The Shadow Society (WIP) Writing Update on #1545

About not being the one who gets to call the shots all the time.

It’s actually something I really enjoyed about the demo. I think other games can often get too extreme about forcing the player to make all the decisions, no matter whether it makes sense for them or not. Yes, I know player agency is important, but that doesn’t mean the player should get to make decisions the character really has no business making.

It was a fresh breath of air, playing a game where we are in over our head, reacting to a stressful situation, and the decisions of other people, without being the one in charge.


I heartily second this.


As a whole I love it .I love how the mc acts , the decisions around the mc .how each character reacts ,each decision. Each ro and their attitude


Not to mention…the mc seems powerless at the start because the plot demands it, it’s not like Carawen wanted to deprive players of choice, lol! Personally I find it healing to be able to explore such BAD feelings in the safe context of fiction (especially since I was very nearly kidnapped myself when quite young and the mc’s situation has always been, and still is, my worst nightmare) Playing games is not about being super powerful all the time. It’s about how you respond to situations, and one such situation is powerlessness. Will you bide your time, then strike? Will you worm your way into the important people’s good graces? Have you actually found a new family, and if so, are you willing to forgive them?


I can’t wait for the full release in a few more weeks.


Me too counting down the days


@The_Lady_Luck, @furyleika I’m really glad you think so! I myself can thoroughly enjoy both kind of stories, where one has more agency or not, but I wanted to clear it up since I suspected some here may expect it from pretty much all IF on here. I understand why though, but as I said it wouldn’t feel possible to do with the direction of book 1. Thank you for the feedback :blush:

@Johannes_Blau That’s a very interesting way to put it, I think! And I’m really sorry for that event, I can’t even imagine. My heart goes out to you :heart: thank you very much for your input :blush:

@Idon_t_havaname and @noobmaster I hope you’ll enjoy it once it comes out! Thank you so much for sharing your enthusiasm :heart:

EDIT: Forgot to say, but I’ve put up the prologue + chapters 1-4 of the demo. This is about as long as I think the demo for the full release will be too, I think. And the “Unknown” error seems to be gone in this version!

  1. I completely forgot the context of this and was real confused until I scrolled back up.
  2. I actually like both too! But since this way is less common in the things I’ve read, I appreciate it more.

Thanks for putting the demo back up! I was due for a re-read. :slight_smile:


I’m often one of those who don’t like IF with low agency but I think you wrote it great. That is exactly what I always want for something with low agency. It’s not because the MC is useless altogether or because they don’t even put up a fight but more because the circumstances. Also the MC isn’t unimportant for the story. Also I often have the feeling that if you would take the MC out it either wouldn’t change the story at all or the MC is the only problem in the story and if you would take them out there wouldn’t be a problem at all (while this isn’t bad perse it’s kinda pointless if the MC just watches other people handling everything)


You mean… MC is currently paralyzed but they may get well in the second or third book. Since MC is paralyzed they can see, hear but can’t act on their own other than some accidental plot thingy. They’re being carried on a wheelchair right now.
I am not bashing anyone with this. Not every game should be vanilla. This game is different.


Hello, i wanted to ask a question regarding this demo.
Is what stands in first post up to date and demo with its 4 chapters is about 1/3 of full game?
This means demo is about 100k words, when full is 300k?

Im asking because it feels incredibly short, about 15 minutes for each chapter.
I liked it and im still going to buy full title anyway, but if its that short i dubt there will be much story told in it.


Cara removed the two chapters from the demo


Still, 300k is not short even in current standard.


@Kalpana Haha, maybe not quite like that :smile: but kind of? It’s hard to say before people have seen how it is for themselves! I also agree that 300 000 words is not unusual for a HG/CoG title, however-

@Kleen to answer your question, I have not counted the words of the new, shorter demo. And I hope I didn’t make an error in counting, but when I checked the full product (largely without repetitive text) before submission it amounted to a bit over 500,000 words :blush:

@Daedalucius I’m happy to hear that! It’s interesting to read everyone’s take on the approach. I just didn’t want everyone to believe that it has to stay the same for the rest of the series.


@GamesMaster thx, i had no idea demo was made shorter.

@Kalpana @Carawen Well regarding word count - its a little misleading really.
IMO it would be better if instead of TOTAL word count, we would know words per playtrough(im speaking about all COG titles). Because that can vary from title to title, especially when game is really non-linear.

Choice of Rebels felt really short for me - even though its more than 600k words long. PonPara length was really satisfying, or should i say it was longest COG title i played with its 430k words. But this still doesnt tell much when whole LOTR trillogy is 450k words and i dont think that any title in COG library takes half as long to read as LOTR.
So yeah, word count is crazy misleading.
And judging from demo TSS feels really non-linear (even too much to be honest, i would prefer to have more time to get to know RO in more linear fashion before commiting lol) so thats why i was asking.

Still, if demo is not 1/3 of full package then it definetly wont be shorter than average COG title, thanks cant wait for release :slight_smile:

Also, since im typing anyway - i dont see an issue with MC being somehow disabled in first volume when it comes to important plot choices (because thats what i understood was discussed higher).
When you get transported to other world without some crazy powers, you cant really power your way through* lol
It also makes writing sequels harder, if not impossible - it would basically force author to write alternative book for every important branch.

*cant really imagine MC of wayhaven soloing murphy for example lol


@Kleen Yeah I can see how it can be misleading, for sure. Writers are required to send in the total wordcount for the story they’ve written when they submit the game, not the total wordcount per playthrough - perhaps this is why it’s so much more common to write out the entire wordcount? Or well, that, and it’s a whole lot easier :sweat_smile: but it’s something worth taking into consideration, I think. Thanks for bringing it up!

And don’t worry; you get to choose who to spend time to in the demo, but you’re not committing to anyone or anything. The committing part (provided you even want to commit to anyone in the first book, or at all) comes in chapter 10, so you’ll have more time to see more of the RO’s before that moment comes :blush: That being said, I’ve definitely learnt a lot about writing character interaction through this book and I do honestly think I haven’t made it in the best way for book 1. It’s my first ever project that I not only publish, but finish at all. It’s been around two years since I first started it though so I feel a lot more experienced now than I did back then, and I’m considering a lot of things I didn’t when writing book 1, which is why I’m so excited to write book 2, lol! I feel like I know a lot more what I’m doing this time around.

Thank you so much for the long comment and feedback, it helps a lot to put things into perspective!


Hurry up February :sob: I need this in my life, Rheylo is the best


@Idon_t_havaname :heart: :blush:

A small thing, but here are the links to the TSS discord servers! Me and some mods have made a new one since we felt the old one wasn’t very strict in terms of rules, but it’s still frequently used and a lot of people have grown close there, so we didn’t want to change it. That’s why we made a new one with more rules which is more TSS oriented, while maintaining the old server which is a more laidback place you can go to meet new people, hang out and talk about whatever you feel like!

The new one is still very, very new and has next to no members yet, just a heads up.

Link to new server:

Link to TSS-hangout (old) server:

I’ve also put them in the OG post. The discord link on Tumblr will lead to the Hangout server, though :slight_smile: pop in to either if you feel like it!


The countdown has already started, can’t wait :speak_no_evil::heart:.


@Morgan-M Thank you so much! I can’t believe it releases on Thursday, it feels very surreal to be honest aaaah :heart:

I thought I’d do a short writing update by the way, since I haven’t done one of those in a while, so here goes!

I’ve written a bit more on TSS 2, though as I found myself stuck on chapter 3 - 4 I went on directly to chapter 5 and I instantly felt like I got a flow back. I still won’t be able to write much on it for a while due to other tasks needing to be done, but I’m still really happy with the direction that the story is going! It already offers some difference depending on choices you make in book 1 (nothing that completely branches the game into a fully different path yet, that’s further down the line) and I enjoy writing those changes a lot.

That’s all I think. Thanks for reading and hope you all enjoy TSS when it releases if you intend to get it :blush: