(WIP) Vampire’s Kiss: Dance of the Night (Heart's Choice) - progress: 50k

Also vote for ferrets, having made little coats for a pair of them* out of Army surplus socks. They were hilariously in love with the things, even more when they got to go out and play in the snow.

*My sister in law’s

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I’m not going to use ferrets as they were not really pets until the 1980s (they were mostly used to protect grain stores, not a big thing for vampires).

However, I was going to have a villain who was a giant spider, and it is very cliche, so maybe a giant death ferret is funnier.

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What about something larger then? A goat for someone who wants to lean into the “evil” appearance/connotations of such a thing? Or maybe an exotic animal like a cheetah or jaguar or hyena? Something stupidly dangerous to keep like a wolf or a bear (or a cheetah or jaguar or hyena?) Something subversive like a man in a cage?

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I would absolutely befriend a cheetah, jaguar, or wolf.

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I suggest achievements for vampires who both maintain or mess up established history, that would be fun. (Controversial for some maybe but it would be interesting to see a world where Britain wins the War of Independence or at least maintaining more influence in the future of the USA.)

Obviously also stopping the Titanic from sinking, stopping the rise of those pesky dictators or saving Kennedy and Lennon.

That is the plan. There are some big changes and some very funny little ones.

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The wider scale of the story and leadership-focused elements seem like an interesting twist in the genre. Looking forward to it.

An early update this week, because Chapter 1 is finished!

(No, it isn’t, of course it isn’t. But sort of.)

I’ve finished the first pass of Chapter 1. It’s all written out, and comes in at a whopping 50,000 words. That’s greater than the first three chapters of Vampire’s Kiss combined, and makes me wonder if it might be better to break it into two distinct chapters.

It does conclude the adventure in 1777 New York, which includes: death (yours); death (not yours); otter (maybe yours); fight scenes; feeding scenes; future scenes; and a lot of hidden references to popular culture and strangeness from the 18th century. I mean, in-jokes aplenty, but, I hope, nothing that knocks someone away from the romance.

This first chapter does not have any major spicy. That will be an absolute possibility in Chapter 2 with some of the ROs, but this chapter has the tender slow-burn of stolen moments, hands touching hands, and one scandalous moment where someone shows her ankles. This is deliberate; the greatest feedback I had on the romances in Vampire’s Kiss (apart from the sex scenes being too brief) was the idea of a lack of connection with the ROs, and that the romances happened too fast.

Your wish is granted: this is going to take time. While you can set seeds for romance with four of the RO options (the fifth appears in Chapter 2), you can’t get more than a brief kiss from one of them. All of them need a closer connection than that, and it’s something you’ll have to develop over time.

Anyway, yay! Chapter 1 is finished. Sort of. It needs a polish, it needs coding, and it needs a little script doctoring to punch up the dialogue and smooth out the beats (particularly the ones where I went ‘oooh! No! Let’s have that happen!’ and veered off).

Time for a breather.

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I’ve coded in the potential names for the otter, now. In case anyone is curious. (There’s also the option to name it yourself.) These are all names accurate for pets in 1777.

  • Tarka
  • King George
  • David Garrick
  • Yankee-Doodle
  • JOHN HANCOCK
  • Splendid Bobbin
0 voters
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I like Tarka as a pet’s name but Splendid Bobbin made me lol so I voted for that one. :rofl:

Interesting news! Will there be an opportunity to transform a human romance interest into a vampire, with a detailed transformation?

Kind of?

You will be turned into a vampire in Chapter 1, you can turn a minor RO into a vampire, and you can turn your major RO thrall servant into a vampire.

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Changed the description based on the characters as written. The planned personalities just did not fit them any more.

Lazare: French, black hair, capable fighter - he’s a mix of cheeriness and introspection, doesn’t really get phased, occasionally has a passionate outburst of anger. He has personal motivations that run far deeper than they initially appear.

Romana: Czech, brunette, scholar - decided she was going to be super-eager rather than cold! Her character inspiration is Rachel Weisz in The Mummy and she’s pretty much up for any adventure.

Fred American. Blond, trickister - non-binary and changes between male and female as they desire (and, if you romance, as you desire). Fred’s defining quote is either ‘Indeed, I am rather vexing’ or ‘What, pray, is the reason for this last tryst before my departure? Oh, please do say it is a tryst! The scandal would be marvellous!’ Mischief is how Fred rolls.

Virginia British/American. White hair, mastermind - an older woman, Virginia is cold, calculating and usually the smartest person in any room. She wants you as an opponent, and you have to excite her mind if you want to romance her.

Wolfram Prussian, brunette hair, turns gray in later life - your personal servant and thrall, Wolfram’s loyalty is beyond question. He’s got a very dry, almost acid, sense of humor. Think Alfred from Batman.

Other ROs are available throughout history depending on time period but those are the main selections.

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The characters sound a lot of fun! As does the concept - a long immortality as a vampire has lots of scope for romance and rivalries as things change over time. (I just started watching the new Interview with a Vampire series and have been enjoying it!)

May I ask to check whether I’m reading right, is Fred a literal shapeshifter (as opposed to a genderfluid person whose physical body doesn’t change), and are there other major/romanceable nonbinary characters in the game along with them?

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Yes, Fred is a vampire who can physically change between man and woman (and can potentially change your character’s gender if you wish) in an ability they describe as skin-shaping; in later eras Fred reverts to non-binary unless you specifically prefer otherwise.

(It is one of three powers added; skin-shaping; speaking to animals; and one I am not going to share atm.)

There is a non-binary mortal romance in one of the eras. But of the five major ROs, two are women, two are men, and one is variable.

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The first chapter has been sent to Heart’s Choice. This is a big milestone, particularly as, at 50,000 words (strictly speaking, 50,145 over 3,122 lines of code) this is roughly the size of the first three chapters of Vampire’s Kiss combined.

Why have I find the words flowing for this wheras VK took about… well, five months to get to that point? The short answer is that I know what I’m doing with the code now - what’s possible and what isn’t - and I know the story I’m telling on this one. Each chapter is, in essence, its own, closed and confined story, whereas for VK the chapters were part of a different story each time. Also, and this is on me, I found a way to write a story that worked for me. Writing in Notepad+ is awful for my creative juices - you can’t just type away as I prefer to do. However, writing in Word was causing all kinds of code errors, not least smart quotes, which ChoiceScript, the language of the game, really does not like one little bit.

I have now found a program I can use that doesn’t do that, allowing me to craft the story as I want, and then go back and add the code in a second pass (while tightening up certain narrative beats). It functions for me. However, none of that matters, because the next stage of the proceedings is the editor at Heart’s Choice (who is wonderful) to look through my code, give feedback, and tell me what’s working and what isn’t.

The main narrative update is a change to the character personalities. Originally, Romana was going to be cold and aloof, but I decided to give that character trait to Virginia. Instead, she’s become more quirky and a little bit like Rachel Weisz in The Mummy (swoon). Very much eager for adventure, but also incredibly naive.

In Chapter 2, you’ve been a vampire for about 30 years. So you’ll see more maturity in your choices, fewer character-defining options as the personality becomes locked, and more expressions depending on what kind of personality you have. Really, this is where all those decisions you made start to pay off or otherwise, and begin to sculpt the story.

Chapter 2’s setting is the Napoleonic Wars and the chaos of Paris. The changes aren’t quite as pronounced historically as in the 1777 chapter, but they’ll still fill all kinds of interesting variables as you begin the adventure. However, the first chunk of code is a little epistolary where we find out what you have been up to for 30 years, plus a little kinky vampire feed fun (if you want - you can just talk/feed) with three possible minor ROs, including one non-binary. It also has a really nerdy series of literary jokes in there.

That can wait, though. First, we need to get Chapter 1 approved!

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Be still my heart!

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I swoon with you, Rachel’s awesome :heart_eyes: and I think your character will be awesome, too :smile:

Romana or Fred? Someone’s doing a Doctor Who deep cut there… :yum:

I’m sure it’s a total coincidence she gets the name Romana Dvorak-Trelawney at one point… :wink:

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