WIP Grey Swan - Birds of a Rose small bugfix update 23.05.24

WIP

The Divine Flock.
Some call them crazy, some even dangerous. Some even say the cult is hiding dark secrets. But, in all your life you have yet to find one that is worse than what others do. After all you should know should there be any dark secrets: you are a member after all!
A member, not only of the Divine Flock, but also a pupil of the Avis Academy, the best school the cult has. Your life is quiet and follows a strict routine, at least until two Strays from the outside, the normal, world are allowed in the normally so closed off grounds and as a newly appointed Wing it is your job to keep an eye on one of them. With their arrival some of those dark secrets may finally come to light…

Genre: Dark Academia, Urban Fantasy.
Important: I am working full time, updates wont come fast!

What to expect of the story so far:

Frequent changes, as there are still some parts (like the names) where I am not finished yet, but I decided that I can simply add that later!

-Genderselectable MC: cis male or female, trans male or female. However due to growing up in a cult, MC wont know that trans is a thing/what it means, this is something MC can learn about. The same goes for sexual orientation: play as gay, bi, straight, aroace or ace, but be prepared for consequences.
-Pick your level of devotion: be a devout follower of the teachings of the Divine Flock, reject it partly or wholly, or simply not care. All of it will have consequences.
-Choose one of various school clubs, your volery, and get unique text and a unique storyline. Ranging from dance to school security, to managing your social media page.

-Important people:
Your Nest, a group of younger pupils you were responsible for before the Strays arrived. You may not be their Wing on paper anymore, but you still hold a special place in their heart! They do miss you and are looking forward giving you a present on your birthday!

Your volery: whichever volery you joined, you are going to met pupils that are just as enthusiastic about your chosen interest as you are! Some more than others.

Your parents. It’s another question if the relationship between you is good, but important it surely is!

-ROs:
Known as Fuchsia King, one of the Strays. Her eyes are hidden behind glasses but you could swear she sees everything! Rarely loud, she is calm and softspoken. Her eyes are hazel and her hair is curly and dark brown. She loves vintage aesthetics and will fight anyone who also love old values

Known as Chase Watson, one of the Strays. The complete opposite of Fuchsia. Loud, colourful and it seems everything out of his mouth is either a curse or shameless flirting. He is not a fan of the Divine Cult. His hair is dyed a dark blue, his eyes are heterochromic (which is the only thing hetero about him) grey and blue.

Wing Droznik Juschka, your childhood best friend. Always happy, always smiling and somehow always at your side, he went through the Wing training with you and would rather lose this status than lose you. Your new responsibilities are making him a little bit jealous and he would love to interview the Strays and know more about the outside world. He has light brown hair and brown eyes, his face is covered in freckles.

Wing Astoria Rapace (Red Flag), while not being in any volery she still seems to know everything about anyone… her tiny smile is a rare gift but as you get to know her you will find it a gift often shown only to you. She shows interest in you, now make sure she doesn’t lose it. Think of your chliche horror movie girl and you have Astoria: pale, really dark brown eyes, long straight black hair.

-only for Peacocks: Marter, your online friend. Originally you were only supposed to write with them to get them to join. Over time it blossemed into friendship and maybe more… or not, its your choice.

-only for Swans: Estelle/Elrond Falkenflug, your rival in the Swans! Which, given the fact that you literally need to work together, is quite annoying.

-only for male Ravens: Marcel Rabenschlag (the bigger red flad RO). Long black hair, dark eyes, he would be beautiful if one wouldnt know what he is capable of.

-for Beizen: gender selectable: Jonah/Columba Kroon. Your first meeting during a game has been… weird one could say, and now they are back, but this time on your team! Brown hair, grey eyes, from a Divine Flock that is much more open… coming to your Flock? They may be confronted with the cruel reality.

-for Doves: always the opposite gender as MC: Karla/Christian Stransky, your fellow Dove had to leave the Academy because a tragic event has happened… but now they are back. With a dangerous plan that has already been set in motion.

-(vampire route) Sebastian Voss The new heir of the Voss Clan, open enemies to the Rapaces, has one rather unique background: a former Hound, the human companion of a low ranking courtless vampire, and afterwards a human member of the Rapace Clan, before the Voss Clan took him in.

Amelia Fern

What not to expect:

-quick updates. I already have a few more scenes finished, however I want to finish the complete second day first and post it all together. Also I am working full time, this means I have not much free time.
Plus I have ADHD, meaning while I lose interest quickly, this also means it will come back and with it my motivation.
-anything useless: those TWs will be needed, they arent just for decoration.
-anything american (except Chase). The game takes place in Europe

What I am looking for, feedback:

-Grammar and spelling mistakes. English isnt my first language and I have a hard time writing in it, so there are probably tons of grammatical errors! I would be thankful for everyone who would point them out. I am trying to write in british english, but my school thought american and british english so I may mix it up.
-Wording and writing in general. Are sentences too wordy or just weird to read? Too many choices?
-Contrary: is there anything that sticks out as really well done or nice?
-Story over stats? I am still debating if I should add stats, as since of now I only have use for a few.
-Code: unless there is a gamebreaking error I am learning this as I go, and as long as its working this isnt my priority.

Updates

31.5.23, a clarification what the birds name means has been added! Let me know if I need to rewrite anything for better understanding.

06.06.23: You can now play until the first visit to your chosen volery! It should stop before you go there.

23.06.23, just a few typo fixes, changed some things, added something about MCs parents (choose a red rose first to access)

28.06.23: big update, all volery scenes up the the evening have been added!

02.07.23: uplaoded the new code for Chases and Fuchsias route. Added the first version for players who want to change the sexuality of their MC (hello sexual awakening).

08.07.23: Updated the second night. Tried and failed to add the save system.

09.07.23: Save system is working. Added a small scene with Astoria, added english names.

16.7.23: added a new made up sport for the Hawks

31.7.23: small update, added the next morning, with some more lore!

15.9.23: added the whole open day, and a party, get into a relationship, discover the Divine Flocks true face.

17.9.23: fixed errors, changed a scene that cut Drozniks route short.

7.11.23: fixed some errors, saves are back on, added content to give a bit more insight into the story! Learn a bit more about your fellow Wing Astoria, choose if you want to be a vegetarian!

11.11.23: Added some content to Estelles route, fixed an error that broke Drozniks rejection route.

10.12.23: Added a whole new day, punishment route, beginning of the bday!

24.12.23: tried to fix the code, sadly not added any [tba]s.

27.12.23: started to add a few tbas, added the ambitious route and coded that in almost everywhere.

28.12.23: added a bit more to the tbas, this update has only been made public to get rid of an error when rechoosing volerys.

30.12.23: added a bit to some tbas, added Astorias gift to MC, a bit more flavour text when in a relationship with Chase especially for ace MCs.

9.1.24: Scenes for gay and lesbian MCs who decided to suddenly crush on Fuchsia/Astoria/Chase have been added. An error with Droznik showing up two times should have been removed!

12.3.24: Added aro and ace specific flavour text, added some disclaimer about my work, it goes a bit further than before (main update still being written but have fun code diving if you dont mind spoilers!)

10.5.24: Added what I have of the bday, most things are sadly tba.

You are NOT playing as a BIRD!

To play the demo, go here: https://dashingdon.com/go/13119
Plans for the next big update: add the [tba]s, add all possibilities of MCs b-day party.

Check out my other WIP: WIP Grey Swan - Wisteria Birds - on hiatius starting 17.12.23

Or my other other WIP: Grey Swan - Hawks and Doves Updated 20.12.23

Inspired by Ghibli: Ghibli inspired WIP - Citadel of dancing Birds 05.12.23

Want some more vampires? Hundsnächte - Dog Nights (aka Renfield - The Game) 12.3.24

My tumblr: https://reinekes-fox.tumblr.com
Get to find out what car MC drives!
Feel free to ask me anything over there, my anons are never closed.

333 Likes

I would suggest adding a stats page because even a placeholder stops people from crashing the game when hitting the stats button.

Currently, a 404 error happens when the stats button is clicked on.

12 Likes

Thats on my list, just wanted to post that small portion of the demo first!
Edit: Stats page has been added.

6 Likes

I’ve quite enjoyed what you’ve put so far, I really like the setting of the story, and getting to play as this really devoted kid. Would love to get their views shaken by the new two that came to the flock, but I’ll just have to wait and see if that happens.

I’ll be looking forward to read more of this for sure :))

Some suggestions...

I picked a red rose and after that I donated blood, and there I was given a choice to pick my skin tone. Later I was asked the very same choice when Thrush commented on the skin colour.

I think after some choices some dialogue would be nice. What I mean by this is that after you pick some of the choices the text kinda skips to what’s next before addressing what you picked. It doesn’t need to have a whole paragraph dedicated to each choice, but maybe a sentence or two to connect the choice to the next text would be nice. At the top of my head I can think of when we picked our name (the kids said something to us that didn’t get addressed or commented on), and when we talked to the strays about the praying time I said something to Chase, and if I’m not mistaken, was then prompted to say something to Fuchsia without really having gotten a Chase reply/reaction. Maybe it’s just a me issue, but I do think small nods to the players’ choice would be nice.

I think the first chapter ends a bit abruptly. It felt a bit jarring when I clicked on the next button, the stats appeared and then we were back into the story.

Again these are just some suggestions, I hope I haven’t come across as imposing. You’ve got a really nice story going and I wouldn’t want to change that.

Anyways, thanks for sharing this story with us. Hope you have a pleasant day.

8 Likes

Thank you for playing and liking my story! Oh yeah thats something I am so looking forward to writing! Nothing like having your entire worldview shattered.

To your suggestions

since this is still really bare bones text there will def be more reactions to your choices! Like with the names they arent finished yet :sweat_smile: But for example there is a reaction if you choose your skin to be dark with Thrush (however since it is aimed at Europeans and MCs father is french I am not sure if many actually understand that lol since its a pretty minor thing)

Also it shouldnt happen that the skin colour choice shows up again after you donate blood, I will look into that.

4 Likes

Good game I liked it so far! :slightly_smiling_face: I was just wondering if in the future a save system would be added? Just bc I always go bk and forth with it if I’m busy and if I leave the tab the game resets haha

Even if it is only a placeholder, preventing the game from completely crashing should give you more views and play throughs.

I have one other suggestion at the moment, and it is regarding the names:

I appreciate that you use non-English bird names, but it might be worth putting the English names in parentheses, next to the non-English name.

Also, I, personally would like the name Nightingale as an option, because as a “nurse” Wing, the name fits on an occupational level, and not just as a bird name.

I look forward to more of the story.

The only other thing that gives me pause is your choice for trans MCs… you may want to have pointed feedback from actual trans readers on this specific part of your writing.

ymmv.

2 Likes

Pun entirely intended.

2 Likes

Thx I am glad you liked it! I do plan to add a save function once I figure out how to do that haha

2 Likes

I am thinking about how to add the bird the name is for, but I am not sure how yet (I fear that it will break immersion if I simply add it like [Bluejay])

Also one of the names I am planning on adding (while I love birds I also dont want to make too many choices that it gets annoying) will be Nachtigall, nightingale.

I am actually trans. However off course I am not able to know what other people or those of a different gender than me go through, or if there are even cultural differences (I actually thought really hard if I should even add the choice to be trans) so yeah… still unsure about those choices.

7 Likes

I, too, have been thinking about this type of addition to choices.

My conclusion is that it seems better to be clear in the choice’s meaning and sacrifice a small amount of immersion, rather than leave the confusion in the reader’s mind.

The reader who is forced to google names, or to find out later that the choice is something different than they thought it was, would suffer a greater loss of immersion, I believe.

Also, the authors who have included icons and indicators in choices seem to have their indicators/icons accepted, and they are received pretty well.

The caveat to this is that the indicators/icons they use must not be complicated or confusing.

Re Trans choices – I feel having them is a good thing. Representation and being seen does matter. I just do not know all the needed nuances, so I’m not a very good person to give you feedback here. I hope that you find readers that will be better testers on this material than I am :slight_smile:

5 Likes

I think I came up with a simple solution, will code that in once I have a bit free time.

1 Like

It looks interesting and i love all the birds references, so i will keep my eyes out for the next update. But so far the story reminds me Terrors in Baskerville Academy.

3 Likes

Is this game set in Germany or France?

I am glad you like it! And I love coming up with them :smiley:

I actually played the Terrors in Baskerville Academy demo and was rather sad when it got abandoned. However the ground idea (aka cult school and young people trapped in a cult like enviroment in an elite school) has been in many private writings of me before I ever stumbled upon Baskerville Academy, this demo just gave me the idea that I could actually turn this into an interactive fiction!

It is set in Germany (which wont play a big role but still)! Originally I planned it set in Alsace, at the border between Germany and France but decided against it. However, ingame many ancenstors of the cult did come from France after the french revolution.
Out of game? I needed an excuse to use the pretty french bird names because in german there are like five

11 Likes

I’m so excited for this. Terror in Baskerville being abandoned killed me, but seeing a game similar really brought my mood up. Can’t wait for the next update!

10 Likes

Found a bug

The bug has been fixed! I also made sure that no other of those options have that one.

2 Likes

Big Update today!
All volery scenes have been added, for both Fuchsias and Chases routes.

However I bet there will be a bunch of bugs, but I am ready with some bug spray once I am back from work.

Also, what I have written is not set in stone and will undergo rewrites!

22 Likes

So they are ‘agents’ sent to infiltrate the cult? :face_with_hand_over_mouth: Reading from pov of an indoctrinated cult member is more interesting and unique. My MC is pretty devoted, but to be honest I found Divine Flock creepy xD I almost expect some darker things about it than frequent blood donations.

Also: don’t you dare look lustfully at another guy or you’ll burn in hell forever, bwooooh!~

:laughing: it reminded me good ol’ catholic parish of my childhood with funny sermons (well, at least now they’re funny to me)

Btw. Can we get appearance description of all ROs?
Oh and I recommend marking the part of pov change somehow, e.g. “Chase and Fuchsia POV” in bold or something like that.


One more thing, save would really be nice. I saw some bugs in the new update, but the game refreshed to the beginning and I have to start over to take a screenshot.

5 Likes