Play Testing: Pistols at Dusk MAJOR UPDATE SEPT 28

Pistols at Dusk ( ) will be a Wild West story in a world quite unlike our own, where opposing factions pull at the seams - science marches on as inventors race to outperform the limits of the human body, rail road barons have abandoned their tracks in favour of mining the mysterious things that come from the earth, and something ancient and wild gathers lost souls and lives, quite comfortably, in the dark corners of this new society.

September 30th will see the completion of four distinct prologue routes, where the player chooses an inclination and aligns themselves with a faction or its rival. Optimistically I would like to do more, but searching for paying jobs almost full-time has to take priority. As it stands, three of the prologue routes are up, you should get through them easy on one set of refreshes. Once you’re done the prologue of one route, the “progress to the rest of the story” option erases and resets your character, allowing you to start over and try one of the other unique prologue story lines. All four prologue paths contain completely unique text from one another, with unique menaces, connections and items to obtain.

EDIT SEPT 28: All four story lines are now live til the end of each respective prologue.

Anyway that’s the super serious pitch. I think I’ve worked out most of the kinks, if you’d like to let me know anything that stands out, I’d be really happy. Thanks team!
edited by playwithdinos on 9/29/2012

Marvellous! It’s great to see more worlds coming on to the platform. I’m looking forward to playing.

I only happened upon the play link by chance. Perhaps you might edit your post above to highlight the link to your story?

For reference, I chose Adventure.

There seems to be a long period up until Adventurous 9 that I do nothing but feed my horse - to no apparent effect - and catch rabbits which I cannot do anything with. I also can’t acquire any Yellow Roots or Sticky Grass which could be of use. So this period feels very grindy and repetitive.

In the storylet ‘You’re ready to get out of here’, in the branch ‘You think you have placated the horse’, the result text is duplicated.

I like your writing style, that humorous self-deprecating manner.

I do not feel engaged with my character or the story. I spend a lot of actions going nowhere, doing nothing, generally being pathetic and it doesn’t encourage me to continue.

Still, I look forward to continuing… oh, damn, I appear to have erased my progress. Nevermind then.

Ah thank you. the result text duplicating is actually happening in all of those, and I’m having trouble figuring out why because it’s not on the text input end. I’m trying to get it to work.

I think there’s a slight balancing problem on the Adventure route that I was in the middle of fixing and didn’t quite finish, so maybe that’s how that happened to you. I’m going to mess around with the levels again to make sure that doesn’t happen.

I do encourage you to try the others. You may find the Theatrics line more to your liking? It’s written after I had a better feel for the system itself, so it’s more integrated into everything.

EDIT: Oh yes I know exactly what happened. I think right when you were playing I modified the Sticky Grass/Yellow Roots card to only show up after another card has been played, just to balance out when cards show up and have a more reliable method of blocking cards than just skill level. The problem should be fixed now, thanks for pointing it out.
edited by playwithdinos on 9/21/2012

Nothing like a good fantasy western, really is a rarely exploited genre. Fantastic work as always from the team.

I agree! I find fantasy tends to worm its way into everything I work in, haha.

This was, I think partly inspired by a book I read called the Half-Made World by Felix Gilman, which is a combination of Fantasy and Steampunk. Although I’m not going to lie, this book has a few issues, mainly the stand-ins for Native Americans/First Nations in the novel are described as bone white and fall straight into the “Mystical Indigenous people” trope, and secondly the fact that there simply weren’t as many Steampunk elements as advertised, and what was there was poorly explained. I do recommend the book if you’re into that genre, mostly because the play between the Rail and the Gun is a pretty cool take on Western history.
edited by playwithdinos on 9/21/2012

Got a typo on ‘You’re determined to find those flowers’. If you succeed at ‘Ask around for some advice’, part of the the text reads:

And I’m not sure if this is a glitch or you mean there’s two people there:

[quote]They jump out of the way just in time

but the surprise makes them swear. Or rather, him. The voice is distinctly high and feminine. You stare knowingly at the space in the air where you heard the voice, and you think you’ve made her rather sheepish. She lingers, however, and so does her smell.[/quote]
edited by Ruaidri on 9/21/2012

@Ruaidri: Oh yes, thank you. That second thread in particular I always seem to miss switching out one of the pronouns whenever I go back to it.

Criminal Storyline is now live! It’s far more complex in structure than the other three, so I could really use some advice on playability, and how easy it was to figure out where you needed to go from each point in the story.

On ‘Let’s take another look at that shed’, with the lantern:

Should that be ‘glowing’?

Also, it’s possible to replay some cards, after you make a decision about the heiress, so that you can get to the (now playable) exit card carrying the ledger, the diary, and the rusty key. Not sure if you want to do something about that.
edited by Ruaidri on 9/29/2012

Aah, thank you.

I was considering just having the exit become a “must” card once the character qualifies for it - but the problem with that is that some people may not want to delete their character, and that’s the only result of the end game thread right now. Thoughts?

Ah, that makes sense. Perhaps make it a must after the content is in place to follow it (and remove things you don’t want to travel forward on that card, for those of us who are carrying).

i seem to have gotten stuck in a loop of some kind in the Theatrics path, i have only 4 oppertunity card that keeps repeating and none of them seem to help me increase the ‘Charming the Carriage Repair Train’ quality

Hey, I wish I could double-check that one, you may have been playing the route when I was making some last-minute changes, but unfortunately the editing tool seems to be broken? I can’t access any of the storylets.

The editing tools are currently borked for everybody, it looks like. =/

Sorry about that - they should be fine again now.

I can’t immediately see where the problem lies. Could you perhaps tell me what cards you’re getting and what all your qualities are? Also, have you gained any connection qualities? And your username would be great, if this is what I think and you were playing while I was messing around with the system, then I can fix it so you can finish the prologue at least.

name: Takahide

cards i get are
you feel filthy
you’re determined to find those flowers
you need to learn more about these people
time to entertain

theatrics 15
adventurous 6
a stranger 1
charming the Carriage Repair Train 2
connected: the wanderers 1

[quote=Rune Hofseth]name: Takahide

cards i get are…[/quote]

Sorry about that, I think you just happened to be playing right when I was messing with the endgame requirements. I fixed your Charming the Carriage Repair Train quality for you so you can finish if you’d like, or save your character and wait for the next release.

This strangely interests me… I’m not usually one for straight western settings but I think the fantasy part is what really interests me. I also adore kids and they almost always like me too, so when they play an important role in a story, no matter positive or negative, it automatically hooks me. Plus, they always know more than they should.
;-) Now on to content:

On the “You’re determined to find those flowers” card the success result of “You have some luck” has this text: “She admires their beaurty for a time, but before the sun has risen they’re hanging to dry. She gives you more advice on life out here, and how to act like the folk out here. Then she presses a few pieces of old jewellery into your hands and enlists your help to make breakfast.” Beauty has a typo as well as jewelry.

Do you mean for people to keep the “a Stranger” quality? It seems weird to me but if you have a reason that is fine too. Other people didn’t know how to get rid of a quality, so if that is the same for you, you just have to have a result that sets any quality to exactly 0 in order for it to disappear.

Now, it may just have been me scanning over the text in the beginning, but I don’t recall seeing any introduction of Ted as a character. Like I said, I may have just skimmed over it too quickly. It also seems to restrict the flow of the smaller stories to have progression spaced out over different opportunity cards. I caught myself more than once losing track of characters such as the one-eyed girl because she was first mentioned around 7 or 8 draws ago. Maybe change the cards into pinned cards to avoid people mushing them together with the opportunities? Also on that note, all the smaller story qualities give the “You have gained 1x Charming the carriage repair train” essentially treating it like an item, which is the SN default if you don’t play with quality change descriptions, but detracts from the story some. If you change the description to something that treats it more like a story, it might help a bit.

Overall, I am very anxious to continue this story and look forward to future content.
edited by Kitsune on 10/14/2012