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August 22, 2014 / gameofslaves

Side Projects, Feature Creep, Responsibility


Hello. My name is Cameron and I’m a procrastinating, over-analyzing, programming storyteller who wants to make you suffer but doesn’t want you to think I’m the one responsible.

/waits for the chorus of “Hi Cameron”… which never comes…/

*cricket, cricket*

So, yes. Interesting discovery while looking over my latest projects. I started one which I thought would make an interesting one-off, just to get something done and out of the way. I had a solid start, 4 solid endings, and linear paths to get from A to B, C, D, and E. And then I started writing/coding.

[Side note: I use “write/code” and “reader/player” when dealing with Twine games because the two are so entwined with each other from the creator-perspective. Ha! I punned! “en-Twine-d”. Yeah… I think I’m funny.]

So things went downhill real quick. I started thinking about variants and options and started adding new things to track and thing to code… giving the player/reader more and more options. Until it was on the verge of becoming like Slave Mastered, and I could easily see it becoming overwhelming.

Step back.  Deep breath.  “How do I fix this?”  Ponder, ponder.  “Hey, you know, maybe I need to narrow it down even further. Maybe I’ll do a quick one-off. Solid start, two solid endings, and a few paths to get you from one to the other. Easy-peasy, skip the sneezy.”  And then I started coding/writing.

So things went downhill pretty quick. I started thinking about variants and options and started adding new things to track and thing to code… giving the player/reader more and more options. Until it was on the verge of becoming like *secret-project*, and I could easily see it becoming overwhelming.

Step back.  Deep breath.  “How do I fix this?”  Ponder, ponder.  “Hey, you know, maybe I need to narrow it down even further. Maybe… wait, this sounds familiar.”  Think back.

DAMMIT!

Gah! So…

I spent some time last night drifting off… err… lucid dreaming … err… in introspective analysis and tried to mentally limit the story ideas to one… single… path. I could not believe how difficult it was to limit myself to a single, non-branching path. I got embarrassed by it!

WTF?  (Where’s The Food?)

I was torn. In part, I wanted to have the option to tell more than one story. (Writing more than one story is not a new concept for me.) But the emotional response… I’m fine with writing naughty stuff, as long as the player is the one making it happen to themselves. But I don’t want the responsibility.

Weird.

I can play the games all day long… (I have before, and I’ll do it again, I’m sure.) But I don’t want to be the responsible party.

Odd.

After thinking about it, I’m going to try again.

I’m going to make this happen.

A single, non-branching story… or semi-branches that increase accumulators which will trigger specific scenes. Nothing more detailed. Keep it simple.  Yeah.  I can do that.

But… now which path do I want to follow?  (I have seven distinct story paths which will not really cross over.)  Do I pick one and then come back and add more?

That last option might work.  I feel hopeless sometimes.  *grin*

I have a notion that once I “finish” with a project, other things will fall into place.   We shall see.

I have not fallen off the face of the planet… just been engaged in some self-discovery.

-Cam

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