You said in your opening you can master magic? May I ask how I learn this?
KISS THE COOK!
I think this idea is gold for your story and setting. Very necessary, imo, for reasons I’ll summarize as “taste-beauty.” It’s contrast, you see, to an otherwise overwhelming feel of bleak darkness. But it’s somewhat ineffectual, making it all the more beautiful-futile. I’d just aim for the right meaningful nuance, so they don’t end up a clunky caricature. I think it works best if:
- the person is bad at communicating with words–their eloquence comes from this catered taste experience
- scarcity forces them to improvise and risk their life for ingredients
- it preserves culture for refugees in a world where culture is being destroyed
- it actually ends up being the unifying social glue for a resistance.
Two good examples come to mind if you really want to nail it. Maggie Gylenhal’s character in “Stranger than Fiction.” I think her character is executed just about as well as can be. So much so that, actually, I’m not going to name the other. The last thing I’ll say is that I think your story needs this. Well-crafted romance is a big draw for many in this medium and isn’t as strong in your work, presently, as the military action. One or the other tends to be neglected, maybe? All just my opinion.
Sorry if I put anxiety in your ear about this. I’ve worked a bit in screenplay myself, so I totally get it. Not so with the tap map, though. Film has the advantage of cast, crew, set design, soundtrack, costume . . . If a picture’s worth a thousand words, even the slowest motion pics move at 60 FPS. Helps trim exposition. You’re definitely right to be wary of the opposite. A thirteen-page shire opening is outdated in a world where Joe Abercrombie has barbarians cracking heads and jokes by the dozen inside of paragraphs. But he isn’t largely inventing things we’ve never seen before. Tropes condense word count, but you’re unprecedented. Fantasy is even harder than fiction, I think. In fiction, of course, there’s the double duty of every line to depict action and character. In addition to this, fantasy has to explain what things are. When only prose and the “power of your imagination” are on the easel, I think you have to slow but maintain interest in ways that doesn’t carry action forward into confusion. I don’t think you’re in danger of that. As ever, it’s about picking the right telling details. The thing that bespeaks others. Master scenecraft. Etcetera. In prose, I think the only real rule is not to be boring.
Sorry if I’m being a prolix slash pedantic asshole. I struggle with all these questions on the daily, so it’s nice to know someone else is suffering. Happy to calibrate feedback however it helps you best: salt, silence, specificity. Only love and good vibes coming from this direction, fellow fantacist.
P.S. The second romantic chef is Monica from “Friends.”
The gap between player expectations about this based on the description and the game itself is one of the things I’ve marked for improvement based on earlier feedback in the thread.
This is a world where magic is dangerous, arduous business at the best of times, and the queen has snuffed out most arcane knowledge… but you can become an accomplished spell-slinger by the end of the game as one of your long-term goals, if you make the right choices. I’m going to take some time to surface this goal more clearly, and allow some more early victories for players who are interested in this path like yourself!
No problem at all and appreciate the feedback. I’m going to take some more time to bring out the romances earlier in the game. As you can see from my past credits, I’ve mainly professionally worked on games with heavy dating sim elements, so it’s something I’m happy to lean into, but as there are already a lot of balls in the air with this game it’s something I’ve taken a relatively light touch with up until now. But it’s important to continually remind myself that subtlety is usually the enemy when it comes to player expectations and the possibility space of a game!
I am very interested!