Story Choices in Serafina’s Crown

Production for Serafina’s Crown is coming along splendidly. I’ve cast voice actors for all the major characters in the game, and I’ve had a blast working with them so far! Meanwhile, I’m writing and drawing furiously to flesh out the game, along with my co-writer Malcolm Pierce.

I’m also putting a lot of thought into the overall game design of Serafina’s Crown. With Quantum Conscience, I tried to increase the player’s interaction with the story through the Void Stream. Although I’m quite proud of that game, I realize that some players were not satisfied by the Void Stream’s affect on the story. They did not always understand how or why they were affecting the plot by reading character thoughts.

With Serafina’s Crown, I’m pulling inspiration from both Dragon Age: Inquisition and Danganronpa to design the story interaction. Much like Dragon Age, the player will frequently get an opportunity to select how Odell responds to another character.

In this example, Arken has just asked Odell how she intends to use her authority as Regent:

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If you choose – for example – “I’ll accumulate power,” you’re not necessarily locking yourself into a specific story path. You will have many chances to change your mind later, or break your word to Arken and do something different. The game judges you more based on how often you choose a certain thematic category. Each colored option corresponds with a specific emotion, and each time you pick a certain color, you get a point for its category.

Frequently, the story options will simply change your conversation with a character, depending on your choice. In this example, Serafina offers to ask her anything you’d like, but you can only choose one:

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And here again, you can have a very different conversation with Kallias depending on your choice of words:

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Similar to Danganronpa, you often have a chance to spend time with a specific character of your choosing. On each playthrough, you will have a limited number of chances to spend time with the characters, so you must choose wisely!

Your choices, as minor or significant as they might be, always yield a reward of some sort. They will always give you a point in the associated category, which later affects your ability to argue in the Duma Debates (more on those later!), and they always change Odell’s hair color slightly (a fun little feature you can turn off if you so choose). Other times they will result in the conversation of your orchestration, and perhaps even a romantic relationship…