A piece of advice as I start to write a game


#1

Hello guys! I created recently this account but was here before that. Reading all the amazing stories, a goal crept into me, to create one too. I think, i may be a little jealous of developers since they make the readers go mad in some cases! (In a good way) They create engaging and captivating stories, with vast backround and everything. It makes you drown in all of it and hope that it will never end.

So, long story short, i started too. Have written 10 pages of content with small choices here and there. But as far as i get, i am loosing it.

Should i write everything in choicescript? Should i write in doc and include every option with a describing? Should i just write the story how i want it to be and after, include the choices?

I thought it was easy… hell it was not, and i kinda blocked. And then, there is also small choices that will impact everything and it is sooo overwhelming!

Also, i want to include punishment system. Like lost heir did. But i dont know what would make the player wanna sucrifice this or the other or better, regret the bad choice…

It is so easy when you think of it, but when you jump in, there is sooo much! Are then also any tips for starters like me? Maybe keep notes or something?


#2

Yeah, definetely keep note or something :thinking:
Ooh, no. I’m serious. I have a whole separate folder to put my worldbuilding pieces while the actual work is on another folder.


Now, my journey on being this amateur IF writer is pretty… long? Short?
I joined this 'lil community at January and begin writing my own WiP at February.

Now, to keep it short, I’ll put a series of “stuff I did” when I was like you, a wannabe writer.

Get excited > Learn Choicescript > Mess up with CS > Posted my first WiP > ashamed > hide from the forum for a long time.

And on my hiding…
Open youtube > Extra Credits channel > Chris Fox channel > Overly Sarcastic Production channel > Skallagrim channel > Terrible Writing Advice channel > Feeling confident

After feeling confident…
Write the 2nd WiP > didn’t publish it > ponder it > unsatisfied with it > abandon project

After that
Worldbuild more > Go for the 3rd version > open private testing session > git gud feedbacks > very confident > swear to not abandon it again

Now we’ll see what will be the next on this little time-stamp of mine :]


#3

Ow, such a long road! Hope you will finish the game! I had also almost same experience! Almost delted the whole thing cuz when i begun the first time, it sucked! And i felt so baad. Thnk god i didnt delete it and now i can continue!

But when you did the script and all, you had everything pre-writen? Or just in the choicescript as you went?

And ya, i was thinking of notes, a lot of them too😂


#4

The best piece of advice I have is to write something small and simple your first time. As you noted, trying to create meaningful choices starts to transform a simple game into a monstrously complex one very quickly.

So I would say don’t try to emulate the complexity of your favorite games (yet). Go for simple and short, and gradually ramp up.

I like to write and code at the same time; I find that keeps me organized. But I plan stuff and make flowcharts in a notebook.


#5

The way i am doing it is that i make a rough summary of the scene first - what will happen in that part and where will it end and then start writing and coding at the same time - it’s more organised that way.

.


#6

The writing can feel like drowning in it, too! (To say nothing of what you start to hope.) It’s not easy at all, so look for an idea you really love before you set out to write. That love is going to have to get you through a lot of long slogs before you’ve got a finished game.

I recommend writing it all in ChoiceScript. Translating it later is hard, one more barrier to actually getting the game out there.

And I agree with Gower: start small. You can build from there when you finish – but actually finishing something, however small, will put you ahead of 90% of the WIPs out there…


#7

I’ve written a couple of very small CYOAs (just about 15k words) in the past just when experimenting around with the medium, and attempting to actually structure them is a huge wakeup call if you’re as lazy about outlining as I was. Overwhelming is absolutely the right word!

With the projects I start now, no matter what it is I write the plot out in detail start to finish, with a separate file for setting and background details and various things for my own references that may or may not ever make it into the story themselves. So make that a resounding YES to notes. You can never have too many notes. An hour of pre-planning can save you countless time and the headaches of having to rewrite half your story because you didn’t realize the problems it had until you were 40k in.

For the outline of the CYOA I’ll be attempting soon, I started with setting and character info, then summaries of each major path and its branch points, with notes on a few points where paths might intertwine. Otherwise I’m treating each of these like its own story with minor variations, so, standard story structure with the conflict and character arcs etc. apply there.

Once I get serious about the actual writing, all I’ll need to do is tackle each path one after another, just like any story, and then go back and fill in the smaller branches before moving on to the next major section.

Oh, and I use Scrivener for all my work. I love how organized it lets me keep things, I just split it all up scene by scene.