November 2023's Writer Support Thread

Oh, are we sharing our code skeletons this month?

I’m actually rather excited to do that, so here’s a skeleton for a scene in the rewind section for my upcoming update.

I could talk for hours about the code, but I’ll put my ramblings under one of the summary thingies.

The code
*comment backstage 
*label backstage
*set tebackstage + 1
*set tebackstage + 1
*if time < 1
    *goto timesup
*if possess_cd = 0
    *goto depossess
[b]You are currently backstage.[/b]

*if alert = 0
    The concert is continuing, business as usual.
*if alert = 1
    Concert Security is on stand-by.
*if alert = 2
    Concert Security is on high alert.
*if alert = 3
    *goto police_arrive

*if time > 1
    [b]The concert will end in ${time} minutes.[/b]
*if time = 1
    [b]The concert will end in 1 minute.[/b]

*comment remember to set times and possess cd
*if tebackstage = 1
    *comment first entry first instance
    *if door_guarded = true
        *comment subsequent instances - door guarded
        *comment subsequent instances - door unguarded
    #Try and talk to the production crew.
        *comment persuasion check
    #Approach the man guarding the door.
        *comment text about you approaching him, but he threatens you.
            *comment placeholder choices
                *comment chances of victory here enhanced if player chose the dash ability
                *comment persuasion check
    #Phase through the fence.
        *comment only selectable if player chose the phase ability at the beginning of act 2
    #Move to the main concert area.
        *set time - 1
        *goto main
Ramblings about the code.

So, the main mechanic of my WiP is that the mc can rewind time after death, (which people have kept ramming into my head is similar to the anime re:zero, which I should probably have watched by now what with all the comments I keep getting about it), And that necessitates a, to put it bluntly, a butt-ton of temporary variables. Each scene can be visited multiple times with different context. The player might be visiting it for the first time, or they might be visiting it for the 5th time. Each instance the text will vary based on knowledge that the player will have found out in a previous instance. Before writing the actual text, I use comments as placeholders so that I know what each bit will be, and once I’m happy that the code works,(which takes an annoyingly long time with a code as complex as mine. Seriously, a randomtest took about an hour the other day.), I will add in the code. For example, in the code I provided, there is the man watching the door, which can either be there, or not based on your actions in previous areas. I’m gonna stop myself here because to explain it further, It would probably be better if I just up and pasted the entire code in, and at that point I may aswell just tell you to go read my Wip.


Yes! Yes! Yes!

Chapter 24 of Last Dream is finally online!

Thank you, everybody for your constant support. I love you all :heart:


This looks cool. You have various levels of alert that would act as an A.I for the guards---- I am assuming.

Have any of you ever forgotten to change a place saver? I do this all the time. You are reading along for mistakes after posting and then the choice response will say " [something interesting about the ships]" ---- And I’m like, “now that is good writing. This story is ready to publish!”


I have a special word I use to mark that kind of locations, so all I need to do is run a search for it to see if I have forgotten a placeholder.


I’ve actually been pretty productive (surprisingly enough!) My goal is to have Raishall’s final draft finished before the end of the year (and hopefully sooner. Depending on busyness levels and amount of editing required might even be within the next week or two if I’m lucky.) Game is written, I’ve finally got all the bugs out (I hope, one section was as buggy as I feared it would be :upside_down_face:) Currently doing another edit for wording and choices (Enchanter and vision routes are done, just need to do the spirit route now which admittedly is the most complicated of the three). Might need another stat balance too, but we’ll see.

It’s been a weird one to write. I’ve done a bit of an unusual thing for CSG where it is written in different “persons” depending on which of the 3 linked stories you are reading. (First, second and third). It does make a difference to the way each game feels I think. (Whether it works of not is another question, but by this stage I’m just kinda going for it and will see what eventuates.)

Since we’re all sharing excerpts, here’s a little one from my vision route in 3rd person :slight_smile:


Arum reaches out with his mind, stretching to the edge of the veil and calling out through the void. Heat forgotten, body lost, his soul floats in between worlds facing a rippling doorway. Though the archway strongly resembles the disturbed surface of a pool of water, a barrier that should be little hinderance to the creatures beyond; he knew it to be locked tightly from both sides unless you possessed the key.

Shifting forms move in the inky blackness beyond. Nightmarish shapes contort and twist as if made from the darkest of nightmares. Though out of focus he catches flashes of long grasping fingers and snapping rows of needle sharp teeth. They seek to scare him.

“Why have you come mortal?” a bodiless voice whispers through the barrier with the raspy texture of dry leaves being crunched underfoot. “It is dangerous even for one of your ilk to come to this place.”

“The need that drives him must be great.” Another shade chimes in, endless hunger suffusing its words. “What do you want of us? And more importantly what are you willing to give in return?”

The Raishall considers his words carefully. He must be authoritative. Any hint of weakness now would spell doom. Yet it was also wise to remain polite enough not to earn the ire of creatures known for their vindictiveness and memories that stretch into eternity. Calls appealing to compassion or fairness would be of no use here. It must be need verses reward. Clear and precise without without any room for the spectres to twist his words to their own gain.


My excerpt for this month:


Your focus narrows down to your task, to the rhythm of it. There’s something meditative, if you put your mind to it, about the simple work your station allows you. It lets you wander through the corridors of your mind, through memories and thoughts that otherwise would be neglected.

@{(dept_palace = “Clothing Department”) The press-push-draw, press-push-draw of your thread through the fabric is rhythmic and calming. You have already planned out your pattern, and at this point, you’re proficient enough to think on other things while working.|}@{(dept_palace = “Palace Kitchen”) The chop-chop-chop of your knife down onto the table, vegetables shaped into the appropriate chunks or diced cubes or slices with barely a thought, your proficient strikes avoiding your fingers by rote.|}@{(dept_palace = “Tea Store”) Your feet are sure as they pitter-patter back and forth between the storage and the cleaning tubs, ferrying trays of pots seasoned by years of tea. Your steps pull and sting in your legs, but you’re used to the repetitive excercise.|}

Your mind turns to-

So apperantly you can’t put coding in /details like that. Huh. Weird. Good to know.

Anyway, my life has been a goddamn rollercoaster. Made Affiliate on twitch, so that’s nice, but I’ve been SORELY unable to devote time to working on my game. I can’t even figure out a way to sneakily work on it at work, cuz the computers there are all heavily watched, and anyway, I only get 30 minutes for lunch. Which is just barely enough time to eat and use the restroom.

But I think I’m about 10% of the way through the “Bullies dont get attention” path. XD


That is super smart. Instead of being funny or silly, I could just be smart about it. Who would of thought?

I actually didn’t know exactly what you meant until I thought about it for a bit. That is really interesting. I like that quite a lot. Is it the 1st person that is harder? Or just the spirit ability that makes that one harder? Since we are talking about point of view, I have the MC take over other characters sometimes in conversation and action. Those are 3rd person so I guess I do not use 1st person anywhere. Anyways, very cool concept. What a way to challenge your writing chops. I’m not sure I’m a good enough writer to pull that stuff off yet.

Speaking of which: I think I am almost done aligning the tense of my story. I chose present tense as I think that lends well to 2nd person and emersion. I do think that if I wrote a novel I would be inclined to do 3rd person limited. I can understand why that is such a dominant point of view. It lends well to fun story telling. I find it easier to accomplish. What do you all think?

That is cool Niki. I had to look up what that was because I’m a fuddy duddy. I wanted to start my own fishing channel years ago. Bought the go-pros and everything. Before I got my nose out the door, the whole market flooded. I also realized I’m not good at documenting things on camera. Having a pod cast would also be neat, but I find the same thing. Just so many people doing it. What kind of stuff do you want to stream? I talk to a lot of people that follow story writers on pod casts. I thought about this as well. I wish you all the luck. Just like writing, you just have to get that first good thing out there and keep the ball rolling. But its hard to get going. Keep us posted.


Imagine how nice it would be, if past me had actually written down all my notes and thoughts for plot and worldbuilding for my projects, instead of just assuming that I would be able to remember the details forever…


Well, my husband and I play video games. Him Monday, Me wednesday, and both of us together on friday nights. I also record and upload segments of coding that I do, sometimes. Havent had the opportunity to do so recently. He and I started the channel when I was out of work to hopefully attain some income.


“Perfect is the enemy of done.”

I can’t claim credit for it (I first saw it on a Facebook page called “Cult of Done”, at least a decade ago). I still think it’s very solid advice.

It worked quite well for me today, for example.


The stuff I plan to share this month has also too many spoilers at this point to be shareable. So I am going to share a review by Manon on the intfiction forum. This one is for the version submitted to the Bare-Bones Jam.

Maverick Hunter: Scandalous Mission by Noah Si

This is a demo/proof of concept/fan game, mashing up the Mega Man IP and Crème de la Crème by H Powell-Smith.
It had first been submitted to the Bring Out Your Ghost.

Thoughts: I didn’t know what to expect, but it for sure wasn’t this!
The project is definitely a demo (I found a few uncoded variables/statements on a passage), and probably isn’t supposed to be serious? I know it has some references to both the IPs mentioned above, but I don’t have enough prior knowledge to know for sure what is and what isn’t (though I could take some guesses).
The game starts off with a ‘get ready to fight some baddies’ moment. You can pick a sidekick and who you will fight. It’s very serious and important…

… aaaaand the demo ends on a homage to Pick Up the Phone Booth and Die (no matter what you pick). It’s silly, but the whiplash from going to a set story to this made me laugh a lot. I don’t know whether it would actually fit the story planned, but I kinda hope it stays in the game.

Thanks for the good laugh!

If this is the kind of feedback people give, then thank you a lot! Market testing is hard, but at least I took the first step. No more spoilers, I’m afraid.


I don’t think it’s necessarily harder, just different. (And will likely be received differently by readers as 1st person predominates in CSGs.) Although some people disagree, I feel like 1st person is more immediate with little character/reader separation in the storyline (I did this.) 2nd person to me with the “you” make me feel like “my created character did this”. (This is just my feelings on it, I know it’s quite subjective in how different people relate to the different pronouns in CSGs.)

To my knowledge there are no 3rd person published CSGs because it becomes a character guiding game where you choose for the character being played. (The character did this). I had what I think are good reasons to write it this way although I have a feeling we’re in “famous last words” before everything falls apart territory with this one :stuck_out_tongue: . (Start with a MC (1st person), move to an alternate point of view with an inhuman created character (2nd person), see an event from the past with a 3rd point of view character (3rd person.)

I think 3rd person limited can be a great choice for a non-interactive story. You’ve got a solid MC, and can let the story evolve because you’re limited to one point of view instead of being more omniscient by knowing what many of the other characters are up to and thinking. It can work well in IF as well, but I’ve never seen one take off in CS. I think it’s because of the heavy emphasis on customised character creation, and by its nature 3rd person lends itself to preset MCs. In saying that, I do actually like the idea of guiding a character through a game in 3rd person. I think there are some stories that could be told very well in that viewpoint if done right. 2nd person present would be the most common and popular CSG format so is a good choice for a game planned to be written that way.


I think this is really interesting subject though - how different people have completely opposite views on the immersiveness of “I” and “you”.

(I am in the camp of where “I” feels like “the character did this”, like listening to someone else telling a story about themself.)


I have been wanting to try out a third person story with customization. I don’t see anything inherit to third person that stops it from being possible. The plan of this story would be to control a team or family as a whole, but with a player created MC. It would be closer to the reader playing the roll of narrator.


Not at all, they actually turn up in other kinds of IF, just I’ve never seen one done in choicescript because the expectations of what makes a CSG popular tend to be quite specific (but yours could be the exception! You’re right there’s no reason why it can’t be done, and done well.). Here’s a couple of examples I can think of off the top of my head that use a definite third person perspective (and that’s not including all the grey area ones that use a set a MC with a very specific voice to make it fairly clear you’re guiding the MC, but still use second person to describe the actions like Zozzled ) :

The Queen’s Menagerie (I’ve seen a few by Chandler Groover use 3rd person.)


I’ve been in a slump this whole year. I think I’ve written maybe 100k words, about a third of what I would have normally written. Hopefully inspiration strikes at some point


Fell ill after ESGS, so all the stuff I should’ve done for the past two weeks was unfortunately relegated to the backburner. But now, I’m gradually recovering, so I should get everything in order now.


I hope everyone is starting off their last “week and a bit” off well.

I’d like to remind everyone that there is no single right method to writing, so while I use a skeletal structure, such might not be “right” for you.

Regardless of the method you use, flexibility is still key to be both more productive and effective.

With that in mind, this past week, I filled in about a third of chapter four’s structure and with the second third of the structure, I revamped it to better fit the whole.

While such a change-up might be more obvious if you are an “architect” or “planner”, it is still a skill you should work on if you are a “gardener” or “pantser” type of writer as well.

While writing, until the final copy is submitted (and even then, there are post-release updates) details have a way of changing.

I use notes, both comments in the code and notes I make outside of the text file I am working on, to help me determine when and if I need to change something.

What other helpful things do you use to help you recognize change is needed?


Playtesting myself is a big help for me if I’ve written the draft already - I almost always tweak things while I’m testing, as that’s a great way of showing me where something flows awkwardly or if something’s unclear, or if several parts of a paragraphs join together to make something that’s too short (which can be harder to spot on a page of code).

Recently I noticed that something needed changing because I’d postponed a particular plot element/scene happening in a previous chapter and now that it was time to script it, I didn’t feel like it fit in the current chapter either. So I rethought the whole thing as I realised my instincts were telling me that it wasn’t quite right, and I think my plans about it are stronger now. If a particular scene is causing problems - and there aren’t other aspects such as life getting in the way - there is likely a reason for it and it’s worth taking a closer look.


I’ve got to a plot point that introduces a magic tournament for young witches that occurs every year and features the newest witches one year later. (So the witches in this tournament this year would be witches who got their familiars last year).

At the moment it is just a mention and it will be possible for the MC to take their young witch to see the event.

I do plan on having the MC and their witch take on the event at some point but that would require a timeskip so I am considering offering players two options.

One; they get to play through a training montage (this will basically go through how magic spells work - introducing ranks and spell speeds etc)

Two; they can simply skip that bit and have the story jump a year later (the training would happen in the background)

I am thinking players can choose option one on a first playthrough but can they skip it on future ones if they don’t want to go through it.