Hey, folks! Wee update and a few treats.
Completed concept art for Vera and Vero.
Early sketches of male and female Saz.
Update: did a first pass edit of ch7a (for those of you who were waiting to read). It’ll need another pass for prose before we’re through, but that’s done. Usually, it takes me like 2+ days to do a big chapter because I can’t bear to read my own writing–like hearing your own voice on the phone.
Based on this closed poll . . .
. . . I’m next writing the Coastal Duchy Chapter, followed by the Blizzard Duchy Chapter. Based on my original plan, I have 13 more chapters to write, with 5 optional additional mini-chapters, e.g. 9.5–1 vacation day per duchy. By the math, with 350k-ish words remaining, it puts the 13 chapters at 22k av each (though the last 2 have been >30k, I like to make later chapters shorter for the feel of acceleration) and the 5 mini-chapters at 12k words each (about 2k/RO/duchy date, so 2k x 6 x5=60k). Barring the unforeseeable, I estimate a completed draft in 4mos. Then maybe 1mo to weave in gender swap, achievements, fine tune stats, etc. I’m considering outsourcing some editing to speed things up, but that’s especially tricky given my propensity for making up words and creatures, as well as using fragments etc. Anyway, now you know what I think I do. Lastly, here are some game design questions people have asked me via DM which I thought I would share with the readership at large:
Will gender-selectable ROs always default to female if you say you're into both?
After I finish the 25 chapters I have planned, I’m coding a chapter 0. There, you will be able to toggle on or off achievements (ruins immersion for some), toggle on or off art (slows old phones and weak net), and choose your gender preferences for ROs. Right now I’m thinking 4 choices:
- Set them all to male.
- Set them all to female.
- Some of each (default or randomize)
- Decide one by one (this will be harder for first playthroughs)
Could there be some more halfling-specific text with regards to the height of other characters a halfling player encounters, because in some places it seems calibrated for a human?
Really good catch. When I finish the first pass, I plan to comb back through and insert options for clothing, gender, race . . . In terms of process, it’s just easier for me to get in the little details when the structure is in place. I had nightmares about people pointing at me about the halfling height discrepancies . . . worst fears realized!
Romancewise, will there be a point where we're locked in to a single RO and will it be easy to tell?
To be honest, I haven’t completely decided. All the ROs are player-sexual, and all will be gender-swappable. I think some would be into polyamory, and some would not. For Zale, I wanted things to start physical and work backwards so that the last thing you know is something completely casual like his/her real name. I want to rework Trudy so that you start at 100% and can only lose rep, so that it’s about keeping as much as you can. Probably, I’ll do a poll after chapter 8b, to see what people want. I’m not possessive about the finer details of my stories, so I’m pretty open to what people are interested in.
Will there be sex scenes for all ROs if the player isn't asexual?
I haven’t decided. And it’s hard to ask people due to spoilers. Not one of the ROs has a flat arc, that is, not one is the same person by the end as when you met them. And, based on your decisions, it will be VERY hard to keep them all alive. Plus, they’re different. For Zale, sex isn’t intimate. There will likely be many hookups, but that doesn’t mean he/she will ever tell you the truth about his/herself. On the opposite end, Saz is pretty conservative. I don’t see him/her sex-ing outside a committed monogamous relationship. If you haven’t figured it out, he/she is a widow(er) who very much misses their daughter. His/her deathwish is a desire to either be reunited or stop suffering from their absence.
Thanks everyone for your support and engagement. Even if I never sell a single copy (don’t really care), I will have been glad to work out my issues on the page with you. Cheers! -DW
P.S. As I was unable to fall asleep last night, I plotted a sequel (Still Not Your Mother’s Shire) and two odd spin-offs: “Not Your Mother’s Starship” and “Not Your Mother’s Zombie Apocalypse.” Weird, huh? So, maybe one of those will be on the way come August. If any of you are still around, I’ll put up a poll.