Oof, I don’t know how much help I can be since I just joined this year as an active member, but I’ll try!
- There’s a broad answer to this, I think. Plotting comes down to the size of the game, how much lore it includes, and how much branching you actually want to have. It also depends if you’re more of a plotter or a pantser type of writer. Plotters have the outline ready to go, while pantsers go with the flow, or the vibes. I’ve worked on a game (both before and after starting my CoG journey) for three years, and the plot is still developing in new directions.
Keep in mind though, that more branching =/= better game. Too much sidetracking can pull people out of the core idea of the game. Eg. There’s an alien invasion going on, why are we suddenly having tea with a RO’s estranged grandmother? (Not from a CoG game, but my own. Ouch the self-burns.)
They sure are a thing! Either you can have the entire forum as a beta when posting you WIP publicly, or you can do a beta tester call-out. I don’t know much about the subject, so I’ll let someone else explain that one.
Oh lawd the burnout. When staring at the code feels like a jab in the heart, I know that sensation well. When that happens, I personally take some time to get to know my story again. It’s easy for it to stagnate at some point if there’s no clear direction to go. If you’re able, take some time to write another blurb that takes place at another time in the game, or write a snippet of a character you subconsciously favor over the rest - I mean, uh, that you feel most inspiration for.
It’s always good to explore your own world as well. Make a Pinterest board, find some music that fits the setting, and try to find that sensation you had when first conjuring the idea for your game. What got you excited then? Try refocusing on that. Writing should be fun, not a chore.
- That’s pretty much a personal preference. I have 3 WIPs that get almost equal amount of love, while I have my business and job outside writing. Sometimes it’s better to just work on one project as long as you’re passionate about it so that if real life gets too hectic, you don’t feel guilty for working on only one project while the others just sit on the sidelines. It’s all about how much you can handle.
This took way long to write, yikes. But welcome to the community! I’ll be looking out for any WIPs under your name