Realm of Wishes - Feedback and Ideas Are Welcome

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StarluoAngel
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Realm of Wishes - Feedback and Ideas Are Welcome

#1 Post by StarluoAngel » Mon Jul 11, 2016 1:22 am

So I came up with a concept for a new game. It has to do with wishes. In a small town lives the protagonist, a male high school student whom I consider a recluse; this person isn't much for the outdoors or socializing. However, one day at school, he hears rumors of an old house that has a connection to this other world, the realm of wishes. This realm was said to be anything, ranging from a house, to a forest, to a bustling city. It would all correlate with a wish the person sought. The rumor goes as follows: entering the house and making the wish will send you to the other world, where you will be pitted with obstacles relating to your wish. These obstacles would therefore test your limits to determine how much you want this wish, whether you will be able to cope with the consequences of the wish, and whether you're truly worthy of having this wish granted. If you were unsuccessful in passing these unrelenting trials, you would be imprisoned in this other world, losing your ability to traverse back into the real world. Impractical wishes (such as wealth or domination over the world) were out of the question; they would never be granted. It's almost as if someone (or something) from this other realm filtered out all of the greedy wishes from the good.

The protagonist of course, seeing his life as boring and uneventful, decided to test this rumor out. His family consisted of just a mother (widow) and a boastful, narcissistic brother who sought every possible opportunity to belittle the protagonist. Thus, he had one wish. He wished for a younger brother. Someone he could pass his pain along to. Racked with pain and torture from his older brother, this is what led him to make such a wish. He located the gateway -- an old house on a street far from his own home -- to the other world and proceeded to make his wish. However, an indication of some sort had pointed out the absurdity of his wish, much to his dismay. The next day, he returned to the house and made the same wish (albeit with not as much hope put into it as yesterday's attempt). This time, his wish was considered and he was sent to the other world. He would now have to pass the trials that stood before him in this other realm. Little did he know, a stranger he would meet in the other realm would turn out to
be his future little brother, depending on the circumstances of the trials (This is where player choice will come into play).

(This stranger's memory would be wiped. They don't know anything except for their name. They have forgotten their wish, their purpose for being here. They don't know their family, friends, acquaintances, etc. However, their memory would slowly unfold over time, depending on the actions of the player...at least that's what I'm thinking should happen for now.)

Over the course of the game, the ending would be determined by the choices of the player. How the player chooses to solve the puzzle. He would have his little companion too, who would play their role as a younger sibling to the protagonist (without his knowledge). This little sibling would be the polar opposite of his 'brother', a spontaneous, bubbly kid whose personality is infectious. The idea of putting two opposite individuals together has always been present in games and the media, which is why I'm sharing this story here: to get feedback on if this kind of story would spark some interest in people, or if it just shouts, "Cliche Alert! Cliche Alert!" in your ears.

For now, I can think of two paths to go down: one where you show kindness to your 'little brother' and one where you do the exact opposite (leading to a bad end that has your little brother taken away. However, I want something to strike the player. Not sure how to put it, but sort of a sad feeling in the player that they chose such poor actions over the course of the game, that they handled their little brother and these trials so poorly, and now they are paying the price).

Now, the reason I'm posting here is because I need opinions on this story. Any feedback that will help shape the story better, answer any unanswered questions and shape ideas of what kind of trials he would have to face (keeping in mind that the trials are related to the wish in question). It may seem like I've got some stable ground to work with, but in reality, I've only brainstormed ideas for the beginning and end. The middle of the game is what I struggle with most. So, introducing new ideas is definitely welcome as well.

For now, my ideals for having this wish granted are that the two would ultimately bond just as ideal brothers would at the end of the story, come to accept each others' differences and work as a team. Does that sound too cliche? (I know cliches aren't always bad, but I also know they should be avoided for the most part if possible). Essentially, these trials would help shape a better person in the protagonist, losing their original desire to inflict pain on someone weaker than them. Their reason for coming here. However, the part I struggle on here is what kind of growth the younger brother should experience. What lessons do they learn? I don't know how I can develop this character, and that to me is a bad sign. A flat character is not good in my books (though it is most likely workable for people with lots of experience in writing).

Sorry for the long walls of text and my mess of thoughts. Any feedback on the game, or any new ideas are welcome. By feedback, I mean any thoughts on the story I have explained, anything about it that makes no sense or seems poor in creativity or taste. Things that don't stick well with the rest of the story, or elements that you think would ameliorate this story. It is still a very bare-bones story that I think needs to be added on to a ton more before it's even considered a 'story' but that is where I'm struggling.

So thanks.

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Re: Realm of Wishes - Feedback and Ideas Are Welcome

#2 Post by Zelan » Mon Jul 11, 2016 3:33 am

It is very late at night for me right now, so my brain can't quite handle these walls of text, but I managed to come up with one coherent thought that might help you.

If you want the bad ending to give the player a sense of loss, one thing that's important is to make the younger brother character likable. If the majority of the players' reaction to the bad end is "God, finally, that annoying little **** is gone!" you've done something wrong. He shouldn't be a perfect little angel by any means, though, since people hate perfect characters as much as or more than evil ones.

I'll come back to this when I'm more awake and see if I can think up anything else for ya. It looks like you've got some good ideas knocking around your skull, though. c:

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Re: Realm of Wishes - Feedback and Ideas Are Welcome

#3 Post by StarluoAngel » Mon Jul 11, 2016 1:55 pm

Zelan wrote:It is very late at night for me right now, so my brain can't quite handle these walls of text, but I managed to come up with one coherent thought that might help you.

If you want the bad ending to give the player a sense of loss, one thing that's important is to make the younger brother character likable. If the majority of the players' reaction to the bad end is "God, finally, that annoying little **** is gone!" you've done something wrong. He shouldn't be a perfect little angel by any means, though, since people hate perfect characters as much as or more than evil ones.

I'll come back to this when I'm more awake and see if I can think up anything else for ya. It looks like you've got some good ideas knocking around your skull, though. c:
That's a great thought there! I can see people finding themselves attached to someone like that. I envision something like so: The protagonist has the choice of acting...well...good or bad toward their new brother throughout the course of the game, whether it be through small dialogue choices or important actions. And depending on your choices, that will reflect the protagonist's attitude toward everything. Make good decisions? Well, the protagonist will find himself reacting more nicely to things. Make bad decisions? That will be reflected too in his behavior. His attitude will plummet to a new low, and the player will find that the protagonist is starting to accept this and begins to make bad decisions without the player's consent. I'm sort of looking at a spectrum here. We have one extreme, the bad, and the other extreme, the good. The choices will shift the player's position on this good-bad spectrum. As with most VNs, you have choices and they change depending on previous choices you made. So, maybe once you make enough bad decisions, you suddenly enter this point of no return. You are stuck on one end of the spectrum, and you can only make bad choices.

Despite the choices the player makes, the little brother will remain positive (even if you go down the bad path). He will attempt to cope with the behavior of the older brother (perhaps making small jokes or falsely-complementing the good attitude of his old brother in an attempt to bring him back to his former self). Of course, like you said, perfect characters are the target of hate for some people so I'm not sure how I could incorporate some balance into his personality. I was thinking maybe he could snap once the protagonist went far enough into the 'bad' extreme of the spectrum, though I'm concerned that may undo all the efforts earlier in the game to make the younger boy likable. On the other hand, the sense of not being perfect could be portrayed through his failure to bring his older brother back from this hellish path.

This is is what I thought initially, but this idea sort of raises some concern for me, as I am not sure as to what could be considered reasonable for a low attitude. I don't want his attitude to transform to the point where the player would think "Wow, this dude is completely barbaric. He's gone insane. No human would make such a poor decision. This is getting unrealistic!" I'm not the best at envisioning how a human would react, because I've never been in such a situation. I'm not sure if you understand what I mean, but I'll try to think of an example. Say the protagonist was on his wit's end. He would be tired of the little brother's optimistic attitude and decides to physically harm him. Maybe kick him into a wall and tell him to shut up. I'm afraid that this idea might be a little rash, that people would think "Who would ever do that?"

I don't know, it IS my game but I'm afraid of the extent I can stretch out and build his darker turn in personality. How about you? Would you say that physically harming him would be out of the question? Would you feel sympathy for the younger boy if this whole time he tried his best to keep his older brother positive, but to no avail?

Sorry for the long walls of text, though. ^.^" I tend to do that quite a bit.

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Re: Realm of Wishes - Feedback and Ideas Are Welcome

#4 Post by Taleweaver » Mon Jul 11, 2016 4:06 pm

Ideas discussion should be done in the Ideas forum.

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Re: Realm of Wishes - Feedback and Ideas Are Welcome

#5 Post by Zelan » Wed Jul 20, 2016 6:51 pm

OKAY, I'm back with more help (hopefully). ^_^

I think that the spectrum is a good idea - that's where you could code in a point system. I'm not a programmer so I don't know all of the fine details, but something commonly used in simpler romance games is where many choices will add (or sometimes subtract) points from a meter. While in romance games it usually just determines which love interest you've connected with the most, yours could reflect the protagonist's attitude toward his brother. Once it hits a certain number - say, negative 7 or something like that - the protagonist could be locked into bad choices.

I certainly don't think physical harm would be too unrealistic as long as it was built up in a way that makes sense. I'm thinking that the protagonist's whole situation is probably pretty stressful, and it's reasonable that people do irrational and uncharacteristic things when under a lot of stress. So say the protagonist reaches his breaking point and does what you described. The way that I see it play out is something like this: The little brother is probably not seriously injured, but the blow was painful enough (physically and emotionally) that he's probably sitting and quietly crying. (This is where a CG would be helpful in painting the little brother as a victim - his previous characterization combined with that hurt puppy look would tear at people's heartstrings.) The protagonist then would feel shocked at his own actions. However, it's not so much that he hit his little brother, it's that he hit his little brother, if you understand what I'm trying to say. (Please tell me if you don't - I'm not sure I've explained it too well but I'm having trouble putting it into words better.) I also imagine that this would probably be right at the end - the point where the protagonist has failed and has his little brother taken away.

Feel free to disregard any of that if it's not what you were thinking, but hopefully that's at least a starting point in regards to a bad end. c:

On to the little brother's personality; you're definitely right that he needs to be balanced, so that it's justifiable that the protagonist would harbor any bad feelings against him. I'll break down my ideas into a list of good and bad traits, and then break down how they would work to make him well-rounded.

Good:
-Positive thinker
-Eager to help
-Generally sweet

Bad:
-Naive
-Reckless
-Annoying

So the big parts that I think complement each other are his eagerness to help coupled with his naivety. As he and the protagonist are traversing this realm, presumably they're going to run into conflicts and dangers. The little brother will want to help the protagonist, but seeing as he's still a little kid, he doesn't always know how to help, and may often make things worse than they were before. (A short real-life example to demonstrate what I mean: Once, when my sister and I were little, we wanted to help our mom out. We decided to unload the dishwasher for her. Turns out, the dishes weren't clean and we'd essentially contaminated the clean dishes already in the cabinet.) Added on to this would be his recklessness - he doesn't usually think things through or consult the protagonist before acting. To balance out these two facets of his personality, he might get the protagonist into serious trouble or maybe even cause an injury. On the other hand, it should always be obvious that he's trying to help and his apologies should always be sincere.

The other three also go hand-in-hand: positive, sweet, and annoying. This depends a lot on the perception of both the player and the character. For instance, maybe the brother is always chattering away, trying to keep the protagonist's spirits up (since he's so spirited and happy himself). This could come off as either annoying or sweet. You could also make some things less ambiguous, though - maybe the little brother annoyingly makes fun of the protagonist or sweetly gives him a gift (something he fund off the ground like a cool roc or something?). Sort of evenly distribute the good and the bad so that he's a plausible character and could sort of be reacted to either way.

Again, that's just an idea - feel free to scrap it, build off of it, or use it in its entirety. ^_^

Uhhh, apparently we both like walls of text, so it should be fine. cx

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Re: Realm of Wishes - Feedback and Ideas Are Welcome

#6 Post by StarluoAngel » Sun Jul 24, 2016 5:55 pm

Zelan wrote:However, it's not so much that he hit his little brother, it's that he hit his little brother.
I'm not quite certain what you mean. Is it the fact that all this stress, all these negative emotions led him to physically harm someone?
If so, then yes, I think that certainly would work!

I also love your ideas on the little brother's traits! They really balance each other out. I think here, the little brother's determination to fulfill his older brother's wish would -- in reality -- be his downfall. He would try harder to help out his older brother in these trials, but to no avail. He would be putting the older one in danger because of how much he wants to help. I think that is a really good trait of his, because it's pretty relatable if you think about it. I know how easy it is to mess someone up because you put in a little too much effort to help.

I was thinking these trials would require both main characters to cooperate. The trials would not be solvable without two people. This is where maybe the little brother would fail. I was thinking of a simple switch and gate puzzle for a trial. Perhaps there would be a closed gate. Stepping on the switch (something like a heavy floor panel) would open up the gate, but at the same time the gate would rise up and you would have to scale a wall to get to the open gate. However, if you let go of the panel, the aforementioned events would undo themselves. The little brother can't scale the wall to get to the gate. The older brother can, so he'd depend on the little brother to hold the panel down. Though, the little brother's weight would be barely enough to hold the panel down (he could feel the panel rising up, due to the little brother's lack of weight).

He would try as hard as he could to hold this down, trying to grab a barrel or something nearby to keep the panel down, but as he would go to do that, he would pretty much let go of the panel, leaving the older brother to fall down from high up on the wall.

Kind of an odd example to use, but it's hard for me to think of trials encompassing cooperation and teamwork... I was also thinking of smaller trials such as cooking food to eat (they're eventually going to starve) and I was planning to make the little brother experienced in cooking which would leave the older brother in awe at how proficient he was. There's some trading in going on here I guess! Sometimes the little brother would do well, sometimes not. And it would be up to the player to decide if they want to trust the little brother. Trust him? He may fail you. Don't trust him, you may break his heart and a chance to get a younger brother.

I'm really bad at this, but I love your ideas and I'm honoured to be able to use them! If you have any more ideas about anything (especially the trials which I am kind of struggling with), feel free to drop another wall of text on me. I love reading walls of text. :p

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Re: Realm of Wishes - Feedback and Ideas Are Welcome

#7 Post by Zelan » Sun Jul 24, 2016 7:06 pm

Yeah, that's a better way to put it! He's not so much concerned by the fact that his little brother is the person he injured, but just by the fact that he would physically harm anyone at all.

Heh, that trial sounds like something in a multiplayer co-op puzzle game. cx I don't play many puzzle games (I suck pretty badly at them), but if you do they might be good inspiration for more trials! Think of something that's common in a puzzle game and then add in issues like you mentioned (weight, physical capability, etc.) to make the trials more realistic and more difficult.

There should definitely be parts where the younger brother fails and where he succeeds. I guess the main character's reactions to the failures and successes would be the big thing determining determining whether you're getting the good path or the bad path in the beginning? Of course, you have the chance to yell at him if he screws something up, but then you also could give the player the choice of whether or not to praise him for being successful. Failing to acknowledge successes might not give negative points, but the player would be missing out on positive points nonetheless (if you choose to program with a point system). Then there could also be an aspect of paying attention to the little brother's strengths and weaknesses so you can assign him tasks. If you give your little brother the wrong task, he'll fail and the consequences may end up being disastrous for both characters (one or both getting hurt?).

Oooh, I definitely like the cooking idea! There could be other survival stuff, too, in between the actual trials, where they also have to work together and/or one is more proficient than the other. This could also be where you have your more lighthearted moments, bits where the player learns about the characters, they build their relationship just by talking or playing a game, all that kind of stuff that they can't do while actively trying to complete a trial.

How many trials do you think they should go through? There should be enough for the character development to take place, but if there are too many of them the plot will start to drag.

Uhh, should we try to come up with names, or just leave it at big brother and little brother? cx And it's really funny how long it takes to type a wall of text compared to reading one. I like reading them too, although they take quite some time to respond to. I kind of need to designate time for certain really long posts. :p

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Re: Realm of Wishes - Feedback and Ideas Are Welcome

#8 Post by StarluoAngel » Sun Jul 24, 2016 8:47 pm

Zelan wrote:Yeah, that's a better way to put it! He's not so much concerned by the fact that his little brother is the person he injured, but just by the fact that he would physically harm anyone at all.

Heh, that trial sounds like something in a multiplayer co-op puzzle game. cx I don't play many puzzle games (I suck pretty badly at them), but if you do they might be good inspiration for more trials! Think of something that's common in a puzzle game and then add in issues like you mentioned (weight, physical capability, etc.) to make the trials more realistic and more difficult.

There should definitely be parts where the younger brother fails and where he succeeds. I guess the main character's reactions to the failures and successes would be the big thing determining determining whether you're getting the good path or the bad path in the beginning? Of course, you have the chance to yell at him if he screws something up, but then you also could give the player the choice of whether or not to praise him for being successful. Failing to acknowledge successes might not give negative points, but the player would be missing out on positive points nonetheless (if you choose to program with a point system). Then there could also be an aspect of paying attention to the little brother's strengths and weaknesses so you can assign him tasks. If you give your little brother the wrong task, he'll fail and the consequences may end up being disastrous for both characters (one or both getting hurt?).

Oooh, I definitely like the cooking idea! There could be other survival stuff, too, in between the actual trials, where they also have to work together and/or one is more proficient than the other. This could also be where you have your more lighthearted moments, bits where the player learns about the characters, they build their relationship just by talking or playing a game, all that kind of stuff that they can't do while actively trying to complete a trial.

How many trials do you think they should go through? There should be enough for the character development to take place, but if there are too many of them the plot will start to drag.

Uhh, should we try to come up with names, or just leave it at big brother and little brother? cx And it's really funny how long it takes to type a wall of text compared to reading one. I like reading them too, although they take quite some time to respond to. I kind of need to designate time for certain really long posts. :p

Ah see, for now I've decided on Leif for the older brother and Kaj for the younger brother. As of now, I have their portraits done and nothing more. :p

I really like your idea of assigning tasks based on what Kaj is good with. It definitely makes choosing between the good and bad ending less linear, which is good (since I don't want choices to seem too obvious)!

And yeah, giving the player the choice to praise or yell at Kaj would definitely be something. I can imagine in some situations, if Kaj fails, you should be stern and tell him not to be so overconfident in his ability to help, or he'll mess up because if you were to say "Aww it was a good effort", Kaj wouldn't see his mistake and continue to make it.


I'm actually not sure about the number of trials, though. It's true that too many would be bad, though. I was planning to have a fair mix of actual obstacles/puzzles and then trials disguised as everyday events (like the cooking example, which could test leadership and the ability to learn from one another). I definitely want each trial to be unique and test a different part of them, their bond. Because these trials will definitely test their capabilities, what they can offer to each other as brothers and whatnot. So, what I'm kinda saying is that each trial would have a theme attached to it, something to do with being a good brother.

I've already been discussing with others about possible ideas for trials and some of them seem really interesting, but I can't quite attach a solid theme to them... ^^"

Someone suggested a trial where they would enter a room with a pit of spikes that follows a deep chasm. Above the chasm would be a scale of some sort. On one side there would be a girl, and on the other side would be a key to solving a puzzle, both of equal weighting. You could pick the girl, but then the puzzle key would fall and would never be retrieved. You could pick the key but the girl would fall to her demise. I really love this idea but I'm not sure what theme could be attached to it, and how you would solve such a puzzle either.

I have a ton of ideas for trials but the problem is incorporating two-person work and themes to these trials...

Haha, yeah, I know what you mean with the walls of text.

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Re: Realm of Wishes - Feedback and Ideas Are Welcome

#9 Post by Zelan » Mon Jul 25, 2016 1:43 am

Setting themes for each puzzle would probably make things easier. What would the theme of the gate puzzle be? I was thinking "trust" at first, but that might be better as an overarching theme rather than the theme for a single puzzle.

Finding a balance between praising and reprimanding Kaj would probably be a pretty important mechanic, then. While we've mostly been thinking about this with the idea that Leif should never yell at Kaj, maybe there should be exactly one scene where Leif DOES need to yell at him to get Kaj to understand the severity of something he's done. That way, Leif proves that he knows when to go easy on his younger brother , but also when to be more firm.

I guess what I'm proposing is two different types of bad ends - routes where Kaj is being treated like crap end with him being taken away, while routes where Leif is too lenient might end in something as drastic as the death of one or both characters.

The girl vs. key puzzle does seem a little hard to work with, but here's two different possibilities:

1. Cut the girl out entirely. Leif wakes up to find Kaj gone. He goes out looking for Kaj and finds him on that scale in place of the girl ( the idea being that the realm placed him there). He then has to choose between Kaj and the key. I'm not sure how much I actually like this idea because I feel like the right answer is probably too obvious, but setting the puzzle up this way would make it pretty clear what the theme is.

2. Bring the girl back in. Kaj and Leif come across this puzzle. Kaj, being an innocent young kid, doesn't want to kill anyone, but he also knows how much Leif wants to get back to his world. Knowing that saving the girl would mean that they had failed the puzzle and would trap the two of them in the realm, Kaj tries to convince Leif to take the puzzle key. The player would then get the option to make Leif's decision. The theme here would be something like "morality," where the good end results from Leif choosing to save the girl. This would be him demonstrating to Kaj what it means to be selfless. I'm thinking of this as the last puzzle, so once the girl was safely rescued the exit to the real world would appear. Him choosing to take the key would be a bad end, with Leif being trapped in the realm and possibly having Kaj taken away.

The issue I can see with the second one is that the right answer might not be obvious enough. If the girl is just some random nameless character, there will probably be a lot of people who choose to let her die. If the girl is instead a helpful character who appears periodically throughout the VN, people might think twice about dismissing her so quickly.

Ahhh, gosh, I always start out replying with one or two ideas and then come up with three more as I'm typing. cx

A few theme ideas! Affection, cooperation, working separately, patience? Do any of those work for you? Did you have any ideas?

Would I be overstepping my bounds if I asked to be an official writer for your project? With every post back-and-forth we make I'm getting more and more invested in this story. cx

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Re: Realm of Wishes - Feedback and Ideas Are Welcome

#10 Post by StarluoAngel » Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:02 am

Zelan wrote:Setting themes for each puzzle would probably make things easier. What would the theme of the gate puzzle be? I was thinking "trust" at first, but that might be better as an overarching theme rather than the theme for a single puzzle.

Finding a balance between praising and reprimanding Kaj would probably be a pretty important mechanic, then. While we've mostly been thinking about this with the idea that Leif should never yell at Kaj, maybe there should be exactly one scene where Leif DOES need to yell at him to get Kaj to understand the severity of something he's done. That way, Leif proves that he knows when to go easy on his younger brother , but also when to be more firm.

I guess what I'm proposing is two different types of bad ends - routes where Kaj is being treated like crap end with him being taken away, while routes where Leif is too lenient might end in something as drastic as the death of one or both characters.

The girl vs. key puzzle does seem a little hard to work with, but here's two different possibilities:

1. Cut the girl out entirely. Leif wakes up to find Kaj gone. He goes out looking for Kaj and finds him on that scale in place of the girl ( the idea being that the realm placed him there). He then has to choose between Kaj and the key. I'm not sure how much I actually like this idea because I feel like the right answer is probably too obvious, but setting the puzzle up this way would make it pretty clear what the theme is.

2. Bring the girl back in. Kaj and Leif come across this puzzle. Kaj, being an innocent young kid, doesn't want to kill anyone, but he also knows how much Leif wants to get back to his world. Knowing that saving the girl would mean that they had failed the puzzle and would trap the two of them in the realm, Kaj tries to convince Leif to take the puzzle key. The player would then get the option to make Leif's decision. The theme here would be something like "morality," where the good end results from Leif choosing to save the girl. This would be him demonstrating to Kaj what it means to be selfless. I'm thinking of this as the last puzzle, so once the girl was safely rescued the exit to the real world would appear. Him choosing to take the key would be a bad end, with Leif being trapped in the realm and possibly having Kaj taken away.

The issue I can see with the second one is that the right answer might not be obvious enough. If the girl is just some random nameless character, there will probably be a lot of people who choose to let her die. If the girl is instead a helpful character who appears periodically throughout the VN, people might think twice about dismissing her so quickly.

Ahhh, gosh, I always start out replying with one or two ideas and then come up with three more as I'm typing. cx

A few theme ideas! Affection, cooperation, working separately, patience? Do any of those work for you? Did you have any ideas?

Would I be overstepping my bounds if I asked to be an official writer for your project? With every post back-and-forth we make I'm getting more and more invested in this story. cx

For the first idea, yeah. That's essentially what I'm going for! I'm trying to make the right choices seem...not too obvious? Yeah, that seems right for bad ends too. Multiple bad ends, and you don't necessarily have to be mean to achieve all of them, it's just making poor choices that lead to these bad ends.

I really like the ideas you suggested for the girl and key puzzle! The first idea seems obvious but I'm sure a twist could worked in there.

However, the second idea seems more...likely? I was thinking of using Kai's reaction to pressure the player. So he would be encouraging Leif to get the puzzle key to proceed, so the choice would not seem so obvious, but then again... Your idea of this seems much better.

However, I was thinking if the girl was nameless, it would provide a little more of a challenge for the player. If you were truly insistent on escaping, you could retrieve the puzzle key, killing the girl. Sure, it's inhuman, but you're sacrificing your own life, thus the decision just seems more intimidating. However, do you really know this girl? Is she important to you.

I guess this trial could be testing your generosity, valiance or something else. I'm not sure, haha. Of course, the right answer should be saving the girl. You don't know her, but that doesn't take away from the fact that she's in danger, and you have the power to save her. I don't know if you understand what I mean. Compassion for others? Even if they're stranger to you? Not sure.

For working separately, I can definitely think of a few. I already had a trial for this, suggested by another person. It's pretty...weird so I'll try summing it up here.

Basically Kaj is trapped on the other side of a room, opposite of Leif, a chasm would separate the two (or another barrier of some sort). It would be up to Leif to save him, but going across the chasm would endanger Leif's life, meaning bad results. The solution is to move forward into the next area to find another way across, but the test here... The test here is their focus. If they extend their focus on this search for a way across too much, they may be distracted from their original goal, to SAVE Kaj. If Leif went too far into the area, he would reach a point of no return, thus making it impossible for them to reunite. Though, that's just an idea.

Oh, and I can definitely recruit you to come up with ideas or proofread my work! It's usually a one-man project for all the games I do, so I definitely appreciate your offer! I'm not the best when it comes to ideas, and I tend to make errors in my writing. Especially in dialogue.

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