The Chronicles of Kyrathaba
This is a pretty long Twine RPG game.
The idea is that you are sucked in from the world that we know to an videogame-like RPG world where you can see STATUS floating above another’s head.
You can equip equipment and have randomized combat and so on.
Overall it looks technically impressive: nice graphics, good fonts and margins and so on. The menus look good. It looks like a commercial game or a prototype of one. And it’s a hefty chunk of writing, too, longer than the median twine game (here talking more about the comp scene than the itch scene).
Writing is good; I had a high school student who spent years working on a setting just like this with several novels and D&D manuals. He had great ideas, but lacked the maturity of an experienced writer (which he definitely will get, and probably before I get it!) I felt like this had some maturity to it.
So what’s missing? For me, I don’t think any content needs removing, but I’d like to see more meaningful choices. The current demo has a little too many of the following kind of choices for my comfort:
-Choose something cool or don’t. Things like ‘take this diamond or leave it’, ‘accept a quest to get extra xp or don’t’. There’s no strategy here; it’s like if your work said, ‘this year, you have two options: you can have a Christmas bonus of $100, or not’. It’s great, but the option doesn’t really make it better than no option at all.
-‘Continue the story’. Long chunks of the game are straightforward exposition. Most of this is due to this being a tutorial, but the tutorial is already as long as many full games; if a player isn’t hooked from the beginning, there’s no reason to do the tutorial.
The latter example also includes combat, which consists of passively watching several screens of randomized hit/miss with 0 input from the player. You can equip different items before the match, but the match itself is played by the computer, not you.
Conversation has branches, for sure, but it often felt like ‘take this side track’ vs ‘continue pre-scripted conversation’.
Things that I thought worked well were trade-offs, like when I had a chance to barter a spell scroll for useful survival gear; deciding whether to eat my food now or conserve my strength; deciding which stat to buff with my improvement points; deciding to sell the emerald or keep it for later; deciding whether to kill the extra orcs or flee. None of them had a clear right answer and each had delayed effects so you wouldn’t immediately be sure if you chose right or wrong.
It might have been cool to go up a level early in the game, like selecting a class to go from Lvl 0 to lvl 1. It also might be nice to be able to either auto-run the combat (like now) or optionally stop and have some kind of agency during the combat (like when fighting a duo, focusing on one or the other).
Given the nice presentation and polished writing, I think this game could do well in a variety of settings, as long as it gets in front of the right audience (something I personally struggle with and can’t offer advice on).