Thursday, June 4, 2020

Game Statuses

Here are the statuses of my current games in development. These are not official but estimates:
  • Zombie Exodus: Safe Haven, Part 3 (Hosted Games), April, 2022
  • Vampire:the Masquerade - Out for Blood, July 29, 2021
For details on each project, see below.

Zombie Exodus: Safe Haven, Part 3

I am up to 560,000 words for Part 3. Supporters on my Patreon are testing an alpha release. As the group departs the camp on the hill with Eli, they head to his Junkyard, at which point the story unfolds.

The tentative release month for Zombie Exodus: Safe Haven, Part 3 is April, 2022. There are two main reasons why the date has been pushed back again.

First, it took me much longer than I ever expected to write Part 3. Many readers complained that Part 2 was too short, so I added content which took away from writing Part 3. I also worked on VTM - Out for Blood, which divided some of my time. Since I work a regular full-time job, I only have so much additional time to spend working on these games. Now that I am done with the first release of Out for Blood, I plan to devote more of my time to Safe Haven.

Secondly, there is a long waiting line to have your game published. At the moment, Hosted Games has an 8-9 month delay between submission and release. They have so many games in their queue that this is the fastest they can produce a new release.

Since I started writing for HG, there were few games in production. Nowadays with the success of my series and the influx of new writers, Hosted Games is incredibly popular. They also make it fairly easy for new writers to publish through them, which is a good thing. It just means series like ZE:SH get stuck in a very deep queue.

Spoilers Below

Arriving at the Junkyard, your group finds a well-protected area with space for everyone, resources for crafting, and access to places to explore and scavenge. Chapter 8 will be a lot of exploration, from surrounding areas, warehouses, a close-by settlement, and of course, the Junkyard itself. I promise to give ample time to players for all of this searching and scavenging while still being able to craft, work on relationships, manage the group, and other activities common in open-world scenes.

A lot of talk in forums and my social media relates to the Silverthorne Militia. Many players believe the Silverthornes will be the main antagonists to the MC’s group. This is not entirely true. The Silverthornes may very well be antagonistic to the main group, especially if Natalie or Wyatt are dead or Benton is dead or kidnapped.  However, the Silverthornes are a group who have specific motivations and numerous members. They will not be a one-dimensional group.

In addition, Part 3 will introduce us to other groups. For those who have played the militia side mission in Parts 1 or 2, you know of the New Army. At least three other groups will be introduced, each with their own goals and personalities. Allegiances will be tested in your group. Members may leave and join other groups. You may steal members of other groups. Trade, wars, and diplomacy may occur. This new avenue of gameplay will add a huge element to Safe Haven, and both leaders and non-leaders will have ways to influence the story.

You can also expect:
  • New characters.
  • New weapons, gear, consumables, and clothing/uniforms.
  • New romantic options, including new teen options.
  • Improve your vehicles with weapons and armor.
  • Build up your Safe Haven! Add new defenses, repurpose buildings, and even craft structures.
  • More chances to raise skills naturally and through training. 
  • My goal is to release Part 3 in Fall, 2021.

Vampire: the Masquerade — Out for Blood

In cooperation with White Wolf Publishing and Paradox Interactive, Vampire: The Masquerade — Out for Blood is an interactive horror novel, set in the World of Darkness, which puts you in the role of a new resident of a small town inhabited by vampires.

You’ve barely settled into your new home of Jericho Heights on the outskirts of Chicago, before discovering that vampires live in town. You’re struggling to start a new life, meet new people, and maybe even find love. But when your neighbors start disappearing, you’re forced to take action.

Take on the role of a vampire hunter to save your town from the influence of Chastain, a vampire more than a century old. When a group of young thin-blood vampires start a war with Chastain, will you choose sides, or hunt them all?

Gather your forces and sharpen your stake to take back the night!

For more information, check out the official page.

Updates planned:

  • View portraits in stat screen after you've met a character.
  • Add portrait art of additional characters.
  • New options to work in the store in the mid-game.
  • New options to pay off your store loan.
  • More interactions with your romantic interests in chapters 11 and 12.
  • Expanded paths for the final battle scene.
  • Expanding True Faith.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Part 4 Mission Walkthrough – Searching for Food in the Old Pine Woods with Heather

This mission is especially useful for players in a romantic relationship with Heather, as it provides bonuses to the relationship score and her interactions change to reflect the relationship. With dialogue options, being playful and letting her take the lead provides increases to relationship score while answering sarcastically or being controlling decreases the score.
There is no fighting on this mission, so take whatever gear you want. The challenge of this mission is more moral based than survival based.
In the first part of this mission, you and Heather find the slain bodies of River and Starr if they were not allowed to join the Cathedral. This shows at least one effect of an earlier choice – you can assume that rejecting the couple’s request to join your group contributed to their deaths. Next, you are presented several options for dealing with the bodies of the fallen hippies.
  • We should move on – this raises relationship with Heather
  • We should examine them – a neutral option
  • We should bury them – increases humanity, and if you are a minister, this option allows you to give the couple Last Rites, which has no effect other than roleplaying experience
The next segment is a conversation with Heather in which you can increase your relationship score or lower it if you piss her off with certain questions. During this conversation, you have the option to discuss Carl leaving the Cathedral. If you did not help Carl escape, Heather lets you know that she did. Your reaction to this affects your relationship score with her. If you helped Carl escape, you have the option to tell her about it, which raises your relationship with her.
This conversation is another opportunity to discuss your relationship and either improve it or end it.
After the conversation, your journey takes you to a semi-hidden camp, and though it is vacant, signs point to at least an adult and child living there recently. This scenario is more about moral decisions than picking the correct choices. Stealing the supplies in the camp lowers humanity, while also raising your relationship score with Heather. The reverse is also true. If you take the camp’s supplies, you will also find a diary; a new option will be available during next week’s options to read the diary and learn more about the camp’s occupants.
After moving out of the camp, you are met by a German Shepard which attempts to follow you. Allowing the dog, Toby, adds a valuable companion to the group. Toby may even aid you in the bandit fight at the end of Part IV.

Part 4 Mission Walkthrough – Scouting the Bandit Camp

This is a solo mission that leads to several major rewards, namely gaining two new members of the Cathedral, if you so choose. This mission also uncovers some of the mystery of Colin who you spoke with in Part III during the trip to the supply depot.
First, you must choose supplies. Here are recommendations:
  • MP5 or AK-47 for high dexterity characters, Cavalry sword, fireaxe, or spiked baseball bat for high strength characters
  • Night vision goggles
  • Multi-tool
  • Fifty feet of rope
All other items are not needed, though any weapon has some usefulness.
After traveling through the rain in the woods, you come across a huge rock that can provide shelter for a short rest. If you fail to do so, you will take a penalty to your stats, so it is best to stop here. Use your night-vision goggles to view the area. This reveals a large footprint of the enormous zombie nearby, who is not an easy kill. However, there are a few easy ways to avoid your own death.
  1. If you have a Will score of 25 or greater OR dexterity or strength of 30 or greater, simply choose to Circle the rock to move out of sight.
  2. If you have zombie ward in your possession, use it.
  3. Otherwise, choose Run Away, then Head into the thick forest to your right.
If you want to kill the zombie, you need a 15 or higher dexterity and an AK-47. Other options work but require a higher dexterity.
Next you reach the camp, there are three main areas to search: North, South, Middle. Choose the north side. Here you find a trailer with a man in a wheelchair inside. You will find out that he is Colin who you spoke to on the phone in the supply depot in Part III. Go inside the trailer to obtain the keys, which will come in handy later. When finished, Search the central area.
Three structures exist in the central part of the camp: a pool, recreation room, and art pavilion. Choose Art Room first. Using your night-vision goggles here is very useful as it will allow you to see but also not draw attention as much as the beam of a flashlight will. If your intelligence is high, you can disable a camera that monitors the area. Look around the pavilion for another entrance. This takes you to the back windows where you look through and find three prisoners chained to a wall. In time, a young woman delivers them food. After she leaves, you can break into the room by using the keys you found in the main office. If you did not spot the camera earlier, unfortunately you cannot save the prisoners. This is one time when higher intelligence prevails.
If you did disable the camera, you can free the prisoners. The Asian woman and black man will gladly leave and meet you outside the camp after you are done exploring. They make excellent members of the Cathedral.
Finding the keys and freeing the prisoners is all that is necessary in the camp, though the recreation room is also a useful place to explore. Without spoiling Part V, visiting the rec room has advantages for the future.
So, Check the recreation room. You notice a guard circling a well-kept home in the middle of the camp. If you Investigate further and then Go inside, you enter a nicely furnished home where you meet Colin’s daughter, Hadley. Talk to the girl to find out key details about the camp. After giving her a real or fake name (it doesn’t matter), she asks what you are doing in her home. Answer I work for your dad to progress the conversation. You can ask a series of questions to learn more about the camp, Colin, the prisoners, and other details. Eventually, the guard from outside interrupts. Hide in the corner. Hadley will talk to the guard, and when he leaves, you can end your conversation with Hadley.
The trip home is uneventful, though you first rendezvous with Kelly and Crone, the prisoners, outside in the woods. Back at the Cathedral, you will have a meeting with Mindy where she wants a report on the camp. Giving her full details raises your humanity, while sharing partial info can lower it.

Part 4 Mission Walkthrough – Returning to Temperance

This mission is available if Devlin is still alive. If you killed him back in your first trip to Temperance in Part III, this mission will be greyed out. Successfully completing this mission provides numerous rewards upon completion, so it is best to do it early in Part IV.
The first set of choices is to select gear for the trip. Make sure you take a ranged weapon and fifty feet of rope.
Next, you can choose a vehicle for the trip. If a military jeep is available, take it; otherwise, select the pick-up truck.
The next section allows you to ask Mindy questions, which can improve your relationship with her. If you are in a relationship with her, some options allow you to build on future romantic options.
What follows the conversation is a bandit attack – two well-armed marauder vehicles try to run you off the road. You will have to deal with a four-wheeled buggy first, then a monster truck named Minotaur.
If you have the military jeep, simply Shoot at them while Mindy drives. If not, Tell Mindy to ram them with your pick-up truck. Either way, the buggy will be dealt with, but the monster truck will remain in pursuit. Shooting at the Minotaur or trying to outrun or outmaneuver it will be unsuccessful. You must Leap onto the hood of the monster truck and disable the driver. Depending on your stats, this scene will leave you banged up with a minor hit to your health. In some instances, the driver of the Minotaur will be alive on the road outside the vehicle. You can elect to leave him there or kill him, which lowers your humanity, or take him with you, which raises your humanity.
Finally, you arrive in Temperance and find the streets devoid of any life until you near Eugene’s pharmacy and spot an enormous zombie horde. Trying to shoot at them is worthless as they are too numerous. Running back to the pick-up truck will work if your dexterity is high enough, but doing so will cause you to miss some content, as your illness causes you to pass out before you reach the vehicle. The best option is to Climb up to the open, second-story window. If you took the rope as suggested, Use your grappling hook and rope to climb the wall. Doing so leads to a small, safe room which provides a moment’s rest. If you are in a romantic relationship with Mindy, choose Make love to Mindy for a humorous, very non-intimate reaction.
After spending some time in the room or choosing to rest, you fall asleep and are awakened by the sound of cannon fire. Eugene and Devlin have found you and are using the cannon’s noise to attract the zombies away from your temporary safehouse. They pick you up in an armored car and lead you out of the city. You are then provided a list of questions to ask the pair, which bridges their story from your last visit in Temperance until now.
Once you are finished your conversation with Eugene and Devlin, Mindy invites them to join the group at the Cathedral. Your choice here provides an immediate increase or decrease to your relationship with Mindy, but your decision affects other relationships later on. If you agree with her now, your relationship increases with Mindy, Eugene, and Devlin. If you disagree, your relationship goes down with Mindy.
Back at the Cathedral, you will be met with a similar choice as the impact of Mindy’s decision to invite Eugene and Devlin is argued. Consult this table to determine the best choices to raise the relationship scores you want to.

Choice at the Cathedral
Raises Relationships with
Lowers Relationships with
Defend Mindy’s decision to invite Eugene and Devlin into the groupMindy, Eugene, Devlin, Candace, River, StarrEmma, Uncle Lou, Heather
Voice your earlier concerns over having them joinEmma, Uncle Lou, HeatherMindy, Eugene, Devlin, Candace, River, Starr
Keep out of the arguingNo oneNo one
Eventually, Tom steps in, and Eugene and Devlin are accepted into the Cathedral.