Adventures in ChoiceScript Land!


#1

*goto April 5th, 2014

Downloaded Choice Script. Check.
Downloaded Notepad ++. Check
Downloaded mod thing that is optimized for Choice Script to use on Notepad ++. Check

Do research on Saturn’s moon Titan. Check.

Flail arms in air because game isn’t really about Saturn’s moon Titan. Check.

Open up startup.txt in Notepad ++. Refuse urge to scream WTF and drink alcoholic beverage. Check.

Start deleting old choices with words relevant to own story. Check.

Add stats. Hmmm…medic sounds good. Oh mining! We like mining. Let’s see here…explorer? Exploring? Yes, exploring, much better than cartography, although less fancy. Maybe get fancy later.

Add choices for character development based off current profession in game. Lots of setting introduced by character’s profession. Questions on whether or not background should be so fleshed out or if more questions asked. Will contemplate later. This is a test, a test of the emergency broadcasting system.

Okay! Now…add extra scene to see what happens. Maniacal laugh, maniacal laugh.

Add ending.

Okay now time to test! La la la la, first scene, ChoiceScript rights and licensing agreement. Should I delete this? I don’t know. Seems like I should. Never seen it in any games. But they might beat me up. Will figure out later. Ooooo my story. Hallelujah! Oh wait…error. Error. ERRORERRORERRORERROR…crap. Why is line 27 causing issues with line 76? Nonsense they aren’t even related. Spaces and tabs…you piece of…

(Forty-five minutes later)

Oooooooooooh. I really need to learn how to read. Okay. Remove all spaces and tabs! KABOOSH! Now redo to all tabs instead of spaces, you naughty default ChoiceScript you. Okay…now things work.

Play through first choices again. Good, good. Gooooood. Buh whahaha! Everything is coming to plan.

(Click on stat page)

Where are my bloody stats? Gosh darn it! What did I do wrong now? I created and set the variables. Why they no show up?

(Research on Choice of Games webpage)

Ooooooooh!

(Edits choicescript_stats)

Fly my pretties! Fly! There you go. Alright. Check.

Rename game…Wasted! Check.

Pat self on back…check.

Alright good. Now I feel like I’ve actually accomplished something. Ideas are buzzing in my head. I have something around 7,000 words. I’m pleased. Now to get ready for work. D: But will be back to play with ChoiceScript tomorrow.

*ending


#2

*set congratulations 1


#3

It’s not so bad once you get the hang of it. :slight_smile: The error messages gave me a lot of problems at first. Glad you’ve work done with a game anyway, even if it might be a test one. :slight_smile:

And you did around 7,000 words in one day? I really need to up my productivity and stop being distracted. Or switching projects/restarting.

Keep it up!


#4

@Havenstone Thanks! Glad you appreciated the humor in my OP. :slight_smile:

@DavidGil Well you have to keep in mind that this is the beginning of the story, the bit that I have been stewing on for awhile. I can write fast when I’ve already written that part in my head. Although part of that is kind of being made up as I go along.

However once I’m out of the introduction and preliminary (who is my character) shenanigans, I’m expecting that it will be slower progress. I’ve got NPCs to figure out, paths to map out, and you know…I still have to figure out how long the game will be.

Anyway I’m just glad I figured out the basics. There are so many things I’m going to be playing with and so I figured I would create a kind of journal based on what kinds of challenges and accomplishments I have had. It’s one thing to hear from some of you pro type peoples about how you’ve gotten where you’ve been, but it’s another thing to actually witness a person climbing from the primordial ooze of n00bdom into what’s hopefully a finished product.

That being said…I honestly think just seeing my ideas in my web browser with the actual appearance of a game…was enough of a milestone to get me pretty sold on the product. It really isn’t that hard. Although I’m still not quite sure why *choice and *create had to have the same tabbing/spacing. Iono. That was my issue though. So apparently when I was deleting some of that stuff about what kind of kingdom I wanted to have from the default text, it all got thrown out of whack.

I plan to do some more advanced scripting later, but until I get further along in the story I’ll be sticking to the basics. The other thing is I don’t really want to broadcast a WIP game until I get along further, but I kind of wanted to voice my thoughts somehow, hence this journal thread. :slight_smile:


#5

I’m no pro either. :slight_smile:

One thing though, if I may . . . if you ever need help with mapping your story out, you might want to look into Inklewriter or Twine. Just for the graphical display of the branching paths.

I can totally understand not wanting to share your WIP as well. I did so way too early. I’ll probably just start a new thread at a later date. (Oh, and I know full well the headaches that coding can bring. I was getting very frustrated, and it’s annoying when the solution is so simple)


#6

Hmmm…I just briefly played with both Twine and Inklewriter, and I do think Twine would be pretty useful. Thanks for the tip!

I have done some scripting in Neverwinter Nights, but ultimately I’m not really much into coding either. I think I have looked at Choice of Games as something possible, but until I joined up with the message board, I didn’t think it was probable. The community here is pretty excellent and even reading random threads gives you a few pearls of wisdom here and there.

Thanks for sharing your experiences, @DavidGil! I’m sure we’ll both do good with our projects and see them through to the end.


#7

*goto April 7th, 2014

Still working on character professions, haven’t been able to touch game in a couple days, busy busy. However spent a little bit of time thinking about science and how character would feel at the end of his/her mission. Was originally an assumption, but now given a choice. Nothing huge. Happy? Bittersweet? Disappointed?

The narrator…or is that me? Oh dear…

Created a fake choice, but suddenly thought about science having a potentially important impact in the game should player choose it. Certainly could be valuable, yes. And if that would be a variable, well…should I give every profession a unique outcome for the end game? Might be interesting. Maybe complicated? Hrm.

Spending far too much time figuring out the world of the introduction. Totally different, but kind of nice brain explosion to set up the story. Well maybe not, but still more unique than, “You’re having a cup of tea and suddenly decide to consider your life choices. Are you a man or a woman?”

*Ponders the option of being an android*

…nah.

Well…maybe something to toss into the story later if it happens.

Anyway…fake choice errored and I yelled at it. I reminded it that it’s not the boss of me yet. And I proved it by looking at the ChoiceScript Wikia. I was like, “Hello friendly advice!” And it didn’t answer back because that would be awkward of it.

So there it was…

Never ever ever frame the question on the same line as the fake_choice.


*fake_choice How does that make you feel?
#I feel excited! The findings that I have discovered must be shared with the world!
You’ve done a lot of good work. While not all of your fellow colonists truly appreciate the discoveries you have made during your ten year contract with Project Titan, you are sure that Earth will find your experiments extremely valuable. Things like the analysis of Titan’s atmosphere and the reconfiguring of the colony’s equipment were just the tip of the iceberg. You will find incredible wealth after you file patents that will increase life support and sustainability with colonial technology.

			But there's more.  You haven't shared this with your colleagues, but through your research, you unlocked one of Titan's greatest secrets.  The planet is a literal fuel factory, one that seems to have no limits whatsoever.  You've discovered just how it's possible, and have ideas on how to replicate those abilities on Earth.  You'll be rich beyond your wildest dreams.  Possibly a Nobel Prize.  You might even inspire your own science revolution.  Just think...a lack of resources forced you on this rock.  But with unlimited fuel you might be able to see a [i] real [/i] planet to colonize one day.  And that's what you really desire. 

La la la, indent…nope.

Spacing? Nope.

Ooooooooh!

Don’t put the question in the same line as the fake_choice.

*fake_choice
# Yo what’s up homey?
You really need help you know that?
# You should probably stop typing on the forum and work on your game.
Don’t you mean -you- should? Oh wait. There we go again.

Question just goes in normal block of text before the choice.

This is all well and good except for the fact that…it might not even be a fake choice. Now I get to mess around with the idea that I can set variables.

*create sci_prof false
*set sci_prof true

Kapow! I think that’s how it works. Well if it doesn’t I can be sure of one thing! It will be horribly broken and I will fix it. Like Doozer from the Fraggles.

The question is…if the scientist comes back to Earth with knowledge on how to adapt Titan’s unique way of manufacturing fossil fuels (which apparently aren’t biological in origin after all)…what kind of great and wonderful things can the other professions bring back.

The explorer…I BRING YOU…ROCKS!

Perhaps scientist will be 1st Day DLC. *Trollface*

No no no. Will dwell on it later. Can’t wait to get out of intro and into the real story.

(Last time I used ending, but that’s silly. This is just another chapter break…so…)

*finish


#8

If your story is half as funny as this diary so far it will be a great read. Keep up the good work.


#9

@WinterHawk It will definitely have dark humor to it. Well…that’s the plan anyway, I mean it’s possible that I could just turn this all into some elaborate dating sim where you play a Japanese school girl/boy who gains demonic powers during puberty.

*Scribbles notes*

I will tell you this…upon fulfilling your romantic obligations…and by obligations I refer to Bioware’s way of having every romantic event whatsoever ending in sex and nothing more…I shall give you an achievement. And it shall be the “Bow chica bow wow” achievement. And you will feel proud for achieving it and it will be a momentous occasion and you will tell all your friends at the water cooler, or all your friends in gym class, or all your friends that for some strange reason only you can see.

But yeah. There will be some humor. Lots of violence actually. Maybe a couple big battles. I really can’t be specific though because that would give it away before the demo.

Anyway I really enjoy this program called Twine that @DavidGil recommended. I’m actually outlining my game through it and it’s making me pretty happy. Through it I decided how I’m going to determine the main character’s sexual preferences.

At first I was like, “Maybe the narrator is just kind of nosy.” Trying to be clever about it. “Sooooo…that girl’s got a pretty nice butt, huh? Oh that guuuuy does? Heh heh. I didn’t think you were like that, well then…”

But then it was just too ridiculously creepy. So since the game starts with you leaving a place you’ve been for ten years, I thought it would be nice if you had some people you knew wish you off. And you can kind of develop your sexual preference based on whether or not you were secretly attracted to them. I say secretly attracted because the woman is kinda pregnant. It’s actually a bit of a big deal, although not really one for your character, and so you go about choosing if you ever thought about the big what if with her or with that guy or maybe with some other random person.

The Miner profession is now “Engineer” although there will still be a mining skill…maybe…on the fence.

I’m also adding a Corporate Bureaucrat to make use of a leadership skill among other things.

I’m thinking that every one of these professions will be able to add something unique to the ending of the game. Naturally players won’t be able to achieve everything. I think that’s a bit too…Übermensch for my liking.

Also because the characters have skills based on their professions with the setting…there are other skills that they will have the opportunity to learn during the setting. I’m not sure how to reveal skills as you gain them yet, but I’m looking forward to figuring that out.

So far my skills are:

Science: 50
Computer: 35
Farming: 20
Repair: 25
Medic: 35
Leadership: 20
Cartography: 20
Firearms: 20
Lockpicking: 20
Pickpocket: 20
Sneak: 20
Barter: 20
Pugilism: 20

Which I ripped off my scientist notes. I’m not entirely sure how I want to give skill points yet and things like sneak, pickpocket, lockpicking, barter, and pugilism will probably need to be learned in the game.

Firearms will be given to the Corporate Bureaucrat because well he’s the only person the corporation would trust to wield any kind of weapon, but honestly that is sort of a last resort kind of option and even he doesn’t have a very good skill of it. Eh that part is a work in progress.


#10

*goto April 12th, 2014

Spent three hours working on introduction chapter. Completely reworked profession description and provided them with one fake choice. At this point, it appears that there is a back story between the character between each profession, and perhaps the personality is kind of chosen for the main character (at least that part).

However that being said once Chapter 1 begins, the player will be able to make their choices contrary to how their bio is, although the prose might influence them to continue on the course. Who knows. I’m surprised by how the professions turned out. But I think I’ll keep things quiet until I am able to confidently release a demo of the introduction and first chapter to those on this website.

Due to time constraints the only profession I haven’t been able to write as of yet is the corporate stooge. Not sure how I will roll with the person yet, but I can’t wait. I think it’s going to already be evident that there is more than a skill bonus for each profession so I think it will be worth trying out the game from the different perspectives.

This has also given me some thoughts on gender and whether or not they should influence people in the world. As the situation will become very harsh at the start of chapter one, I’m wondering if sexism is worthwhile to put into the game. Typically games tend to make males and females equal and while my game would feel the exact same way, that doesn’t mean NPCs can’t have prejudices. So that’s sort of my feelings on the matter. Race is generally not an issue at this point. Originally I had thought about having certain bonuses or opinions based off of whether the character was from the Soviet Union or Canada or China, or America, etc.

However I decided to create a one world government at the start of the game. And even that, ultimately, will serve as a background for the rest of the game. There will be prejudices of another sort however. Different NPCs will react to the main character based off certain actions they take or companions they might have in their group.

But a lot of that will be in further chapters. For right now…I’m almost into Chapter 1. And it’s exciting. It’s also nice to not get as many errors this time although as the game gets a bit more complex, I’m sure I’ll be getting plenty. Hah. Still working on the project. Still feeling pretty good. My focus is on telling a good story rather than capitalizing on the genre. I’m liking it so far.

I also never thought botany could be an emotional experience. Huh.

*finish


#11

Your writing style is promising, your enthusiasm enviable and your story intriguing. I want to know more!


#12

*goto April 18th, 2014

Rough draft for professions done.

Botanist, Engineer, Corporate Bureaucrat, Medic, Scientist, Explorer, Generic Jack-of-all-Trades.

I added the Generic profession for players that wish to nix a background story and the bonuses that come with a chosen profession and customize their own character. I got the idea after playing through @JimD 's ZE: Safehouse. Although it’s not exactly as complex.

@JimD also gave me some ideas from the data service thing in his game. For the generic character…stat choices and skills are going to be chosen via a company survey. Dear God I’ve taken enough of those to know how ridiculous they are.

Do you enjoy your work? Strongly agree? Strongly Disagree. Silly. But oh well. There will be a form of that that the generic person will have to take before leaving Saturn’s moon.

And yes the game’s introduction takes place on Titan. It has nothing to do with Titan for pretty much the rest of the game. But you start as essentially a colonist on Titan, and well…things happen. Duh.

So anyway I’m going to be working on the survey.

Also on the agenda before leaving Titan…

After choosing profession character will have the opportunity to walk about the colony. There are mainly just different habitats and pods that are set up for the various professions to work on. It will tell you a little about the situation and you might have an occasional extra option based on your profession.

If characters are very interested in learning about the world, I would suggest they focus on high computer skills. Just saying…

I’ve noticed that the narrator gets a bit teed off if the player chooses a generic character. The reason? Well blame The Stanley Parable game. But honestly picking a generic character does kind of ruin the prose options for a background story so the narrator kind of feels like his skills are squandered. He actually starts to give away bits of plot, minor ones, and also threatens that he knows when your character will die. Apparently narrators aren’t the nicest people in the world. Then again how many GMs are whenever the players start to deviate from the general structure of the universe? Gotta adapt though, Mister Narrator Guy!

Anyway…I’ve had my first discovery of what it is like to add choices within choices. I was able to fix the error I received after understanding that I still need to code those in as separate choices and mind my tabs.

With the first part done…well until people start actually poking around in it…I can finally start to the part where people get to play around in the colony. It will be brief, not too fancy, as well…it isn’t meant to be a major part of the game, but it will also be the part where you choose your hair color, eye color, name, etc.

I’m also going to get to learn how to code the kinds of choices that let you go back and choose other options to get all the information you need until you decide to move on. So that’s gonna be fun. Will play around with options to show all options (including ones you missed due to professional choice or lack of skills) and only displaying ones prevalent to your character. Not sure which ones I want to do yet.

And once they seal you up in the ice box it’s right into Chapter 1 you go! I’m going to be so excited to take the story into Chapter 1. I think honestly I might just start up chapter one a bit and then make the demo available to see what people think.

*finish


#13

*goto April 19th, 2014

Today I successfully managed to contract an STD. Wait what? Oh wrong forum. Er…uh…right.

Wasted!

That’s the name of the game. It’s not about getting drunk. Well you -can- probably get drunk. Just don’t expect anything good to happen from it. Maybe I should have attached a spoiler warning…yes yes. Good idea.

===============SPOILER ALERT ====================

YOU CAN GET DRUNK, BUT BAD THINGS MIGHT HAPPEN.

===============END SPOILER ALERT==================

So today I am working on having your choices disappear after you choose them while still allowing you to go back to the same scene and make other choices. I expected to have plenty of errors, but sadly I only got one at the end.

One error you say? Yes, but I expected it. Actually I was just curious what would happen when you ran out of all the choices. And sure enough it erred. Sad world when you have no choices whatsoever. But that’s okay. I know how to fix it. I just need to write more content.

My narrator is starting to get more talky. Still not sure if I like it. But he really does seem to taunt the player with death. I think he’s a liar. That’s probably a real spoiler. Not in the way that Agatha Christie lies through her teeth in the Murder of Roger Ackroyd kind of way…

Sorry STDs reminding me of Detective Fiction 101 in college…fever destroying all rational logic…must…eat…potato chips.

But more along the lines of…Zork? Maybe not. I don’t know. Anyway at one point the narrator promises the MC that they absolutely positively cannot die while making the choices of wandering around the colony prior to the events in chapter one.

Is it wrong that I’m kind of contemplating putting in a way to die in each and every choice? (And there are a considerable amount of choices). It would be fun. I would play through a game just to see how many awful deaths I could get. But maybe the idea to play a game is not to die for some people…

Pansies! I grew up in the 80s! I remember games that literally didn’t care if you were crying to your parents that you couldn’t get past stage 3! I’M TALKING TO YOU KONAMI AND YOUR TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES GAME!!!

Battletoads…grr…mutant animals are jerks. Must remember that for…

So now that that works I’m going to be able to work on some nice and colorful things to put into the colony. I guess ultimately it’s kind of work that is sort of pointless. I mean I could just start at the beginning of Chapter 1 and I at one point had a good opening for that, but I always liked games where you kind of have that pointless opening where you can wander around and learn things and talk to people and not have any care in the world. There is a point to it after all. And you might even discover things that will better prepare you for the adventure.

Oh and if you seriously choose “Stand still and rethink your life…” You know…I might just make that an ending in the game. I mean shucks, why not?


#14

*goto April 19th, 2014

Just had a battle between *goto and *goto_scene

It seems to me like ChoiceScript gives you a choice. *Gasp!* You can do everything -for the most part- in startup.txt except for your death scenes or the end of the game, etc. Or perhaps for the sake of not going insane you can create additional scene text files that link up to other scenes.

However as I learned…once you create other scenes, you cannot link back to startup.txt because it will completely reset all of your variables. E’gads!

The only reason why I even wanted to have a second scene was because I couldn’t seem to get the main character’s room to work without the choices there melding into the prior section. But that’s when I discovered that once you go scenic there’s no turning back.

Frustrating. But it was a formatting issue that I was messing with in the first place, so huzzah! I win again ChoiceScript. It’s all a matter of actually reading the wiki instead of glancing through it.

I’ve also used such wondrous feats of coding such as ITALICS. Ooooo. Maybe the entire game will now be in italics. That way everyone can see just how l337 my skills are.

Anyhoo…I now have choices that allow the player to go back to other choices and also disappear after the player makes them. I kind of feel this makes up the meat and potatoes of the choice script experience. So I’m happy. I also through in some references people should know.

Now there is one slightly annoying thing about returning to a scene. And that is the fact that whatever I label the scene with it’s going to show up. And it’s kind of repetitive. So if anyone is reading this maybe they can offer me some ideas.

What I’m saying is…

Let’s say I have a choice that takes the player to:

*goto your_room

And then I label it.
*label your_room
Your mom sent you here because you’ve been a very bad boy.

Now every choice in the game in said room…will basically be like this:

*Choice
#Look at dirty magazines
You look at dirty magazines.
*goto your_room
#Clean your room
You clean your room because that’s why you were sent to your room in the first place.
*goto your_room
#Throw darts at the David Hasselhoff poster on your wall.
You throw darts and they stick in 2D David Hasselhoff’s chest hair.
*goto your_room

Now see the reason why you keep going back to the same place is so that you can continue going through the options. But every time you pick an option it would look something like:

You throw darts and they stick in 2D David Hasselhoff’s chest hair. Your mom sent you here because you’ve been a very bad boy.

…wait what? Now it sounds like I’m being sent into David Hasselhoff’s chest hair. This is starting to become a much freakier story than I could have ever imagined. But honestly I would probably play this game. :stuck_out_tongue:

I hope this makes sense. Anyone have any ideas?


#15

[Must say I’m enjoying this diary immensely - very amusing, and oddly nostalgic! :smiley: ]

You could try either *page_break or two consecutive *line_break commands (which will insert a blank line) before each *goto. Alternatively, use a second label immediately before the *choice to prevent repeating “Your mom sent you here…”