’t want to screw things up when she finally got someone to agree and was willing to wait (even if he never had children because he said they were barren). As long as the game doesn’t have any plot holes (which there are none yet), there’s probably a magical-logical reason for her actions.
But, I do think the mermaid is not menacing enough. I would assume that she was also barren and wanted to adopt me, but didn’t want to be a kidnapper because kidnappers suck/ kids live in land and she doesn’t have access to them. She never hurt the father and was very clear about her intentions (even though the father says he was tricked. He knew how babies work and there is always a small possibility). I would probably want to meet her (in a non-romantic way) instead of run from her.
Thanks @Alliebee they’re all good suggestions, I’ll see if I can work them in.
@roxo14@Taylor_Enean@tmmanques Yep I’ve had a few requests for more customization. I should be able to add in another option where you can pick each trait you want to have rather than selecting a premade one
@Megus That would definitely be an interesting plot twist! (But then we’ll lose out on those super catchy under the sea type songs! They might be enough by themselves to win the MC over )
@BabbleYaggle Hmm, ok I’ll have to think about that one. The fairy tale seemed to give litlte reason what so ever behind the mermaid’s motivation and does probably lean further over into the idiot plot you’re describing (In some versions the fisherman says “whoop’s I forgot,” on more than one occasion thinking he could try and string her along and each time she responds with “yeah alright fine, I’ll come back in a few years then shall I?” kind of thing). So I was trying to balance it a bit more.
I have an idea I’m probably going to go with behind the mermaid’s motivation that should become clearer later in the book (hopefully! If it’s still sounding weird I can definitely do a re-write or maybe see if I can tweak things a bit to try and get it to make more sense- I’ll think on how to do it.)
She would much prefer the MC over the MC’s father, not many people are up for making pacts to handing over their children to mermaids. At the time of the second encounter, she’s got the time to wait and hopefully things will be made easier and more plesent. If the father breaks his word again, she probably figures she can work something out in alternate ways. (Cue siren music.) @Sovereign2Lilith is actually thinking along the lines that I was in terms of why she’s acting the way she is presently.
It does sound like I do need to do something about why the MC shouldn’t go running to meet her with open arms. I do have a sentence about no one ever coming back once they’ve gone under with a mermaid but from the MC’s POV at this point, that might not be a bad thing if she’s benign. Maybe she needs to be a bit darker or I need to throw some more lore in there to make the MC doubt her benign intentions enough to leave, even if she is playing the sweetness and light card at the moment. I’ll think of something. (I might change the current section I’m working on or put something in earlier in the current section.)
glistening, wriggling, flopping body
That was in a romance book?! True, crabs would have sounded (slightly) worse XD
Thank you everyone for the support and suggestions! It’s all really helpful and has given me lots to think about.
Even if she sounds dangerous my MC’s curiosity is outweighs his danger sense.
I’m entirely OK with meeting her with open arms leading to a bad end.
Or maybe our father comes to stop us and she kills him in a traumatizing fashion.
@Vampyr Thanks! (I’m fixing grammar issues as I find them but if you see any and feel like it, point them out for me I’d be very grateful.) @matt_smith Not so far (although I haven’t finished writing it, I’ll see where it goes )
Am I the only person who immediately suspected a connection between the mermaid and our mothers mysterious arrival? I’ve read more then one fairy tale where family members turn out to be monsters in disguise. Would also explain why the mermaid was so sure there would be a child, and if she’s already put that much time and effort in what’s another 20 years.
OKAY… I like this, i’m kinda expecting or hoping for the mermaid to be a love interest but if what the above said is true… MIGHT not be a good idea. I picked the Grey Gelding cause i felt bad for the horse. Hindsight leaving him with the horse seller might have been better but i want to take care of the thing myself.