Turncoat Chronicle (political fantasy) - updated 21-JUN-21

Not too far in and I already feel like that really cool antagonist in the story who is making the hero an offer too good to be true. Lead us not into temptation, except we are the devil in this case :slight_smile: I always did like the antagonists more than the heroes.

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After mulling it over in my mind for a long time, I had plans to update the demo this week, so that it goes all the way to the end of chapter 2. Depending on my schedule and unexpected factors, I may get to that this week, or not until Sunday next week.

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wow good demo :hugs:

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Been a while since my last run I like how it progressing so far

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I discovered this demo a while ago and I am happy to see how it has evolved. I am intrigued by the political theme and the choices we have or we will have to make. Keep up the good work! :smile:

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Turncoat Chronicle Demo version 0.5.3

At long last!

The Turncoat Chronicle demo has been updated! The new version, 0.5.3, includes all of chapters 1 & 2, including some additions and improvements that were previously only included in the private beta.

Chapter 2 remains the longest chapter in the game. Halfway through the development process, it became so long and unwieldy that I decided to split it in two. That means that the demo’s current endpoint is something of a cliffhanger, but in terms of word count, it’s more than halfway through the story.

The new demo has a lot of new scenes to explore, and not all of them can be experienced in a single playthrough. Some scenes are accessible from different points in the game, like the optional conversations with Sheyer and Consort Harim. In particular, the final scene of chapter 2 has a lot of variations suitable for all your different MCs.

TC is planned to be four chapters long, so there’s also still a lot to look forward to, including some climactic scenes that I’m currently working on. Gotta make sure that all the build-up of the early chapters pays off, right?

I hope you all enjoy the new scenes and, as usual, I do welcome all your feedback, although I can’t promise I’ll accept it.

Play the updated demo!

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Thank you so much for the wonderful update! I feel bad not being able to offer more in terms of feedback, but I truly enjoy anything you have written. This WIP remains one of my top favourite and your writing never cease to amaze me. Have a great day!! x

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If it’s not too much trouble, would you consider adding some extra save slots to the game? (AMAZING work btw, seriously engrossing story)

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I can absolutely do that, it’s quite simple. I’ll get it done first thing tomorrow morning and update when the change is up.

Edit: I got it done. It’s a tiny change (3 → 7), so it shouldn’t cause issues, but let me know if the demo causes problems, anyway.

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Just a quick update to reassure everyone that this game – three years in the making and already five times as long as I planned it to be – is still in progress, and edging ever closer to the finish line. Since I finished writing the major battle scenes of chapter four, I’ve been calling it 80% done, but the nature of a branching game is that progress is a little more difficult to accurately assess. But I do have a checklist of scenes that I need to get through, before I’m ready to test the next beta version.

I will post an update here when I’m looking for new beta testers.

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Wow, congratulations! I’ve been replaying turncoat on and off over the years and it’s one of my favorite premises ever.

Can’t wait for more. And good luck!

Do you plan to make Turncoat Chronicles a standalone or a series?

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On tumblr it was mentioned that it would be a standalone game without a sequel but I still can’t wait to read the whole story

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Oh thank goodness. I am getting burnt out by all the 5-year long waits for sequels lol

I’m in already…

I considered the possibility of a series, earlier in the development process, but the endings diverge enough that I don’t think it would make sense, story-wise. It’s also not fair to players who choose the ending that doesn’t make it through to the sequel. If I want to write a series (which I might, in the future) I will most likely design it in advance with sequels in mind.

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It’s National Novel Writing Month, and I’m taking advantage of the support of my writing community to do a big push forward on Turncoat Chronicle. This game has been in progress since April of 2018, and I am eager to see it finished, sometime during the next year.

In practice, what this means is a little bit of writing new scenes, and a whole lot of testing, debugging, editing, and balancing.

Right now, I am working on the late parts of chapter 4, which is where all the choices that you made throughout the game begin to pay off. It’s a difficult section to write because it’s incredibly important to give my players a satisfying ending, one that follows naturally from the unique progression of the story that they followed. It’s also hard to make this part feel interactive, even though the code is a tangle of conditions and variables . Sometimes, when I’m writing a really dynamic scene with lots of variants, I have to stop and remind myself that each player will only see 2-3 passages of text, with no choices, and that’s not right.

Adding choices at such a late stage of the story is a great challenge for me to tackle. I want to make sure that Turncoat Chronicle makes a thoroughly satisfying read, from beginning to end, for each of the three main routes that you can select. Sometimes that means that I spend a whole afternoon staring at my code and taking notes, without adding or changing more than a word or two. I hope that, in the end, all of my hard work will pay off – just like the payoff in the story, in a way.

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Truly awed seeing some exceptional writing there. First of all, the premise was brilliantly put. I loved how you cleverly structured each scenes and interactions so much so it felt like being played on viewer’s whim. Each and every words propped crisp and real impact on storytelling. Didn’t find a single phrase or para irrelevant or trying to go out of context. Absolutely stunned by this piece. Terrific.

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Thanks for the efforts!

December Update

I spent most of November working hard on TC, tackling several difficult scenes late in chapter 4. This also involved a lot of testing and debugging, and some time spent on adding debug code to the game, to make it easier to test.

Editing and testing are complicated, time-consuming tasks, even when they don’t add a lot to the game’s overall word count. In fact, through all of November, I only added about two thousand words to the game, and I actually had to cut some words, so the total word count is not much altered. As a writer, this can be dispiriting, because it makes it hard for me to assess progress. However, I went into this month knowing that the tasks I had lined up were essential and could no longer be put off.

Overall, I’m very pleased with this month’s work. I feel closer than ever to finishing the game, which is a very satisfying feeling. While I don’t currently have a concrete end date that I can share, I’m confident about my chances of delivering a complete and polished book. My next milestone is another beta version which will include some of the most important scenes of chapter 4 – the final chapter. It’s very exciting.

The enthusiasm and positive comments of all my readers and players have done a lot to help keep my spirits up, as I plug away at these critical scenes. I aim to give you the best game that I can possibly write, and I hope you end up loving it as much as I do.

Current word count: 156K words. Chapter 4 word count: 37K words.

[Crossposted to Tumblr and Patreon.]

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Thanks for the chapters!