WIP: The Song of Exile (PUBLIC BETA - 18/08/2021)

I have recently started working on my low-magic medieval fantasy title, The Song of Exile.

Blurb:

Once, you had a bright future in front of you: one of the most brilliant students of the healing arts, not to mention a child of the man who changed the course of a civil war, you seemed to be destined to be a physician to princes and a power behind thrones. Instead, a great scandal with darkness at its heart lands you in a semi-genteel exile in service to a minor household in the far north.

However, what seems to be a place of silent, grave-like peace soon turns out to be anything but. The countryside is still bearing the scars of the war; the hearts are brimming with old grudges, and the woods are teeming with outlaws. Politicking doesn’t cease just because of the physical distance from the court, either.

And, of course, there is the matter of the landowner you now serve – a noble-born warrior who seems to have come into their inheritance mercilessly early. They seem a quiet and capable leader, impervious to pain, but they have scars and secrets of their own…

Features
  • Play as male or female, gay or straight;
  • Uncover the secrets of the ancient castle;
  • Take part in a deadly duel;
  • Become a physician of rare boldness, a chronicler of forgotten histories, or concentrate on returning the old estate its bygone splendour;
  • Witness the brilliance of a three-day tournament;
  • Explore the world of a medieval community, from monasteries to gambling dens;
  • Delve into your own dark past.
Updates

10/07/2021 - several endings changed
27/06/2021 - romance-related scenes in chapters 3 and 5 added, other scenes modified
16/06/2021 - public beta opened
13/06/2021 - chapter 8 added
22/05/2021 - (short) chapter 7 added
05/05/2021 - chapter 6 added
23/04/2021 - chapter 5 added
Update 09/04/2021

  • Chapter 4 is uploaded
  • An input name and surname option added
    27/03/2021 - 2 chapters + a bit of the 3d included in the demo

Public beta: https://dashingdon.com/go/8026

Now that the beta is open, I am looking for both high-level (structure, plot, characters arcs, worldbuilding) and low-level (particular scenes, dialogue, typos etc.) feedback - not to mention possible technical issues.

Tumblr page

293 Likes

Haven’t finished, but I’m really liking it so far. Should probably put that the noble man can be a noble woman cause I got Edwina lol.

4 Likes

Will do!

1 Like

can you add a plot where i can steal the throne

The MCs a doctor lol

7 Likes

I’m really intrigued by what I’m reading! It seems like an interesting plot, and the worldbuilding is good and easy to visualize. I can’t wait to find out what we’ll do to solve that nice little problem the demo ends on. We haven’t met many characters but the ones we have met seem to be nicely thought-out and have their own motivations.

The three different paths we can take to spend a day are all very interesting in their own right, and I find it hard to choose one! Will we still meet the people from the infirmarius branch if we take one of the other two?

I’d like to see (mostly because I’m just a nosy person) a quick list & description of the characters/ROs.

I also had a question about a choice in the exploring the castle path; what are the conditions to say that we think his family supported the rightful king? I played a couple of times but it was always greyed out.

Just two quick pieces of feedback (that might be more personal preference than not);

  1. I’d like to be able to choose our first name, if possible, especially since we can choose our surname :’)
  2. I think it would be nice to describe the characters more, or their reactions, or just generally learn more about their vibe. I find that the setting is described more than the cast that inhabits it, and while I’m super interested in learning more about where the story happens, I’d also like to have more information on how the characters are looking, what their voice sounds like, whether they’re wringing their hands at a difficult topic they’re broaching with you or standing tall, etc.
For example

When we confront Edward about his family supporting Edwin. He isn’t shown reacting to our presence at all, which is strange. Is he surprised at having his healer come to his rooms like this? Is he indifferent, intrigued, shocked at the impropriety, etc. There’s a fair bit of dialogue, but little description of Edward during the scene. What does he sound like when he utters Edwin’s name? Is he angry, is his mouth set in resignation at being yet again faced with the mistakes of his father, is he surprised MC is approaching him about this? Just small details like this would help us get a better idea of who the characters are, rather than what they are (a lord, a steward, etc).

11 Likes

Thank you for the feedback!

  1. You would meet Nella again later, but only if you chose one of the more clement options of dealing with her

  1. You can choose a pro-Elwin reply if you held a conversation with Morkar and chose to be swayed to his side by him.

2 Likes

the concept sound nice. But I would change the description of the master/mistress to they/them if you want to give the option to make him female. It could feel like you arent playing “the right way” otherwise (just a suggestion if the character is meant to be primarily male it does make sense to keep it that way)

2 Likes

Ok, will rephrase it!

Hi, I haven’t got far but I noticed we can only choose from the list of the names but we have to input our surname? That’s a little odd :joy: Especially with a setting we are unfamiliar, it might be helpful to have lore-friendly surnames.
And can you be bisexual in this game?

6 Likes
  1. I’m thinking about inserting a multiple choice for surnames, too
  2. yes.
2 Likes

Ah, that’s great - I was wondering if the choice at the beginning was locking me into something :joy:
I finished reading the demo and it was very enjoyable - I love me some low-fantasy political intrigue WIPs :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

I really liked how we could become friends with the herbalist in medical path and I’m wondering if you can meet her in other paths?
The scene where we uncover the truth about the past allegiance of our Lord was also very impactful.

Is there any romance in the game?
Also, there are inconsistencies in pronouns. For example, when I go to visit the infirmary (or something like that), the man who greets me refers to me as " a man of his hearts", “son of statesman” and other things like that. Here is an example:

2 Likes

WoW this is very interesting but it feels SO weird reading this.

3 Likes

@DearestAnnabel a small typo:
“On the other hand, you wouldn’t have been the man you are if you simply made peace with life’s tortures.” My MC is female.

5 Likes

I have also noticed through out my play so far that playing as a woman I am consistently seeing man spoke as description as well as conversation as being a man.

3 Likes

Thank you for the replies - I’ll comb the text for pronouns mistakes!

1 Like

Substituted the words you’ve pointed out for ‘person’.

1 Like

Short, but seems interesting. Hope you will add the possibility of randomizing the name of the mc.

3 Likes

Oh, interesting game. I’m not able to give really constructive feedback for now, I think - it was really short. But I’ll be waiting for more, and play at least one or two more updates before deciding if it’s my thing.

I would like to ask a couple of questions though!

  • The “features” section of the original post states the players can make the MC straight or gay, so I assume the game has a romance aspect. Would it be possible to have a section for the RO/s in the original post? I rarely play games where I can’t check the ROs beforehand - this was one of the rare exceptions, but I’d still rather know.
  • What is the stats vs roleplay ratio in this game? Is this a game that is heavily stat-focused and where min-maxing may be a necessary thing, or is it story-focused with the ability to roleplay as one wish without facing bad endings? Or something in between?
6 Likes