Playtest - DOCAP

Become an agent of the Deaprtment of Containment and Protection !

The concept is one part X-Files, one part Men In Black, one part Illuminati, one part The Secret World. You get the idea. Modern day setting with supernatural and creepy goings-on. Secret societies, magic, aliens, you name it.

This is my first shot at this so I’m sure I have a bunch to learn. Two things I already know …

  1. It’s very linear. this is intentional as it’s basically a tutorial mission. The next stage or ‘rank’ will have full exploration.
  2. It’s wordy. I know, I’m a frustrated writer and I just can’t hold back.

Anyway, I’d love any feedback you can give, thanks in advance for your comments.

Hi Uberman!

Here’s some feedback in random order:


  • The descriptions for “First Mission” quality are missing beyond rank 1.[/li][li]There’s a spelling mistake in the description of “Handler: TableLeg” (“experinced” instead of “experienced”).[/li][li]I expected to lose the “Info” quality when the first mission ended. I lost the containment bag and the handler, but “Info” remained in my inventory. A bug perhaps?[/li][li]There are spelling mistakes in the “Debrief” storylet: (“banch” instead of “branch”, “detroyed” instead of “destroyed”, “orgins” instead of “origin”, “safelly” instead of “safely”, “deamon” instead of “daemon”, “unleased” instead of “unleashed” or “released”, “namely” instead of “Namely”, “privelages” instead of “privileges”). Finally, there’s an unneeded space in front of some sentences (" Congratulations" instead of “Congratulations”, " You contained" instead of “You contained”, " Trainee" instead of “Trainee”).[/li][li]There’s a spelling mistake in the name of a quality: “Requesition” instead of “Requisition”.[/li][li]There are spelling mistakes in the “The End … for now.” storylet: (“For here” instead of “From here”; I’d suggest “From now on” instead)[/li][li]There is some error in the “Daemon” storylet: (“It is not just a voice, it is a sounds in your brain, transmitted along…”). The entire sentence needs a rewrite, maybe into something like: “Not just a voice, a thousands of different sounds ring directly inside your brain, from the noise of a breaking glass through scratching an exposed bone, crying babies to barbed wire…”.[/li][li]Another spelling error in the “Daemon” storylet: (“two” instead of “too”).[/li][li]The mission is very difficult. Even if I take time to find “Info” and kick the doors, there’s at least 40% chance of not being able to stop the daemon from entering the world. It may be discouraging for new players IMHO.

Now, the world itself is of course interesting and I’m looking forward to read more. I don’t mind at all that the story is very linear. The choices are meaningful and there are consequences of them. I’d rethink the abilities system and the difficulty of the first mission.

Hope this helps,



I had great great fun playing through this tutorial. Now it is indeed harsh, something that I appreciate and even love about a game, however the main advantage is that since the rest isn’t out I was able to retry until I completed the mission perfectly. I understand why you are spelling Daemon instead of Demon, and possibly will spell Faerie instead of Fairy, this is fine lots of fans of the genre will get the references.

Whilst there are still a few errors in spelling and a few things need a bit of sprucing up it is still good. Maybe if you could write the ending in such a way that showed the Agency was expecting you to fail to contain the issue and took the Demon out once it left the building (or you chickened out) or something similar could put players more at ease with being incapable of handling the situation.

Maybe also some character customization before the mission started could both help with the difficulty of the mission overall and allow the player to connect more to their character. For example you could allow to pick why they were recruited (i.e. Your stunning intellect kept you at the head of your classes all the way through your life, it wasn’t long after college that They called.). Also not necessary but some players like gender choice among other things to help sculpt the character into themselves a bit.

Hope you produce more post haste. :)

Xiaur … Wow, thanks for the great feedback.

Spelling - I’m kind of embarrassed by this. My spelling is horrible, even though I checked everything a few times. I think I need to start typing EVERYTHING into Word and using the spellcheck before copying it across.

Info - Yes, I thought about this. However, interrogating the teens gets you ‘Info’ as well. I plan on making this a type of alternative currency, so it will carry over into the main story. I get what you’re saying, but hopefully it will make sense in the wider game where you have the ability to use this ‘Info’ you’ve gathered in more meaningful ways.

Difficulty - I intentionally made it pretty difficult to get a perfect result. Just so you know the internal mechanics, of containing the daemon and saving the page, you only need to complete one to ‘succeed’. Getting to the teens before the daemon is summoned isn’t easy, but basically if you get the containment bag and don’t steal the page then you can’t fail overall. Also reconning for the first ‘Info’ is not strictly necessary, it only makes subduing the teens a bit easier. I hear what you’re saying though and I don’t want this to be demotivating, I’ll be interested to hear from other people about this as well.

  • First Mission numbers - fixed, I had this set as a weird style, now it’s just ‘Story’ and it works properly.

Thanks again Xiaur, you’re a star.
edited by Uberman on 11/25/2012
edited by Uberman on 11/25/2012

Samuel … thanks also for the feedback.

In terms of failing the deamon summoning - the reason that it has quite a high fail rate and also no real ending is because this will become a minor mission in the wider game. If the Daemon quality is ‘On The Loose !’ then a minor quest will begin where you get to hunt him down. In fact (and the players will never know this) it might be better to let him escape because if you contain him then you’ll never access that content !

I think your comment about characterisation might just hit the nail on the head. As you say, it might address the difficulty angle that you and Xiaur have mentioned. I think you’re right and I think I will include this.

Thanks for playing and thanks for your great comments Samuel.

Changed, you now get a +2 to a selected stat at the beginning of the game. On playthrough I’ve found this a bit unbalanced because in this one mission there are more useful skills than others. But still, I think it helps.

I like it a good deal, though I’d suggest that you make some of the challenges less difficult; I felt like I barely squeaked by on a few of those and was practically sweating bullets, since I was trying to decide the best possible option (I’m not gonna negotiate with a daemon, for instance), but also weighing my chances of success (very little).

EDIT: It reminds me a good deal of the Laundry, though without the agency’s lack of resources and with slightly less Cthulhu.
edited by Kyle Willey on 11/25/2012

Kyle, thanks for the feedback too.

I’m interested in the 3 comments about difficulty. At the risk of sounding defensive, I’m surprised that failure is beeing seen as such a terrible thing, and something that we need to avoid.

Take for example, facing off against the daemon. You have 4 choices, but all 4 are most likely to give you an ‘almost impossible’ chance. So yes, you’re most likely to fail. But is failing such a bad thing ? None of these is a game ender, you can still get through from here though perhaps with some penalty traits. Not only that, but I think the events that happen when you fail are worth seeing.

On the flipside, if you do pass such a difficult challenge then you feel some kind of major relief. From skill, luck, call it what you will. I’m worried that making the game too esay makes it more like a straightforward dialogue. I’m also worried that biased stats make choices for you instead of having you choose the option that seems more interesting.

I don’t know, I have to think about this one some more.

It’s not that failure is so horrible, but the thing is that when people don’t see an option they think they can win there’s an issue. I play a ton of tabletop games and I can tell you that if players see something as too easy or too difficult they either always go for it or give up from the very start. When confronted with a powerful, unknown adversary, players almost always (at least in my games) open up with the best they’ve got, then run screaming if it doesn’t work, and the fact that Story Nexus tells players their odds leads to people choosing the best as much as possible and fleeing from overly difficult encounters.

I think it works as is, you’re just going to risk alienating some players should they feel that the game’s so brutally difficult they don’t stand a chance.
edited by Kyle Willey on 11/26/2012

True. I need to look at this again. There may be some areas (such as facing off against the daemon) that need a softer option.

The first real mission is up and running ! For a much better feel of the direction tha game is headed, take another look. All feedback is appreciated. Next up - secret societies !

Is the end of the second mission “unwinnable” for now? It loops me back to an earlier part of the last section.

If you’re talking about the fight with Winsome, then yes, it’s winnable and also on a loop. You need to loop past one section twice in order to win it. Until you get two ‘success’ results at one part of the loop, it will continue to go around and around a 4 storylet loop until either you get those two successes, or you sustain enough Wounds to lose.

I can see that this might not be clear to the players though, and it might seem like an accidental, unwinnable loop. Hmmmm.

Aha! I got it, thanks. I thought it was unwinnable because my [redacted] stat was low, and so I [redacted] [redacted] and [redacted]. Thanks for clearing that up.