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September 28, 2014 / gameofslaves

Progress. Still happening.

This is a little update, just to keep everyone appraised. (Overshot my estimate by about 700 words. See TL;DR if you want the short-version.)

I’ve been working on my side projects and making progress in them, as I said.  While I am having fun writing in Twine and Sugarcube, I am not getting the feeling that I can do what I want with it… as far as my larger projects are concerned.

I am, however, chatting with a very talented coder who may be able to help me make things go the way I want.  So we shall see.

I am getting more comfortable with my writing, as this blog should attest.  You may not see it but I used to spend hours organizing and writing my posts before proofing them and posting them.  Now, I just write what I’m thinking give it a once-over to make sure it doesn’t seem too scattered, and then I post it.  This is also reflected in my in-game writing; I don’t find myself agonizing over every little bit.

Scenes come easily to me, and I can churn-out a rough-cut pretty quickly.  Editing and adding flavor-text (fluffy padding) are where I suddenly hit fresh-waxed flooring and panic about skidding out of control.  I’m finding that the more I write (ergo, my simpler projects) the more comfortable I am with my writing.  Either I’m getting better and better, or I’m being affected by NLGaS (No Longer Give a Care).  Not sure.

I have been looking at other engines (for supporting rapid game design), again, which meet my needs.  The last time I looked at all the options, many did not match my base requirements. Many have been updated and some have become options.  Specifically, ADRIFT 5 has come a long way by supporting a browser-based runner.

Game of Slaves proper is going to run on a MUD engine and I have a machine running some test code and it is working… partly.  When I get a little further along, I’ll probably ask for some coding support.  I already have most of the world rules in place and semi-balanced.

Slave Mastered is largely formed (from a design standpoint) in my mind.  I just need to get a little further along in my skills before I can make an alpha available…  I’m going to need to rework a lot of the code if I’m going to continue in Twine/Sugarcube.  And a near complete re-write if I switch to another engine.  Most of the text, dialogue, and scenes I’ve written should be simple copy-paste, easy.

Hell Breaks Loose is on hiatus, indefinitely.  I want to work on it, because I think it would be fun to play, but I really just don’t have the time to allot for real progress.

My Crazy Summer has become something akin to therapy for me, and I have fun writing all the paths but one.  And that one is a requirement for me to work through before I post it.  The good news is that I have been successfully utilizing a spiffy technique for path and passage flow which I had been trying to use for a long time, and now it’s working! So, so sweet!

Dollmakers is one of the projects I’ve been working on for… a couple of decades, I guess.  Fiction stories.  None ever finished / posted / released.  I’m working on one episode and making it into a game.  Most of the episodes I’ve done were simple and short.  None were intended to be novels / anthologies like The Other Side series.   This game-story is no different.  I’m trying to apply the KISS principle to it… but by the Bright Lady I have trouble keeping myself from over-thinking things.  (Seriously crazy me.)

The current Dollmakers story-game I’m working on is “Gil”. (I just pick a random name for this series’ protagonists.) My goal is to write one path to completion and then go back and add branches.  I have almost failed, twice.  The upside is that I’m catching myself and teaching myself the discipline I need to make this happen.

A KISS (Keeping It Simple, Stupid) game-story did get my development attention for a couple of days until it spun out of control and I decided to scrap it.  That was before I started on Gil and I’ve been behaving myself since.

If some of my co-authors could see this, they’d laugh… I’m sure.

I always have grand ideas… starting is easy… middles are pretty easy, too… but the finale… always so many ways to end a story.  I can usually pick one and work toward it.  (If I can’t pick one, they can, and off we go.)  As I mentioned earlier, I can easily do roughs; describing the scenes, flow of dialogue, major plot points, feeders for subplots, open lines for side-plots.

But that’s fiction.  One path.  One start.  One course of action. One resolution.

These are games… where options abound.  And I love having options.  …even if I just keep choosing one particular thing, I like knowing they’re there if I want them. Because I love options, and I make games I want to play, I really want to add option after option.  But I cannot reach my destination if I’m always stopping to explore side streets. It’s a fact and facet of life.  I know it, but I’m still trying to grok it.

And my “little update” got pretty sizable.  Sorry, folks.  (Oh, and for the record: co-authors over the years = 3. Always distinct projects.)

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read) — Progress continues on several projects. The easy projects are feeding into the bigger projects. I tried a few ever-smaller projects and it is helping, actually. Writing is getting better, faster, smoother, easier. The world may see more evidence of my work in the near future; “soon”.  *winking grin*

— Cam

(900+ words in 45 minutes.  Not bad. …add on twenty minutes spent proofing and looking up the actual meaning of ‘grok’.  Three minutes spent feeling smug that I not only used the word as intended, but I also spelled it right the first time. So, just shy of an hour for 1000+ word blog post.  You know, including this block of text.)

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