Thieves at Midnight Book 1


Thieves at Midnight is an interactive work focused on character and relationship development and replayability. It’s set in the heist genre, and you’ll have missions throughout the course of the game that you can choose or fail and choices to make that will eventually culminate in the final heist.
Comes with driver prologue and the first two chapters.


You were born a child prodigy-a natural genius, talented at everything and anything, and it put you on the fast track for a career in law enforcement, until it went down in flames.

You built a new life for yourself on the other side of the law, but but it all came to a stop with an encounter with an upcoming thief team. You were set up to meet each other by someone who is pulling the strings, but to what end? With no other options, you agree to sign on with them for their first real job, but only to investigate who the person targeting you is and why. It’s supposed to be only temporary, and you were supposed to only be trying to find out who is coming after you, but eventually it becomes obvious that this mystery is bigger than you could’ve imagined, and the answers seem to be where you actually came from…

Trigger Warnings: Parent death, grief, child abuse
Word Count: 95k
Demo is here! Includes the driver prologue, and the first two chapters.


  • Lots of different orientation/sexuality choices (nonbinary lesbian, she/her gay man, my gender is bisexual, and more)

  • Play on Narrative and not have to worry about stat checks and correct answers, normal to play the game as intended, or Master Thief Mode, a true challenge.

  • Tons of achievements to Earn!

  • Choose your origin between driver, forger, and thief-this will choose who your contact is, which prologue you play through, which missions you’ll play, and what role you’ll have in the final heist at the end of the game.

  • The player character has a set backstory and core personality traits; you’ll choose how you lean into them.

  • You can communicate entirely in sign language and choose which sign language you communicate with.

  • A variety of skills to potentially build; be a jack of all trades, a blend of two or three, or a specialist.

  • Decisions you made, your lifepath, and your successes or failures over the course of the game will decide the final heist at the end of the game.


Romance Options
“Whatever it is that you want out of this life, I want to give it to you. I want to be your hero.” Caolán / Clíodhna O’Cunningham is the team’s leader; something spurned them to choose a life of building a professional thief team and dodging law enforcement over taking the path of a professor or diplomat. But after they meet you, their professional front soon starts combating with their heart. They are a love interest for any player.

“I’ll say or do almost anything if it’ll make you stay.” Isaiah/Ivanna is the team’s explosives expert and eternal optimist; they have the utmost faith that no matter what happens, the team will pull through. But maybe the optimism and sense of humor is just a defense. They are a love interest for any player.

“I didn’t know what to think the first time I saw you again, but I do now, and I think that we’re supposed to be together.” Milana is the team’s hacker, and your fellow prodigy; you knew Milana when you were children, and fate has brought you back together again. Milana is intelligent and hardworking, but she needs someone to show her that she’s more than just how she’s useful to people. She is a love interest for female players.

“I said to you when we met that you were just a person, but you’re not just a person anymore, you’re my person.” Suzanne is the team’s damsel. Emotionally intelligent and observant, Suzanne serves a vital part on the team; you just have to get her to see that. She is a love interest for female players.

“I could feed you a line about how if you stay, you could make a difference in the world, but I’m selfish, and I want you to stay for me.” Aeneas is one of the team’s grifters; utterly self-serving, Aeneas excels at putting on a new face and they’ve never gotten attached. But perhaps their icy exterior is just protecting a wounded heart. They are a love interest for any player.

“I’ve always seen other people fall in love, and I’ve been waiting for it to happen to me, and now it feels like it finally has.” Dominic is the team’s engineer, adept at taking anything technological apart and putting it back together. He builds the team’s gadgets and disables any security that could be in the team’s way. But the sweet and shy person that he is, maybe he’s more afraid than he’s letting on. He is a love interest for female players.

“I want to be able to close my eyes, fall back, and know that you’re going to catch me.” Milo is the team’s jack of all trades-the pickpocket, safecracker, and inside man. Independent and self-reliant, Milo has put survival first all her life. She is more than adept in the field, but she’s struggling with another aspect of the team-actually being part of it. She is a love interest for male players.

“I want you to choose someone who for once is going to put you first.” The team’s protector and guardian, Jason knows trouble when he sees it, and while initially he thinks it’s you and keeps you at a distance, but perhaps it’s not the team he’s trying to protect. Jason is a love interest for male players.

Chapter Three Available to read on my Patreon:

Here’s my tumblr! Come ask me questions!


Just tried this but I had to stop reading because it kept on taking me out the game seeing my character being referenced in 3rd person in the prologue. It’s kind of hard to follow that kind of writing for me


Love all the art in this post already. I suggest making the demo link more apparent.


Sign is just like any other language. Just because you know one, doesn’t mean you know all the others. You cannot have every single character using a different sign language. No one will be able to understand each other.


I do understand that, and this is gone over in a scene later; the MC and the team have spent time studying each other sign languages’ in order to be able to understand each other; signing is how they communicate during missions. I know it isn’t completely realistic, but I do want to include people who are mute/deaf, and Thieves at Midnight was inspired by my love of other cultures, which includes sign language. I wanted to show that sign language isn’t just ASL.


You literally introduce the new team with everyone speaking a different language as they introduce themselves to MC.

Also, Black people do not speak a separate language. Slang may differ, but it is not a separate language, Ebonics is not a thing.

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That is incorrect; Black American Sign Language developed from segregated schools. You can google this.

It is still a dialect, not an entirely separate language. And before you go there, I am a black person with deaf family members.

Why, incidentally, do you want to use sign language in the story at all? What plot importance is it going to have? It’s one thing to have a character with an impairment or deafness using it, but it stretches credulity to have not one but two (or more) criminal groups all using it with each and every member using a different sign language form a different country.

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I DO like heists… :thinking:


I agree with @cup_half_empty . You don’t really have to change the link itself, but maybe move it to near the end of the post, right before the chapter three on Patreon line?

I think the RO list in the OP is hard to read: having to slide the text from one end to the other sort of throws the reading out of whack. May I ask why you chose to present it that way, instead of just normal text?

Difficulty options are a good idea. :+1:

@bored92 Prologue is in the 1st person, though? I do agree it’s unusual in IFs. It doesn’t bother me, personally, but this might be a good thing to take a poll on.

“spotting them near”

Unless I missed something, there’s nothing saying what our major was. And this bit is weird:

I presume from it that we were previously criminal pathologists? Does it change depending on our minors? This feels like information we should be given before reaching this point in the game. Note also that in the game itself we’re not told we were previously in law enforcement, unless you happen to pick one of the minors that references it, which is also information that might be useful to know by now. It doesn’t have to be a detailed explanation, but it’s important info. Maybe add a couple of sentences explaining those facts when we’re looking at our doctorate, before the “putting it out of our mind” part?

Checking “team relationships” crashes the game:

This bit is… awkwardly phrased, and it pretty much breaks down towards the end. May I suggest something like “and, above that, a calendar on the wall. Flipping through it and finding the 30th of next month circled in red, I try to bite down the sadness.”?

Tense dissonance: it should be “leaving the second”. Also suggest moving the comma from after “cabinet” to after “photo”.

I understand the point of this choice, but it feels weird to sign to someone who is talking to us if we don’t need to (as established in the previous choice). Maybe if we picked we don’t need to sign this bit could be changed to accent or something?

Well, I don’t know that insignia. You don’t need to give me an in-depth explanation of whoever uses it right now, but telling me WHY they’re attacking would be useful at this point.

“we were greeted”. Also, could use a comma after “employer”.

“but I’m afraid”

double “with”

I’m noticing some of the pages run REALLY long before a transition. I suggest breaking them up a bit - if you don’t think a choice is appropriate, then even a normal “next” transition or something.

I think you mean the “right incisor” here.

Only one ‘p’ in ‘striped’. “stripped” is something else.

Here you meant either “I’m not sure I want to” or “I’m sure I don’t want to.”

lol :rofl:


double "I could"s

Milo is described as a young man, but you give them female pronouns. Is this a bug? Are they an AMAB transwoman, pre-/no-op? Is that what you’re trying to convey here? If yes, how would we know?

Aren’t we driving JADEN’s car when they first run into us?

Bolivar will have failed to empty the recycle bin, rookie mistake. :stuck_out_tongue:

This paragraph starts and ends in the same way.

Sleep break!


I did include for the reasons I stated above, that sign language is a part of every culture and for players who are mute/deaf to be able to communicate as they do in real life, However, I will be taking your words into account and I will be making some changes once I return to my work. I apologize if I came off as aggressive and I do value the criticisms and your time.

Hey! Thanks for looking at everything so in depth! I really appreciate it! I’ll fix those errors and put in a few more spaces. Thanks for your time!


Also Milo is a gay man who uses she/her; it’s not a bug lol

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Oh man; not sure how I managed to make mistakes that big! I’ll fix that tomorrow!

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Why use she/ her? :face_with_raised_eyebrow: That is… strange. At least for me, I’ve never seen it before in IFs nor nowhere else, actually.


Back for a bit!

Since violence is an option to deal with the guard (as evidenced by the first and fifth options), and Jason is the group’s muscle, it’s strange that he isn’t an option here. I’m not saying he HAS to be, but if he isn’t there should be a stated reason for it, because doing this stuff is sort of his job.

Meal break.

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Aaaand I’m burp. I mean, back.


I was going to mention this earlier, when the Heritage first comes up and we know what it is, but I thought, y’know, fine, it’s the biggest piece of jewelry in the world, it’s not THAT weird that we know about it, but here? Knowing the exact nuumber of diamonds in it by heart feels like a stretch for MCs who didn’t take the jewelry minor (which I didn’t). You might also want to mention that the combination is six digits long, which you don’t but I presume it is, because there’s no zero in “11551”.

Oh honey, no. We haven’t actually achieved anything until after we’ve LEFT. Don’t jinx this.

On that same screen, I don’t know how vital it is for the plot, but unless it derails it, you might want to give players a choice of whether they want to go for the evidence or not. It’s a pretty big choice. You can use it to colour the team’s imprssions of the MC, too.

There’s something missing in this sentence; I think it’s a “dude” or “guy” or whatever after “this”.

Yep, C totally jinxed it. No such thing as a milk run.

“turned to me, holding out her hand expectantly.” “expectedly” would mean we were expecting them to do that. Also, you might want to turn responding to the high-five into a choice, both in whether we high-five or not, and why we high-five (one choice determining both aspects, not two choices).

I don’t remember being set up, though admitedly I could just be forgetting it. When were we set up?

Another good point to make a choice is when joining the team. Obviously not whether you join the team, because that’s pretty vital to the plot, but why and how the MC feels about it are good options to put in a choice there.

Double before.

Double then.

You have two thems, neither of which is actually referring to anything (I mean, technically I guess it’s referring to cabs, but that’s not what you want) - you can’t pronoun before you put in the noun you want it to refer to. I suggest something like: “I could spot the entire team, at least half of which was trying to act natural.”

“feeling of accomplishment”. Two lines below that, it should be ‘aisle’, not “isle”.

Oh yeah, I’m terrifying. Totally. :smile:


“Michael was the most”



Thought about saying what? And in the last line of thise screen, “I was going to stop him”


Break time.

EDIT: Back from break.


I’m slightly confused here. Our share of what? Is there someone paying us for this? Who? If not, where is the money coming from? We’re not keeping anything we take from the marks (I think).

“hear”. Three paragraphs below that, “get it done”

Pronoun inconsistency.

Missing pronoun. Also, next-to-last option is missing a “people”.

Buddy, the only possible way for five in the morning to not be “too early” is if you’re still qualifying it as “very late”.


So, the whole thing starts in Boston? Is that mentioned somewhere before here?

Wait, so the big in-depth dossier these people got doesn’t mention mum is dead? I thought they knew.

Ok, I’ve reached chapter 2, which is a good point to take a break and take stock. I’m not going to be able to be unbiased about this, because I’m a sucker for heists, but here’s some thoughts I feel are objective enough about it so far:

1 - There’s a lot of signing that doesn’t seem to have a reason to be signing. I know I (the character, not the pronoun) is hearing-impaired, so whenever they’re involved in a convo it makes sense for everybody to sign, and signing during jobs is a good idea to help with stealth, but sometimes it’s just signing that doesn’t appear to have a specific reason to be signing and the other character needs to tap you first so you’ll turn to them, so I’m not sure why they don’t just talk. Are there other characters with disabilities related to vocal communication that I didn’t notice they have?

2 - Like I said before, there’s some pages that run quite long. I’m on a computer and I’m having to do a considerable amount of scrolling; I imagine it’s far worse for people who’re playing in smaller screens, like phones. Do consider breaking them up into smaller bits.

3 - I know it’s more work, but you could add much more interactivity in scenes that already exist. Some are really big choices (I pointed out a couple above, but there’s more), but even on smaller stuff putting in choices about how the MC feels/reacts can help the reader connect with the story a lot.

4 - There’s quite a bit of important information that I feel we should have that we don’t. If I didn’t know better, I’d think this was the second book of the series, with the first being about the MC’s career in the FBI and subsequent fall from grace, so you could consider peppering some information about that period of the MCs life in appropriate places in the game.

I’ll check out chapter two tomorrow. :smiley:

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Thanks for the feedback! I’m taking notes of everything you’ve written and I’ll be putting those in. It’s super appreciated!


I love what you got so far! Is really cool that we already have a mission complete. You have a lot of ROs/characters, but they are all very interesting! I had a lot of fun interacting with them. The MC has a lot of skills that are already preset but I am more than happy with the length of customization that we have here. My MC feels like my MC, not a premade character.

My favorites, for now, are Jason (I only saw after I finished one playthrough that he is only romanceable by male MCs, I will make a male MC to romance him for sure) and Caolán.

Not gonna lie, the scene when the team asks about MCs mother and if they have someone almost made me so soft because was so clear that all your NPCs wanted to do is giving my MC a hug (she needs it). Also, the relationship with the mentor and all the angst that it could entail is just beautiful.

I got this error when tried to acess the Team Relationships status:

Editing this because, dear author, you totally should put the beautiful artwork of the ROs that you have on Tumblr here. My eyes have been blessed. I’m more in love with Caolán now.

That error is being fixed! I’m so glad that you like what I’ve written so far; all the feedback including positive and negative is really helpful.

Also so happy that you love my characters; they’re the real stars here :slight_smile:


So I did fix the bug on the team relationships page, but just by deleting the line describing the MC’s feelings about working with an inexperienced team. The said that the “amateurs” variable didn’t exist, when it very much did, so…I don’t know what the truth is :confused:

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