This is the v0.1 demo of my first Choicescript game called “The Murder of Shaun Denver”, a gritty, crime story set in the early 80’s. You get to play as an FBI Agent assigned to a case with your new partner where you have to figure out the murder of yet another man killed in a series of bizarre yet similar and possibly-linked murders.
In its current playable demo state, the word count is at approximately 10,000 words. So far, I’ve written over 45,000 words (including code) but I am yet to code all of that into a fully playable demo. Nevertheless, I wanted to share the beginning with you.
Very interesting story. I can’t wait to see how it ends. I have run into a couple issues tho. I’ve only had the chance to play as a woman interested in men but there were a number of pronoun slip ups for both MC and Agent Kelly. I also cannot continue to the chapter after attempting to question Mrs. Denver, it just gets stuck infinitely loading.
I’m not sure what it is, but I don’t feel like I have a lot of agency/control over the MC?
The MC hitting on Kelly unprompted was especially grating, but that’s probably because we very rarely see that in CS games.
Anyway, nice to see more crime/murder investigation stories, and good luck with the writing.
Crime stories are always fun to play, encountered a few grammar issues, As previously stated One of the bigger issues is the lack of the control we have over the MC, it kinda feels like
I select my two strengths and then I kinda just watch my MC do all the work without much interaction from the reader if that makes sense, sorry if I seem harsh, just want this to do well…
I have to say I’m a huge fan of detective stories and I enjoyed how it started off. My only thing is I don’t feel like our choices affect much, especially the relationship with Agent Kelly. As another poster said there’re glitches in Kelly’s responses as male. Nevertheless I like it so far!
One thing I really loved about the demo is the constant date and time updates, gave a very methodical vibe to the overall thing. One question, are there going to be any paranormal elements in the story at all?
Also, regarding the story being set in the 80s, are there any specific reasons you chose that decade? I expect a few pop culture references, though. DeLoreans? Spandex? Michael Jackson? Denim jackets? Permed hair? I’m trying very hard to contain my 80s obsession right now.
I concur with the others saying that the MC seems like they have a personality of their own, making the reader feel disconnected which might break immersion often. More on this below.
Here's some feedback.
You turn your head to look at him. A tall, overweight man in his forties. He’s looking straight ahead, sweat dripping down his forehead as if the elevator ride is a physical challenge of sorts for him. For a second, you wonder whether he gets his wages paid to him in donuts.
This part is a little bothering. I wouldn’t say it’s that bad, but I personally wouldn’t think in that way if I encountered an overweight man, and neither would I want my MC to. Maybe get rid of that last line or reword it? It felt kinda douchey.
She must’ve really hated his guts, you think to yourself. Thank God you didn’t say it out loud.
Again, the MC making instant assumptions with no agency from the reader. Maybe include a choice on how to feel about it? For example,
a) She must’ve really hated his guts, you think to yourself.
b) That’s… sad.
c) There must be more to this.
“Stabbing her husband in the gut then cutting his throat? How bad was the marriage, huh?” you joke dryly.
This is similar to the one above. It feels like we’re playing a character with a preset personality. What if I find this a very inappropriate situation to joke about?
Shall we?" you say to your partner in an exagerrated, British accent.
Once again, I feel very disconnected from the MC. Maybe a choice on how to respond?
You exelled in your class, especially in…
You stand in front of the crowd in the elevator, having you walked in last
The bolded you is unnecessary.
No, not at the moment anyway. Just looking forward to meeting these wife we’ve been hearing about" she replies.
The house that is the address you were giving is taped off from passers-by by intimidating, yellow tape.
You notice that one knife is missing
There should be a full stop after that sentence.
You notice some stange, greenish dust on the counter against the wall to the right of the sink.
…You know, I might be getting on a bit but I’m not blind?"
With her blonde hair tussled and dark with grease,…
I’m here to help you and figure out what really."
I think it should be …what really happened.
She reminded me of many heroine addicts I dealt with.
Cos tonight we’ll need to have a look at it.
Using ‘Cos’ here feels out of place. Maybe use 'Cause?
Good luck! As if you couldn’t tell, I am very excited for this.
I agree that the MC feels a bit like they have their own personality already, but the examples you provided were all, I’m fairly certain, intended as jokes. Whether you found them funny or not is gonna determine If you’re OK with your MC saying/thinking it. So that’s very subjective. The only way to really solve the “problem”, if you will, would be to provide the choice as to what the MC was saying/thinking in those moments.
I personally found at least the first one pretty funny.
That’s exactly what I was suggesting. I don’t intend for the author to completely change parts of their story for my sake. A simple *fake_choice would be great. It’s true that those instances are subjective, but that’s the problem – you found the first instance funny, I didn’t. Nothing wrong with that, but I ended up feeling detached from the MC. Making a joke about it could still be an option, as could there be an option to not to.
Agent Kelly likes to magically switch gender from time to time. Don’t we all? But seriously, I’ll be working on minimizing the chances of that happening, I have my own version of the story just for the sake of easier visioning and writing. Thanks for your feedback! I’ll be working on fixing that!
You’re not harsh at all. It’s definitely a major issue that will need work on, has been outlined by other comments too. For a CoG game the character has to be as neutral as possible for the reader to be able to forge their own character & story. Still a lot of work to be done, thank you!