Unspoken (WIP, Demo Ver. 0.0.2)


#1

Hello CoG forums! I’m CowboyHooah (I go by Tex), and this is my first topic (but not my first post!) I love Choose Your Own Adventure Stories, and have played most of the games available on the CoG website, as well as many of the more recent WIP’s. I look forward to being an active part of this great community!

Speaking of WIPs, that is what I am posting here about right now! I have decided to write my own CoG game, and would like to see if the premise I have in mind is as interesting to it’s potential audience as it is to me.

The game will be called Unspoken (not set in stone), and will be about the FBI interrorgation of a number of suspects in a recent wave of massive terrorist attacks on major US assets and population centers, the first suspect being the player. The player will then work with the FBI to interrorgate the other suspects (for a variety of reasons). The part that will make the game different, as well as the reason for the proposed name of the game, is that the answers to the answers to the questions the MC asks as the interrorgator will not always be answered through the words of the dialogue, but also through the suspect characters’ body language, environmental clues, and possibly even encoded messages that the reader themselves will search for and piece together.

For example, let’s say the player is interrorgating Robert “Bob” McDermitt, age 34. The reader must find specific cues in the text to uncover what is true, and what is not. The descriptive text will contain lots of extraneous descriptions to distract the reader from the important cues.

You walk into the gray-walled room. The cold, concrete floor squeks as you slide your shoe across the ground following your step over the large, metal doorframe. You look into the mirror, which you (and Bob, if he has seen any detective movied) know is really a pane of one-way glass that allows the agents to observe the many questionings that have taken place in this room. You notice Bob’s upper torso above the edge of the table in the mirror as you glance left, continuing to stride forward. You turn left, pull tbe chair out from under the table, and seat yourself across from Bob. You can’t help but notice the sound of his foot tapping on the concrete floor beginning from the moment you settled in your seat. Bob stares straight into your eyes, back straight, putting off an air of confidence but not arrogance. His unkempt, greasy, blonde hair falls over his eyes.

MC (By Choice): “What is your name?”

Bob’s shoulders drop slightly, and he exhales what seems to have been a long-held breath. You look into his green eyes, which dart to the left and then blink slowly as he begins to open his mouth.

“Bob,” He says, a hint of question to his voice but still assured, “Robert McDermitt.”

A simple enough question, and a true answer. What next?

Later in the interrorgation, the MC: “How old are you?”

“Do you mean how young?” laughs Bob, sliding down into his seat a little. You notice his foot is still tapping on the floor, with the same pattern. He moves to wipe the strands of hair away from his eyes. After a quiet chuckle and a brief, friendly smile in your direction, Bob’s lips move again. “I am 34,” he says, returning to his former, stoic expression. He eyes glance briefly left in the direction of a board on the wall, listing the rules that suspects brought to the room must follow for the interrorgators safety and their own. He sits back up his his seat, shoulders still relaxed, and puts his hands, clasped together as if praying, on the cold, hard table. What should you do next?

Towards the end of the interrorgation, the MC: “Did you meet with Jacob Randall on Thursday the third, last week?”

The tap of Bob’s foot continues of the floor, the rhythmic tapping almost mesmerizing. He sits up straight, recapturing your full attention. “No,” Bob says, staring straight into your eyes, his gaze unwavering. He coughs lightly, quickly moving his hand to cover his mouth. His hair falls back over his face as he continues to lightly cough, eventually regaining his composure and sitting up perfectly straight in his chair, as if a soldier sitting at attention. He continues gazing into your own gaze, almost staring. The tapping of his foot has stopped since the coughing fit began. You ponder what to do next…

The specific cue in this example is Bob’s eye movement. By asking Bob two true questions, the reader discovers that when answering a question with a true answer, Bob’s eyes go to the left. However, when asked a question the reader did not know the answer to, this did not apply. Therefore, using observation of body language (throughout more examples than would be listed on this post) the MC and reader can fairly assume that Bob is lying in his answer to the 3rd question.

In the actual product, this concept shall be much further fleshed out, and so much description whether valuable or extraneous will be present in the reading that it will likely be almost tedious to read through. This example will most likely not be used in the actual product.

What are y’alls’ thoughts on the premise and concept of this? Please let me know if anyone is interested in this idea and please share any suggestion! Thank you so much!


First Demo Update! Version 0.0.2!

Very little is actually up. First two pages is all, but criticism is wanted nonetheless! Thank you so much for those who have shown interest! You have inspired me! :smiley:

UPDATE: Added difficulty level with some functionality, added more stats, reorganized coding to be less of a headache for myself to sort through

Demo Link:
https://dashingdon.com/go/1271


Are there choices that a game shouldn't give a player? (Was: Are games inherently trivializing?)
#2

Ohhh Im interested. So it would be akin to an LA noire-esque interrogation sequence?
I agree though, too much of those descriptions can really be a slog to read through. Youd have to strike a balance between it being just enough and not too much as well.


#3

Im thinking at least one of the interrorgations will be like that :wink:

Yeah, have to find a way to strike balance with that. My problem in writing has always been not enough description when there needs to be, and too flowery when it shouldn’t. Hopefully I’ll be able to find the perfect balance the first time, but if I can’t I’m sure the community will be able to help me :slight_smile:


#4

You had me on board at FBI. That is what I aspire to do in life, so that seems like fun to role play( also Criminal minds duh( poor hotch :cry:)) I would play the ever living heck out of this no doubt!

I think it has potential, but I would recommend to try to not make it cliche or too fantastical like hunting down 90000 seriel killers. Mysteries get a lot of people excited though, so I think if you take it that direction people would be interested in it. I know I am

Edit on that, it could be like lie to me! I love that show, and read that it is actually based on a team that reads facial expressions for micro expressions, but they aren’t as accurate or as far fetched as in the show. It’s like 85% accurate tho. I would look it up if you haven’t already seen it!


#5

Yeah, this is pretty cool. My interest check rolled an 18 + Ability, so it is definitely peaked. I agree with @Arasia_Valentia, using micro expressions for an MC that has it as a specialty, or has a high stat like intelligence or perception if you want it to be more involved would make it pretty interesting.


#6

This sounds awesome! (I’m a sucker for detective games.)

The only suggestion I think of is that, as well as reading body language, you can have pieces of evidence that either confirm or contradict what the suspects say. :blush:


#7

@CowboyHooah Does the MC have any qualifications that allow them to interrogate other suspects or just that they themselves were suspects?


#8

@avidreader

Yes, the MC will have a variety of histories provided to them (chosen by the reader) that will qualify them to be part of the interrorgation progress.
So far the planned ones include:
FBI Agent
FBI Analyst
Insurgent (helped launch terrorist attacks, mastermind was anonymous, helps FBI under threat against family or similar, maybe sabatoge them and attack the FBI from inside)
US Marine
CIA (undermine FBI efforts to take glory for the CIA? ;))


#9

Curious about how we’re implicated in the attacks especially if we have a background as a federal agent/military personnel looking forward to finding out :slight_smile:.


#10

Could be set up and framed … like that tv show “Quantico” or undercover like in “24”.

Although the insurgent turned patriot sounds fun to me…


#11

If you want more ideas for possible histories, you could also be a civilian consultant for the FBI, a trainee or a Detective that managed to convince the FBI to work with him


#12

Kinda like limitless or psych( which are amazing)


#13

Yeah although something more along the lines of limitless or Sherlock would be more appropriate than psych in this type of case imo


#14

Sherlock is the best. As for psych not so much the comedy of it but the idea of being a consultant of some sort like that. What was the one show that aired a while back maybe, oh, two years ago that had a psychic who was in the FBI? He didn’t know he was until the start of the show. I’ll have to look it up.

Edit: OHHH it was about a paramedic who discovers he has psychic powers called The Listener. God I watch too many crime tv shows. That was like, 2009 I was what, 7? Rip


#15

If you’re talking about the Mentalist, which is also a running joke in psych if you hadn’t noticed, I know what you mean otherwise I can’t think of anyting right now

Yeah I know about the Listener too but I don’t think this has superpowers otherwise just get The Flash, the ultimate trump card, to run around the world disarming every bomb and tagging every potential terrorist in under 1 second.

P.S I watched alot of crime shows etc. When I was younger too and still am. They’re my jam


#17

Not sure if edits show up in the notification feed for y’all that are interested so, Demo is uploaded! I will dub it Version 0.0.1 It’s not much, but it’s a start! Any constructive criticism, questions, concerns and/or suggestions would be wonderful! Thank you everyone! :smiley:


#18

Looks, pretty good to me, I liked what as been written so far. Personally didn’t encounter any bug yet.
P.S. Just wanted to ask about the future character customization, What kind of customization will be available to the characters (Personality, appearance, etc.-wise)?I or other readers can think up some ideas if you want to hear them, it can help to see what kind things they think are good or lacking to the story to make it better.


#19

“The Assistant-Director is a gruff-looking man, with black and grey speckled hair and a distinctive scar beneath his right eye. He straightens his navy blue tie as his deep - yet strangely affectionate sounding, similar to a grandfather speaking to his young grandchildren - begins to leave his lips.”

You never say the word “voice”.

Saying this as a newcomer to your game, the concept reminds me very much of LA Noire, only several decades in the future. The demo is too fun-sized for me to give a good appraisal, but I like what’s there so far.


#20

I have not decided how much character customization to implement yet, as honestly it relies on my coding skill :confused: At the very least, the MC will have a profession and a name, and I’ve thought about making religion a factor. What would you like to see available for customization?

Also, thank you very much for the feedback!


#21

Think of it this way - what is the purpose of customization?

The more choices you give, the more writing and coding you will need to do. So if you give 3 religions, then you, as a writer, will need to write three different scenes for every scene that includes reference to that religion. Sure, you can copy-paste if you wanted to but most readers get turned off by that “lazy” style of writing and will leave nasty reviews and such on app-store feedbacks… that if you are serious about publishing.

Also people get offended if these choices end up being nothing fluff … most of your readers want their choices to matter so they expect customization to have real effect in your story.