Organization


#1

Just a quick topic, I guess, but how do you guys prefer to keep organized while writing/programming?

I don’t write linearly, so it’s easy enough for me to keep track of what I’m working on at first, but once I get past about 500 lines I start to get lost scrolling through it all and that slows me down a ton. So I just thought I’d ask and see how you guys organize to keep it all together in your mind.

Thanks ahead of time for answers.


#2

This thread is a very good idea. My writing space is a disaster with printouts of code, sketches, email feedback and dare I say copious notes on post it notes, envelopes and wadded pieces of paper. Wait…you’re talking about organization IN the scene files? My bad.

Anyway as far as my actual coding organization I insert comments describing the main events of the chapter. I even put an estimate of about how many lines i anticipate devoting to each event to keep me focused and to break it into chunks. At this point I’m just trying to get one chunk completed per night.


#3

I write and plan linearly. My problem is that I don’t flesh out the plot enough before writing. This results in a lot of rewrites and slow progress.

Right now, I have roughly half of my story in detail. The other half is just a collection of major plot points. That means I have to work on the second half at the same time I am working on the first half.

My organization is horrible at the moment, but I hope the experience from this gamebook will help me organize better for the next one.

Another problem I have is that I never wrote anything long.


#4

@DSeg, not to derail but what are you working on?


#5

When writing Trial of the Demon Hunter, I literally wasted 3 months trying to work with a coder, and 75,000 words ending up being scrapped because I didn’t plan carefully enough. Now that I’ve learned my lesson, I make sure to make a detailed outline before writing ANYTHING. So far that’s gone well; the sequel to DH is the same length, but it looks like it’ll take about 7 months instead of 14 months to write because I know how to code and I’m actually planning it out prior to writing it.


#6

I keep my script, outline, and notes in a word document, and then I go in and actually add the code whenever I finish a chunk of the story. I also use the smart headings that Word has so I can quickly navigate to whatever part of my story I need to see. They make it so much easier to stay organized.


#7

For actual coding, I use XXXX to denote any unfinished piece of code. Perhaps an unwritten choice or unfinished paragraph. Then, when I want to continue I hit Ctrl-F and search for XXXX to find a part to write.
I also use comments a lot.


#8

I write using Notepad++, which helps a lot with things like indenting and having a million tabs open at once (as I usually prefer). However, I do also take notes on paper, usually in rough flow-chart form, though they’ve been getting a lot less rough since Sabres of Infinity.

I’ve been trying to become more organised, taking more detailed notes and outlines, but it’s not a habit I can stick to very well, and I will very frequently improvise something when I realise that something that *should* be in the outline isn’t, or when something that is in the outline proves superfluous on second thought. Mecha Ace was far more thoroughly planned out than Sabres of Infinity was, and I think that let me get away with much more voluminous branches choice-wise (An average playthrough of SoI is about 1/3rd its total wordcount. For Mecha Ace, it’s more like 1/5th). Of course, that also means a lot more continuity errors, which is what CoG is helping me find and fix right now.


#9

@Cataphrak
I feel like I should know this, but does that mean Mecha Ace is official?


#10

@Samuel_H_Young
Yes it is. It’s also the reason why I didn’t make the WIP version publicly available.


#11

@Cataphrak
Well congratulations :slight_smile:


#12

Well i didnt planing anything and go slowly only doing a scene at time never starting other until first it’s ended. It’s annoying track multiple scenes same time in a mobile .


#13

Im working on an outline first with only a few scenes actually written. Plot and such isn’t enough to write anything about on here as far as demo is concerned. I make notes when I think of something while working. Otherwise I wait for home to do anything on it.


#14

Haven’t started a game yet, but I’m mulling over a few ideas. These are all good organization tips. I’ll keep them in mine, and if I find anything helpful I’ll post it


#15

I have the most horrendous organisation possible. Wait, scratch that. I have no organisation at all. Tabs open left right and centre, labels scattered thousands of lines down each scene. I thankfully have the line bookmarker to help me remember which line I was previously working on. Wouldn’t know where I was without it :slight_smile:


#16

I keep the story structure (main points, branches, what I have completed and what is at 25%, 50%, and so on) in a mind map. Mindomo is a great tool for that.

Within the code I have a stack of lines at the top of each section in a scene:

*comment ========
*comment the hero decides about supper
*comment NOT DONE
*label supper

I update the third line, of course, as the status of that section changes.


#17

For me, I write and code at the same time, and I keep a seperate text file where I have the notes written for the chapter outline. I fill in the chapter outline as I go along and I usually try to write it one decision tree at a time. Then once it’s done, I continue writing until the next decision tree comes up.