Ongoing CS Projects


#1

So I’ve always been curious as to how many CoG projects do you guys work on at once?

Reason for my curiosity is because, personally, I’ve never been able to focus on one and actually finish it. I literally will start with one, get to the middle stage, think of some new great idea, and then write that one as I write the other, and the process starts over. I literally have five projects at this moment, all at different stages. And even then, I know some will never make see the light, but it’s like something I HAVE to do cause it helps me out.

So yea, how about you guys? And I’d like to know why if you have a reason, I’ve always been interested in how others work through their projects and if they also know that half of their ideas will never fully ‘make’ the cut.


#2

I’ve just started out with writing these, but I feel like this is going to be the case with me as well. T-T


#3

I sometimes have more than one project started, but I usually only work on one at a time. So if I’ve started work on one project, I’ll put the one I was working on before to the the side for awhile and come back to it later. (Usually this is only 2 or 3 though.) :blush:


#4

Heh. One is plenty for me.

(I did try developing one for work as well, but didn’t have time to finish it.)


#5

I have only one active project at a time although I do research and such for 3 different projects that I’m prepping for once I finish the current project. One active project is all I can handle at a time though/


#6

Just the one–I don’t think I have it in me to try to maintain excitement for more than one at a time.


#7

@Havenstone, @Eiwynn, @Gower so if you guys get bored of that one project do you just take a step back from it and wait a while before trying to go back in? Or is there something else you do?


#8

I just plug away. I’m pretty relentless like that. I just sit and write and write and write. It’s not necessarily the healthiest relationship with writing, but it’s how I’ve always done it. I’m impressed by people who can juggle multiple projects at once. I don’t have the mental bandwidth to hold that all in my mind at once, I think.


#9

I turned out to be very quietly hiding my writings from prying eyes except a few selected ones that test scenes for me.

Currently, my main project would be From Ashes We Rise, followed by Second Chances.

Besides these two, I have some side project I sometimes drabble in when I don’t want to continue with the other two. Mostly some kind of Space Game, another is a Fantasy-Medieval-Techology game (kind of difficult to explain…), and yet another is about Gods and some Vampire game is sulking in a corner over there. (Points at the Dusty Corner Of Doom.)

While yes, I write on all of them from time to time, it depends if I have an idea I want to write down or not. Do you also have the feeling that, when you suddenly have a brilliant idea for a scene, you just must write it down? That’s how some of the mentioned games above were created. I don’t want to lose those scenes.

That, in returns, lets me think about characters and relationships… I have three of four full casts already for games nobody ever saw. While I am proud of that, it’s kind of annoying that they won’t see the light of day in the near future. Hmph…


#10

Yep, the same exact way. It always starts out as something small and I get this great idea. Characters and settings all begin to come together and I’ll get so excited but as I start writing and go through, it’ll end up dying because the story line just fades or something else. And there the story just sits, collecting dust.


#11

There have been stretches where I’ve got very little done on my project, but those have as much to do with real-life distractions (busy times at work, binge-watching Breaking Bad, horrific elections) as they do with how I’m feeling about the game.

Like @Gower, I write even if I’m bored with the bit I’m working on. I’ll probably be less productive for a while – more readily distracted by the forums and Facebook – but I’ll never entirely stop working on it.

If I jumped over to another project during the code-intensive bits of XoR, I’m pretty sure I’d never finish. :slight_smile: Others may find they’re able to be more productive by swapping projects, but I don’t think I’d work that way.


#12

@Havenstone, we have very similar lives, apparently! On last season of Breaking Bad at the moment!

@Gower, not to thread-jack but are you working on a new CoG?

And I can only focus on one story at a time. Every time I mention another story idea to my wife, she says, “Go work on CCH.”


#13

Hey there~ this is something I can relate to. :\ Not that I think it’s -good- that I can relate to it, alas. But I do tend to sidetrack easily- and I’ve sparked on a lot of experimental ideas I haven’t finished. I guess I count them as a sort of therapudic step-off to keep from burning out, now and then.

I’m coming to grips with the fact that I can’t really write on more than one project at once, despite making attempts. I need to learn to stick to one more than I do. :\ That said…

I really do feel more or less just like you do at times. Like, when I get an idea, I -have- to get it set down to a certain point, even if I know I won’t finish it. I’ve come up with a lot of good ideas working with code and scripting that way. A random name generator, a realistic in-game clock system with month, day, hour, minute, seconds, and AM/PM. Could do year, too, easily enough, but didn’t. I’ve made a room-to-room interconnected exploration structure that lets someone move from room to room. I’ve done work on an array that shuffles a deck of 45 ‘cards’ (variables) and keeps track of which will be drawn. I’ve worked on a multiplayer turn-based game (more work to do than it would seem). I figure given enough time I could create things CS was never designed to do. Make a roguelike game. Make a legacy game. Make proceedurally-generated content. Heck, make a poker game if I actually wanted to.

The truth of it, is I don’t really have the time for it, if I want to actually write. But I do it anyway. I just do these side-projects occasionally to keep myself from becoming complacent when I reach an energy-level sort of writer’s block.

On actual writing projects… I’ve tried working on more than one at a time, and it never really works. I have to sacrifice something to work on something else. So I have to pick my priorities with some amount of care. :\

I can relate to Wraith’s frustrations, for example, of having ideas that probably won’t see the light of day. I figure, though, that if I’m challenging myself with unique scripting projects, I’m both building my own ability to code in new and interesting ways, and building code that I could theoretically use later on for other projects if I wanted. A sort of knowledge portfolio to draw upon.


#14

You need to request more interns from Langley then.:wink: Curious what it was about? Designing an efficient distribution system with limited resources, water management in developing areas, that sort of stuff?


#15

If it is just normal bleh, I sit down and just write; like @Gower and @Havenstone - even if it isn’t used I find that writing on the project will usually inspire me.

If I am ill or have really bad writer’s block, then I do take a break. I usually try to find something that will inspire me.

As an example: I just binged-watched Friday Night Lights on Netflix because they won all sorts of acclaim for developing characters and that is something I can improve on and it has provided me inspiration, so I’m happy.

Lastly, if life is interfering and I need to do some work to avoid guilt I will switch to do research on those future projects I mentioned. That keeps my mind off life and my writing


#16

My bet it was something like what the Red Cross is doing with gaming - teaching tools and scenario planners.


#17

I’m working on something called The Illusion of VR (working title). It’s barley started, but I hope I’ll be out with a demo sometime this year.


#18

Choice of NGO Quality Standards. You are an NGO director and have to choose how much staff time and resource you’re going to put into ensuring quality vs simply delivering results. You can’t do gold-standard work in everything, all the time; but if you fall below a certain threshold of quality, people will start to suffer and die. How good is good enough?

I thought it would be a more engaging way to teach the quality standards of my former employer, with stories based on the real trade-offs that country teams have to make. Alas, while I was given a dedicated week once to work on it, it wasn’t enough for more than a good working outline of the game… and other tasks kept crowding it out afterwards.

Enjoy Ozymandias…


#19

That…actually sounds really engaging, if not for entertainment value. 'Tis a shame that tasks get in the way of dedicated time to complete it, but the idea sounds too good to stay AWOL forever, as a good game can pose an ethical question to the player while still maintaining the “game” aspect of it.

I’ve dabbled in ChoiceScript a bit, but I’m still wrapping my head over what all the commands do and don’t do, how many scenes should I use, how should I branch out, what idea I should start with, etc.

Nevertheless, it’s good to hear that we’re not alone, and that we’re more than willing to share our struggles and advice with each other, even if our circumstances are different. This thread can be useful should I decide to get back to coding, it’s fascinating.


#20

Normally, I stick to one.

I’m working on two different one’s at the moment, Icarus Sun and Model Citizens: Unmasked, and though it’s a rare case for me to work on two it’s worked out pretty well so far. But I think that’s because they both have their strengths and weaknesses for me.

I enjoy writing Unmasked more than I enjoy writing Icarus Sun, mostly because the majority of writing Icarus Sun is actually rewriting. I’ll write the basics of a scene, then decide it’s too long or too short or doesn’t account for X factor of the story and I’ll go back and rewrite it. There’s a lot more to keep track of with Icarus Sun so half of my time is going back and rewriting it to accommodate for the fact that the story really isn’t supposed be told from one perspective, or one possible side. So whenever I write one scene I’m never just writing one scene, I’m writing at least three different scenes that all take place around one event. Which can get really, really tedious.

With Unmasked I’m just kinda going for it. Throwing my hands in the air, checking my plot outline to make sure everything is in order and diving headfirst into the story because the main plot doesn’t require as much excruciating attention to detail 24/7. It’s a much simpler story so I can focus a lot more on just writing it well and having fun with writing it well.

Then, there’s the flipside of that. I like the story of Icarus Sun more. It’s more complex, I can put more time and detail into making the little things connect and mirror each other. I care about it more because I have to care about it more for anything to make sense and not just be a jumble of loosely connected ideas. Especially so because Icarus Sun actually started out as two entirely separate ideas, then I cut one in half and sorta slapped it onto the other, and have spent the rest of my time knitting together the seams of the two. It’s more of a puzzlebox to work out, and I love puzzles, so I love creating Icarus Sun’s story more, because Unmasked is simple. Unmasked had a very simplistic premise and, though it’s gotten much, much more complex since I started flushing it out more into Model Citizens: Unmasked then it’s original form of just Unmasked, it’s still pretty simple.

Then there’s character draws of both of them. Icarus Sun has characters that I’ve loved and developed for a long, long time- even before I started writing it… But so does Model Citizens: Unmasked. I have characters who I love to write and write about in both of them, which always pulls me back to each.

In the end, I write two stories right now because I don’t think I could write any one of these by themselves.

I’d probably get tired of writing and rewriting, envisioning and revising Icarus Sun if that was all I spent my time on.
I’d probably get bored of the story of Model Citizens, and try to complicate it more or make it more interesting, losing the original premise altogether if that was all I spent my time on.

I already sort of saw it happening with Icarus Sun, which was why I started writing ‘One Page Stories’ to distract my attention, just let it flow freely without worrying too much about whether or not I checked my ‘Plot Points’ document to make sure I’m keeping in line with and setting up everything that I’ve already plotted out ahead of time. When I found myself liking Unmasked enough to continue it on I rewrote it and changed most of the plot so that it would hold my interest but… Well, I didn’t overcomplicate it, I had Icarus Sun as my complicated and strange kid while Model Citizens could just be my free-running wild-child of a story.

So, normally, I write one. I write one story that’s somewhere in the middle of the two, always constraining myself from keeping it overcomplicated, but also trying to let loose enough to write what I wanted to write.

I’m writing two because I wanted to write the stories as I thought they should be, and to give myself the ability and freedom to write as I wanted to without changing what I wanted to actually say. So this is actually an odd time for me, writing-wise, but I might suggest trying it out for anyone who struggles with keeping to their stories.

Because it’s really, really helped me.