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Dragonchoice – You Choose: Candidate – FAQs

Updated with FAQs for the game now that it’s live!

Weyrlingmaster L'stev's brown Vanzanth

Vanzanth is an ageing brown dragon, resolutely unglamorous in shade – he’s a dirt-coloured brown, and not a rich-loam dirt, or a light-sandy dirt, but a plain, nondescript, digging-tubers-in-the-freezing-rain dirt. He gives the impression of being a large, mossy, rather grumpy boulder. Time has begun to green his muzzle, and the facets of his eyes show the creeping cloudiness of age. But don’t let that fool you. There’s nothing wrong with his perceptions. Vanzanth’s been Weyrlingmaster for seventeen Turns, and he doesn’t miss a thing.

What do you want to ask him?

Gameplay FAQs

About the game

Gameplay FAQs

Do I need a Search code to play?

No, you don’t need a Search code. Vanzanth snorts. Plenty of riders who were never Searched. I mean, what sort of idiot would have Searched MY rider, for example?

My Search code doesn’t work – what do I do?

Make sure you enter your code as a single word in ALLCAPS with no trailing spaces, says Vanzanth. Whatever that’s supposed to mean.

Do I have to give you my email address?

Email address – oh, what you call fire-lizards. Vanzanth scratches his nose. No, you don’t have to give us your email address. Though if you win a prize and we don’t have a way to contact you – well, you won’t be winning a prize, then, will you?

How many dragonets are available? What if they’ve all been Impressed?

There are twenty eggs, says Vanzanth, spreading out his fingers and toes for emphasis. And they’re all available for your candidate to Impress. You’re not competing with other players – your adventure is your adventure alone.

I’ve played several times and I still haven’t Impressed, what do I do?

Explore, talk to people, try things out, says Vanzanth. Your sidebar keeps track of things like your Confidence, character traits and colour scores. And every dragonet wants a different kind of person for his or her rider. They’re not all the same. Some of them aren’t even very nice. He shows you his fangs. Imagine that!

How do I get clean? I’ve already been swimming and I can’t do it again!

There are other ways to get clean, Vanzanth tells you, peering down at you with a distinct curl to his snout, but not infinite ways. Opportunities to get clean after you’ve made yourself dirty are a finite resource. Use them wisely!

I hate the logic puzzles – do I have to do them?

No, says Vanzanth. You don’t have to do anything – except behave yourself, of course, or L’stev will have you off the Sands before you can say ‘elementary, my dear…’ Who on Pern is this ‘Watson’?

I hate the riddles – do I have to do them?

Vanzanth eyes you and then gestures upwards with a headknob at his previous answer.

I can’t figure out the riddles – what are the answers?

Beats me, says Vanzanth. Though I should think if you’re familiar with Pern, you’ll find all the answers have some sort of relevance to the world!

How do I find all the jewellery?

Do I look like a thieving fire-lizard? asks Vanzanth. Go looking for it. Look everywhere. Try things. Explore. Talk to people!

Where can I get hints and tips for playing the game?

There’s something called a Facebook where people seem to be discussing the game and exchanging tips, says Vanzanth. Try joining the Dragonchoice group there.

I told the Weyrleader my name but it’s just coming up as ‘true’ – help!

That’s something called a ‘known bug’, says Vanzanth. I think that’s sort of like a trundlebug, except no one knows where it comes from or how to stop it turning up. Drop an email to [email protected] and someone will help you with that.

How can I share my ending?

When you complete your adventure, make sure to send your story to the Wall of Fame, says Vanzanth. That blue fire-lizard of Chyilth’s will carry the message for you and you’ll be sent to your own unique results page. You can share that to ‘social media’ – whatever that is – using the buttons provided, or just by pasting the URL into a ‘Facebook post’ or ‘Tweet’ or whatever.

What do I do with the long code I get after I Impress a dragonet?

If you paste it into the relevant box when you post your results, that code will be saved for you on your results page, says Vanzanth. Or you can keep it somewhere safe yourself. You’ll need it if you want to continue your new weyrling’s story in the next game, “Dragonchoice – You Choose: Weyrling”. When it comes out. Eventually. He sniffs. You’ll still be able to start the sequel without a code, but the code saves all your adventures so far.

When will the next game be out?

Vanzanth gives you a jaundiced look. “Dragonchoice – You Choose: Candidate” took its developers two years to design, build, illustrate and test. Two years. He bangs his fist for emphasis. They didn’t knock it up in a weekend. They’re not full-time game designers – and they’re not getting paid, because this is something called ‘fanfic’. So it will be some time before they start work on the sequel, and it will take time. He snorts. And I’m old, so I could be dead by then!

Can I get involved with the next game? Can I donate to support the project?

If you’d like to contribute your time as a playtester or artist – especially if you’re a people-artist – you can contact the team at [email protected], says Vanzanth. He looks severe. You can’t donate money to support the project, but if you’ve enjoyed the game, and you want to make a donation to a worthy cause, the Dragonchoice project team would love you to make a donation to either Médecins Sans Frontières or to your local cat rescue charity. He looks disgusted. They seem to like cats, for some reason. Don’t see the appeal, myself. They’re barely a snack. And I hate horking up the hairballs afterwards.

It’s too hard! Can you make it easier?

Vanzanth gives you a most unnerving draconic grin, showing you every one of his stained, yellow, but still very sharp teeth. No.

About the game

What exactly is Dragonchoice – You Choose: Candidate?

It’s an interactive fanfiction adventure, he says, flicking his tail-tip with exasperation, as if it’s obvious. You create a candidate character – a young man or woman of an age to Impress – and explore the Weyr with him or her on Hatching day. You’ll meet the people and dragons of Madellon Weyr, helping or hindering them, as you see fit. You’ll follow quests, solve puzzles and decipher riddles, and all your decisions will shape the person you are. And finally – if you’re not washed out of Candidacy first, that is – you’ll Stand for the Hatching of Shimpath and Muzzanth’s clutch – and have a chance at Impressing a dragon of your own.

He thinks about it, and adds, It’s a little like one of the Pern Crossroads adventures – or those choose-your-own-adventure-type novels. Then he glares at you. But better. Because I’m in it. And anyway, it’s a much more personalised and reactive experience than flicking through a book. He gives you a hard look. And no cheating!

Is it just a text adventure?

If dragons could wear spectacles, Vanzanth would be giving you a withering look over the top of his. Do I look like text to you? he asks. It’s not just a text adventure. It’s been illustrated by some of the best Pern fan artists there are – Chris S Baily; Melanie Reynolds, Emily Holland, and Mat Baily. I don’t know exactly how many illustrations there are – stopped counting at 200 – but it’s a lot.

Is there a physical copy available? Can I print it out?

Vanzanth shakes his head. It’s an interactive adventure, he says, stressing interactive. The story changes with your decisions. Its not as simple as a book which only lets you turn to a new section. Dragonchoice – You Choose: Candidate changes and adapts with your decisions. There’s not enough paper on Pern!

Do I have to write anything myself?

Your name, says Vanzanth. He gives you a jaundiced look. You do know how to write your own name, don’t you? No, this isn’t like one of those old-school play-by-email clubs or fandom Weyrs where you have to write for your character. Your choices mould the story, but you don’t have to write it yourself.

Do I need to have read the Dragonchoice fanfiction stories first?

Stories? Vanzanth asks, sounding outraged. Detailed historical chronicles, you mean! He looks quite affronted, but settles down. No, you don’t have to have read Dragonchoice. Madellon Weyr will feel very familiar to anyone who’s visited Pern before. And even those who haven’t, for that matter.

He gives you a hard look. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read Dragonchoice, first, though. After all, you might pick up background information about Madellon Weyr and its riders and history that will give you clues to things in the adventure!

Will other people’s playthroughs affect my story?

No. Vanzanth sits back on his haunches. Your story is YOUR story. We have hundreds of candidates – dear Faranth, the thought of it – but each adventure is exclusive to you.

That being said, he adds, you will be unlocking Achievements and scoring points as you play through the adventure. At the end, you’ll send your results to the Wall of Fame to be compared to all the other candidates. And there’ll be prizes periodically for high scorers, or those with many Achievements.

What colour dragonets can my candidate Impress?

How many do you want? Vanzanth asks.  There are only five. Well, four. There’s no queen egg this time, thank Faranth. Boys can Impress bronze, brown, blue, and green dragonets. Girls can Impress greens, but – and don’t quote me on this – it’s been known for a girl to Impress a blue, under very unusual circumstances.

Can I play the adventure more than once?

You can, and you should! Vanzanth tells you, unequivocally. There are many paths, many different endings, many Achievements – some of them mutually exclusive, so you can’t unlock them all in a single adventure. Different decisions will lead you to different outcomes. Even the same decisions could have alternate consequences, if luck’s on your side – or if it isn’t!

Can I play Dragonchoice – You Choose: Candidate on my phone?

Vanzanth looks momentarily baffled by the word ‘phone’. Then understanding dawns. Ah, your equivalent to fire-lizard communication. Yes. You’ll get the best experience on a big screen – more room for pictures of me, you see – but it’s a browser-based experience that you can play on a phone, tablet, or desktop, anywhere you have an internet connection. He rolls his eyes. Whatever THAT means.

Do I have to play through the story all at once, in a single sitting?

Vanzanth shakes himself. No. Your game will be preserved in your browser so you can leave at any time and go back to it, within the same browser. And at the end of the game, you can save your character – ready to be imported into future Dragonchoice – You Choose adventures.

When and where can I play Dragonchoice – You Choose: Candidate?

Shimpath’s clutch is due to Hatch on 102.03.17. In your calendar, that’s…let me just convert it…carry the one…  Vanzanth looks up, clearly juggling numbers in his head. Right now, at dragonchoice.com/you-choose!

Vanzanth looks at you expectantly. Well, any more questions for me? Send them to [email protected] and I’ll post the answers here!

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