(WIP) When Cloud Waves Break (murder mystery/Lovecraftian horror) (UPDATED 12/05/2024)

Hello! After first posting in the Interest Check Thread back in January (see here), I now have a playable demo. It consists of chapters 1 and 2, and I’m currently working on chapter 3.

Description

After returning to your hometown of Golden Gulf, your older sister is brutally murdered. The method? Poison. The location? The Twin Suns restaurant, on its reopening night.

It’s up to you to find her killer. But it won’t be easy.

Between dealing with your hostile brother-in-law, the police force interfering every step of the way, and your own memories about why you left, you’re in for a rough time.

And that’s not even taking into account the weird dreams you’ve been having…

Features
  • Play as male, female, or non-binary; straight, gay, or bisexual.
  • Customize your sister: choose her name, her personality, and determine your relationship with her.
  • Choose between four possible occupations: actor, doctor, soldier, or dilettante.
  • Learn more about the history of Golden Gulf, how your family ties into it, and what it has to do with your sister’s murder.
  • And maybe stop a cult. Or join them. It’s up to you.
Romance Options (COMPLETE - UPDATED APRIL 25 2024)

Officer Wyatt Pierce (M):

  • Description: An officer of the Golden Gulf Police Department. He also used to be your neighbour when you were kids. Time changes people though. Can you love who he is now?
  • Appearance: Greying hair - younger than he looks. Massive claw marks across his face, burned into the skin.
  • Personality: He’s gruff and tired. Growing up in Golden Gulf, he learned to let many things slide. It weighs on him, made him callous. But then your sister died. Suddenly, he can’t be callous anymore. Not with her dead. And especially not when you’re here.

Officer Casey Young (NB):

  • Description: The officer from Augusta, sent to find and arrest the leader of the Burning Waters crime gang, Nina Wu. They don’t trust many people. Maybe you can be the exception?
  • Appearance: Faded tattoo of a monkey on their neck; wild hair; friendly, but cautious eyes.
  • Personality: They are kind, with a spine of steel, and will always do the right thing. Even if everyone turns against them and they risk losing everything. Make them care for you, though, and the choice will destroy them.

Evelyn Ross (F):

  • Description: Your brother-in-law’s administration assistant. Duty and logic drives her every action. To her, love is a silly afterthought. Maybe you can change her mind?
  • Appearance: Petite. Lustrous, thick hair. Bright eyes. Glasses. Conventionally attractive.
  • Personality: Her calculating mind is her greatest strength, but also her greatest weakness. She’s aware of all the possibilities stretching out before her, but also of the consequences. And it paralyzes her. But reassure her, become an anchor for her, and she’ll lift you up in turn.

Jeremiah/Jessamine Callahan (M/F):

  • Description: The sole survivor of the wealthy Callahan family. You grew up with their spouse, Riley. They’ve loved and they’ve lost. Maybe you can help them learn to love again?
  • Appearance: Hair braided in cornrows; ragged and tattered clothes; an air of sadness that hangs over them like a cloud.
  • Personality: They aren’t afraid to say what they think and have a very strong moral compass. But it can sometimes lead them to jumping to conclusions. Get them on your side though, and they’ll follow you to the very end. 'Til death do you part.

Oscar/Ophelia Lovelace (M/F):

  • Description: The interior designer contracted for the reconstruction. Love wasn’t enough to keep you in Golden Gulf. But maybe they can?
  • Appearance: Very tall and graceful; eccentric sense of style; an ever-present smile.
  • Personality: They project a polite and mild mannered façade. But their true personality emerges through their design work, which they are obsessively dedicated to. Catch their attention, though, and they’ll never let you go.

ROs are still a work in progress. More will be added in the future!

Inspirations

Agatha Christie mystery novels, Lovecraftian horror, The King in Yellow by Robert W Chambers, the TTRPGs Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition and Brindlewood Bay, and Slay the Princess by Black Tabby Games.

Changelog

12-05-2024

  • Overhauled relationship stats of all romanceable characters

  • Introduction

    • Updated description for Storyteller Mode
  • Chapter 1

    • Updated requirements for blocking Benjamin
  • Added rest of Chapter 3

    • In-depth description:
      • All Lucille scenes
        • Speaking with Lucille
        • Lucille’s half of the Evelyn/Lucille conversation
        • Eavesdropping on Lucille’s phone call
    • Staff room conversation
    • All JJ scenes
      • Updated JJ conversation - if speak/dance with JJ is 3rd activity and encounter variable is true
      • Dance with JJ - updated so you can dance with JJ if the met_jj variable is true
      • All Evie scenes
      • Evie conversation - dance and speak
      • Evie’s half of the Evie/Lucille conversation
    • Toast scene

30-03-2024

  • Choicescript_stats

    • Updated main stats page (a word)
    • Updated Casey Young’s description (a word)
    • Updated Lucille D’Angelo and Oscar/Ophelia Lovelace’s descriptions (a word)
    • Updated JJ’s description (accommodating new gender selectable status, updating description text)
  • Introduction

    • Added Storyteller Mode (toggleable on/off in Stats page)
    • Added JJ to the gender_option variable (previously, this only affected Lovelace)
  • Chapter 1

    • Added text to clarify setting of stats + sister’s personality (Storyteller Mode not required)
    • Updated Benjamin confrontation
    • Removed opportunity to ask Benjamin about himself - moved to chapter 3
    • Removed opportunity to investigate sister’s bedroom - this is being moved to a later chapter
  • Chapter 2

    • Updated to accommodate changes caused by the new version of the Benjamin confrontation
  • Chapter 3

    • The following parts of chapter 3 have been added and require testing:
      • Eavesdrop on Benjamin and Evelyn
      • Meet Jeremiah/Jessamine Callahan
      • Dance OR speak with Oscar/Ophelia Lovelace
      • Note 1: All parts that say INCOMPLETE have not been added yet. There is nothing there. You will get an error if you try any of those options.
      • Note 2: The dance section is labeled WIP because Oscar/Ophelia’s dance scene is complete.

DEMO (UPDATED 12-05-2024) | TUMBLR

114 Likes

I don’t know what Marcus is smoking. The intro is intriguing so far, and I would be interested in seeing how it unfolds!

3 Likes

Interesting, I’m looking forward for this. Bookmark!

1 Like

Are you perhaps a fan of V-Tubers?

My case: Calliope ( the second one I thought was only similar to a V-Tuber)

Tried it, liked what I saw of it. Wish I could have been more of an asshole to the brother in law, though.

I think you should put the “murder mystery/Lovecraftian horror” bit in the thread title. Would make it more appealing, imo, because the title doesn’t tell you anything about what kind of story it is.

1 Like

You had me at Lovecraftian horror mystery :star_struck:

Same with @KZV, I think you should put it on the topic tittle. Ngl at first I thought the game was about coming of age teenage romance :joy:

The premise is pretty cool, and I like that your writing is straightforward and easy to understand. A suggestion, though. I think that you should present choices in the way that makes it clear about its function, such as choosing MC’s skillset or the personality of the sister (especially the sister’s personality). I didn’t realize that when I chose to be slow to notice things, it will lock the choice to be unsociable. Similar to the sister’s personality, I was really confused when I see those choices, wondering what they were about and what was the point in choosing. Personally I find it hard to tell what personality the sister have based on those choices.

Also if it’s possible, could we have a little attitude with the brother in law? Maybe something along the line of “And I expect my brother in law would have some basic manners”.

Anyway, lovely game so far. Looking forward to the next update! :sparkling_heart:

2 Likes

I remember seeing your interest check post about this and being intrigued! This is a super fun start so far. I was a little confused when it came time to pick the stats, I agree that it could maybe be clearer what’s happening when you make those choices.

Benjamin seems awful, I like how you wrote him. I can already tell he’ll be something of a headache to deal with. I also loved the letter from the sister, it hooked me into the mystery right away!

1 Like

Thank you both!

I don’t actually follow any V-Tubers, so it’s actually just a funny coincidence. I just liked the name :slight_smile:

Updated, thanks guys :slight_smile:

I’ll admit I was running into a bit of a wall with Benjamin - I’d been staring at that scene for weeks at that point lmao, so I knew the MC would come off as super passive. I do plan on updating chapter 1 to allow you to give Benjamin more attitude - it’ll drop when I post chapter 3.

Thanks for bring this to my attention. I was debating whether to include the stat values in the beginning and decided against it, but I can definitely add it to make it more clear. Same with the sister personality, at least when choosing it at the start.

Maybe I could do it as a “storyteller” mode, although I don’t want to force anyone to have it to use it to enjoy the game

Benjamin is difficult, he became far more aggressive than I originally intended, but I actually think I like it better(?) lol. There’ll be opportunities to get to know him more later, and at that point, he’ll start to cool off and become friendlier.

6 Likes

This was really, really good. The dream sequence at the beginning was really well-written, as was the rest of the demo. Bookmarked and I’ll definitely be eagerly anticipating more!

2 Likes

Wonderful start! I am excited for the rest of this story and can’t wait for more!

1 Like

Thank you both, I appreciate it :slight_smile:

In other news, I’ve created a Tumblr blog. I’ve added the link to the main post. Feel free to pop over there if you’re interested.

I’d also like to introduce Casey Young as the first RO. I’ve added an ROs section to the main post with a brief description about them. Their introductory scene in chapter 2 will be updated after I’ve released chapter 3 and updated chapter 1.

That’s all for now. Hope everyone has a great rest of their day!

2 Likes

I really like it so far! I’m a big fan of mysteries. I don’t know if Officer Pierce is in the running as an RO, but I like him a lot. I like the dynamic he and the MC have.

One little note. The sister died last night, and it’s morning the next day and her family is already going through her stuff. It’s not impossible, it’s just a bit unbelievable. Like, she died and her husbands response was to make plans to go through her stuff as soon as possible. It can work, it just feels off at the moment

2 Likes

It makes sense that you’d be doing it, because she sent you a letter about “I’m being watched, I left something for you, old family secrets, etc etc etc”. Obviously you’ve got to go through her stuff.

Her husband has the kind of vibes that makes me think he wants to find that thing first.

Thank you! Regarding Pierce, I wanted to emphasize his and MC’s previous history with each other, so I’m glad it came across like I wanted it to.

I’ve been going back and forth about adding him as an RO. Mainly because MC knows something about him that hasn’t really been properly introduced yet, and that would effect any relationship they have with each other.

… Shoot, I knew I forgot something.

My initial draft had the story start a few days after the murder, but I changed it since the police questioning needed to happen as close to the incident as possible.

I need to go back and rework chapter 1 anyways, so I’ll add it to my list of things to do. Thanks!

4 Likes

Pretty cool

1 Like

Thank you kindly :slight_smile:

Main post has been updated again. I’ve added a second RO - Jeremiah/Jessamine Callahan - who will be introduced in chapter 3 (unrelated, but I like to call them JJ, even if they don’t call themselves that). In fact, most of the ROs I have planned are introduced in chapter 3, but I’ll hold off on that for now. Gotta keep some surprises :wink:

Also wanted to update on the progress I’ve made so far (demo has NOT been updated yet). Will put into dropdowns so people can avoid spoilers if they want to.

Storyteller Mode

I’ve added a Storyteller Mode, which can be toggled on/off from the stats menu. Taking into consideration what people have suggested, I’ve also included text to clarify the setting of MC’s stats and sister’s personality. Storyteller Mode does NOT need to be on to see this.

For skill tests, Storyteller Mode will show what stat is being used, but it won’t show the value that’s required to succeed. At the moment, I have it so that if you don’t meet the requirements, the option will be greyed out.

Storyteller Mode Example

Without Storyteller Mode:

With Storyteller Mode:

Chapter 1 Benjamin Confrontation Changes

I’ve also made changes to the Benjamin confrontation in chapter 1, playing up a bit more on the hostility of it.

Because of this, I’ve moved asking Benjamin about himself to chapter 3. He’s much more polite and open to the MC during the dinner (yk before his wife died), so it just makes sense.

I’ve also removed the scene of investigating your sister’s room. This will be happen in chapter 4 or 5 instead, since that’s when you’ll get your first opportunity to follow up on leads.

Chapter 3 Progress

About progress on chapter 3, the opening scene is done where everyone arrives at the dinner table. You get a brief introduction to them before the branching truly starts.

There’s a lot MC can do, but it’s not possible to do everything. Some options become unavailable and new ones are added in their place. Examples include: eavesdropping on private conversations, dancing with someone (JJ is a possible dance partner, but you have a very brief window of opportunity to ask them), speaking to certain people, etc.

For individual scenes, speaking to Benjamin is complete since I just had to adapt what I had from chapter 1. I’ve also completed the scene of speaking to JJ.

There’s also two other characters that you can dance with besides JJ who you can also talk normally with. I’ve completed the fallback(?) options in case this happens; you won’t learn any new info from them, but you’ll improve your relationship.

Anyways, that’s all I have for now. Thanks very much for supporting me in this project :slight_smile:

7 Likes

So I got impatient and decided to update before I completely finished chapter 3. Feel free to check out the new stuff using the updated link in the main post.

I’m looking for opinions on the updated chapter 1 as well as what’s currently available for chapter 3. Specifically for chapter 3, if you find any bugs or errors, please let me know. I’m positive that by the time I’m completely finished with it, it’ll be riddled with the things, so I really appreciate everyone’s help.

Full list of changes are under the details tab below.

All the changes!
  • Choicescript_stats
    • Updated main stats page (a word)
    • Updated Casey Young’s description (a word)
    • Updated Lucille D’Angelo and Oscar/Ophelia Lovelace’s descriptions (a word)
    • Updated JJ’s description (accommodating new gender selectable status, updating description text)
  • Introduction
    • Added Storyteller Mode (toggleable on/off in Stats page)
    • Added JJ to the gender_option variable (previously, this only affected Lovelace)
  • Chapter 1
    • Added text to clarify setting of stats + sister’s personality (Storyteller Mode not required)
    • Updated Benjamin confrontation
    • Removed opportunity to ask Benjamin about himself - moved to chapter 3
    • Removed opportunity to investigate sister’s bedroom - this is being moved to a later chapter
  • Chapter 2
    • Updated to accommodate changes caused by the new version of the Benjamin confrontation
  • Chapter 3
    • The following parts of chapter 3 have been added and require testing:
      • Eavesdrop on Benjamin and Evelyn
      • Meet Jeremiah/Jessamine Callahan
      • Dance OR speak with Oscar/Ophelia Lovelace (I know I mentioned in my last post that you could both talk and dance with certain characters, however I encountered a weird bug with it - I’m still not sure why it happened, so for the moment, I’ve removed the option to do both)
    • Note 1: All parts that say INCOMPLETE have not been added yet. There is nothing there. You will get an error if you try any of those options.
    • Note 2: The dance section is labeled WIP because Oscar/Ophelia’s dance scene is complete. JJ’s dance scene has not been added yet - I want to complete a few of the other options first before this one.

Also, people might have noticed that I updated the ROs tab again. You’ll get the opportunity to meet Oscar/Ophelia (and even dance with them if you want to!) in this most recent update. (also, you might even get a hint as to who else is an RO :wink: )

Now go forth! Have at it!

12 Likes

Right out the gate, could you please include an in-game description as tohe what Storyteller mode is? As someone who hadn’t really looked over the thread, I found myself very confused by the presented option, especially since the game doesn’t really tell you what it is or does when it first asks you to toggle it on or off.

2 Likes

Hi there! Yes, I certainly can.

Considering that there are other games that include their own versions of storyteller mode, I was under the impression that people would already be familiar with what it is. But clearly I was wrong, and I’ll include an explanation for it in the next update.

Thanks!

1 Like

Hello, it’s been some time. Just providing a quick progress report.

I’m planning to release the next update in about 2 weeks - it’ll include the rest of Chapter 3, as well as edits/improvements to the previous chapters. I’m currently working on Evelyn’s scenes, and after that, the toast scene. I’ve been posting updates on my Tumblr so if you’re interested in the details, you can check them out there.

Also, I’ve updated the RO section in the main post. The last RO will be Officer Wyatt Pierce. I was stuck between either him or Benjamin, but decided to go with Pierce in the end. I figure that Benjamin’s got a lot going on right now, he ain’t ready for a new relationship.

Thanks, that’s all for now!

8 Likes