I am very active on Tumblr! Next in Line on Tumblr

Alpha Build access: Patreon

Please add Next in Line to your itch.io collection! The game will be free. Always.



Next in Line will be rated Mature. Player discretion is advised. Please do not play or plan to play if you feel this game could cause any harm to you, or your emotional, or mental wellbeing. If you have questions about the content, please let me know and I'll do my best to answer!

  • Content includes (or will include):

    • Possible violence
    • Suggestive language and themes
    • Optional sexual content (will be skippable or avoidable)
    • References to war and the effects of war
    • Death and/or references to death
    • Exploration of grief
    • Language that might be offensive - aka mature language
    • Some bad possibly unfavorable endings that might make you hate me

    Subject to change. Changes will be communicated.


You're next in line for the throne of Castelon, a fictional country very loosely inspired but not based on the ancient and medieval worlds. Particularly, Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece, and periods of England.

Shortly after the war ended and a month before your 21st birthday, you received a hastily written letter at the compound in the mountains, where your parents had sent you at 16 to keep you away from the war.

"King dead. James abdicated. You are Next in Line."

Your country is reeling from its King's death and the end of a decade-long war. Today, on your 21st birthday, you begin the timeless tradition of sharing the responsibility of running Castelon for the next year, alongside your mother, Queen Vivian. This tradition, known as The Harbinger Ceremony, is your opportunity to prove your ability to be a reliable ruler.

Prepare to step into a story about love, trust, and finding oneself. Can you navigate your royal duties, solve your father's murder, and find love (or friendship) at the same time? Or, will the Gods withdraw their blessing from you?


Current Demo Features:

  • Prologue Part 1, Prologue Part 2, Chapter 1
  • Choose your gender,  pronouns, first name, hair color, eye color and more!
  • Shape the MC's future and some of their past.
  • Pursue romance or friendship with various characters. See characters further down.
  • Players will not choose sexual orientation - it's up to you to pursue romance if you want or simply don't. All 4 ROs are romanceable by any MC. Note: there are no poly routes available at this time. Love triangle is possible with F and Felix. Other companions will react to some degree if you attempt to romance multiple...
  • Romance is optional in the game. Although, it should be noted this was originally planned as a romance game so there will be a lot of optional romance content.
  • 3 Family Mottos (based on an early choice) that will unlock various choices throughout the game.
  • A taste of the "Attributes" system- a personality system that unlocks additional choices throughout the game; my aim here is to make the game replayable in a refreshing way. What kind of Heir will you be?
  • Choose your pet and their name (meet them in chapter 2);

Full Game Features:

  • Everything listed above, plus...
  • Chapters 2-14;
  • At least 4 holidays that offer opportunities to honor the gods, further relationships, or simply have a good time;
  • Optional sexual content;
  • Multiple endings.

Chapters 2-13 will each cover the span of around one month. The full game will follow roughly a year of the MC's life as The Harbinger.

Features are subject to change at my discretion.

There are four romantic or platonic companions available.

Constantine Dimas, M, 26 years old, Taurus

  • Constantine is the best friend of your twin brother, James, and a Knight in Castelon's Elite Guard. He is fiercely loyal to your family and fought alongside James in the Arandale War. Like you, he finds amusement in teasing your brother. 

"You're not too different from your twin, both reckless royals, so you probably need someone to care for you."

F. Faramund, M or F, 22 years old, Aquarius

  • Whether F was your first love or your ex-best friend, they broke your trust and disappeared. Now, they're back and seemingly apologetic. Bury the hatchet, rekindle your former relationship, or walk a different path altogether.

"The stars guided me back to you and I will stay as long as you allow."

Felix Faramund, M, 24 years old, Aries

  • Felix is F.'s older brother and was someone you once considered a friend. Like, F., he's returned to Castelon. Unlike F., he can be quick to anger and he's not afraid to speak his mind. He can read the room, he just doesn't care. You can romance Felix, even if you loved F. 

"Just know, I'll fight for what I want."

Lady Margaret, F, 22 years old, Gemini

  • The mysterious Lady Margaret is a noble businesswoman who enjoys observing from the shadows. She's close to your mother, Queen Vivian. Although she is slow to trust others, those who earn her trust will find themselves in the company of a powerful and loyal ally.

"I can think of many ways to consume your time."

I am the sole developer and writer for this game. It's my passion project and my main project!

PatreonKo-fi |  Discord  | Game Tumblr | YouTube  (for indie dev things)| My other interactive fiction: Fragments of the Past | Writing IF Tumblr

My discord is writingmysoul#6083 if you want to reach me! Game discord is linked above.

Updated 26 days ago
StatusIn development
PlatformsHTML5
Release date Aug 11, 2022
Rating
Rated 4.9 out of 5 stars
(99 total ratings)
AuthorVi Makes Interactive Fiction
GenreInteractive Fiction
Made withTwine
TagsCharacter Customization, Historical, Multiple Endings, Mystery, Narrative, Nonlinear, Romance, Story Rich, Twine
Average sessionAbout an hour
LanguagesEnglish
InputsKeyboard, Mouse
LinksBlog, Patreon, YouTube, Community

Development log

View all posts

Comments

Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.

I would love to see more of Margaret, amazing writing, love love love love this , I also put this in my ccollection.

 Yay - there is definitely more Margaret on the way )

(+3)

I am so excited to play more! I love that you can play simply platonic!!!!

(+3)

Yay! And yes, all kinds of relationships can be meaningful. :)

(+1)

ABSOLUTELY LOVE THISSS MOREE!

(+1)

Thank you!!

(+2)

Whelp im in love with Fredrick. This was so amazingly written! I cant wait for more :))

(+1)

Aw! Thank you so much. Chapter 2 has a special scene with F. :)

(+10)

Thank you James for bringing me my future husband. Constantine is lovely and i gladly accept his hand in marriage. 😌

(+2)

thanks for giving my demo a try <3

(+10)

I Always Have A Bad Habit Of Adding Every Scar Possible, My Character Looks Like A Half Eaten Vachon Passion Flakie

(+1)

Haha! Might be more scars later on. 

(+7)

Ah yes now the trouble begins either choosing Constantine or one of the brothers what a cruel fate I must decide

(+1)

:) or just get into a love triangle mess haha. Thanks for playing my demo!

(+3)

I keep reading Castelon as "Castleton" and it is hilarious

(+3)

hah! Some people on Tumblr said they always read Constantine as Constantinople.

Hi!

I loved the demo and I can't wait for more content.

Keep up the good work!

Shine on :)

Thank you so much!! :)

(+2)(-1)

Very good start I have to say, definitely one of the better of the many demos on this site. Obviously its short but that's to be expected, I quite liked the line where you stand up to James, felt appropriate of a ruler. Lots of subtle hints about characters in their descriptions. Gonna be following you and probably adding this to a collection, keep up the good work

Thank you so much for your kind words! I hope you will enjoy the story as it progresses. :D

(+2)

One comment, that might be a more opinionated thing, is that Margarete seems to be the type weary of romance due to her vast and bad experiences... at like 22? It's.. a little early in life to be that weary unless you had REALLY traumatizing experiences.Might just be me, bc 22 feels very young to me and they could have had maybe 5 years or so of romantic endeavors on the side...

yeah i'm gonna have to agree. i think Lady Margaret being this world weary person with all this influence on top of being close friends with the Queen at the age of 22 is just not believable unless the Queen had the MC at an extremely young age. 

(+2)

Hi - thanks for sharing your feedback. I hope as the game progresses, some of this will make more sense as information is revealed. I would like to point out that Margaret is employed by the Queen but not as much of a "friend" than her right hand who carries out her wishes on missions. She is a spy but also a noblewoman. And her family is the wealthiest merchant family in Castelon and well known in other parts of the world. So, her family carries influence. 

I will try to make some of these things clearer as the game progress. However, the game has only covered 2 days time so there wasn't much space yet for me to dive deeper into this. 

Thanks for giving the demo a try.

i hope i didn't sound too harsh, but thanks for the reply ^-^ 

(+2)

No - feedback is helpful. Thank you for taking the time to leave it!

(1 edit) (+2)

Heya, I really enjoyed your demo, but there were a few points that could do with an edit/bug fix:

Pretty much first line: when you make your character it says "like you, they are a ...woman/man/trans/nb" and that is just not true, bc James is always a guy. It sounds like you are choosing their gender as well, which is sending a few mixed messages at first. Maybe word it a little more like "Without accounting for gender, they look just like you. You are ... " Or "There are only subtle differences in your looks, you are..... " and then maybe for the male choice as "both men"?

Second bigger thing: if you dance with Felix and then come back, the text says Anne is talking with Felix, rather than younger sibling F while you come back with him from the dancefloor for most of the scene. Maybe there's a variable flipped in the code somewhere?

Overall I really enjoyed the dialogue choices and I was positively delighted at the many many opportunities to hug people and show affection physically, bc that's usually just something awkward like putting your hand on their arm/shoulder (which personally, I always saw as a weird patronizing and stilted gesture rather than a comforting one). I am also very torn on who I want to romance first, because they are all equally delightful, but thankfully on itch I can just make save files for several MCs and all the different routes I play! Hell, yes!! Thank you for your work and sweat and tears!

(+2)

Hi! For the first part, the "like you, they are..." is referring to MC's ancestor from the past, not James. At that point, MC is looking at their ancestor's portrait. Apologies for any confusion - I will see if I can make that clearer in future iterations. MC's ancestor is supposed to change name/gender based on what MC chooses. However, I have had some variable problems and need to check that. 

The second thing: yes, I thought that was fixed about Felix but apparently not. I will fix it before the next update. It got kinda messed up because I moved the code from ChoiceScript which was a lot of work haha. Thank you for letting me know so I can look into it!

In regards to Margaret, something I hope to portray in more of the game is that a lot of her wariness to romance is just due to general wariness to being vulnerable due to her being hurt by people in her life, not all necessarily romantic partners. A lot of it was her family, people she trusted. Now, she finds it hard to open her heart to others. However, I appreciate hearing your thoughts and how it is received. 

Thanks for giving my demo a try and for your feedback. I really appreciate it and will try to keep it in mind when I make another update!! I look forward to hopefully hearing your thoughts when chapter 2 comes out :)

Count on it!^^ Thank you for listening and I'm curious to see how it pans out from here!

Already extremely invested in so excited i found this

Thank you :) chapter 2 should be coming out in October or November. 

(+1)

whsjwksndb already so invested in the story, i reall want to rant about how much i love every character but sadly my memory is absolute garbage and i forgot every single name. I JUST REALLY LOVE HOW YOU WROTE THE CHARACTERS IS ALL

also love how much freedom you have the reader, it genuinely feels like there are so many paths to take that make your character's decisions alot more meaningful! :]

im not used to commenting, i did my best lolol i absolutely adore this, cant wait for the next chapter <3

(+2)

Hi! Thank you so much for your kind words, I'm really happy that you like the characters :D

Chapter 2 will hopefully be out by the end of October!

I really appreciate the comment, it made my weekend! <3 hope you have a great week!

Hey, some quick questions. How customizable is player character, do you get to make meaningful choices, how far does sexual content go, how far is development, and how frequent are updates?

(1 edit) (+1)

Hello, there's quite a bit of character customization in the demo: first name, pronouns, gender, royal title,  tattoos, scars, family motto, a pet. 

You do get to make meaningful choices and there will be different endings and different paths that you can take. Not every choice is necessarily meaningful but many are. 

The current demo has the Prologue and Chapter 1, which is just over 40K words. The game's plot is outlined and I am working on chapter 2 at this time.

I can't give a hard date on when I update because it depends. Each chapter has a lot of branching and that takes time. But chapter 2 will be coming out around October (most likely). 

The sexual content is not included yet but will be quite explicit, although skippable and completely optional. I recommend you read this ask on my Tumblr: https://at.tumblr.com/nextinline-if/so-uh-what-kind-of-options-are-you-intending...

Thank you for taking the times for the response, have a fitting day.

When will the NSFW scenes be implemented..?


For uh, research reasons obviously..

Ha - I can't give a for sure estimate because at the end of the day, it's going to be when I feel it fits in and doesn't feel forced. But I did give a possible estimate on my tumblr, here's the ask: https://nextinline-if.tumblr.com/post/694070576729440256/about-what-chapter-do-y...

Apologies that I can't be more specific at this time!

(+1)

all good! I'm loving the story so far!

Thank you so much. I appreciate your playing and I'm really glad to hear that you like it so far.

Where is the demo

Hi! If you are on the itch.io app, it should stay install at the bottom. If you are on the website, it should say "Run Game" at the top of this page.

Oh, since I was using the app, I actually didn't even realize there was also a web version. If I realized that I would have clarified that it's on the app version that saves don't work. I checked the web version and they do work there.

Oh, thanks for letting me know. I'm still trying to figure it out but hopefully I will be able to. I'm sorry for any inconvenience about the offline saves!

Saves are not working. I know there is something you have to change for Twine saves to work offline, but I'm not sure what it is.

Oh no! I'll look into this now. Thank you for letting me know.

Hi so, I did some research and talked to some others. If you are still having trouble loading saves offline, I would recommend checking out this article: https://twinery.org/questions/8936/where-are-saves-stored-without-wifi

(2 edits)

I'm not having trouble loading saves. It doesn't save, so there is nothing to load. And it's not internet, it's the fact that it's the offline version of the game.This is the error I get:

Gotcha, thanks for sharing the error, that helps. I haven't heard of anyone else having this issue and I asked some people to test the saving offline. But the screenshot is helping so I can try to look into it. Thank you. 

hey! just thought i'd let you know that twine's in-game save slots work using your browser cache--meaning, they won't work on the itch.io app, as the itch.io app is not a browser with caches. that's why those slots work on web versions, but not on the app. this isn't exactly something authors can fix as far as i'm aware, but you can use the 'save to disk' option to download your saves and the 'load from disk' option to load them, i believe! hope this helps :)

Thank you for sharing - this is a great explanation and helpful. 

I'm completely aware that that is how it works by default, but you definitely *can* change that default. Plenty of Twine authors have done so. I just don't know how to do it myself.

If you or anyone else knows of any specific authors, please point me in the right direction because I’ve talked to several and have not had any luck. 

I’m kind of sad Felix isn’t a RO. I love a first love story & I know Frederick had his reasons, but whatever the reasons, they don’t explain why he chose to do THAT (trying not to spoil lol). Plus, Felix is so fun! Ah well, maybe I’ll forgive Frederick over time, or maybe I’ll just stick to Constantine.

There’s a typo or two throughout, but I didn’t think to take note of where, sorry about that. Other than that, I think this is a great start. My ONE possible critique would be it’d be nice to have options for a MC that either doesn’t care about her brother & Anna’s budding romance or doesn’t really like/support/feel comfortable with it. 

(+3)

Oh - hey, I meant to update on here but forgot, I made Felix an RO officially!

 There will be more about what F did and why in chapter 2 :)

It's okay about the typos, I'm trying to find them all :D

I'm taking a break from writing this week but appreciate your feedback on the options and definitely think they are good suggestions so I'll see if I can work some of those in for when I update. 

Thanks so much for giving my demo a go!!

(+1)

Haven't played yet, but I added it to my collection to play later. It looks so unique, I like how the characters are silhouettes and how vintage this looks!

Thank you for the feedback! I'm glad to hear feedback on imagery :)