[WIP] Nikola Tesla: War of the Currents

I really enjoy stuff set in this period, and the prospect of fighting the Currents War was certainly very appealing. Held off a bit in commenting to compose my thoughts:

Comments (Spoilers)

Firstly, I very much enjoy the setting. The Gilded Age in all its progress, while not shying from its very ugly shadows – whether it be discrimination, the robber barons or the inevitable run into WWI – the political mess which is almost more appealing to me than the experiments and innovation which are in the forefront of the story. The descriptions, especially in the earlier chapters, sold it quite well, whether it be the Orthodox church being dwarfed by new construction, or the mess of Tesla’s lab, which doesn’t seem to be so present in the later chapters.

I also liked how it turned out that basically everyone you meet was a real person, which certainly helps in illuminating the lesser-known personalities. However, at a certain point (I think at the New Year’s Ball) it seemed to verge on there almost being too many, and it was a bit stretching to put these individuals in. After savescumming it’s clear that Roosevelt, Pulitzer and Viereck are involved in the Letter Plot and I assume Debs with the Strike, but the first time around it seemed almost a bit like they were put in for the sake of it, rather than because they’ll contribute to the plot.

The frantic nature of “progress” I felt came across rather well through how the PC moves from one challenge to another with seemingly more hurdles along the way despite establishing themselves. Chapter 2 was a bit slow – I’m still not sure just why the PC is so loyal to Tesla – but Chapter 3 is where I think the game really picks up with the AC/DC war in earnest. To me the main drive wasn’t so much beating Edison, but in how PC can be forced to balance business and their principles.

The Prussian/Valknut? letters plotline also piqued my interest. Given everything I assume the Zimmerman Telegram is somehow going to come into play here, and while the weird German nationalist occult stuff seemed odd to include at first, as the demo developed I found that subplot the more appealing. Later in the demo the PC already seems pretty established; threats on their life through this weird secret society (which’ll probably be some predecessor) to the Ahnenerbe definitely lifted the stakes. It’s not something I expected, but it is somewhat of a more appealing endgame “antagonist” than J.P. Morgan.


One thing which left me feeling a bit off is that the PC, to me, sort of seems like a small fish in a big pond. As (I think) everyone you meet is a historical character, the PC still feels a bit inadequate to me? Granted they are younger, but the game sort-of feels like you’re boxed in to being Tesla’s assistant. Both in how there’s generally a lack of opportunities to want to do anything else, and how when it does come up, it’s framed negatively.

Sure, taking the GE directorship in Chapter 8 would be considered a betrayal, and to modern Western sensibilities working conditions back then were horrific. But I would have liked to have my character at least entertain the ambition to step out of Tesla’s shadow, and ideally not simply for money alone. It’s an era of big personalities, and while it may be better for the PC to stay with Tesla, it is also the era of bull-headed inventors. For the PC to have a reputation of their own perhaps, not just Tesla, potentially even having their own things on the side.

I know that Tesla’s the main focus really, and the fully-loyalist route is great in its own way, but it feels somewhat that the PC’s personality is quite restricted. I get that a starting loyalty to Tesla is required for the first chapters to make sense, but there doesn’t seem to be so much room for more ambitious, exasperated or duplicitous PCs. The PC seemed like they were driven to assist Tesla, rather than for their own sake or for anything else. That despite their efforts they were largely a nonentity. I think this is especially glaring when Tesla returns home during the prep for the World’s Fair.

I actually felt that Westinghouse, Latimer and Bertha were somewhat more interesting than Tesla himself. Tesla was a bit of an… institution. Somewhat predictable in how he’d act towards the PC, and the PC to them in return. Westinghouse, Latimer and Bertha clearly had their own goals and were willing to do achieve them to the point of double-crossing the PC. I wanted to be on good terms with them, yet I also had to cover my PC’s own back. Your actions towards them affected how they reacted to you in turn. Perhaps that’s the case with Tesla too with different choices, but in my run the other three stood out a bit more.

That being said, I appreciate how both Tesla and Edison both aren’t entirely one-sided. Tesla’s idiosyncracies and quirks are substantially shown, but Edison’s tendencies are also not ignored. Edison is the antagonist for the start, but the two aren’t that different. The PC may be biased towards Tesla, but both he and Tesla are both undeniably capable and flawed individuals. It’s not such a binary fight as it can be often portrayed as in pop culture.


Marion Edison I also wanted to see a bit more of, because there’s that conflict between the PC and Edison. It’s also nice to have a character who isn’t either fully involved in all the engineering or business to interact with. Sometimes it feels like the PC has no friends outside of work and is just a loner as Tesla; sure, when you talk to Marion her father inevitably comes up, but it felt like something different, especially if the PC and her were old friends. Twain isn’t really the same, since he’s been involved with the PC and Tesla’s op from the start and to me seemed more linked to Tesla than the PC.


Regarding the C8 Strike, if the PC is anti-union, it seems a little odd for them to use “scab” so frequently (e.g. in the scene descriptions), since they’d be positively-inclined towards the strikebreakers for whatever reason. I know it might be a large amount of work, but perhaps there could be slightly-differently phrased variants of the strike scene based on the PC’s union attitudes/whether they took the sabotage offer or not (perhaps even going back to the PC’s response to Debs and Twain in C7 on unions)? The same event through different eyes.


How the rest of Progressive era is portrayed – an era monopoly busting and reforms alongside increased foreign interventionism – is something I look forward to, and WWI hopefully after that. I wonder whether the “weapon to end all wars” will end up like Maxim’s so called “great peace-preserver”. And of course in Germany there’s a brilliant chemist (among other great scientists) who’ll have a leading hand in developing poison gas. Hope for more moral quandaries and when the quest for progress runs into human nature again.

A bit rambly even for my rambling nature, but I definitely enjoyed reading through it. Best of luck in the development!

1 Like

Finally caught some downtime again to reply. Thank you @Thfphen110 for such a detailed review! It’s a writer’s dream to get such thoughtful commentary on all the narrative threads and details I wasn’t sure anyone noticed. And it’s quite useful to hear the perspective of a reader with a different angle, who came into the story for the political/historic intrigue rather than for Tesla & co.

Here’s some of my thoughts on the issues you raised.

Summary

Ah, the Assassin’s Creed syndrome. :sweat_smile: I’ll admit I’m guilty there, as there are indeed so many historical figures I found interesting that I stretched things to make sure they’re all at the right place in the right time. And I wanted the Vanderbilt ball to feel populated and almost overwhelming in its high-society networking. But rest assured, that chapter is really the final one where characters are introduced. (I also really, really, really wanted to do a side mission regarding Trotsky’s stay in New York, but I couldn’t really find a natural spot to make it fit. Chapter 8 with its strike themes would have been a good time, but Trotsky was long gone from New York by then.)

To make all these characters and names a bit more digestible, I’ll add their short biographies to the stat screen if they will be returning to the story, like Stanford White and Viereck.

You’re right. If you are not the kind of player who takes an immediate liking to Nikola, you might find this allegiance puzzling. I’ll think about how to improve MC motivation.

(Significant spoiler alert on this one for endgame contents not included in the demo.)

Glad to hear you picked up on this. I was kind of surprised that nobody has mentioned their thoughts on it yet :slightly_smiling_face: It might appear like an odd element to the story, but I was surprised to find that there is a well documented history of Nazi propagandists keeping a close eye on Tesla during his later years. Unlike some other American investors and bankers (like J.P. Morgan), he never offered to sell his inventions directly to Germany, but they still considered him to be one of the world’s most promising scientists way after the US let him fall into poverty. At that late stage in his life, completely bankrupt and lonely and mentally unsound, he had naively allowed them to come much closer to him than you’d expect. Look up Sylvester Viereck if you’re curious.

It seems you’re fairly versed in this topic, and I’d really love it if you would also provide feedback for the final two chapters once they are written, to let me know if you feel this subplot will have been wrapped up in a satisfying way.

I understand what you mean. And I agree it would be very interesting to also allow the MC a more stand-alone path. My worry here is really about managing the scope of the game. I feel like giving the MC an option to part ways with Tesla would split the game significantly. For me it’s really a question of, is this a game about being an inventor in the Gilded Age, or is it a game about being Tesla’s assistant? Although I’d love it to be the former and not just restricted to the latter, that would just require a much greater scope to properly execute. I am aware that this is going to make me lose out on a portion of my audience who really do not want to just be buddies with Tesla, and I’m afraid I’m going to have to find a way to live with that. I’m doing my best to try and give the player some leeway in how independent they want to be from Tesla, especially in the Individual/Loyal stat, which will help me form the endgame. And I am also hoping that putting the MC in the foreground with Tesla in the background for chapters 7, 8 and 9 will make the MC feel more like an independent person. I’ll keep your comments in mind.

I’m very glad to hear you say this. I indeed find the popular image of Tesla=good, Edison=bad overly simplistic, and although I do set up Edison as the early game antagonist, I want to make it clear that he too, in turn, gets eaten by the bigger fish. The belief that Edison was unpleasant is a misconception, and many of his “muckers” from Machine Works said they loved working with him, and that he felt more at home with the boys in overalls than the ones in suits. Historically, Tesla and Edison did indeed have a massive break over Edison refusing to pay out his bonus, but later in life they were actually on mutually respectful terms and spoke well of each other, at least in public. After Niagara Falls and before Wardenclyffe, Tesla actually enjoyed significant wealth and status for a solid decade. The story of the underdog doesn’t really hold there, because for a little while he was as present in the American consciousness as Edison, and was likewise effectively a millionaire. The conflict between the two really comes down to personality, as the two could not have been more different. Edison was brash, masculine, stubborn and completely self-made with next to no formal education. Tesla was a sharp-dressed dandy, academic, stiff, and highly theoretical. Edison valued experiment with no planning, and Tesla meditated over mental mathematics before building a single thing. Both were equally brilliant in their own way, but completely incompatible as collaborators. In Chapter 9, I really want to do a side mission showing Edison’s more human side to drive that point home.

Haha, I remember looking at this and thinking: “Is anyone else really going to notice this? I’ll leave it as it is for now.” I guess I’m fortunate to have such thorough and thoughtful readers. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: Good call, I’ll definitely change the flavor text there.

There is so much history to cover! Pretty daunting, but I look forward to it. And appreciate your interest so very much.

And a question for everyone: I haven’t seen anyone mention Proteus Steinmetz yet! Have you met him in the game? What did you think?

steinmetz-ostrich

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me looking at Proteus:

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Thank you for the response!

Summary

Hey, I like Tesla too! But yeah, it’s admittedly the setting and the conflict the ideals of science and reality for what it is which I find the most compelling.

The Vanderbilt ball definitely felt like a major step up in the PC’s societal status. That said, I think how it served as a “hub” to speak to all of these characters seemed to exaggerate the “Assassin’s Creed syndrome” which perhaps wouldn’t be so much of an issue if they were introduced more gradually. That said, given the ball’s importance it does make sense how they’re all there though.

I think it felt a bit mechanical, like one was methodically going through the process of looking for objectives to complete a quest, sort-of breaking immersion. I like how Roosevelt intercepts the PC if you give the letters to the police; it’s a bonus for those who go that route and it also somewhat made the ball feel more “alive” in that the PC’s not the only one going around and talking to people.

Trotsky would have been unexpected but interesting, but I could see how that could be difficult to fit in. Debs is still pretty significant and generally less well-known.

Everything sort of fit in together pretty well, to a surprising extent. I’m not really that well-read in the matter, but I have some knowledge of a variety of things which sort of all molded together to figure it out. Of course, there’s always the gossip about Tesla’s superweapons, where it’s easy to think of another group of individuals with a penchant for superweapons. And sometimes there are things that people would call unrealistic in a novel which happened in real life.

As the subplot unfolded I felt keenly aware that this is also the period where a lot of the pseudoscientific (to say nothing of the political) “justifications” for such groups to rose to prominence. So I guess that’s an extra reason to be interested in the subplot!

That makes sense, and I agree it’s probably better for the game in the long run too. I think it’ll just be nice if the PC got some recognition of their own, whatever form it takes, whether ending up becoming synonymous with Tesla or not just being relegated as being simply “Tesla’s assistant”. Even if it’s just in the epilogue.

I don’t know whether it was triggered by the letters plot, the C8 strike and the “weapon to end wars” or because of Tesla’s relative obscurity until relative recently and the hubbub about what recognition Tesla or Edison deserve, but while playing I seemed to get a pervasive concern about legacy. Yeah it’s fictional, but I wanted my PC to be recognised in-setting too, but for good reasons. Not ending up like Haber or Bosch (whose legacies will always be stained with that of poison gas despite the immense importance of the Haber-Bosch process), or Tesla/Edison in one of those fictional settings where people use lightning guns.

Steinmetz in my run didn’t show up much, but he definitely made an impact with how he challenges the PC in his introductory scenes. Cheerfully in friendly opposition, with some very probing comments for the PC. Couldn’t muster the will to blackmail him, but it definitely brought a smile to my face when my science-heavy PC got a win over him. Would have liked to see more of him, but I went for Bertha as my engineer the first time round since she had the more developed character.

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(Apologies for any mistake/s, I’m not a native English speaker)

I’m not a science person and only wanted to read this because of the historical element. But holy hell, reading this has made me interested in studying science even for a bit. I really like the relationship dynamic between PC and Tesla. One of the things that’s really a plus for me is that PC’s actions or inactions actually have their own consequences.

Summary

Although not a deal-breaker, I feel like the fact that there are no certain comment/s directed towards PC if their appearance is “different” feels unrealistic.

At that time, my PC would be a really rare sight to see. Besides some parts in conversations with Sam and Latimer (and that one scene with Bertha, and perhaps other scene/s that I have forgotten or did not encounter), the people around us don’t seem to mention the fact that my PC is a woman, person of color, and doesn’t wear traditionally feminine clothing. Not to mention I’m also romancing Marion, which, based on the prejudices on the past, would spike some controversies.

I’m not saying that you should have the characters treat you differently based on your appearance or have uncomfortable dialogues regarding PC’s identity, but at least, at that time, some people would be weirded out to see a woman of color in masculine clothing, doing “man’s work”. Like, some characters comment on Bertha being a female in a male-dominated field, but not to my PC, that feels unrealistic to me.

Tbh I’m not sure if I have succeeded in delivering my points, not to mention my English is very messy and perhaps too wordy. What I’m trying to say is, it feels like there’s no point in customization if there’s not going to be any noticeable differences.

But I totally understand if you don’t want to put those elements in. I just see it to be unrealistic, but again, understandable.

That’s the only “issue” (although it’s not really a problem for me, you don’t have to change it if you don’t want to) I have with this. I didn’t mean to write this long, I hope this doesn’t come across as a negative response.

Overall, it’s really engaging and well-written. Can’t wait to read the full version. Awesome job, author! =D

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holy cow, Steinmetz was an awesome guy.

My favorite story about him was when he sacrificed the opportunity to have children and instead invited in a young family to his home who ended up becoming his family. Beautiful!

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Thank you @LutunkKasarunk, this is a great compliment to me! It’s always a fine line to play between introducing real science & not being so technical that you scare people away. :slightly_smiling_face: Also, thank you on your feedback regarding identities. I’ve seen multiple people mention this already and I’m definitely taking your concerns into account. This is something I intend to work into the chapters on my second draft. Frankly, I was mostly just trying to err on the side of caution to not make people feel uncomfortable in the era, but as you’ve correctly pointed out, my overcorrecting might also start coming across as erasure. What everyone really wants is to see their MC’s identity acknowledged by the game.

And also, don’t worry about your English for a second! It’s fantastic :relaxed:

Ah yes, in playthroughs that feature Bertha more heavily, Steinmetz might fall in the background, as she will be the more logical choice for engineer.

He really was!!! Originally, I was looking for a natural antagonist for Tesla, and found out that Steinmetz was to General Electric what Nikola was to Westinghouse. Steinmetz was the sole person who understood Tesla’s work well enough that he could enable General Electric to consolidate their DC grid with Tesla & Westinghouse’s superior AC grid. But then when I started looking into him as a person, I found that he was so much more fascinating than that. I realized he could be a vehicle to tell a story about disability and environmentalism. Other than his botanical garden for disfigured plants and animals, he cared for all the children in Schenectady, invested into schools, created programmes for children with disabilities, built facilities, etc. He was also a radical Socialist who went so far to be in direct correspondence with Lenin! In fact, some say that Lenin’s statements about electrification being the key to worker emancipation stemmed from the ideas he got from Steinmetz.

There’s a short booklet about his life and political activity on the Internet Archive, I recommend the read. I have some exciting things planned for him in Chapter 9. :relaxed:

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Truly an amazing game. I cannot express in such a short comment how much I appreciate you writing this! You are so talented. Keep up the great work and thanks for providing us with this excellent work in progress.

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I’ve played through a couple times now and I’m really loving the game so far. Rambly comments under the cut.

Summary

The prose is excellent, I love all the characters and I especially adore one (1) gangly science man. I even found things to like about Edison, against whom I admit I have a substantial grudge.

It’s interesting playing a game like this while knowing what I know about Tesla’s history. Like whether or not to let him go home to see his mother was particularly gutting knowing the historical context. That whole balance between the fair, Tesla leaving, and the protest was rough, but in a good “stories need conflict and meaningful choices” kind of way.

The Emma Goldman cameo if you ask Clemens for help with the protest made me very happy.

I liked your point about the scene at the fair you can get with Tesla is bittersweet because you have to keep him from his mother to get it. Like it might be hard to guess how events are going to play out if you aren’t familiar with his story, but it’s clear to me at least that going back to Smiljan is important to him and this choice will have narrative weight even if you don’t believe in his vision. So even if you don’t know what’s going to happen, letting him leave still comes off as the “right” decision for his mental health specifically. I saved right before that choice because I wanted to see what would happen at the fair and that “date” is really sweet, but then I felt horrible for keeping him in from going home and I reloaded my save lol.

I look forward to seeing the updates you mentioned, I am definitely pro this expanded unrequited love route. And as a side note, as a fellow ace I really appreciate the preservation of Tesla’s asexuality and aromanticism. It would have been really easy to just make him shy and awkward and gloss over the historical evidence that he was almost certainly both ace and aro, so I really do appreciate that fidelity to his character even if it means the MC can’t give the poor man a hug. I will happily take a “platonic life-partners” option instead.

I am really looking forward to see what comes of those letters, don’t think I didn’t notice Viereck’s wet shoes. I had to google the Valknut to be sure because that group steals every symbol not nailed down and I’m less familiar with that aspect of Tesla’s life, but I am very :eyes: :eyes: :eyes: to see how that part pans out.

The newspaper clippings are a fun way to flesh out the setting and to see the impact the characters are having on the world over time, are those ads based at all on real ads from the time? The hyphen one in particular made me laugh, hardcore gramamticists and linguists just be like that.

I second this I am also soft and weak for domestic fluff.

Anyway, I am hyped to play the full game and if there’s going to be a beta sign me the heck up, I’ll keep an eye out for that announcement. Keep up the excellent work!

Some errors/inconsistencies I noticed:

Summary

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This seems to be an age inconsistency .

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Missing closed quotation mark

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Missing paragraph break

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Should this be “cracked”?

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Unfortunately it looks like italics and underlining text are mutually exclusive

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Missing paragraph break? The person speaking switches mid-paragraph

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This seems like a line for Marion, not Lewis

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Missing capitalization

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Wait a month ago you came here with almost completed game dropped it here and just asked for feedback ? Honestly my friend that alone shows that you are prepared for COG, seriously its far more than 99% of authors do. even 4 chapters is well above average. and the whole thing is both using you position in life to be able to show something unusual AND focusing on very interesting concept by itself.

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Oh and regarding Nikola family choice being able to allow him the visit and still knocking edison out of the park is awesome. BTW i ended with hilarious situation where i started with big empathy and mixed engineering and then somehow my showmanship became my second biggest stat with business rising into middling and rest into high. but i admit that at the time when Bertha was introduced we really needed her :D.

Also: MORE MORE. I want to perform The Conquest of Electricity

Also Westinghouse relationship is bit weird since its sitting at 37% after basically staying with him and giving up royalities etc, i kinda thing its a bit too hard to raise and same with Bertha i think Bertha needs one more interaction or so but Westinghouse needs more there, unless i missed all early opportunities to raise it its just weird.

Also love how you even managed to weawe in the various characters in. An actual diversity without it feeling forced not only perfectly natural not only not detracting from the story but enhancing it, and using Twain as sort of your introductinion Genius, even managed to pull Eugene Debs without it feeling that the commentary is the only purpose there, you basically work of art that both message and yet the story isnt only vehicle for it, from somebody who is very very critical of the Idpol stuff and very reely of anything that even smells like it in the slighest, i can tell you, you showed everyone how it should be done.

Now i kinda want sequel with the Cafe in Vienna. Cafe Landtmann
I honestly believe you could do it.

Also this:
The year is 1897. You are 31 years old.
Nikola Tesla is a darling of the press, a household name.
Your laboratory has $670100 in its research & development budget.
Its benefactor is the general public.

I really dont know how i got so much even with free elecricity.

Anyways if you need betatester im yours.

BTW im kinda interested what triple combo of free elecricity winning the union fight perfectly and waiting with pulitzer and letting him investigate will do to Morgan. im perfectly setup for pounding him i feel. also i just love the public beeing high risk high reward as you can basically triple what the secret society offers you etc.

I also kinda hope there is a way to make up with Lewis considering i sent Nicola home and i had to deal with the convention, Considering im succesfully going for free power and well set to knock down FREAKING MORGAN i think i have some ground to stand on that i had to make use of limited resources and that i wouldnt be here where i can help him. Frankly Tesla going to see to his dying mother for last goodbye and me needing to you know actually have money to change the world for better is combo at innoportunate time.

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Heyy, everyone! You all have seriously floored me with your positive feedback. I can’t believe it’s still trickling in. I keep taping your kind words to my wall and I’m starting to run out of space. :heartpulse: And in the meantime, through a series of unlikely events, the WIP made its way to some new friends in game dev :eyes: who then passed it along to a Twitch streamer they collab with, and so, War of the Currents was streamed on his channel here! I’ve never watched a person play through it live before, it was nerve-wracking, haha. Also I felt bad for what I put him through with all those German words :sweat_smile:

I’d love to stream it myself someday when it’s finished. Now we just need Twitch integration to have viewers vote on options, hey mods?? :thinking:

And I cannot express how much your kind words mean to me. Thank you. Seriously. I really had no idea what to expect sharing this–I was primed for the worst. When you’re there in the trenches and seeing how the sausage is made, all you can see is the imperfections and missed opportunities.

Thank you @SirEdmund on your detailed feedback. This is all I ever wanted, to infect someone else with the Tesla brain worms I’ve been living with all these years. Reading his biographies is what got me through undergrad and inspired me to stick with a career in physics when it was tough. I even worked at the Tesla museum in Zagreb for a while, manning the emergency switch for the Tesla coil while it shot millions of volts of lightning at people as they screamed inside a Faraday cage. You can see where the inspiration came from :grin:

(When it’s safe for me to travel again, to celebrate the completion of this monstrosity of a novel, I’d like to take a trip to the Belgrade Tesla museum to pay respects to his ashes. Perhaps I could post some photos here after…)

Indeed, I feel like there is so much revisionism surrounding his figure these days that I really wanted to drive home the point of who he was and which communities he belonged to. I know there was a lot of public backlash in the Balkans when some activists tried to honor him as an LGBTQ+ figure for Pride month a few years back. I want to dispel that denial and be rebellious in my portrayal.

That said, we may never know the truth behind his celibacy. In my research over the years, I’ve come to suspect he wasn’t a virgin as it was so commonly reported. (A cousin of his reported that he had a womanizing past when he lived as a gambler and barfly in his student days, though that may or may not be true. Could be he was only pursued.) It might also be that he had had to hide his sexual tendencies, as gay men in the public eye did back in the day. I just love seeing photographs and anecdotes of his fraternal intimacy with men, including kissing the hands of poets and artists he adored, though public displays of male physical intimacy were also less stigmatized in the era. See below: Nikola at 85, at dinner with the famous Croat-American boxer, the “Croat Comet” Fritzie Živić, in 1941. This is one of the only few photographs in existence in which he is smiling.

tesla_zivich640

You might also come across the photograph below, claiming to depict a young Tesla as a swimming instructor in New York, and often touted as proof that he had a flirtatious streak. Sadly, this photograph is misattributed, and that’s not Tesla in the photograph! Though he was indeed a great swimmer, trained from childhood in the rapids in the mountains of Smiljan.

I have so much fun writing those. More often than not, excerpts will be delivered verbatim as they were printed in the era. The hyphen was indeed one of those things. And just wait until the NYT loses the dot at the end of the title!

And thanks so much for the line edits, I’m going to jump back in and fix those right away! :heart:

Hmm, you’re right. I will indeed need to go back and balance out some of the stats to make sure they propagate through the story correctly. If some of the stats feel neglected or imbalanced, this is probably because at this point I’m not able to survey the big picture and I’m just laying down the train tracks as I go, like a cartoon:

tenor

This is a good question, lol. I’m wondering myself. Did you have a lot of money before you crowdfunded already? Did you have the scene where the lab was burning and you rescued the money?

Super long reply from me again, I know, I couldn’t resist… And if you want to see more photo threads, I’ve got so many favorite lesser-known Tesla pictures just waiting :innocent:

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I really love the game! It has a really interesting cast of characters and it’s fun to explore history in a rare seen angle.

Bug Summary

I hired Lewis instead of Marion, but when I joined the strike the text treated as if I hired her, with him saying me “destroying my father”, which didn’t make sense for Lewis.

I also wonder why my MC is invited to the strike at all, seeing that it’s not even their company’s matter.

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I really like the game and it’s setting!
There is however one small scientific inaccuracy.
In the scene where Brown is electrocuting the dog, Tesla says that Brown only raised the voltage and the current was set at low and it is the current that kills.

This is quite a common misconception. If you have high voltage with the current supply limited then as soon as the circuit is closed, the voltages drops substantially.

To sustain a high voltage you need to either provide a high current source or an object with high resistance (in this case the resistance is constant and dogs are not known as good resistors).

And the statement, “It is the current that kills” is incomplete. The correct statement would be, "It is the current and the voltage, hand in hand that kills).

This equation shows the relation between Voltage, current and resistance.
V = voltage
I = current
R = resistance

V = I R
Suppose our voltage is say 10,000 V and the dog’s resistance is 100 ohms
Then to maintain the 10,000v we would need to supply
I = V / R
I = 10,000 / 100
I = 100 A

If the current supply is limited then the voltage would drop to match the current, so if the current is limited to, let’s say 10 A then

V = 1 A x 100 ohm
V = 100v
the voltage would drop to 100 volts.

For a better explanation see this:

I don’t want to be a nitpicking party popper but it seemed weird to have this misconception in such a good quality game, especially when it is about electricity.

Sorry for the long text.

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thats the thing i saved the blueprients, i basically won every PR battle but even so and with free elecricity it still seems a bit too much. Like i get that free elecricity is uniquelly well suited to take advantage of 20th century kickstarter if you are loved by public but still, Like how much would that be in today dollars ?

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Minor but somewhat jarring mistake in the Niagara chapter: The underlining of “only” in the mystery letter isn’t working. (Can’t quote it properly because the Discourse software forces the HTML to work.)

Also, I was a little surprised when, when the paparazzi respected journalists caught me and Marion together, I had the option to say I was seeking her hand for marriage. I’m playing a woman. Is this intentionally an option?

…Okay, as much as I appreciate it, this feels like a real bug. I just asked Pulitzer to help us fundraise and got this.

The current of time accelerates. The next year, you launch a public funding campaign with the help of Pulitzer’s New York World. Your reputation precedes you. You’re fortunate that people recognize Mr. Tesla’s face. You manage to raise 660000 dollars.

I know I’ve been keeping Tesla’s rep up, but how are we getting a performance that good? Especially since it means our lab is independent, and this is well before the age of Kickstarter. :slight_smile:

On that note, could it be possible (if we have a certain amount of money) to go “no investors, we’re flying this on our own money?”

Regarding the Tesla books: Should distributing them for free cost money for the printing?

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Love your pfp, yennefer ftw :sunglasses::heart:

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