(for chapters 6-10)
女闾, 营妓, state-operated or state-sanctioned sex trade (using mostly widows, female prisoners, and women who were punished just because they belonged to the same clan as criminals; although some argue minister Guan Zhong’s state-operated version gave female slaves a place to learn other skills and buy their way out of slavery, not sure how true that was, but in today’s world many people pay debts and student loans with earnings from sex work), a form of tax to fund endless warfare, maintain morale, and manage civil unrest due to pent up sexual frustration
Retainers as “House Guests”
Tomb-sweeping day and cold food (due to fire being forbidden for use) festival used to be separate occasions, and not originally to commemorate loyalist Jie Zitui (not sure if that story was even real or just a powerful propaganda). The law to forbid the use of fire makes more sense to be about fire control during the dry season (司炬 as an official position). However, the effect of forcing common people of that era to eat uncooked/unheated food was very damaging to people’s health, and thus the length of “no fire period” was eventually reduced down to just three days.
Zhen, a kind of “paperweight” (often bronze miniature sculptures) to keep corners of a reed mat from curling up
Invention of early form of umbrella was credited to Lu Ban and his wife around that time period.
Medicine related: Datura 曼陀罗花
No definite depictions of Warring States period tomb-robbing tools, but these might be similar.
“lock-catch” technique; the fundamentals (from military training) must already exist back then, but probably not as defined as we know them now
戚继光（明朝）： “既得艺，必试敌” Qi Jiguang (Ming dynasty): “Once you have acquired the skills, you must test them on an opponent.”
Wrestling. I don’t think I will be able to depict it accurately to how it was around the Warring States era, so it might “seem” more like wrestling in later era (at least women wrestling “as bare-chested as men” was infamous one time during the Song dynasty). The key take-away is that it was initially a military training activity for soldiers (end goal being improving chance of survival), and can even involve punching and kicking.
Fiction (some plausible hand-waving):
Integration of women and men in the same army division (for at least some of Zong’s military). To lean toward this choice of depiction is partly considering the neighboring influences (like many minority cultures of the time that still maintained matriarchy, or at least where women could openly command troops) and modern sensibilities (because we are readers in the 21st century, not 481 BC). The related hand-waving part are things like Reward’s Night (total fabrication, if it exists it’s a coincidence), Since state-controlled prostitution (minister Guan Zhong) and military-sanctioned “comfort women” situation (King Goujian of Yue) of those eras were documented (and of course rape is sadly a given), I want to imagine that some allowance for military-sanctioned sexual activities between soldiers exist, provided that the unpredictable consequences may be undesirable for the soldiers themselves so that they can police themselves to some degree. Many people were and still are sexually-driven, this is one of my fictional ways of reconciling some of the discomfort with the reality that not everyone can or wants to tame their sex drive. It’s all natural and beautiful until somebody gets hurt.
洛越 “lowat” people, inspired by legends of southern Yue tribes; I saw some wiki entry saying 雒越 is actually more farming-oriented, while West Yue (as a categorization) people engaged in more warfare (due to being attacked by Qin), but the possible older pronunciation Wut, Wat, or Wet is not good to use directly as an English name; Xiwat? West-Wat sounds awkward.
Imperial edicts, at least for Qin state/dynasty, were carved into stone tablets or bronze objects (like a measuring cup) at that time period; I need a faster/cheaper (Heng Emperor is poor) and more portable method by using silk (a material less common among the general population) banner as the canvas; who knows, maybe later the Emperor will commission a craftsman to carve it into a stone tablet. Important tidbit to learn: “奉天承运皇帝，诏曰” opening line was invented by the first emperor of the Ming dynasty, and never used before his time.
“Wasting-thirst” 消渴病 is a real documented illness, but how I depict it in the story might be inaccurate for the sake of effect. Do not consider the doctor’s advice (quite vague anyway) applicable to modern day version of the illness.
息肌丸, xiji pill (“breathing” pill?!), a kind of aphrodisiac that has adverse effect on the womb if used over the long-term, has some historical documentation, but the complete recipe of the concoction has been lost. Current views of its confirmed component 麝香 (Moschus) only agree that it should be used with caution for a pregnant patient, but otherwise it’s unclear how toxic it is by itself when used in moderation.
Military formations (battle arrays) might not be completely accurate to what they were originally, since not every formation mentioned in ancient military manuals had precise diagrams.
Use poison to treat/neutralize poison. This has some scientific basis, like chemotherapy against cancerous cells, or the way how many Traditional Chinese medicine ingredients are actually deadly at a certain dosage. It is also a common wuxia trope. In this story I’m not using scientifically proven neutralizing combination, only the spirit of this trope.
People/culture inspired by 粟特人 Sugda/Sogdiana people and ancient Kucha (although probably also anachronistic if directly using these cultures), I’m making up some northwestern region cultures that are supposed to be migrants from beyond the western border of the kingdom.
What information I find on finger-press pressure point treatment (with or without acupuncture) is difficult to distinguish between what was available at that time period versus thousands of years of knowledge accumulation. And sometimes information online can be misleading or plain wrong, so obviously don’t imitate it in real life.
Earthquake; (historically there was a documented major earthquake around that era, ~780 BCE in Guanzhong region during Western Zhou dynasty 岐山地震)
Fiction (total BS):
Reward’s Night (see “plausible hand-waving” section)
Troop distribution is probably illogical, but it’s an approximation to simulate a crisis
Troop size. Some say during Warring States era the army size would have easily reached multiples of 100,000 instead of 10,000, especially since there are only three states in the story. But I can’t yet wrap my head around that size to write about. MC is already going to have a hard time dealing with multiples of 5,000, so I don’t want to stretch my own suspension of disbelief too much.
The illusions seen after being struck by the Lowat tribe’s hallucinogenic poison darts
Spirit Poison, Soul Possession
(more to be added later…)
Try SugarCube format in the future. It has some user-made code for popup dialog boxes (and other nifty features) that will make open/close dialog box messages easier, and they don’t add to the game history (aka don’t need to “go back” to story). :)
I can’t access the forum posts to give feedback, probably because it’s in draft mode. I read the instruction first, and I think it reads fine with Ariadne’s feelings being fairly non-cousin-like (first time the emphasis on “why can’t others appreciate her”, and the strong reaction with the staring scene). But I understand your concern. What I was wondering about is the strong reaction from Atalanta during the staring scene, but not being acearo means my comment can be ignored.
(if you don’t want to spoil readers with this feedback, let me know and I will delete it)
No worries. Reaching milestone often helps with feeling better about the self, I think. :)
My personal issue with audio is the volume control. If not careful they become unintended jump-scares.
Are your Twine stories in Harlowe format? I use Sugarcube 2, and in that it’s using CSS-variables, the addClass()/removeClass() to change text/background color, and put the option inside “Settings” section for user.
Vague battle is okay. But I was just confused about the logic of the train of thought right before the final action and then the fantastical element (that had one foreshadow before, but still felt kind of Wha? when it happened). Don’t worry about that unless too many people say it’s too out-of-left-field or something. I don’t trust my own logic on most days. XD
Hi, I’m responding based on your request for feedback on reddit. I did a quick read-through. I think the writing is good. :) I’m not sure about the ending from a storyteller’s perspective, but I get that’s not the point by your final message. :) Thanks for writing it.
During the initial placement phase, a coin being dragged over the square gets consumed by the square as well. I recommend having a switch that says “Ready” or “Test” so that square doesn’t start consuming the coins until it’s supposed to go. Unless that is intended effect, then never mind. :)
In level 3, the square eventually moved outside of the view window and I couldn’t dice-roll it back to anywhere close to the coins, so I gave up then.
Keep up the good work. :)
第二集 源远流长 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZiY8FQ1OPo
在没有钢筋水泥混凝土的先秦时代 古人如何把埋藏在地底深处的矿石珍宝一件件运到地面？ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2IiP7H1De4
I like your writing (the language of it), the way you segment it for easy reading, and balancing variety of choice versus manageable branching so that you can aim for 2~3-week update schedule.
Would be keen to help you code the next interactive-fiction (unless you decide to switch mid-way through this one) in SugarCube so the save system might be easier to manage. XD But whatever makes things easier for you is the best.
(for chapters 1-5)
* Political landscape inspired by the collapse of Zhou dynasty through Warring States (even Three Kingdoms) situation, the Emperor being overpowered and overshadowed by the vassal lords
* Quotations from Master Meng, Master Zhuang, Master Mo, Master Sun's Art of War, Book of Odes (or Classic of Poetry), Master Han Fei, Inner Canon of the Yellow Emperor, Master Xun, Dao De Jing, monster imagery inspired by entries in Classic of Mountains And Seas
* Zodiac hours; an ancient Chinese hour equals two modern day hours
* LGBTQ+ existence (but definitely not enough documentation, because even celebrities had to compete for attention to be documented by historians)
* examples of natural (not stage voice) but "unexpected" vocal pitch: Jamyang Dolma, Zhou Xun (actress), Zhou Shen or Charles Zhou (here he sings in an even higher pitch, here he changes his pitch higher and lower)
* proto-celadon ware
* Arts-related: ritual dancing in military context
* game of Encirclement 围棋/弈, or Weiqi/Go/Baduk, but was played on 17x17 board, not the modern day 19x19; the ancient Chinese rules vary from the modern Japanese-influenced rules: it used to be white first (or any side can be first), usually played by the stronger side, and the opening 8 moves around the corner star positions is what limits the advantage of the initiator (philosophically/symbolically it's also setting up the initial balance of power), so there was less need for the 5.5 points compensation. Based on this archaeological finding, it is plausible for Go stones to be made in Bronze, Lapis Lazuli, or even other material, as well as being not strictly black versus white in color (and they are shaped like small eggs in that video.)
* Acupuncture (but the needles of that time looked different than modern day ones)
* Medicinal ingredients: Snakesbane 蛇灭门 (Thermopsis lupinoides), Lingzhi 灵芝 (Reishi Mushroom), Dingxiang 丁香 (Intermediate Luculia), motherwort 益母草 (Leonurus japonicus), sealwort 黄精 (Polygonatum sibiricum), "wolf poison" 狼毒/断肠草 (Stellera chamaejasme)
* Weapons and Armors: Scaled Leather Tunic or lamellar armor, rattan armor 藤甲 (idea borrowed from Romance of the Three Kingdoms)
* Eyebrow-painting with charred willow branch or graphite
* hostage exchange, First Emperor of Qin was the son of someone who did go through that experience
* The significance of direction of seating, at least during Warring States period. In a square arrangement, east-facing is for one with highest status, south-facing next, north-facing after that, and west-facing last. In the Emperor's audience chamber, Emperor always sits south-facing, and favors people on his/her right side
* Earlier Eight Trigram pattern
* 锅盔 crusty pancake as military ration, easy to carry by individual soldiers (instead of piled up on wagons)
* Calligraphy ink cannot be wiped clean easily from basic bamboo strips (it's not like a whiteboard with specialized markers). Otherwise so much ancient text couldn't have survived till modern time. Writing on bamboo strips are usually scraped/carved off, or use orpiment (Arsenic trisulfide) like White-Out, then write on top of that layer. 战国时期砚台与墨丸
* close combat: boxing matches (战国时期“相搏”, Zuo Commentary's entry on Duke Xi, chapter 28 mentions the Duke dreamed that he was boxing another Duke), sword fight (in Zhuangzi, King of Zhao held sword-fighting matches like Rome's Gladiators)
* Cuju, kickball
* Qin Emperor's color was Black (for the Heavens/Space, or the Qin state element, Water). I'm not sure about the official color of the declining Zhou dynasty (maybe red for the Fire Element?). Not yet Yellow (for the color associated the Yellow Emperor, or Earth as the center of the five elements, or just because of association to vast land/territory, or with the high value of gold) from Sui dynasty onward. I like the imagery of black for the blackness of the universe, and also I'm thinking about the unification in the story, just like what the Qin Emperor achieved.
* Ring-Pommel Blade (?) 环首刀 might be more prominent during Han dynasty
* Current archaeological finding of stir-up dates its invention after this general time period, so may fudge the exact time a bit
* Candle was still very expensive to make around that era, so should be even less common than mentioned. Lots of bean oil lamps more likely.
* Trousers in the modern sense came into common use much much later, but Qin soldiers, prisoners or laborers wore some kind of trousers for ease of movement, and northern horse-ridding cultures had trousers that were later adopted by Zhao state military (but maybe not extended to commoners); most people just had long tunics to cover as much as possible even in a sitting pose, lower leg sock-like shoes (for aristocrats), or simpler crotch-wrapping cloths (like what Japanese Sumo wrestlers wear)
* During Warring States period an Emperor probably doesn't have a throne-like seat, just that he has more fancy stuff around him when in his official seating position
* Rainbow Skirt and Feathered Robe (霓裳羽衣) dance is from the much later Tang dynasty; and I don't really know what the routine looks like; supposedly the music is based on or inspired by Music of Brahmin (婆罗门曲), from ancient Kucha (龟兹) region
* Gulls and Herons Forget Scheming, from the much later Song dynasty
* Not sure about when pressure points have standardized names, so I'll assume what I can find in pressure point diagrams are based on later era medical text. Actual pressure point names: Chize, Quze, Yitang, Qianquan
* From the later Song dynasty and onward, 圣旨 ("Imperial Edict") the term may include all types of official order from the Emperor.
Fiction (some plausible hand-waving):
* The Stems-and-Branches system 60-year-cycle simplified by me into an Elements-and-Zodiac system 60-year-cycle (because I didn't memorize the Stems-and-Branches terms, but I know the Elements and the Zodiac order)
* Zodiac-associated months (apparently there are associations, but the date ranges do not correspond to the dates of each modern month as cleanly as I would like in the story for simplicity)
* Paper is better documented to be invented during Han dynasty (after the Warring States period and Qin unification), but there may have been recent discovery of pieces of "proto-paper" that survived the elements. I also believe animal skin type parchment may have been possible, just rarer, and not really common among people who don't read/write.
* Fighting with Qi (Qi energy is not fiction, but in this story I'm too loose with its depiction, going with the Wuxia flavor)
* wuxia-inspired martial arts should look and feel more "primitive" at the time; I can't find definitive argument of whether India's Kalaripayattu is a major influence to much of later era martial arts or not, only certain that "native born" martial arts would definitely have existed and evolved (every closed community in the world would develop its own fighting style), examples were stories of the assassins during the Warring States period, Swordswoman of Yue, Master Zhuang persuading King of Zhao to abandon his obsession with watching swordsmen kill each other, etc. True martial arts were born out of the necessity to kill. Fight in a way to not get killed, not about looking cool while doing it.
* Hexi Corridor, the exact going-ons during that period will be glossed over or fabricated in service of the story, but it will still symbolize the spirit of the Silk Road (which more officially began during Han dynasty). Commerce between tribes of people have always happened at local levels. So there may have been a similar "Stone Road" during the Stone Age, and a "Bronze Road" (see Ordos bronze ware) during the Bronze Age, etc. Exchanging crafted ware and crafting techniques.
* Heaven's Ritual in the story is a mashup of actual Heaven Worship (done in winter season) and modern day Spring Festival, because I don't want to write around too many distinct festivities; and the specifics that happen during the ritual are not thoroughly researched, only sprinklings of the general idea, such as ritual dancing, distribution of sacrificial meat based on status and level of contribution to society/community, etc.
Fiction (total BS):
* Ancient Chinese does not sound nor look like modern Mandarin (ignoring the fact that it then has to be localized for each specific readership), especially when it didn't go through something like the Qin dynasty standardization
* 99% of location names and character names (besides existing authors of writing that were referenced) are made up (Google-fu will fail you this time). Most of the surnames were inspired by surnames of that approximate era, but otherwise just going by what sounded reasonable. I try to avoid overlaps, because pinyin without tone marker will make many names look the same even if they sound different in Mandarin.
* Blood-letting to cure Krait-bite? The patient was super lucky.
* BS martial arts move to knock people out with strikes around the neck region. I don't really know how that works.
Great work, but the tutorial is buggy.
1. Using Chrome, the settings/save/skip/auto buttons don't respond to mouse clicks, instead it overlaps with the normal click-to-continue operation. In Firefox it responds better.
@WebFreak, you are right. Basically I simplified the "mental image" too much, treating the "hand" means upper body related, "foot" means lower body related. A punch generally comes high, so you block/parry high. A kick generally comes low, so you block/parry low. After the first few guesses based on what the radical is about, it's just memorization.
Source code is (editable in text editor) in game package, so it's open-source in that sense. The code looks really messy right now, but I'll wait to update it before disqualifying the entry. XD
@WebFreak, the bouncing ball will hit the stars and when all the stars are knocked out a new level begins.
It's a variation on pin-ball/pong. Very cute. But please make it clear how to exit the game. I had to hard-restart my computer because none of the usual methods worked to exit the program.
I had that same reasoning attempting to learn Godot through this Jam. Unfortunately that was too big of a challenge for me. :P
Hearing Love2D being brought up a bit around here, is it easier to learn than Godot for someone who's new to UI/physics programming?