Turncoat Chronicle (political fantasy) - updated 9-AUG-19

PLAY THE DEMO HERE!

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Your father, the King of Koth, took his throne by force when you were a small child. His enemies call him the Usurper King. As the eldest of his two children and his natural heir, you have always acted as though his enemies are also your own enemies. Now, however, the missing heir of the king your father deposed has finally resurfaced. As the current legal heir, they are a threat to your position… unless you choose to make them your ally, instead.

Turncoat Chronicle is a story of schemes and intrigue, loyalty and betrayal. Protect your father’s legacy at all costs, or turn on him and take his throne. Make allies of enemies, and then betray them. Conspire to grasp power for yourself, or for the greater good of Koth. Fall in love… or merely pretend to.

Next Update: version 0.4 continues chapter 2, and has just been released.

Progress

Summary

As of 9-AUG-19:

  • Word count: 67K pure, 84K with code.
  • 2/3 complete at a rough assessment.
  • Chapter 3 is in progress.
  • Chapter 4 is in outline.

Version History

Summary
  • June 22: version 0.1. Character creation + chapter 1.
  • July 10: version 0.2, expanded chapter 1. Bug fixes, sexual orientation code, and new conversations. 22K words.
  • August 30: version 0.2.1. Pronoun choice, genderfluid MC, MC appearance.
  • September 16: version 0.3, beginning of chapter 2.
  • December 7: version 0.4, continuing chapter 2, with some refactoring.
  • February 8: version 0.5, closed beta.
  • July 25: version 0.6, closed beta.
  • August 9: version 0.4.1, incorporating beta edits.

Features

Summary
  • Choose your MC’s gender, sexual and romantic orientation, appearance, skills, personality, and personal name.
    • MC can be female, male, nonbinary or genderfluid. Nonbinary MCs can choose their pronouns and form of address. Genderfluid MCs can choose pronouns at the beginning of every game day.
  • There are three routes for solving the basic conflict of the game: the Suthis/Kidia dynastic grudge.
  • Variety in personality and moral choices. You can be ruthlessly ambitious, pragmatic, conscientious…
  • Choose to subvert the Usurper King’s legacy, or remain loyal to your father.
  • Romance was and remains a very minor theme of the game. However, as the game progresses you can choose for your MC to fall in genuine love with their prospective consort.

Characters

Summary
  • Orust Suthis, the Usurper King of Koth. Twenty years ago he slew the royal family of Koth and ascended to the throne. A charismatic leader and cunning tactician, and all around dangerous man. Ruthless to his enemies and defensive of his family. Your father.
  • Harim Suthis, the King’s nonbinary spouse and Royal Consort of Koth. Known for their wit, charm, and elegance, they provide a diplomatic counterpoint to the King’s ruthless ambition. Your other parent (“Noni”), and primary caretaker in your youth.
  • Iral and Valini Kidia, the late King and Queen of Koth, victims of your father’s ambition.
  • (Alme/Holyn/Morun) Kidia, the last surviving member of the Kidian dynasty, recently come of age, and come to reclaim their birthright. Your enemy, maybe.
  • Crow, a mercenary, bodyguard, and all-around mentor to the young Kidia heir. Formerly a loyalist of King Iral. Your enemy, definitely.
  • (Tamirah/Teven) Lux, a bright and promising young member of the palace guard, sworn to protect you and your family with their life. Potential asset in the fight against Kidia.
  • Sheyer, your trusty, if somewhat mysterious personal spymaster, who first brings you news of the reappearance of the lost Kidia heir.
  • Others mentioned but not appearing: your younger brother Belinon, your cousin Kady, assorted Suthis and Razath relations.
  • Bit parts listed in the in-game character guide, such as lesser staff members in the palace.

Routes

Summary
  • Kill the Kidia heir. Fight for the continuity of the Suthis dynasty, remain loyal to your father, and keep himk on the throne of Koth. Kidia and their guardian, however, may prove more difficult prey than you imagine.
  • Seduce or befriend the Kidia heir with the intent of forming a Suthis/Kidia marriage alliance. This will undoubtedly require you to turn on your father and abet in his death, since young Kidia lost their entire family in infancy, and is hungry for revenge. Between the two of you, you can probably take the wily old fox, right?
  • Replace the Kidia heir. Solve the Kidia problem once and for all, but without capitulating power to a shared rule. Read chapter one of the demo to understand what this means.

Links

Summary
  • My World Anvil account contains some additional details about the kingdom of Koth and the world around it.
  • I keep a Pinterest board full of eclectic sources of inspiration.
  • I also have a thematic YouTube playlist which I use when I write and outline. It’s an ongoing project, prone to changes.
  • Zinc Alloy Games, my game dev Tumblr, where you can send me any asks that are slightly off-topic, headcanons, worldbuilding, fun facts about characters… Anything you want to hear about the game.
  • Ko-fi account to support my work.
  • The actual game demo, of course.

Questions and Answers

FAQ

“Will there be romance in the game?” Sort of. If you choose to seduce the Kidia heir to get close to them, you will have the option to allow the seduction to turn into falling in love. There will not be multiple love interests to choose from, and romance and sexuality remain a minor theme of the story.

“Can I have my MC stay loyal to their father, the King?” Yes, that is one of the planned routes. It’s also possible to betray him for the Kidia heir, then turn around and betray the heir and side with your father again.

“Do I have to kill the King?” There are ways to avoid it, but as the game is planned right now, killing the King is a pretty big deal and hard to avoid. Which is not to say that you necessarily have to kill your dad yourself. After all, your new ally has ample cause for revenge…

“Why can’t I just knife the secret Kidia heir first thing?” The Doylist answer is that then there would be no plot left for the game.

“Can I set my character’s sexual/romantic orientation, even if I’m not romancing anyone?” There is a question regarding orientation, which can pop up in several places in the story.

“Is the royal consort gonna just stand by and let me kill their husband?” You’ll get several opportunities to discuss the matter with the consort in depth, in chapter 2.

PLAY THE DEMO HERE!

237 Likes

I look forward to reading your demo.

2 Likes

Quick reply: I wrangled the plugin so that the saves should be working properly. Do let me know if anything goes wrong. I’ll be testing it myself, too, of course.

This is very interesting, i hope you keep up with it.

1 Like

Hello! I just finished reading your demo, so here are some thoughts on it:

Summary
  • The premise seems interesting, especially with the whole “whom shall I betray” hanging over our head,

  • I’m interested in the world you have developed and its characters,

  • Your writing is solid, although there were some occasional grammar mistakes and some sentences just didn’t flow properly,

  • I also caught this

With the backing of our noble allies and under the auspices of Ariel, I became the one to strike the decisive blow. But you remember all that yourself, don’t you, my son?"

And I have yet to choose a gender, so maybe using “my child” would be better

  • Due to not being familiar with the term Noni, I thought it was a name at first and that MC’s father had two spouses, with Noni dying before the start of the story,

  • The thing that bothered me the most was, that directly after choosing “I’m too soft-hearted”, the MC acted exactly the opposite. It might be that as a heir they need to keep

Take my words with a grain of salt, since this is only my opinion :slight_smile: I look forward to reading more of the story.

I’m curious to see how the consort feels about the King’s possible death.

1 Like

Um, based off of the summary you’ve given, this sounds a lot like the WiP “The Rightful Heir” by @Domates… but being told on the “enemies” point of view instead… I don’t know if that’s rude of me to say, and I’m sorry if I have offended you by saying that (it’s not my intention to offend), but that’s just the feeling I got when I read the summary. Maybe it’ll be different once I actually play the demo.

Usurper kings and lost heirs raised in secret have been a staple of the fantasy genre for years. There’s a TV Tropes page with lots of links that explains it far better than I could. I consciously chose to create my story as a subversion of the classic formula, by telling it from the point-of-view of someone who could easily be the villain of the story.

That means it’s not the same story. Both generally speaking, and especially in interactive fiction. There’s no such thing as “this is the same IF, but told from someone else’s POV”. The POV is what defines the story. I’m writing a subversion, and Domates is writing a straight example of the same trope – which is probably why I tried “Rightful Heir” and couldn’t get into it, no matter how well-developed it is.

There are no original stories. I have enough experience in writing that someone saying my story is “like” another can’t possibly hurt my feelings.

24 Likes

Petyr Baelish HAS to be the canon MC name!

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um?! this is great and i love it?! i am an absolute sucker for kingdoms and castle intrigues :heart_eyes:

4 Likes

This is extremely promising, and I’m pleased to note the scope seems well-contained; Too many new authors lose themselves in grandiose projects that never get completed.

I particularly enjoyed seeing a protagonist who is calculated and clever, even ruthless, without being outright puppy-kicking-evil. That said, I do believe we could benefit from a bit more of an insight into our MC’s character. Perhaps a flashback scene, either with our father or in the place we were before coming back to the city? Something to let people ease into the character.

Another thing that bothered me was how open we were with the guard we potentially want to recruit as the fake prince. If you choose not to go that route, then he’s a loose end - loyal he may be, but it’s still someone out there who knows you’re scheming against your father despite not being directly involved. I would have prefered to only scope him out with some pretense, to get his measure, then confide in him once you decide to commit.

22 Likes

Like I said, it was just the first impression that I got just by reading the summary alone, and I didn’t mean to insult you or anything by saying it. I’m sorry if I did, it wasn’t my intention.

Anyways, I just thought you’d like to know that there were a couple of times in the demo that someone referred to my female character as a male. And called the male Prince a “she” when my character and someone were talking about him. Also, in the very beginning of the demo, when the father king is explaining how things used to be, at the end of his speech he calls the character “my son”, before we even had a chance to choose a gender for the character.

1 Like

Hello!

While pressing save on the ‘Show Stats’ option, this would pop up.

image

Pressing ‘Play again,’ this would pop up:

image

Other than that, the game is pretty good! I am nervous, yet excited, to see how this will all turn out! I am confused on what exactly is a false heir, however.

Why do I get the feeling that our spy is going to betray us one day… :disappointed_relieved:

2 Likes

Just finished the demo and I think its rather intriguing, sorry for the pun I couldn’t help it but I really like this game keep up the good work!

I like it, but I don’t like the lack of choices. There are just so few. It feels like I’m reading a normal book. Not an interactive one.

4 Likes

I appreciate this. It’s difficult to rein in one’s imagination from going wild, but I’ve tried writing IF before, and I have a pretty good idea how hard it is to keep up with an overly-ambitious project. I knew that some people would be less pleased with the narrow scope of the story, but I’d rather have a small complete game than an ambitious but unfinished one. Anyway, thanks for mentioning it.

Thank you, I enjoy calculating characters too. I tried to balance the personality traits to allow a wide range of grayness, and differing motivation. I’ll think about the other thing, too. I’m wary of using flashbacks, but there are other characters I can introduce who can give more insight into the protagonist’s background.

I’ll take this under advisement, too. It’s possible that something was lost in the editing, so I’ll double check that. That scene is not intended to reveal that the MC is planning to kill their father. I’ll go over it again and give it another edit.

Thanks for the detailed input.

To everyone else: I’m still formulating some more detailed responses, but I just wanted to thank everyone for all the feedback. The response to the demo has been very exciting for me.

2 Likes

Now this is a nice beginning the mc is behaving more like how I expect to see a medieval prince behave. Pity none of the male palace guards were apparently right to pass of as fakes, seeing as how gay marriage is apparently allowed for royals in this world and my mc does fancy cute guys. Can’t have it all I suppose, either try to work things out with his rival and try to have a mutually fulfilling m/m (sexual) relationship with them, or try to preserve more of our power by going for the fake, who is of the wrong gender for my mc to be attracted to her. But then it’s not like she’d be in a position where she could deny him taking male lovers as well I suppose.

4 Likes

Are both the secret heir and Tamirah ROs?

1 Like

I enjoyed the fast pace but felt the scenes jumped from one point to the next too far. An example:

Recruiting the guard went from introductions to tea almost instantaneous. There should have been more exploring the actual recruiting of the guard not just the Princess magically commands it and it is so.

Another example:

The appraisal of the heir at the training yard and then the jump to the tavern … there could have been much more explored between those two points.

I really enjoyed the manipulative princess and I see the potential of the story - let us get to know more about the characters before advancing the plot so fast though …

keep up the good work :sunny:

10 Likes

I agree the story is little rush rightnow, otherwise I love the demon so far. I really like the heir. They are bold, reckless and (that’s why they are cute), while the MC is sly. I think the MC and the heir are cute together. However the romance part is only minor so what a shame :frowning:

The marriage alliance kind of surprised me though LOL. I means yes, when I read FAQ “MC can seduce heir” , I thought of that possibility but I guessed it maybe suggested in the later part. Eventually, the MC just said it straightforwardly, like “Hey, why fight for the throne when you can simply marry me.” Really throws me for a loop LOL.
Oh and I hope the heir can react more interestingly :smile: instead of just snort

3 Likes

I just got done with the demo and I must say that I looking forward for more. There are few ways to go. I just setting humming the game of thrones theme song while playing this lol when is season 2 ready btw great game