July 2023's Writer's Support Thread

I’m absolutely terrified yet excited at the same time.

After years of dealing with anxiety and depression (not to mention the pandemic among other personal issues), I finally have my first job interview. No idea how it’ll go, but I’m proud that I’ve gotten this far.


A recommendation from an anxious person myself. I recommend you focus on breathe techniques and in have a clear. mental idea of what do you want to say and stick to that. You will do great!


The :grimacing: news is that I started over. jfc I started over. I needed to. But I hate that. :smiling_face_with_tear:

But the better news is that I got through about 11k this last week, only about 7k of that is actual prose and the rest is outline, which isn’t as much as I wanted but still. Anything is progress.


If it makes you feel better, youre not REALLY starting over (unless it’s a completely different project). You’ve already tested some routes. You’ve probably found some things that work, and a bunch of ones that don’t. You’re already more fmailiar with the setting and the characters. Your starting line is further ahead on the track than it was.


It all depends on the type of person you are. For me as an anxious person with a tendency to fear failure re-starting is poisonous. I have a fear so overwhelming to fail and do the ridicule that it turns in do a scene of 10k or even more and erase it then start again and again when you feel guilty about it. Even if for most people re-starting is healthy; if you find that you are in a pattern like the one I described, finding therapy could be wise.

I am working on that myself, the month has been a rough one. But, I am proud of the fact that I could keep myself from erasing the whole game. So my therapy is working. Now, my objective is to finish this triggering scene without erasing anything.


Thank you. I really needed that lol I was so frustrated but that is an excellent and reassuring point! :heartpulse:

@poison_mara I know what you mean. I try to avoid restarting things because I do sometimes do it over and over and over and then I don’t ever actually finish the first run of the thing, but I’ve been a lot better about it over the last few years. I hope the rest of your month goes better and you can get through your scene!


if you need to talk about it you can always pm me talk helps.


I’m glad to hear that you found a therapist that works for you. :slight_smile:


And I end July by ending my game! Four weeks of beta testing, typos, changes large, changes small, and adding in pets that you can, well, pet. I am so, so appreciative of all the people who beta-tested the game. This was my first full IF title, and it was a big learning curve in many respects. I’m really pleased with the final version, and I just wanted to thank everyone for their ideas and passion about a weird little world of vampiric intrigue and pettable hedgehogs.


Congratulations, that’s amazing! I’m looking forward to enjoying it when it’s out!


Thank you for sharing your experience with us in the support thread, Dash!

The more all of us understand about how “the process” works, the more comfortable everyone can be working on their projects.

The Hosted Games’ procedure is not the same, but there are lessons to learn, all the same.

. :revolving_hearts:


I’m not really sure I have! There are various things I can give a deep-dive into at some point, from the whole writing process (very different to how I usually write, not necessarily in a bad way!), to how the beta ran (which is going to be incredibly subjective).

The feedback received in the beta was always helpful - and ranged from specific things like typos and spelling errors to general impressions that gave me a more complete picture of where the game sat, which beats were hitting, and where potential problems existed. By my count, I added 20,000 words to the story purely on reader feedback. That might be a drop in the ocean compared with some titles, but at this stage in a writing project it’s quite a bit.

My favourite bit? Reading which ROs people were attracted to (including some lovely thirsting for several non-romancable characters). There were a couple of audience favorites, and it wasn’t always who (or indeed how) I was expecting. It was really fun adding to the world around that.


That is awesome!

20,000 words is a short story or two all by themselves, so the fact that you added that much content based on feedback says a lot to me.

Perhaps you can do a post-release encapsulation or summary … I believe some others have done so in the past.


It’s lovely to hear what you’ve mentioned already, and if you wanted to share more I’m sure people would love to hear - I certainly would :smile: I’ve done it a few times now but it is different each time and I really enjoy hearing about other experiences and processes.

I’ve ended up adding loads each time I’ve done a beta - always more than I think I will, even if it isn’t a major plot addition or branch. It’s a big change going from a relatively small number of people playing to a wider view - especially seeing more of the big picture of how things flow and whether things have landed the way you intend. I’m always surprised in some way, which is fantastic but can be a lot to navigate!


I’d be happy to do a breakdown on release.

In terms of beta, one of the big reminders for me is that people have incredible investment in the worlds, and will ask for things you just didn’t even consider. The example (as mentioned above) is that one of the supporting characters has a cat. I was not expecting so many people to want to know, first, how the cat responds to other characters, and second, that they wanted to pet it! In the end, I wrote two chances to give the cat a good pet, added it to the epilogue, and even created an achievement (with a very tongue-in-cheek reference to a certain vampire franchise).

I was suprised how well some characters were received - particularly one character who is only found in one branch (there’s a part where the story breaks into three entirely different routes). Some of the parts I were particularly worried about got no feedback at all, and some parts that I thought were fine ended up with a lot of development at player request.

My process for feedback was relatively straightfoward. Generally, I’d go through all of the emails each night. If it was a simple line edit because of a typo or formatting issue, that’d be fixed there and then. If there was a great idea (and there were some!) I’d write it up, because that was the fun part. And if it was a request around a larger beat, or a more significant plot point, I’d generally wait a couple of days to see what other people thought, and go with consensus.

Some feedback was directly contradictory of others’ experiences, and where that was the case I’d strike a happy medium, or add a few lines to clarify things as required. And some feedback, while it was often really creative ideas, I had to leave out. That was either because I thought it unbalanced the game; because it would have required a huge overhaul (particularly if it would affect multiple chapters and moving parts - although my primary concern was always that I’d miss something that would no longer meet continuity, as I really didn’t want to introduce errors during the error-removal phase!); or because it was something that was explained or resolved in a different narrative thread. It’s not possible to find all the critical information about every character in a single playthrough, and that’s by design.

I also found it immensely humbling (and was especially relieved!) when someone found an error that I must have seen a dozen times and just blown straight by. It was also a real insight to see how people identify themselves with a protagonist, what they’re looking to play, and how your choice of words can interfere with that. The golden rule of never narrating a player’s thoughts or feelings is so important, and while I think I did a pretty good job of holding to it, I did make some changes to further allow everyone to interpret their actions freely. My respect for the audience to take the lead on the story only increased.


I have not written much recently but I have been brainstorming—flicking between the runecraft in Daemonglass and the vampires in The Graveyard Watch.

With runecraft, I’m now actually considering actually allowing players to learn runecraft alongside their MC and allowing players to make their own configurations (This will be a coding nightmare but if done correctly I think it could really become a fun feature.)

With the vampires in The Graveyard Watch there is now just the two types; the earthbound and the ghoul each with their own strengths and weaknesses.

Earthbound- they only rise if buried and must return to the earth before sunrise.

  • Intelligence +
  • Strength +
  • Speed -
  • Weak against Faith -

Ghoul- they are animalistic and cannot talk and has animal-level intelligence.

  • Speed +
  • Resistance to damage +
  • Intelligence -
  • Prone to Rage -

[These facts will be unknown to the MC but can learn about and these are subject to change as the story is written]


Well, I’m gonna take a few notes from you, as I’m about to finish my own WIP and will enter private beta some time after the public beta ends next month. Congrats on that milestone.


Whew. I’ve just written a gut-wrenching love confession scene in Falrika the Alchemist.

Why gut-wrenching? It’s because I’m trying to channel my arrogant, overconfident self onto an RO, considering her chatterbox personality.

I sometimes display that attitude while in the process of proving myself as a capable scenario writer and narrative designer who’s still yet to land a cushy position in the game dev industry. Case in point? The WIP thread itself.


July Report:

Still no news on the publishing of that tale.

Posted some concepts (I’m not calling them wip yet) in the interest check thread, if someone would like to take a look and leave a vote.

A few observation:

  • I kind of expected the superhero one to be high;
  • related above, I was expecting “I like as it is” and “I want to know more before I decide” to be almost even;
  • I didn’t expect the fantasy mystery to be so low;
  • I didn’t expect the “game mechanics” be so high for a fantasy romance concept;
  • very few seem bothered by the content warnings, but I don’t know if I can trust this one;
  • I’m disappointed by the lack of comments despite a good chunk of votes went to various “it can be improved” options.

PS Does anyone know how to build a poll with not secrets votes? It would make easier to count them.


:tada: I did draft Honor Bound Chapter 4, submitted it with Chapter 3, and did my edits

:tada: I did do the fixes and the save import; you can now import your Creme game into Noblesse Oblige and your Noblesse Oblige game into Royal Affairs; I added some very minor references to both

:tada: Elite Status came out and I did a couple of fixes for it

:tada: I’ve outlined Honor Bound Chapter 5 and have started on some coding

:tada: I have made inroads into one of the nebulous things mentioned, which is an extended epilogue for Royal Affairs; I signed the contract last week and it’ll be a free update at some point in the next few months; I’ve done a very broad outline and am excited to get on it