I continue to try to sneak in work every now and then during the semester, biding my time until I can go full throttle again! Today was my first major writing day in a while, and I spent the time totally reworking the flow of the chapter to make sure that every path through is fun and varied and reflect the big choices. Today was a coding and revising day, rather than a straight-up writing day.
If you are interested in how the game design angle works, here’s what I was working on, without spoilers, but also probably not very interesting to the vast majority of people:
Early in the chapter you make a big choice that branches the chapter out in two. In route 1, you have the choice of adventure A, B, or C; in route 2, you have the choice of adventure D, E, or F. These aren’t huge things, but they are significant vignettes.
However, I was mulling this over and realized that I wanted more return on my writing investment. So I decided that in fact, I wanted the player to experience two adventures, not just one.
So I had to choose: do I have the player one of A,B, or C, and then one of D, E, or F? Or do I have the player pick two from A, B, and C or two from D, E, and F? Or do I just trash D, E, and F altogether and have the player pick two from A, B, and C, to make it easier to write? Do I let everyone pick B and C, but A is only available if you made the first big branching choice, and D is only available if you made the second big branching choice?
In short, it was the classic dilemma of making the choices matter a lot v. having finite time in this life to write.
This morning over breakfast I was making all kinds of flowcharts. Anyway, I eventually opted for having the player pick two from A, B, and C or two from D, E, and F. This has the advantage of more content for the player (two adventures instead of one); it honors the first big branching choice (you are either on the ABC path or the DEF path); and I can put in the option to skip the second choice if you want to get on with it. It has the disadvantage of taking a long time to write, since I have to write six interesting vignettes, but I think I’ll make up the time elsewhere as I trim out some less interesting stuff in favor of keeping the action tightly focused on the characters.
I’m also explicitly making this chapter have some thematic and structural symmetry with Chapter Two of Tally Ho, so this change helps me reflect that a bit.
And so, in short, I’m biding my time, grading essays and finishing out the last month of the semester, before I can devote myself to this full-time! As always, I’ll update the first post of this thread whenever I write, with a sentence or two to let you know what I’m up to.