Til Death Do Us Part: Epic Fantasy Romance (Update 2018-08-05)

gender-choice
adult-fiction
horror

#102

body pillow

Hmph. Not nearly bone-cancer-y enough.

@Boreas I totally get where you’re coming from, as I bait-and-switched with some choices that you actually could change about Arcy … but the others are right – you’re playing as Arcy, but she’s not defined by your choices. She’s meant to be a fleshed-out character that exists in the world regardless of whether the main character gets around to meeting her.

There’s more than just her relationship with Harriet (and especially the fact that she lies to you about it) that doesn’t change. There’s a tonne of stuff that you probably didn’t notice at first (likely because of the focus on romance). She always rejects her family’s legacy, she always stays in the tower, and of course she always pursues necromancy as a solution to her problems. And, what should have really given it away to you, is that the first thing that happens is she decides on her own to go to the witch doctor to cure her acne. The very first thing she does in that chapter isn’t your choice at all.

The witch doctor, weirdly enough, seems to be aware of this and in fact vaguely comments on it pretty early on. Which is meant to signify that even though you’re playing as Arcy, nothing you choose can actually change her life because this is just a memory.

I debated whether or not to allow the player more choice in Arcy’s backstory. I was originally going to have the player take way more control over her, but I scrapped that and instead decided to strike a compromise: the major stuff I mentioned is unchangeable, but little things like the way she reacts, dialogue trees, and inconsequential decisions (like which suitor to ignore) are still up to the player. Those are there because the game is written using choice script and having largely inconsequential decisions is more interesting, in my opinion, than twenty page breaks in a row.

@Wannabe_Human

Is there a way to prevent the apocalypse and save the world without having to break up with your chosen romance option?

Yes, but limited. If the first omen triggers while you’re in a relationship with Arcy, you do have the option to go off on a wild goose chase and try to save the world, leaving her behind. I think there might still be some bugs in the dashingdon version that I’ve cleaned up in my home version, however, so I wouldn’t rely on that option to do exactly what you want it to do right now. I can’t remember what I’ve fixed up.

In any case I’ve modified the code a bit to make the whole process of saving the world a little bit more available (but actually harder to pull off!), which will get released when I update it with a new RO sometime this week or the next.

The trade-off between saving the world and staying with your One True Pairing will always be there, however. You have to leave them (physically, location speaking) to fight the gods or turn back time but if you haven’t actually broken up with them, there might be some ways to save them at the end. I’m still working on the coding. I’ve got individual variables for each RO on whether you’ve met them, whether you’re currently pursuing them, and whether you even have the option to pursue them at all (which goes away if you kill them or break up … in most but not all cases!), and I’m not really keen on adding even more to the equation, so we’ll see if I can work with what we’ve got.

@Shoelip (just browsing through some earlier comments! :slight_smile:)

Bethesda finally got a good writer.

Thanks! :smiley:

What I mean is, sure the game is “Nonlinear” but how that plays out is the choice of whether to do something now or do it later.

As an example, you mentioned that you can’t convince Arcy to murder criminals instead of children … which you can do! Or at least attempt to. If you let the little girl get stabbed and disemboweled, the game doesn’t give you the option to debate Arcy because it’s already pretty clear which side of the debate you’re on. But if you save the girl instead, Arcy actually does debate you, which was something I stealthily added within the last few days. Unfortunately the decision I made is that Arcy’s worldview is entrenched.


#103

IIRC, when asked, she can list any number of motivations, ranging from “I want a cure” to “I’m curious about what you do.”

However. While I can’t say I’m thrilled, you’re the writer, so it’s your rules. :slight_smile:

Incidentally, for those of us who (like me) are more interested in killing Arcy, could there be an option to lie about our views during our first conversation with her? I imagine the conversation ends if you tell her you don’t agree with her practices (I haven’t tried that one yet, if only because I want to progress), so perhaps we could have an MC who reassures her, then destroys her phylacteries in the ‘duel.’

Ideally, this would also prevent my Chaotic Good druid from ending up as Chaotic Evil because of something they’d said.


#104

Not literally, of course.


#105

You’ve got plenty of opportunity to kill her (I think five opportunities, if I recall correctly) and a bunch more to straight up lie to her face. You can say child murder is fine in the graveyard and then change your mind in the dining room, for example.

motivations

You know how most elevators don’t actually have a working “close door” button? :wink:

But yeah, you nailed it on the head – as the writer, these are the trade-offs I have to make. It’s not just fantasy romance, after all – there are a couple philosophical ideas that I’m using the medium to explore. That does mean making a few sacrifices and taking away perfect control from the player, and it does mean having to limit the scope somewhat to prevent it from ballooning out of hand, but the decisions I’m making aren’t meaningless.


#106

What ideas are you looking to explore? It just kind of worries me that if the formerly human mage can’t be convinced to consider the worldview of someone they care for then us romantic goodies goodies will be stuck with the princess, and maybe the Colossus, Dragon, Naga or Fairy.

I mean, the demons are far more interesting, but demons are traditionally inherently pure evil. Vampires are too. Djinn are usually malicious tricksters, Sirens are murderous temptresses, and I can’t imagine the Jellyfish and Armor having being anything other than a platonic companion. The Chulhu cultist would probably only be immortal due to his fanatical devotion to his evil god of madness and destruction so yeah… The Colussus has been described as only caring about fighting. Nagas as a fantasy fiction creature are usually evil. Dragons are usually but not always evil… but certainly always arrogant, and a fairy queen would likely be even more arrogant. Princesses are usually good and kind in fiction, but realistically not so much…

I may just be overthinking things to a worst case scenario, but sex demons always seemed to distinctly Catholic.


#107

You’re making a lot of assumptions! :wink:


#108

Survey Update

45 results for the survey so far!

Interesting observations / statistics. These are of course only representative of the people who completed the survey, not of everyone who’s played the game.

  • 3 people switched from male to female. 0 people went the other way around.
  • Male and female was almost perfectly balanced (20 male, 21 female).
  • Cytomancer is overwhelmingly the most popular origin (53%)
  • Neutral (20%) and Neutral Evil (30%) were the most common alignments. Other than that it was a relatively even split (all of them low). This could be largely because there aren’t that many chances to actually change alignment yet. Only 1 person found a route that got their alignment to Chaotic Good, for example.
  • Almost everyone who answered the “titles” question gave at least six or seven different titles, which suggests that people are going through the list of downtime activities pretty extensively. Again, could just be due to the low content in the game so far. A few people misinterpreted the question and wrote numbers like “5” or “7” or just “what”.
  • 50% of the participants chose Power as their highest stat. 30% chose Charisma. 20% chose Intelligence.
  • The highest amount of wealth accumulated was 19,217. The lowest amount was “what”.
  • Only one person acquired zero nobility. Most had between 4 and 6. One person didn’t acquire any nobility but did acquire something called “whay”.
  • 20 people (44%) just messed around with the downtime activities without getting involved with Arcy Rackenwort. Fair enough.
  • 8 people lost interest rather than finish up the game. I’m hoping to bring those numbers down when I add more romantic options and downtime activities in the coming weeks.
  • 22 players tried to stop the apocalypse. Of those, 7 failed and 17 succeeded. Wait, those numbers do not add up. I’ll assume that some people answered no as in “no, I didn’t try to stop it” rather than “no, I tried to stop it and failed” which I should have made more clear. In any case, it’s way too easy right now. I’m already in the process of making it harder. For one thing, I forgot to ask which route they took, which could be very important. I think the god fight route is easier because you technically can keep trying until you win. I’m still keeping the idea of rewinding time as a failure state against the final boss but it’s going to get a hell of a lot creepier and weirder soon.

Arcy portion only: (25 respondents)

  • Pretty even split of choices for fears (death was the most common with 6 votes), except for the fact that literally 0 people chose “demons”. What, y’all aren’t afraid of demons? I’ll make you afraid, mark my words.
  • 44% managed to live happily ever after. I think that’s too easy. I’ll make it slightly more difficult. Cheers!
  • More people chose to kill her (3) than to just leave her (2). I mean … that’s one more person. I guess that’s not statistically significant?
  • Nearly twice as many people chose to help Arcy with her spellcasting and defend the tower from adventurers (19) as chose to delve into the history of the castle and complete the flashback episode (11). The second most popular choice was the alchemy excursion (18). Only 8 people chose to increase their charisma while 11 people each chose to increase intelligence and power; this might be because charisma is the third choice of the three and you only get to pick 4 out of the 6 tower downtime options before the game ends, so they might just not have gotten the chance.
  • Literally every single one of the respondents tried to get in on the sex stuff. Not even one person abstained. There was a 100% participation rate for bone banging.
  • 22 people were totally fine with child murder. 88% is a way higher percentage than I anticipated.
  • Arcy’s average score out of 10 was 7. The lowest score was 2 (1 respondent) and the highest was 10 (3 respondents).

A Selection of General Feedback Quotes

I was so sad… I had tears in my eyes.

Warms my heart.

One request would be the addition of a transgender option (the cytomancer already has the switcher, yeah, but I mean more along the lines of genitalia. Not to be crude or anything.

Will probably add that option. Need to fix up how I handled the gender variable earlier on before I was aware of some capabilities that the code had.

Moar skeleton tiddies

Skeletons don’t have tiddies.

Request to have the option to kill all the immortals. Because I made sure to be really nice to the lich and flirted alot, I took advantage until I used up all the options to upgrade myself then when the option to kill her arrived I killed her. Then I went off to find another immortal unfortunately it wasnt written yet.

Will almost certainly be an option to murder every RO if that’s the way you want to play the game.

The sudden ending saying you failed is a let down. Would have been better if it was given at least a paragraph or two of what happened.

Working on it.

Maybe add … some villains to the story.

You mean like Malkanthor, the god of ominous foreshadowing?

No

Okay.

My only request is that … you give people the option to get more involved with mortals

That’s actually in the works!
… i say, giving myself a tonne more work to do.

A Selection of Quotes About Arcy Rackenwort

what I love most about Arcy is how evil she is

more sex

what


#109

“what” makes me think of Megaman Sprite Comic


#110

Wat ;-; I can’t hwar ya ;-;


#111

I haven’t actually played this yet but “what” has me in tears


#112


Undead


Dragon


Siren


Vampire


Devil tiger

527e87730a5181ef2ad5030bd8ed3510
Spider demon


Sucubus


faerie queen


djinn


jellyfish


naga

ce4239d769f8c2d5d028e80b3c817175
suit of animated armor


worshipper of eldritch horrors


colossus


cursed princess


#113

This is probably what the dragon would look like

Dragon

oh and

*Jellyfish


#114

Stalaxia looks like this in my head: https://www.deviantart.com/sandara/art/Red-Dragon-v2-579412945

@Rony_Lima_Ferreira_d the djinn is pretty accurate! Same with the suit of animated armor. The rest … let’s just say you weren’t even 100% accurate with the gender! (the siren is male)

Ah hell, here’s a few more:

Arcy: https://www.deviantart.com/aazure-dragon/art/Lich-252084787
Princess Aursley: https://www.deviantart.com/ardinaryas/art/Princess-of-Love-437913055
Rigrenn the Tiger Devil: https://www.deviantart.com/svetoslavpetrov/art/Rakshasa-574205230
C’looth-Thili, Devout Worshipper of He Who Sleeps Below the Waves Where Even Light Itself Shall Hesitate to Enter: https://www.deviantart.com/rickrick/art/Mindflayer-482726962

Sneak Peak
  *choice
    # "What's with the weird language?

<I can’t speak any other way,> he says. <Listen.>

His tentacles rise up, revealing a beak hidden under rolls of rubber and slime.

“Nv’rih fshod’li-li cit-c’ree mnet!” he shrieks. You flinch.

He relaxes his tentacles and the beak disappears below his face. <That means it’s easier to speak to you using my mind.>


#115

Pretty good, I think the one I found is more terrifying imo due to it’s size. The thing is colossal… Dragons are my favorite, and especially great wyrms. So I know if I were making it I’d have it be something like this, Something bigger than Kaiju level size, or maybe like the new animated Godzilla.

Godzilla size comparison

image

The new Godzilla is ridiculous in size now lol, and power for that matter.

So when the MC sees them it’s a definite oh shit moment.


#116

this not siren.
this mermaid.

Merman ?

:fox_face:


#117

I can relate to this guy already.

That’s a shame. I liked @Rony_Lima_Ferreira_d’s pictures: the siren had such pretty (terrifying) eyes (oh God where are the pupils).


#118

The siren probably looks something like this though I love the imagery of those eyes and will almost certainly use them. Inky black pools.


#119

Hmmmm… how about

totally legit idea


#120

Along the same lines but maybe a bit more romantic: https://www.deviantart.com/ienidei/art/G-O-D-The-Shape-of-Water-753189449


#121

Rare footage of the siren’s song: