Totally Fine (WIP) (Update: 5/26/19)

Hello everyone.

Since posting in the Interest Check Thread, I’ve completed the prologue and want to start a WIP thread to gain feedback as well as hold myself accountable for habitual writing.

The gist

You’re 21 and intoxicated when you discover your otherworldly ability. Before long, you find yourself at a top secret international facility for others who have unlocked similar abilities. You hone your power, visit your ailing mother, join missions to close the mysterious rifts that sporadically appear in your solar system, and… jump through parallel realities?

Featuring:

  • Parallel universes and a touch of surrealism
  • 4 different categories of the ability to choose from
  • 5 ROs, 2 gender-locked, 3 player’s choice
  • Frequent mentions of anxiety disorder and various human vices
Other notes

The game does not depend heavily on stats. As you will see, it only has 2 personality stats, 3 ability stats, and 1 special stat that comes into play later on in the story. I want to branch the story by the different abilities that are chosen, resulting in 4 main plot lines that are (hopefully, relatively) distinct.

The MC starts out with mild anxiety disorder, but this worsens as the story goes on. Possible warnings for future explicit content.

NPCs in general and ROs in particular can influence the plot in their own way, without the MC.

Updates
  1. 5/26: Prologue

I try to write several times a week and plan to update once a month from now until September, if not a whole chapter, then at least what I already have. Please let me know if there are any bugs, if you have a choice that seems suitable for the situation, or if the prose sounds off anywhere. That’s it, thanks for stopping by!

Current word count: 5k3

Demo: https://dashingdon.com/go/4229

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I really like it so far can’t wait for more:+1:

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So far so good. Still trying to get a grip on what’s going on, which surely will be shown as more is written.
The thing is, the way you describe it is really good. You wanted the player to feel that way and that’s exactly how it felt. You immerse the player in that environment (so they feel a certain way) instead of telling the player how to feel.

I’ll patiently wait for the next update.

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Is Macro strength and micro speed?

From the description, I’d say it seems to be more brute force vs. fine control. Like using telekinesis to juggle dumpsters vs. building a house of cards.

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Sort of, but not exactly. Macro is what you might need if you wanted to blast something to pieces. Micro, on the other hand, is more for digging into that thing’s mechanics and taking it apart. Their implementations vary depending on the class of power you choose. @Hannya is correct.

@Ramar_Blood Thank you for the spot! That pesky else statement…

I’m so flattered by this. I try really hard with my descriptions because they’re important to immersion and especially important when trying to portray a character who the reader might not immediately relate to. Glad that I did a decent job!

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I got a game ending error on a research playthrough when I decided to move away when the guy tries to put his hand through the door.

And as a research student, shouldn’t I be able to sense something from the door?

Yes, you do sense something in the scene right after the bug, once you concentrate on the door. I appreciate the bug report.

Edit: bug fixed!

It looks like we’re in for an interesting time with this WIP. I look forward to seeing how the MC got to this point.

One thing I noticed is that the descriptions for the different schools of power are really vague. It’s difficult to understand what powers are being described.

School of Healing:
“The School of Healing homes students who have the ability to manipulate small inner cavities of the human body. They can also follow neuronal pathways to a certain extent and influence someone else for a short time. Students are expected to harness these abilities only for healing.”
What do you mean by small inner cavities? How would your powers manipulate these cavities and how would that manipulation aid in healing? I guess that the second part of the description refers to mind control. How does one harness mind control for healing?

School of Research:
“Students of this school can manipulate molecules on a small scale as well as track and predict the surge of energy from those who have the ability.”
Manipulate molecules how? What do you mean by tracking and predicting energy? Is it only from other Research students?

School of Navigation:
“They can also manipulate distances between objects depending on their level of skill.”
What does that mean? Is it like teleporting?

School of Manipulation:
“The School of Manipulation consists of students who have the ability to manipulate objects in space and to a limited extent, space itself. Their primary abilities are portal creation and telekinesis. Such students are expected to play a more offensive role in missions.”
This one you did okay with! “Manipulating objects in space” is still incredibly vague and could mean just about anything, but you followed it up by explicitly saying what the powers are. Now we know “manipulating objects” means telekinesis.

I think it would be a huge benefit if you followed the school descriptions up by explicitly stating what the powers actually are. That goes for macro and micro powers as well. I chose the school of healing and couldn’t imagine what “large scale cavity manipulation” would even mean.

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@QuincyAdams i didnt want this game to end is so good! and i related to my mc so much. i have anxiety myself and i truly felt like how i would react if something like what my mc is experiencing happened. this is one of the best games of 2019! keep up the great work! :blush::star_struck:

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I’m not going to lie, I giggled inappropriately when I read it because I could imagine it, and it really was not a good thought.

My train of thought took “sexual healing” to a whole new level and then broke that one making yet another level on top of that.

I just hope nobody else made the same mental connection as I did.

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Thanks for the comments. That phrase in particular is quite ridiculous and has me burying my head in my heads right now. I’m not sure what part of my brain decided that was a good idea.

I’ll definitely expand upon the descriptions. I initially intended to leave things vague so that the reader can discover alongside the MC, but there is certainly a middle ground between super vague and overly detailed that I’m sure I can find. I also plan to move the descriptions into the stats screen so that the reader can reference it in the future when meeting/ clashing with NPCs.

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Went into this blind.

Summary
Someone said, maybe jokingly — you can't tell through the brain fog, "Hurry up! Saving that for your 22nd?" And there it is, the bottle slipping, and breaking, and spilling over. The lights went out. In the midst of drunken college students either screaming or groaning in annoyance, someone grabbed the back of your shirt, pulled you towards the window, and hurled you out. You cursed, hands grasping at nothing. You could not die like this.
  • Jesus dude, it’s just a cheap bottle of booze I got from the liquor store right around the corner. You could just get one yourself instead of doing attempted manslaughter, you know?

  • I personally thought the descriptions did their job of being just descriptive enough without outright stating what the schools entail to. It did strike me though that all of the schools involve manipulating things in some way, making me wonder if the school of manipulation is really a misnomer or if the other schools are just more specific applications.

It appears to only harm those without the ability, while creating a space to move through for those with the ability. How he was able to throw something together in such a short time is beyond you, but you gain some respect for him regardless.
  • Two things. One: If this ability is going to be an important aspect of your game and you don’t have a name for it already, it may be worthwhile to capitalize Ability going forward as it seems to be too distinct and focused of a phenomenon to just simply call it “the ability”, especially when they even have formal schools for it. Two: How would I be able to know that this ability is in fact a shared phenomenon and not just separate powers for me and this Finnegan guy?
He turns to keep walking once you're near, but continues making conversation. "Students in the School of Research are assigned to other students as part of their training. I've been assigned to you. I will engineer the technology that helps you channel your ability more efficiently. A collaboration, if you will."
  • So we’re researching new technology that helps us to…research more technology for to fine-tune our powers?
If you pretend hard enough, it feels just like a vacation with your parents years ago. But there are no palm trees here, no bustling city outside your window — there's not even a window at all. Your body is so weary, but your mind is rushing miles per second. You don't know which thought to visit, so you decide to hell with it and to stop worrying.
  • This kinda comes across as corny with the “not even a window” comment. Why monologue about vacations if you don’t even know where you are relative to the outside?

Overall, I’m gonna wait a bit before I give any solid opinion mostly because of how brief the demo is, but also to see where you are going with this.

I appreciate the detailed comments.

In the first chapter, our character will learn of what the ability is commonly called. I debated putting it in uppercase, but decided to keep it lowercase in the prologue just because it’s mainly the MC thinking about it as a new, undefined ability.

I see what you mean. I think I meant to write something along the lines of everything else looking like a vacation – fancy hallway, hotel bedroom – and then there’s no window. A jolting reminder.

I’ll go back and fix up the descriptions. Always better to go over your writing with a fresh pair of eyes, which I certainly didn’t the first time round :stuck_out_tongue:

Essentially, those in the School of Research primarily build the technology that enhances the ability. For example, later on in the story, they develop a spaceship tailored to specific students of navigation to jump relatively large distances through space. I’ll check my wording and see if I can make that clearer.

I went back and forth between calling it the School of Research/ Technology/ Engineering. Still not sure which one I want to use permanently. Do you have one you prefer, or another suggestion?

It might also help to clarify what exactly you mean when you say “space”.

For the description for the school of manipulation, you seem to use “space” in a very general sense, like going from that space over there to that space over here, while here you mention building a friggin’ spaceship to help students develop their powers. I thought you were going along the lines of making a Delorian until I realized that you meant outer space after reading through your premise one more time. Don’t really understand the leap of logic there, but I’m guessing that is something that will be explained once you have time to expand upon the demo some more in the future. Still, my point stands that you could also make sure to use some different wording if you have mentions of space and outer space that will appear in both your abilities’ descriptions and also where we will most likely end up being at in the near future.

Why not just call it Research & Development (R&D)? That seems to be the gist of what I’m getting from what you’re trying to describe, and no one ever said that schools had to be just one word – and indeed, one word is often insufficient to truly capture the essence of what the school entails to, much like the other choices you’re going for. Research is a bit too general and could mean any number of things that don’t really apply to strictly relevant or technological stuff. Technology is a little better, but is generally not what you would refer to as a name for a school or department, and is a bit misleading in the sense that it gives the impression our powers have to do with manipulating technology. Engineering just sounds like the name you give to the maintenance crew, and who wants to be those guys?

Of course I’m not saying R&D is a perfect example, but it’s something to keep in mind once you get to rewording the schools, not just this one.

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Thank you, these are things I’ll keep in mind moving forward. I think I got stuck in the storyverse as I was developing it and got used to thinking of space as literally just space, small or large, inner or outer. The ability is roughly spatial manipulation subcategories, which is why space plays a big part. This is all explained in the next chapter.

This serves as a good reminder for me that the reader requires more information than I might think.

Ohhh I’m looking forward to this. I definitely prefer choice games that don’t rely too heavily on stats, like Wayhaven. Progression is story-driven instead of stat-driven, so I can play through the narrative without making such analyzed, and specialized choices. Thanks for that!

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