[WIP] Arcadie: Second-Born (Demo updated: Oct 13)

A fun premise. It’ll be interesting to see if I can play without ever taking an interest in taking the throne, if I can be happy with my lot in life and just excel at maintaining peace while the heir may or may not prove to be incompetent.

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I love it so far, from writing to world-building and characters. Definitely looking forward to read more! :two_hearts:

When it comes to MC currently being sort of a “sidekick”, it didn’t really bother me that much. I even found it somewhat refreshing. Then… the “letter scene” happened (that’s the point when I get annoyed and poor Cyril ends up on I don’t like you list).:laughing: On a more serious note, I think it’s just the first time during the story when MC can truly feel like “unimportant detail” instead of a “sidekick”. And it made me wish we would’ve a bit bigger variety of choices in that particular scene (at the end). Because my MC for example didn’t felt neither the need nor obligation to share her plans and ambitions with Cyril. On the other hand she definitely felt the need to tell him that next time he should address her in a proper way (It will be Her Highness for you Cyril!) :triumph:. Nevertheless I’m actually very curious how this “sidekick dynamic” will develop.

Sooo long story short… gimmeeee more! :grin:

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I loath it as well, but I cannot enjoy it in this case. It is too much for me. I have no idea if I even would enjoy anything else in the story as I could not get through it. I completely understand what you mean, though; for me, Mind Blind is the example where I hate being weak but enjoy being able to express that hate in the story (still being notable is a massive help). I don’t really understand the “sudden” rise in this type of plot point here.

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The demo is very good so far! You definitely caught me with the benign summary and then that sudden twist not too far in. I love political intrigue type games, and I want to know more about Stansilas’s motivations, honestly. Can I run away and join the peaceful side?

I’m also very curious to see how the MC’s role will play out in all of this, considering you do feel like a secondary character rather than a princess or someone of relative importance. Seconding the notion earlier that it’s a bit strange one of the top army commanders doesn’t even know your name. Like, I know I chose to stay inside and read books, but I’m still royalty, y’know?

Feedback

I enjoyed the story but one of the things that did concern me before I opened the demo was the playthrough wc vs total wc.

It currently feels a lot more like a story than an interactive fiction, but that’s not always a bad thing. Your prose is engaging and carries the story well. From starting to write my own wip, I also understand it’s hard to find a balance between exposition and giving enough player choice. However, if you’re purporting the MC as a blank slate I’d love more chances to fill that blank slate, even if it’s just letting me state my opinion more often. For example, after the murder I don’t think there was really a moment for the player to react? I didn’t get to choose if I was shocked, or angry, or sad, or utterly confused… It was more like I was watching everyone else freak out instead. Compared to other IF games, this has much longer pages of simply text. Anyways, hoping there are more choices in later chapters.

With the skills as well, I agree that in the scope of IF it seems a little odd to have unbalanced skill choices. Each set of choices that impacts skills should have a purpose to the story in some way. There seem to be a lot of personality stats and skills, so I’m also curious as to how you’re going to implement those in the game. Do they influence the plot or are they more for the sake of the romances?

I was actually very surprised to come across the “I do nothing in my free time,” because…then really what is the point of the MC if you can’t do anything? Though if you already had it in mind to write a unique, powerless MC, that’s fine, and I’d actually be interested to see what kind of role they take.

Your demo has got me interested though, and I am eager to see how this coup unfolds.

Lastly, typos


do you mean “behind closed doors”?


arriving?

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Loved the demo ^^ didn’t want it to end

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One thing I’m hoping for is more scenes with the parents and as a kid. Maybe some scenes, to put it bluntly, with what is what like growing up as the spare child in case anything happened to our sister. Probably through flashbacks our us dreaming about it.

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I did not expect the turn of events! I think the WIP is well written. It’s refreshing to play as a minor character (even tho the MC is royalty). I didn’t mind it at all tbh, but then the letter part happened and it…hurt me lol. Why is our MC so unknown to that extent goodness I just want slap Cyril.

Anyway, I love your WIP. Can’t wait for the next update! : D

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The summary doesn’t do the demo justice right now, but the demo itself was entertaining. I was impressed by how much of an emotional roller coaster you were able to put me through with various characters in just a few minutes. Cyril felt flat compared to Wilfred, but we also only met her midway through the second chapter so I am hoping that will improve.

Wilfred takes over relaying most of the information to Cyril, but I think that would be a good opportunity for a leadership-focused MC to try and be a leader. Additionally, I think you could make better use of the involvement variable rather than just the politics variable, and perhaps MCs with high enough involvement would have their name better known throughout the kingdom.

My biggest criticism is that the WIP currently treats LGBT players like an afterthought, which is deeply disappointing. There is no non-binary MC option which would be easy enough to implement given there are no obstacles in the setting. This work features a gender-locked male LI, but no gender-locked female LI. The gender-locked male LI is “mostly heterosexual” which further suggests that you are really catering to straight women with this decision.

I am not against the limited ROs, and was initially very excited about a heavily character-focused WIP, but they should be balanced. This is an easy fix. Either have two gender-flippable playersexual ROs, or have one male and one female gender-locked RO, both of whom are playersexual.

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This was reaaaally really good!! I’ll definitely keep an eye on this!:blush:

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The demo is really good! And is nice to play as a sort of “sidekick” as others have said. It marks the difference between this game and the others.
I´m wondering about this too:

It would be a cool ending to have the power and rule without Ariana having to die for it to happen

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The demo is extremely entertaining! I’m wondering whether there’s a path where MC kills Ariana and ascends the throne instead?

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This seems super interesting!! The characters seemed strong though there are some things I’d suggest. The murder of our parents didn’t quite have the same guy punch I feel like it could have, since we couldn’t define our relationship with them the same way we defined it with our sister. When being introduced, it felt like Cyril came out of nowhere, maybe mentioning them before we make our way to the fort could help with that. I liked the idea that Wilfred is kinda awkward around us, in the same way that hanging out with your friend’s younger sibling can be awkward. More of that please lol! I’m really looking forward to more updates and will definitely be following this as it continues!!

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The story is really interesting. All the characters are well written. I am looking forward to more

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I was surprised that there is npc with gray eyes after no gray eyes option at Mc eye choice

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This was so intense, had me on the edge of my seat! Wilfred is protective and hot and I love a good underdog story so I’m sold. Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of a powerful MC and much prefer this kind of story. I’m a simple woman I just want to be rescued by someone with huge bulging muscles :sob: catch me going full damsel at every given opportunity :triumph:

Really looking forward to this and seeing how the romances play out, it sounds really detailed. And, well, since you asked about choices I am a huge fan of the height option :eyes: no pressure ofc just thought it was worth a shot :joy:

Also, Ariana is a badass and I love her.

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This is extremely good. Been a while since someone came up with such a strong initial demo that not only shows promise, but has enough content to already deliver on it.

I really like the character of our sister, I hope the relationship between her MC will be one of key points of the story and that we’ll be able to influece her very slightly in some matters (I think it would be wrong if we were able to influence her too much considering her strong and determined personality).

I’m really tired of stories where you are the “choosen one”, so being relatively unimportant and a sidekick to much prominent figure makes for a great story for me. It does feel like a bit of a stretch that most people wouldn’t even know your name when you’re royalty and one of the only two (former) royal children. I’d understand if we were like 4th of 5th in the line, but 2nd… I don’t know. Ultimately, I don’t think it’s that important of a matter, but WIPs are for giving feedback, so mine would be to tone it down a bit so it’s more of a case that we’re “irrelevant”, but not pretty much unknown as is the case now.

Even though it’s not somethind I’d personally pick, I think @Lotta makes a good point for an option to tell Cyril that our ambitions are none of their business.

To conclude, great job. Very eagerly awaiting future updates.

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So will you be able to do a coup and take over.

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The demo was really good! But what is Aether? And can you also describe the ROs? Btw the story has caught my interest :smiley: Really looking forward to it!

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@CorvusWitchcraft
Thank you so much for your detailed feedback. I was on the fence about whether to keep those skill boosts or not, but you’re totally right, it doesn’t make much sense.
About the RO count, one of my top goals is to keep the scope of the project realistic, but I do hear what you’re saying.

Well, you might run into him again, so, who knows…

@Aerin
Thanks for your feedback and spotting the typos!
I’ll be adding an option to react where you suggested.

The personality stats will mainly influence how characters react to you, and how they expect you to react.

@greendaisy
The easiest fix would indeed be to be able to gender-flip both RO.
I’m not sure how I feel about it, but I will think about it.

Good point! I will be adding both gray and hazel eyes options.

Yeah, I think I’ll be toning that down. I don’t want you to actually want to slap Cyril (not this soon, anyway).

It will be explained in more details (and better) in future chapters, but basically (bad explanation incoming):

At its core, it’s just energy, free- flowing, everywhere in the world; if depleted, it gets replenished as time passes; only MC’s family can actually do anything with it.
They can make lamps/heat sources by putting Aether inside glass and setting it alight, and some other things like that.
Ariana can use it by acting as a sort of battery, then unleashing it when she wants to, but she can’t ‘stock’ more than a certain amount, so her power is not infinite.
I guess you could imagine Ariana as a video game spellcaster: she has a mana/MP bar that fills up passively as time passes, and she can cast spells when she has enough points in it, then has to wait until it fills up again.

I chose not to describe the ROs with too much detail because as a reader, I prefer imagining characters’ appearances anyway. But you will notice more things about their appearance if you get closer to them.


There are some questions I won’t be answering for now, as the answers would involve heavy spoilers. Sorry!

Thank you all so much for your feedback! It is really super helpful and motivating! :blush:

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I agree so much. I wish there would of been a response option to him that was ominously vague about your ambitions. I especially like your idea of being able to chill the temperature in the room be informing him from now on you will address me as your highness.

Its a really good scene, when he makes his comment about your mc being unimportant it was like someone throwing cold water on you, especially since the scene prior was very warm and amiable. He definitely made a political misstep in insulting the 2nd in line to the throne who has a close relationship with their sister.

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