January 2023's Writer Support Thread

Im glad I can finally participate in these threads, now that I have a WIP. :slight_smile:

January Goal: Not so much a writing goal as it is a coding goal but whatevs. Finish laying the groundwork for the system that my entire game will be based on, and finish writing chapter two.

Piece of advice for procrastinators, such as myself:

Have 2 WIP’s to bounce between. When you get writer’s block on one of them, start thinking about the other. That will likely motivate you to work on the other. And repeat.

9 Likes

That depends on the person, and my experience is having more than one project implies not ending both. I need complete focus on the plot and lore I am working on. If I switch, I always let one of the products be shelved or the average quality plummets.

A contest two years ago presented two games, each about 25k or so (not bad for only a month) both ranked well. But It has become a bad memory because I am sure if I focused on one, I would have that game published and not be in my current situation.

9 Likes

I fully agree it depends on the person. You have your way of working, and I have mine. In the end, the only one who can decide your personal way of working is your self. I just wished to provide mine incase it may end up helping someone.

5 Likes

Hi everyone!

Thanks to everyone’s support, Chapter 12 of Last Dream is ready for playtesting!

I love you all, guys! :two_hearts: This incredible feat (one chapter in less than two weeks) was possible only thanks to every single kind-hearted person who makes this forum a great place!

Happy 2023 to everyone! Never stop writing!

14 Likes

A thought crossed my mind recently, and I’m curious what all your opinions on it are.

When you are working on a piece of IF, whether you’re a small time WIP creator like myself, or an author for Choice Of Games, do you consider yourself an author or a Game developer?

I guess what I’m trying to ask is, do you consider yourself to be writing a story, or coding a game?

Personally, I think it can be both depending on the situation. There are definitely times when I am focusing more on heavy coding rather then writing, the RPG mechanics in my WIP have definitely been giving me a headache. But there are also times when I am writing large detail orientied scenes that don’t have much variety with player choice.

But again, that’s just my opinion.

5 Likes

I think of myself as an author. I’m writing a story, it’s just a slightly more complicated story. The coding is a necessary evil (which I kinda hate :joy:)

5 Likes

Definitely consider myself a writer/future author over ‘game developer.’ The ‘game’ mechanics are much more secondary to the writing. I will say though that I feel I have been reminded of my times in Python and Renpy through refamiliarizing myself with Choice Script, though comparatively Python is stupidly unintuitive and Renpy is difficult to get into past a surface level. I think both terms are valid though, if someone wanted to call themself a game developer and they were an author of IF.

[Even just considering the titles given to published writers, they are considered authors whom have published.]

2 Likes

I consider myself an author first and foremost, mainly because my coding skills are terrible. I’m sure I could’ve slimmed it down, but Harper/Carter’s latest scene in my WiP was a choice, within a choice, within a choice, within a choice, and the wording of it all slightly changed depending on if you made out with them in an earlier chapter. So really it was a choice, within a choice, within a choice, within a choice, determined by an earlier choice.

The single scene was 130,000 words mainly because I haven’t ever used fake_choice before because my brain goes, “Yeah, but what if you need to change a couple of words with how it plays out?” I’m sure I could’ve gotten around it slightly with labels, but yeah. Original point. Author before game developer 100% of the time for me.

9 Likes

Here is the thing: It doesn’t really matter what you call yourself when making what is being marketed and sold as a game.

If you publish under the Hosted Game’s label, then the places your audience buys these story-games are gaming platforms. In addition to this most basic fact: the people you are trying to sell to are gamers and if you want to reach a bigger audience, then you’ll need to use game industry terms and concepts.

If you would like to avoid using the statistical mechanics, that is fine! You can make a story and publish it through HG without any stats in it what-so-ever. One of my favorite games in both the CoG and HG libraries is Creatures Such as Us, and it has no stats in it.

All games that have writing in them have stories being told, and some of the best authors write stories for games.

If you decide to have stat mechanics within your story, it is important to focus on them and work to make the mechanics you include workable and enjoyable. Just as you work on your writing, working on your mechanics is essential for success.

All of us have chosen a way to tell our stories that is a challenge – Interactive Fiction in many ways is harder than either writing a novel, or making another genre of game. It is our blessing and curse in this niche.

5 Likes

It depends a lot based on what sort of work I’m doing and what stage I’m at, and whether I’ve got other work or commitments in a day. I do tend to gather more momentum at the beginning and end of projects. On a very good day I’ll write about 1000 new words in an hour. More often it’s less. Regardless of how many hours I work, I don’t remember writing more than about 5000 words in a day and it’s not sustainable for me to write at that sort of pace - the quality suffers and so do I.

I do detailed outlines, and make notes of difficulty balance chapter by chapter. I could stand to keep more detailed track of things if I’m honest, especially for the more complicated sections.

I consider myself to be both writing a story and coding a game. I am not solely writing, nor am I solely designing a structure or non-written narrative. My job is in game writing and narrative designer, depending what work I’m doing on a project (with CoG I do both). As with many game industry terms, studios and projects will vary wildly on what “narrative design” means to them but I firmly consider those roles to be part of the “game developer” umbrella.

6 Likes

I do tend to gather more momentum at the beginning and end of projects. On a very good day I’ll write about 1000 new words in an hour. More often it’s less. Regardless of how many hours I work, I don’t remember writing more than about 5000 words in a day and it’s not sustainable for me to write at that sort of pace - the quality suffers and so do I.

I wrote 10k once in a day and it took 8 hours, also I ended up cutting half of it later so not recommended lmao.

I do detailed outlines, and make notes of difficulty balance chapter by chapter. I could stand to keep more detailed track of things if I’m honest, especially for the more complicated sections.

I am kind of curious what it looks like! Though I could understand if you didn’t want to share lol. I myself only have a set of scenes in my head that I need to work, then follow from there. But I am pretty new, so it probably would benefit me to have more concrete notes. (I have in depth notes on world building and lore, and on the characters, but the plot itself is mostly in the dome).

I consider myself to be both writing a story and coding a game. I am not solely writing, nor am I solely designing a structure or non-written narrative. My job is in game writing and narrative designer, depending what work I’m doing on a project (with CoG I do both). As with many game industry terms, studios and projects will vary wildly on what “narrative design” means to them but I firmly consider those roles to be part of the “game developer” umbrella.

What an eloquent response! Honestly, I find it difficult not to re-evaluate what I originally meant when I myself replied. Thinking about how we do have to design a cohesive narrative around stats or the like… There are components of both, so saying either or would be a bit strange, I suppose. Huh.

O h m y g o d. This is the fifth time I was meant to be copy pasting something and got distracted.

T h i s n e e d s t o s t o p :sob: .

2 Likes

I guess it’s not important how you call yourself.

IMHO, the most important thing is creating fabulous games. Nametags are useless. IMHO they only make a pretext for pointless discrimination.

BTW, I consider myself a human being who’s crazy about IF.

*Edit: chapter 13 of Last Dream is now ready!

Thank you everyone for your support. I feel so energized, I am on a roll!

7 Likes

Me in the 2022 November thread: I think my wip will be in a demo-ready state by the end of the month! :slight_smile:
Life, work, and sickness: :eyes: :face_with_raised_eyebrow: :upside_down_face: :innocent: :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Anyhow… I’ve pretty much recovered by now, but my progress is set back a bit from before I was sick because I had enough energy to think about the things I want to scrap but not enough energy to actually fix anything. But since the new year I’ve been making good progress every day.

Good luck to everyone!

13 Likes

In a typical week, 1,000 per day. That’s 7,000 all at once and then six days of rest. Call me reverse God.

You keep track of the branches? I just remember it.

9 Likes

Something has been bothering me… are supernatural and horror the same genre? What’s the difference? I often see them grouped as “Supernatural/Horror”.

3 Likes

They’re not. You can have supernatural without horror (e.g., Wayhaven) and you can have horror without supernatural (e.g., SCOTUS reverses Roe v Wade).

7 Likes

Supernatural stories deal with supernatural creatures (werewolves, vampires, witches, etc). Horror is designed to make the reader feel fear. This can be done with the supernatural, but it can also be done with real things (natural disasters, serial killers, etc)

6 Likes

Building on what everyone else has said:

  • The supernatural genre incorporates elements that cannot be understood by science and operate outside the rules of the real world

Supernatural fiction normally concerns itself with matters of god, the soul, archangels, and resurrection. Subgenres include supernatural horror fiction (i.e. the work of H. P. Lovecraft), Gothic (i.e. Frankenstein), ghost stories, supernatural thrillers, and other macabre stories in the horror genre.

  • The paranormal genre of literary fiction includes beings and phenomena that are outside the realm of normal scientific understanding of the natural world.

Though the paranormal genre may include supernaturalist elements, this fiction genre generally includes creatures that have been popularized by folklore, fairy tales, and popular culture, such as fairies, aliens, shape-shifters, and the undead.

So, the key is supernatural = godlike/deity and themes that you normally find in religion and myths – things that can never be totally answered by science and modern learning

and

paranormal = fairy tales, folklore and urban legends. These topics might someday be explained (ie. ufo phenomena)

5 Likes

I feel like supernatural and horror mix really well. Like, when you think of a ghost story, nine times out of ten, it’s going to be a horror story.

1 Like

Both supernatural and paranormal mix well with horror.

Sometimes authors mix both supernatural and paranormal together – much of modern fantasy has elements of both.

1 Like