I never know how to start these sorts of things but here we go.
[For extra flavor, read like a 20th century newsreel presenter]
“Welcome to the Awakened Era, where Megacorporations rule the world and magic and technology co-exist in an uneasy balance. Homo Sapiens has been eclipsed by the dawn of Metahumanity and forced to acknowledge that they are neither important nor special. Your life begins in The Vertical, a gargantuan city once destined to be the nexus of the new world, but has been abandoned for years under mysterious circumstances. In the vacuum, gangs have fought each other to a tenuous cease-fire, but carefully crafted plans passed in dimly lit boardrooms threaten to upset this fragile peace you find yourself in.”
So yeah, that’s the premise of this little project I’ve been working on. It’s still in a really rough state and I have no idea how long this is going to take me, especially with how I’ve got it all planned out in my head. This is gonna be a rough first impression but I really need to stop dragging my feet on this. Expect to see more details as I eventually get around to it.
Note for Early Readers (Somewhat Important)
I envisioned this first demo to be a little glamorous than it turned. [Some more champagne and crackers celebrating a job well done. Rather than coffee, instant noodles and a patchy rush job.] Oh well. As of writing [23/11/2020], only 1/4 of the opening routes is complete (The Protectorate) (Wow, it sounds worse when I say I only managed to get about 25% of what I planned done). Man, I really wanted to put a more complete taste of Act 1, but I did give myself a deadline to meet. Hopefully once I know this is actually out there and there’s a possibility that people might see it will light a fire under my ass to keep at it. And hopefully you stick with me long enough for this to get better.
A Few Words On Feedback
So, given it’s been a while since I’ve been able to write fiction, forget something as ambitious as this, I’d like to get some feedback on a few things in particular, so I can settle back into a style of writing that doesn’t feel all over the place.
However, given I’m the type of person to rewrite entire pages if you told me a single paragraph felt “off”. I’d like to actually make progress on this thing instead of constantly reiterating on the same content, I might scale back feedback on completed sections after the initial impressions. So please keep feedback on sections I’ve already addressed related to the simple stuff, or else give me a really compelling reason to change something.
With that in mind, I’d really appreciate if you could offer me your thoughts on how I accomplished the following:
For (the first playable quarter of) Act 1:
Introducing the reader to the world and the characters in detail, but in a way which doesn’t come across as your character as having never met them before. i.e. Avoiding “born yesterday” syndrome.
In a similar vein, giving the player character their own predetermined “routine”, but allowing the reader to influence how that routine is carried out.
Experiencing the “average day” of the main character while also engaging in early foundational world building and character interaction that is interesting enough to avoid being boring. The intent is for the first half of Act 1 to be a bit of a slow burn allowing most fbefore [SPOILER] happens and things really get going, but I don’t want it to feel like it drags on, since first impressions mean a lot.
Acknowledging the reader’s choices. While having completely unique routes for each starting perspective would be nice, I would probably die of old age before I finished this game, and I would like to avoid that. Having the reader go “hey, it recognised my class/ race choice” occasionally enough to give off that impression is what I’m aiming for instead.
Punctuation. There’s nothing that quite drives me up the wall more than my own punctuation (tied with people who don’t put back the luggage tray in airport security). If you notice I haven’t used the right style of punctuation in my writing, let me know, and rest easy in the knowledge that you may have saved me from going insane.
Character Profiles (Under Construction)
Given I haven’t even finished the opening act yet, telling you about characters that haven’t been implemented yet would be a massive no-no. Bear with me for now.
A Few Questions You May Have. (Or not, the fewer questions the better, really.)
This sounds familiar… Shadowrun, is that you?
Well ya got me there, chummer. Yeah, this is basically Shadowrun with extra steps. This idea has been drumming in the back of my skull ever since Shadowrun Returns hit PC all the way back in 2013. The fact that it took me 7 years just to even get started doesn’t bode well, but we’ll get to finishing that bridge when we get to it. I originally intended to code this as a playable workshop campaign when Shadowrun: Hong Kong came out, but it turns out having to make character portraits and design levels was too much for my puny brain to handle, so here we are, typing words on a screen instead.
Hey who knows, if I finish this, I might actually make that custom campaign too. (Probably not though.)
Any idea on how long this is gonna take?
No. Oh God, please, no. Don’t even jokingly ask this. I have no idea, months at the least, years more likely. If you shot George Martin with a moose tranquilliser every day while he was writing, he’d still finish before this. Plus I have a schedule more erratic than a bumblebee on bath salts, so it’s probably best to tell your grandchildren this will never be finished and they’ll be pleasantly surprised when it does.
Also I procrastinate. A LOT. What can I say? My mere existence is an insult to the concept of “order”.
- Date of Release: November 23 2020
Version: “Most Likely To Be Abandoned” (1)
Contents: A quarter of the first half of Act 1 released.
Protectorate Route Completed
Notes: Oh my word this code looks ugly, but we did it. Time to keep at it.
Damn, I’ve run out of things to stall with. Well, here it is I guess: