Testing for a WIP IF game, An Unexpectedly Green Journey (Orc life-simulator)

UPDATED 30th October)

(Updated and added the first part of the Adventurers Guild path for mature orcs. You can choose adventuring companions and engage in quests which increase in difficulty as your renown grows. The code was a bit more complicated here and, although I have done my best to avoid errors, some may have slipped in!)

Hi Everyone,

I am nearing completion of my Choice Script game, An Unexpectedly Green Journey. Here, you will take an orc from birth and adventure around a lore-heavy world. Perhaps you’ll become a shaman, a chief or king, a gluttonous big belly or even a demon lord!

I would say the game is, roughly 75-80% done, content-wise, at 875+K words.

I would love for people to play through it, see how they enjoy the concept and, hopefully, flush out bugs and typos.

The link to the current demo is on DashingDon

You lend your help, with bugs and things, here, or on the relevant Choice of Games Forum.

To all those who fancy a chance at living the green life, I hope you enjoy your adventures!

Cheers!

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Hi! and Welcome to the forum!

Just a little fyi for you about the current events happening on the Forum:

Good luck with testing!

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Ok, I played the online demo.

I generally don’t like choice games, but this is exceptionally good. I played it through in one session without pause because it has tension. Like “Hmm, what comes next?”

I didn’t like to see my beloved orc die (after unsuccesful try to mix some medicine), maybe he could get crazy instead.

I think the game has a bit of replay-value, if you take a different path.

Instead of long young phase and short, repetitive adult phase I would like it vice versa.

The graphics are good, but I would like the game the same if it were without them.

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I’m a sucker for anything to do with Orcs. I think I was an Orc in a previous life.

I took a peek and the writing is spot on. (I totally agree with you, Peter!) I’ll definitely give it a proper run in the next day or so. Thanks for sharing your game!

Quick question: I’m not too familiar with ChoiceScript games. Is there a way to make it dark themed with the game engine itself? I used Dark Reader for Firefox and just cranked the grayscale and it feels so much easier on the eyes for desktop reading, but I thought I’d ask in case there was some settings that you had made that might be better.

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EDIT: JUST A QUICK HEADS UP

-DashingDon has a save system, ideal for testers.

-It is important to note that the final release will only have the checkpoint/hub saves, which you will see at various times in the game text, rather than the options tabs.

-Keeping an eye on your stats will help get through many of the deadlier events, although this game does not require stat ‘micro-management.’

-I have included an option, when you start, which skips to the Dark Path option (which is the most recent at the time of writing). This is a breakaway fork of a late-game path.
EDIT: The extra starting option now starts before you enter the ‘mature hub,’ to help speed access to the arena path, which has just been updated. Decline to become a shaman and choose to adventure away from the clan, where you can join the Green Battlers and become a prizefighter.

-I have used the Stats tab to add ‘flavour’, where I can. Here, not only will you see your orc’s stats, but a map of the world- which can change depending on your actions, and diplomatic relations and an optional tab, which has a map of the world at your birth and bits of lore. It is possible bugs could show up here too.


@Pebblerubble

Thanks for giving the game a go! The art is just my feeble pixel scrawlings- I agree, it is not necessary, but if it is not off-putting I’ll probably keep it in. The maps I use are more important for lore and world-building, but these are found in the Stats tab.

The adult phase is much longer than the childhood phase- unless you die! Although the adult phase still has many incomplete paths, the fullest path is implemented, where you can lead an orc to become a continental emperor.

To reach the later game paths (many not yet implemented) you have to wait until your orc is 32 or more. Then return to your tribe and challenge the chief.

I have tried not to include unfair deaths, particularly with younger orcs (you can’t die at all in the childhood part of the game). This is something I can take a look at, as I don’t want it to be overly frustrating.

@HAL9000

Thanks for giving the game a go. I, like you, feel like I lived the life of an orc in a previous incarnation! We are a rare breed, but we are destined to rule the world after ‘a right propa ruck!’

As far as I know, I can add a dark theme and tie it to the options in the game, although it is not native to the choice script code. It is a very good idea. I don’t like the white background either and have had another comment like this before. It is something I will certainly do, although, since I may have to learn a few new things to do, I intend to finish the game first, then add the polish.

Cheers to both of you. A tankard of grog on me!

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I gave it a proper go this time.

I haven’t ever played a ChoiceScript game before so practically everything about it was new to me. Most of the following feedback is just my personal preference.

I died after the goblin and racial tiered fights where some armoured dudes approach you (I think) and you have that big fight. 2 hits and I was a goner. To be fair, you did provide a warning, but my orc was old and too proud to back down. :wink:

  • I liked that most of the choices were concise and quick to read. Especially when you have 4 or more things to choose from. There were only a few times when a choice felt like a paragraph of text. In those cases where you feel the need to explain more about a choice, keep them short, but present a page with the additional information and a chance to back out or proceed.

  • I’m not a reader so I did find the occasional page with large amounts of text to be a bit jarring when being fed 2 to 3 paragraphs of text normally. I would break those rare pages up into multiple pages.

  • I would like the option to see my stats in a super-condensed form at the top of every page. The switching back and forth between stats and the game after each training segment was inconvenient. Though this might be the only way ChoiceScript works?

  • I found the graphic images to be larger than they needed to be on a desktop. They could have been half the size or cropped in a wide aspect ratio so that I don’t have to scroll past the picture so much to get to the text content. I found the battle strategy images especially large. On a phone, this might be preferable so perhaps some CSS for desktop only could be used for images.

  • When I tried to make the fights entertaining and varied, I got smashed. ( I really wanted to land those strong attacks.) When I just dodged heavy attacks and parried normal attacks while only spamming quick attacks, I found great success… but it was not interesting.

  • I really enjoyed the unique descriptions of each combatant. Since fighting is prevalent, I would encourage some more “trash talk” from each fighter. Try and get under the player’s skin a little and reveal a bit more story perhaps during the fights. Also, some fight descriptions felt very visceral. I liked that a lot.

  • I only found one broken image and a single misplaced pronoun of a female warrior swinging his weapon when previous pronouns used were her.

  • I did find myself skimming the text a bit when there was more than 3 paragraphs on a page.

Overall, I enjoyed the story and felt that I was living the life of an orc. Loved the deliciously gross and savage choices offered. The writing is top notch.


From one orc aficionado to another, I wish more artists showed orcs the love that Bayard Wu does.

https://www.artstation.com/bayardwu/albums/848819

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Thanks Hal,

I feel that Choice Script is designed to make it simple for non-coders to be able to make a text and choice-based game, without worrying too much about coding skills.

I have learnt it along the way and am capable with it now, but I am not a coder and so my insight here is limited. I think the stats screen is set to be the place to view your stats.

-Some very constructive issues are highlighted here. I agree, some of the images are far too large. I will standardise all images to smaller sizes, with the exception of the maps on the stat screens.

-Will definitely break up the text more. I, too, find walls of text off-putting.

-With the game’s large scope, the fighting system was always going to be simple as the arena is just one path. I may tweak it a bit. But I have a hint for you- if you are stronger than them, give them a big whack when they parry! Or, hunt for weak spots when they parry. I wanted to ensure that agility-focused orcs and strength-focused orcs had a way to win.

-Love the idea for fight banter. I will consider adding something like that for the bigger arena fights!

  • If you ever have time for a playthrough again, the fullest content of the game can be found by becoming the tribe’s chief, where you get to expand your orc lands, perhaps conquer the world and even save the world from a shadowy threat.

Thanks for your valuable insights. I only wish I was an artist to conjure up images like the one you posted! My pixel-tries are just to add a dash of colour really!

Cheers!

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Sweet! Now you’ve given my orc the knowledge to dispatch his foes with ease. :slight_smile:

Definitely let us know when you have another update!

Regarding combat:

  • I’m not sure if you did this or not (I think this was touched upon already in your story), but it would be nice to have a first battle be a sort of tutorial where a mentor is barking out suggested strategy at you. “Move out of the way, dog!” suggests dodging and other such encouraging words. Maybe it could be an optional choice if you get your ass handed to you, a considerate orc could offer his mentorship, then subsequent playthroughs can always avoid that tutorial battle part.

Anyway, now I’m installing ChoiceScript because after looking at code examples, it’s just so well structured. The code doesn’t get in the way of sharing a story. What a great language!

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Hi Hal!

In your first fight, (the training one against an orc named Backside) Shufla advises you on what to do when your enemy moves first (every odd-numbered round). This is to help the player learn a few tricks. Though much depends on your character’s cunning, strength and presence in later fights.

I share your thoughts about Choice Script. It is simple and intuitive. I am sure anyone who knows how to code could do some great things with it easily. Those who don’t, like me, can pick it up quickly.

The Choice of Games community is also very supportive and helpful. The major downside is the lack of a save system, due to Choice of Games’s philosophy of ‘making choices matter.’ I feel that, for longer games, this can be frustrating. Although it is not too difficult to create your own checkpoint save system.

For demos, the DashingDon website actually provides a better save system than is available to Choice Script.

A great tool to use if you want to test choice script out is CSIDE. Here, you can see your code better and run it through quick tests and random tests to catch errors.

I don’t have permission to post links yet, but if you search CSIDE and Choice Script you can find it.

Thanks again for your time, Hal,

(Orcs rule!)

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I really appreciate you sharing the basics of ChoiceScript. Everything you said is super helpful and completely relevant. It’s like you’ve been down this road before. :wink:

  • In your game, I tried using the save system at the top of the page with the pull-down menu and it always gave an error when loading, but said that saves were successful. But the check-point system (in the choices) worked fine. I was using Firefox on Win10.

Anyway, I look forward to the next major story update. In the meantime, I’m going to see what all the fuss is about with this here ChoiceScript thingamajig.

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I played it again and it was a surprisingly different content, and lots of content (this time I roamed the lands). A really good game.

I also took a glance at the stats. I was again surprised, because there are so many stats (including Appetite, Reputation, and reputation at dwarfs, elves etc.) Nice :slight_smile:

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@Pebblerubble

Great to hear you diving in again. I have tried to make it possible to enjoy several playthroughs and have a different experience each time. Of course, it won’t be completely different.

One of my aims was to make the Stat screen a part of the experience, to add flavour to everything. It can show your list of battles, and arena fights, it will show your growing conquest over the world. Also, it will show the ‘big bads’ conquests too. As you said, it shows your diplomatic reputation. If you become a demon, it will show the world’s terror levels and your demon powers.

Players can ignore it or delve into it if they like seeing a record of their orc’s life in the world.

Cheers for taking the time to look at my project!

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Hi, orcs and adventurers. Just a quick head-up for those who are interested.

I have updated and added the first part of the Adventurers Guild path for mature orcs. You can choose adventuring companions and engage in quests which increase in difficulty as your renown grows. The code was a bit more complicated here and, although I have done my best to avoid errors, some may have slipped in

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