Estimated Reading Time: 4.75 minutes.
A little while ago, I wrote a post about Choices, a game I'm slowly in the process of writing.
Choices is an experiment in Interactive Fiction, and in being overwhelmed by exponential growth. That is to say, there are a huge number of choices that you can make throughout the game that completely change the experience.
I'm going to try and write an explanation of who Andromeda is, the kind of world she's surrounded by, and the way she might react to the player. In short, this is a sort of profile on a character that I'm still in the process of fleshing out.
Andromedia is a Mundane. In her world, there is a very clear divide between the magical folk, the non-magic, and the bestial races. They might all be people, but those divides are strictly enforced by cultural whims. This divide is something that she deeply resents.
I'm not trying to draw a parallel between gender or racial equality or anything like that. In those cases, there is no line to be drawn from. Those ideas are dimly defined, and created arbitrarily by human culture. However, in a world where one group of people is like us, and another are walking weapons of mass destruction, there are greater divisional concerns. Not to say that they can't intermingle, but there is a difference to be had.
How would two mundane parents manage to handle a toddler that can literally erase them from existence in a tantrum? They can't handle certain events like that by themselves. They need help, in the form of other people or artefacts. Something that isn't really a concern in this world.
Unfortunately, because the divide exists, each group tends to look down on the other. Andromeda has had more than her fair share of witches treating her like crap for being a regular ol' person. Whereas, in her mind, she's no better or worse than any of them. Just different.
Andromedia is an irritable sort of woman. She doesn't have time to waste on people who get in her way, or start acting out. For the most part this comes across as a sort of mild impatience. As she grows closer to people she'll have more tolerance for their quirks, but she might come across as impolite sometimes to a stranger, despite her being a caring enough person to stop and have a conversation.
The major downside to her irritableness is that it makes her close-minded. If you want to present her with a new idea that she might not have considered before, you'll need to find something to slow her down and keep her calm. She doesn't have the energy to waste on crazy conspiracy theories or tales about the gods or any of that crap.
This is partly a deliberate choice on Andromeda's part.
Like all the best characters, she's been hurt before. She knows what it is like to feel pain, but if she pushes everyone away then only the ones who make the effort will break through her shell and get to know her. There are few people who are willing to do that, which isolates her in some ways, but for those that do put up with her prickliness, they'll find a kind-hearted woman just trying to get by.
Andromeda is a natural pacifist. That is to say, she hasn't thought much about it. Yet, when she's presented with a situation that might turn violent she is more inclined to seek a peaceful solution, up to a reasonable point.
She might get mad and scream at you, coming across as an intimidating and self-determined woman, but she won't devolve into punching you in the face if you don't get what she's putting down.
Some of the timelines in Choices are adventure timelines, some are romance timelines. There's no timeline in which you're going to be guaranteed to hook up with Andromeda, but it is an option that might occur.
So, what is she looking for in a partner?
When the player collides with her and her world, Andromeda isn't actually looking for romance at all. She's happy with who she is, and where her life is going. So, you'll have to work a little bit harder to get her attention.
However, once you have that attention, you need to live up to her high expectations.
She has no interest in being with someone who can't take care of themselves, or with being with someone who is overly attached. If you're looking for a pair-bonding story, it ain't hers.
She wants someone who can be her partner, her equal. Someone who can pick her up when she's down, and whose differences complement her own. That together you form a cohesive unit that can tackle challenges with a laugh or sneer, not someone who might hesitate or back down.
As a Mundane, all the exciting jobs that don't exist in our world are off-limits to her. Mundanes and magic folk don't mix (despite how useful a Mundane assistant could be).
Thankfully, she doesn't have to deal with sexism in this particular world. Mostly because writing that crap makes me intentionally murder characters for failing to see passed it. Thus, she can work in most capacities.
To fit her no-nonsense attitude, Andromeda is one of several shipbuilders. She isn't particularly senior, but she isn't no one either. She spends her days hanging off the sides of large ships striking them with a hammer, fitting cork and doing general repair work one might expect from a vaguely Victoriana-esque era.
Her work is repetitive, rewarding, and boring, all at once. If you're looking to hold a conversation with her, this is not it. Talking about the weather will last longer.
Despite Andromeda's contentment with her life, she is not an accomplished person.
If you're looking for someone to become all powerful by your side, or help you take over the world, keep looking. Andromeda isn't that. She's an ordinary woman, in an extraordinary world, and she is absolutely uninterested in changing the status quo.
If you hook yourself to her story, you're going to find yourself in an ordinary story.
A slice-of-life style tale.