Posted by: Jason Stevan Hill | Comments (3)
I’m thrilled to announce that this Thursday, we’ll be releasing the long-awaited next volume in the Choice of the Vampire saga: St. Louis, Unreal City. Before continuing, let me make a note on nomenclature: I refer to St. Louis as the Fourth Volume, after The Battle of New Orleans, The Siege of Vicksburg, and The Fall of Memphis. I recognize that this is a little confusing, since New Orleans and Vicksburg were released as a single game.
As with the release of the previous three volumes, development is ongoing. The initial release of Vampire in August of 2010 was only 137k words. It was, at the time, the longest game in ChoiceScript. It is now over 220k words. When The Fall of Memphis was released, it too was comparatively massive, clocking in at 263,000 words; it has now grown to 311,000.
What’s more, both of those numbers do not represent the full scope of the additions. With the introduction of certain code features, such as *gosub and *implicit_control_flow, I’ve made the code more efficient—I’m able to do more with less.
Thursday’s release represents a solid, playable draft of St. Louis, Unreal City, and currently sits at 300,000 words. You can see the roadmap for the addition of new content to all three volumes here. My intention is to continue to work on this roadmap over the next six months or so—while also listening to player feedback about accommodations for particular OCs—before beginning work on the fifth volume, Chicago. (As always, if your character would have said or done something different at a particular moment, take a screenshot, email it in, and tell me who/what/why!)
In addition to the raw content of the game, there have been a number of structural changes to the game. For example, I’ve removed the save/restore function. I’ve done this for several reasons, but the foremost of those is because existing saves would be at a severe disadvantage going in to St. Louis because of the all the new content that has been added over the past seven years. Much of the story simply wouldn’t make sense.
There is currently a manually-implemented checkpoint system in the game. (Protip: don’t check your stats immediately after restoring to a checkpoint. There’s a UI bug we haven’t figured out that will crash your game.) The checkpoints are between each volume; there is only one “save slot.” This is intended to let you explore the different corners of a volume without having to entirely restart your game.
The game has also been converted to an IAP-style system, rather than the volumes being spread across discrete apps. I always wanted the transition between the volumes to be seamless and not interrupted by the artificiality of saving a file and then having to restore it into a different product; now, my original vision has been implemented.
This does mean that there will be some hiccups as users have to be given access to the Memphis IAP if they previously purchased the Memphis app. The good news is that we’ve done some prep work here already.
- If you already own the Fall of Memphis Steam app, you have automatically been credited the Fall of Memphis IAP (which Steam calls DLC) within the Choice of the Vampire app on Steam.
- If you purchased Fall of Memphis on our choiceofgames.com web site, or previously sent in your Memphis receipt, you can open the “Choice of the Vampire” app for iOS or Android and click “Restore Purchases” to access the Memphis IAP.
- Otherwise, please contact email@example.com. We’ll work with you to transfer your purchase into our web site, allowing you to restore your purchase in the app of your choice.
In conclusion, I hope you enjoy the game. This has been a labor of love over the past ten—nearly eleven!—years, and has relied on the support, generosity, and contributions of a lot of people. As always, if you like the game even a little bit, please go and write a review; it really helps!