[WIP] Runner's Shadow


Ahoy there everybody. I’ve seen many many threads before this in the same vein so I’m mandated to start this off with how I’m a long-term lurker. I have bought and gone through a majority of the stories on CoG in the past couple of years and I personally am hooked to this stuff.
I’ve been hankering to write out my first interactive fiction for a good year or so now, but I haven’t grasped the coding necessary for it before CJW came out with his incredible tool. To be honest, I started yesterday and I’m still experimenting with the coding, but after I got the hang of it I started writing it out more on Notepad++ with constant testing on CJW’s toolset so it’s in working condition as I progress.

On with it. Like I said, I started yesterday with a great deal of inspiration from going through Vendetta and Tin Star, or what is uploaded of them. I estimate I am currently somewhere between 5000-6000 words and I have merely scratched the surface of the story. It’s a dystopian cyberpunk-ish setting with influences from real life advances in technology, books by William Gibson and several cyberpunk movies I have seen over the year.

My goal is to write a single piece of interactive fiction with four concurrent and interwoven stories of four very different kind of people in different walks of life and situations. I don’t wish to spoil any key plot details yet, but I do wish to get some feedback from more experienced people. I’ve noticed many people here have experience in using CS and have a knack for identifying if a story has flow or style, something I don’t have when it comes to my own writing. I often find myself overly critical. Any and all feedback is even now more than welcome.
The only experience I have with writing stories comes from forum-based roleplaying. I have written some short stories before, but nothing I would publish or like to be published. Hopefully I can deliver a good style for interactive fiction with my experiences, but ultimately I’ll let you decide.

The link to the dropbox will be below. I will be updating it constantly as time allows and as I make progress.
Currently I have finished the basic intro and character set-up for all four characters. I have been concentrating on bringing the story for the rich character (top route) to the point where the stories intertwine for the first time, after which I will dedicate more to the other three characters and again jump forward in the plot.
With the way I am writing now and with the plot I have outlined for myself, I would not be surprised if the story ends up having somewhere near 200,000 words for each character alone. I need to keep reminding myself to put in more interactivity and choices, I don’t want to railroad the player but especially at the beginning I will be forced to do so.

Linksterino: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/240460362/Runner's%20Shadow/web/index.html

Lords of Aswick: The search for BETA testers is already over!

@Goshman Didn’t play much now, but will do a full playthrough and report any bugs tomorrow. Just posting this to say a few things: 1) Your writing is great. 2) I love arcologies a lot.


Your writing is pretty good


I like it but I got an error telling me to refresh.


Thank you all for the feedback so far.
As for the writing, not too shabby for someone with English a second language, I suppose. I will try and keep it up to par for the rest of the project.

I have updated the files on dropbox to bring the rich route to the brink of a plot point with some spelling and bug fixes I noticed. Hopefully I did not mess the code up at any point, I didn’t spot anything in any case. If you come across an error you cannot get past, that is more than likely as far as I have gotten in that particular plot.
I will begin writing the other three plots tomorrow and hopefully get past the combined 10,000 word mark by tomorrow night.


Wow I really like it beautifully written


Very cool. There is a nice balance struck between ‘Futuristic’ and ‘Plausible,’ - which is a difficult knack to master. I’d certainly like to know more of the setting.


Once again, it should be updated. I added some flavour if you choose to have augmentations with results varying. I tested it a couple of times and seems to work fine as far as coding goes. I’m having some issues wrapping my head around the *if command, because sometimes it gives an error and sometimes not, depending on my phrasing. Just need to be careful with that.
Like I said, it will be updated on a rapid pace, at least this week. Before I get to the really plot-heavy stuff. Don’t want to spoil it for any testers.

And thank you again for the comments :slight_smile:

@Drazen: That is generally what I strive for, so thank you very much. I am personally extremely interested in plausible technology, such as arcologies, smart watches, holographic displays and stuff like that. We’re getting there already and in the story it’s the early 22nd century, so it should be rather commonplace by then. There will be occasions where I will drop some commentary on the state of technology and society changes that are happening now, but I will try to either mask it or keep it short. There’s already some commentary in there about corporations, as would be expected with the setting being what it is.
As I bring the three other points of view up to the level that the rich route is in right now, you should have a rather comprehensive idea of the setting, with each story bringing something new to the table. The further down you go, the more traditional of a cyberpunk setting it will become as the characters live less sheltered lives.

As you can tell, my style with this is to encourage replayability. There are variations and flavour within the four main paths through the story which I aim to make rewarding by themselves (such as augmentation and background variables) but you will never get the full story if you don’t play it at least four times, once with each level of wealth.


found this error when you stop the virus
line 237: Non-existent command ‘goto_commend’


line 102: Invalid expression at char 5, expected no more tokens, found: OPERATOR [%]
when you pick some cybernetic option.


Our apologies; there was a 404 error while loading game data. Please refresh your browser now; if that doesn’t work, please email support-external@choiceofgames.com with details. when you pick the poorest mc after choosing your name.


line 100: invalid indent, expected at least one ‘choice’ when you pick a step above poorest option.


line 173: Invalid expression at char 5, expected no more tokens, found: OPERATOR [%]
when you postpone the test.


First one a simple mistyped command, which I thought I had already spotted before uploading but one apparently slipped through. Second and fifth me screwing up a stat increase commands. Those are fixed and the files are now updated. I also fixed an *if command error caused by me forgetting to put quotes around the variable text in the occasion where you rip the wires out of the wall.

Thank you for pointing those out.

The other two are caused by not writing out and uploading the scenes for the poor and lower-class characters but I will double-check that once I start writing them out in the morning.


@Goshman Just a thought, you may find it useful to use bits of placeholder code to catch playtesters when they wander into areas still under development, and simply redirect them back a step (just helps to avoid some game-stopping errors). Something along the following lines, perhaps:

*label returnhere

Story narrative here

  #Option 1 text
    Story narrative here
    *goto nextbit
  #Option 2 text
    *goto deadend
  #Option 3 text
    *goto deadend

*label deadend
Sorry, this section is still under development.
*page_break Go back a step...
*goto returnhere

I’ve used *choice as a typical example of this type of thing, but it could just as easily apply to *if/*else statements still being worked on, and for situations where you would normally have a *finish or *goto_scene but that next scene file doesn’t yet exist, etc.


I made a temporary ending scene, to which everything now eventually redirects. I am well behind on my plans to type out the other three plots due to getting a bit caught on fixing up the code in the rich route. I am now concentrating my efforts on the poor route to give a view of the real dystopia and less the utopian extravagance the rich people live in.

Back to work, I still have a good six hours at least to work on this before sleep kicks in.


Okay take your time don’t rush it


This is a good game.




line 1: bad label tempend
Found this error after choosing my name