Thank you! :)
Recent community posts
You’re welcome to post in the forum. :)
Would you like to discuss in private? I can show you some relevant code. I think in that case it’s because your MC’s highest stat was mind. The highest mind/body will always deteriorate just because of being almost buried, if that’s reasonable (it might not, but right now that’s my logic for the “cost”)? I don’t have a detailed design document and thus sometimes code can get out of control, and I need reader feedback to help me find bugs. 😅
As for courtesy name and birth name, I haven’t nailed down when is appropriate to switch. But it’s based on trust level and/or romance situation. But sometimes it just doesn’t “feel” right, you know. Hard to explain. (Sometimes I wonder if western-audience uses an English name, then it definitely feels more personal to them than a Chinese name that they had a limited choice of, but yeah I should try to be internally consistent… 😅)
Thanks so much for your time!
I hope it wasn’t an error in your case, but
== SPOILER ==
if your MC suffered spirit poison (not the food poisoning) during a fight in chapter 8, the MC will slowly lose Qi over time in chapter 10.
(for chapters 11-15)
Walking using a crutch when missing most of both arm and leg on one side of the body (in the story it’s just missing right forearm and lower leg, but the approximate difficulty might be similar)
Paper existed prior to East Han dynasty’s Cai Lun. Though it’s unclear how far back it goes, and exactly how rare it really was.
Silver or gold spoons existed during late Warring States period. Other kinds of material include bone, copper, bronze, wood (sometimes lacquered), jade, etc.
Garlic was imported from western Asia during Han Dynasty (by Zhang Qian), but smaller-bulb wild onions already existed in eastern Asia around this time period.
Examples of recorded pungent seasoning vegetables around that time period that were local: scallions 葱、ginger 姜、mustard 芥、chive 韭、Chinese onion 薤(xiè)
The earliest mention of “barbarian bed” (folding stool) seems to be about a late Han dynasty emperor taking a liking to such a foreign object, and “stool/chair” only became better documented from Wei-Jin dynasty onward.
Three Ministers “Minister of War,” “Minister of the Masses,” and “Minister of Works,” or the Nine Ministers were titles used during later Eastern Han dynasty. But according to 九卿, these titles were mentioned in pre-Qin documentation, just not used during the Qin dynasty (?). So I don’t know.
罪己诏; earliest documented Edict of Repentance happened in later Han dynasty, but phrasing related to taking on full responsibility may have been used earlier, such as by first king of the Shang dynasty.
A kind of portable flame stick (or a small bamboo container for tinder) was first recorded to have been invented by a palace attendant in Northern Qi dynasty (~577 AD), much later than Warring States period.
Fiction (some plausible hand-waving):
I don’t have definitive reference of how an actual “barbarian bed” would look like, and I need to tweak it enough to fit the narrative.
I’m not sure what ancient “crutch” would look like (maybe not as symmetrical), but I’m hoping it would be similar enough to the underarm type to fulfill its purpose. I could consider a shape similar to the weapon “guai” (or known on wikipedia as tonfa), but having the middle hand-grip is not enough when the user might not have a hand on that side to grip it.
Administrator of Land is not an officially documented title.
Testing for blood type without today’s technology may or may not be possible at that era, but I didn’t want to make blood transfusion just coincidentally work with one try.
I don’t have lived experience with feeling the flow of Qi during meditation. I recently began to practice the basic Baduanjin, but not very professionally, so the result might not be apparent for a long time. I have seen other people describing how the flow of Qi feels, so I’m going to borrow some inspiration from anecdotes (difficult to tell manipulative fabrication from genuine/sincere reports). Just know that it is merely fiction in this story.
Cooking with heated cobblestones is feasible, but the situation in the story is not tested in real life, and might not yield much edible portion in the end.
Fiction (total BS):
- being in the spirit world (and then either remembering the experience or not); spirit-energy-powered rejuvenation
- The shaman’s rituals. Even though they are based on bits and pieces of plausible ideas, because there are too many of them mashed together, I think it would be more responsible to designate the result as BS.
Hi, liked the conversation. But may I request that you increase the font color contrast of the story (for both themes the gray font is too thin against the background color)? Thank you. :)
(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, Five-Minerals Powder 五石散
事死如事生 Prior to Buddhism influence, there was a prevalent belief among the upper-class in China that an afterlife is just another phase of life. It spurred the tradition of burying the deceased in a tomb that mirrors their home, with offerings that either were or mirror what they used in real life, and in certain eras, also buried horses/slaves/servants/family-members/vassals alive to follow them to the afterlife.
I modified some wording of math problem(s) from “The Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art”
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 are expected to hunt/fight as much as men do, and 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?! or “muscle-ceasing” 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.
Administrator of Agriculture is not an officially documented title, but a plausible (local) government position.
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)
Prior to (or aside from) Buddhism influence, Daoists and other traditional beliefs have their own interpretations of the “Three Souls and Seven Senses.” It is very confusing to me because I can’t find a definitive explanation, so I can only take what I think is mostly agreed on, and hand-wave the rest. (Since this idea has roots in cultural belief, I’m not categorizing it under “total BS”.)
The royal tombs and underground palace in the story are not strictly based on any existing blueprint of an Imperial mausoleum, because I need it to be much simplified for my own sanity. I’m mainly acknowledging that there would have been measures taken to defend the rich tombs from thieves, either by setting traps, creating distractions in the tombs (letting thieves think they have already stolen everything in that tomb, etc.), making the location look plain/humble from the outside, or having several fake tombs (like Cao Cao did during Three Kingdoms era).
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
Associating Heavenward Spirit with zodiac animals (I just like the imagery)
(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.
- Why are you interested in adding sound effects?
- If you could provide option for different text/background color that can always be beneficial for accessibility reason.
- “No is below to catch you”, probably missing “one” in there
- “haircut.But”, probably missing a space after the punctuation
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
==== 讲座 ====
《中国衣裳》 霓裳羽衣到底是什么样子的？它真的是用羽毛制作的吗？ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkGYKNhSl_o
==== 片段 ====
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
==== 现代表演 ====
Horus Mozarabe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCfxHe5Tfx0
古丽米娜·麦麦提 常宏基 任鑫《丝路舞韵》：https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fbE_sret8o
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)
* Cultures where the population might be few and livelihood difficult to sustain, both men and women were expected and encouraged to know how to hunt and fight. Before becoming "civilized" by Confusian advocates, it is said that cultures like early Qin people (fought neighboring nomadic tribes), Zhongshan people (were nomadic themselves), Chu people (driven to the south to start over), all championed the fighting spirit for everyone in their community.
* 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 (a few potential reasons, such as association with the Yellow Emperor, or the association with Earth, etc.) from Sui dynasty onward (when an Emperor preferred the commoner's clothing color, but later in Tang dynasty was "legally" made into the Emperor's color). 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.
* Grist mill and wheat might have already existed during late Warring States period, but noodle might not have been as common.
* 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 "more easily mass-produced" during Han dynasty (after the Warring States period and Qin unification), because 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.
* I'm not sure swords at that era consistently had scabbards. The swords/blades as burial offerings I saw did not have them, and generally they were not displayed in museums with an accompanied scabbard. Maybe the wooden scabbards all rotted to nothing by the time they were unearthed, since there were bronze swords that had bronze scabbards. Regardless, I want the imagery of unsheathing, so I gave them all scabbards.
* 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.
* Wester Corridor is based on 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 later 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. The region may have also been less arid than we know of today (or maybe I misread some information; documentaries have been able to provide a less desert-like scenery, however, so I don't know just how desert-like it was at that era).
* 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?