Jump to content
Double Fine Action Forums
Sign in to follow this  
432652365324723456235134

Thread in which hot plays this weird little indie game he found called "Whatever's on Your Mind"

Recommended Posts

i was actually just trying to write a semi-realistic story but it's interesting to see that it could be seen as a helpful thing too. perhaps it is time for me to get a new job. dr. hot - life coach! haha

lol, I'm partially joking here, but I would love having a serious game teach about conflict management, but all the conflicts are furry based.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

heheh, i would be okay with more furry-based games, though i would have to do a lot more research/thinking if i were to write one. even as i was writing this i just wanted to make Other Chris the stereotypical crazy furry who won't even acknowledge the name "Chris" but then i was like "ugh, this is dumb. most furries know that they have a furry identity and also a human one that the average person recognizes." so i made Other Chris more self-aware.

anyway if anyone can point out things they think don't work very well or could be better that would be cool. i'm sure there's someone who read this and spent the entire time rolling their eyes. just tell me what made you roll your eyes the most. then next time i can make something that's less eyerolly. did i just invent a word? i think i did! eyerolly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've experimented with text adventures on my own time on occasion (because programming is hard and I has the dumb) and it is very hard every time. My problem is that I do like to write and enjoy character-based stories, but weirdly I'm not a big fan of the visual novel or text adventure format, so it's hard to get into it. It's like trying to write a country song when you don't actually enjoy country music. Maybe technically you could, but your heart's not really in it, you know?

or maybe it's like having a crappy used guitar instead of the $5000 one. sure it doesn't sound as nice but it's still more versatile than you think.

%-P

Maybe try Project Spark if you really feel you need to make a 3D game? It does its best to make the programming as friendly as possible. But I also like Twine (for hypertext adventures; no programming required) and Ren'Py (for visual novels; minimal programming required).

I actually know a bit of GML and have used it to create schmups and platformers. I was starting a Puzzle Agent-esque adventure game once but abandoned it because I needed specific types of art assets and I don't know how to art.

But I've learned that people who make games in "real" languages pretty much think GML is a joke. I think one time at the beginning of the DFA I posted a string of GML text and even got a kinda *giggle-wtf-is-this-giggle* out of Oliver. *shrug* I dunno, I just grabbed the first thing that looked easy, so that's basically all I ever played with.

Using that engine, I have zero doubt about my ability to actually code up a visual novel type game. I'm just not feelin' that genre. If I wanted to write something that was mostly text, I'd just write a short story, you know? There would have to be a really compelling reason for the specific story to NEED to be in game format, and I don't know what that would be. Also, I would like the player to do more than just sift through dialogue trees and cutscenes.

I haven't played the game, but I am sort of intrigued by what I see in the screenshots and descriptions of Cherry Tree High Comedy Club.

--Actually controlling a character/avatar in real time

--Real time exploration of locations

--Things to do, e.g. activities, jobs, investigation, light puzzling... some type of actual light game-iness, so that it also has....

--Goals and objectives/sense of progress

I've heard at least one person describe it as being basically the Persona games where you only do the Social Links part and none of the RPG part. I have my beefs with that, but it's a LOT closer to the sort of thing I'd like to be able to do. But the sorts of things I'd have to learn to program I think are a bit outside my range.

But maybe it's just a case where you have to make due with what you've got. Atrophied muscles or crappy guitars. It's been said time and again that real creative inspiration comes more from limitations whereas nothing interesting ever comes from absolute freedom. So maybe I should just commit to a text/visual-novel type thing and see what happens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But maybe it's just a case where you have to make due with what you've got. Atrophied muscles or crappy guitars. It's been said time and again that real creative inspiration comes more from limitations whereas nothing interesting ever comes from absolute freedom. So maybe I should just commit to a text/visual-novel type thing and see what happens.

eeeeeeeeeexactly. back when i was really into making gif animations one of my frustrations was that gifs max out at 256 visible colors. you can use a trick called "dithering" that will put two differently colored pixels next to each other so they approximate the in-between color, but this just gives the illusion of more colors. you're still limited to 256. if you dither you also need to use compression algorithms so that your file size doesn't blow up. so the color limit forces you to mess around with your palette, with dithering, and with compression. you can end making something minimalist or you can end up going full glitch art. you will come up with different ideas than you would have if you had access to photorealistic true color. gif art or visual novels or pancake sculptures or whatever can exercise muscles you didn't even know you had. so yeah stop making excuses and jusdoit.

also lol:

UPUITfnl.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

also that steam page you posted led me to this wonderful reviewer: http://store.steampowered.com/curator/6862926-Waifu-Hunter/?appid=214610

Waifu Hunter recommends: "I will tell you if a videogame has attractive anime ladies in it."

Cherry Tree High Comedy Club

"Mid-quality waifus. Consider this an emergency game if you need a small dose of no GF feels and nothing else is available."

Sakura Fantasy Chapter 1

"Freddie Mercury once asked if this was the real life, or just fantasy. With great art and realistic writing, it's no wonder he got so immersed in SF:C1."

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

"Adam is back, and this time he's in a heap of trouble, as he accidentally enrolls in an all-girls school for the augmented. (He did not ask for this.)"

Duck Dynasty®

"This open-world stealth FPS successfully blends romance and action. Demolish beaver dams while dating the Robertson of your choice. (Si is best girl)"

Alpha Protocol™

"One of the few good western dating sims. Strongly recommended for people who can stomach eroges with a non-anime artstyle."

FINAL FANTASY® XIII

"Not only is Lightning a high-tier waifu, Fang is also very good. An excellent game for people with discerning tastes."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
also that steam page you posted led me to this wonderful reviewer: http://store.steampowered.com/curator/6862926-Waifu-Hunter/?appid=214610
Waifu Hunter recommends: "I will tell you if a videogame has attractive anime ladies in it."

Cherry Tree High Comedy Club

"Mid-quality waifus. Consider this an emergency game if you need a small dose of no GF feels and nothing else is available."

Sakura Fantasy Chapter 1

"Freddie Mercury once asked if this was the real life, or just fantasy. With great art and realistic writing, it's no wonder he got so immersed in SF:C1."

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

"Adam is back, and this time he's in a heap of trouble, as he accidentally enrolls in an all-girls school for the augmented. (He did not ask for this.)"

Duck Dynasty®

"This open-world stealth FPS successfully blends romance and action. Demolish beaver dams while dating the Robertson of your choice. (Si is best girl)"

Alpha Protocol™

"One of the few good western dating sims. Strongly recommended for people who can stomach eroges with a non-anime artstyle."

FINAL FANTASY® XIII

"Not only is Lightning a high-tier waifu, Fang is also very good. An excellent game for people with discerning tastes."

"waifu hunter"

603db088bfc439746087637584a11833.gif

"duck dynasty"

1126.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I follow Waifu Hunter because they cater to my taste in games.

But the important question is does it cater to your taste in waifus?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But the important question is does it cater to your taste in waifus?

Maybe you should tell me about my taste in Waifus. Humor me.

How would I know?

Just please tell me it's not duck dynasty.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just please tell me it's not duck dynasty.

Only if you changed the u into i.

LULZ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But maybe it's just a case where you have to make due with what you've got. Atrophied muscles or crappy guitars. It's been said time and again that real creative inspiration comes more from limitations whereas nothing interesting ever comes from absolute freedom. So maybe I should just commit to a text/visual-novel type thing and see what happens.

eeeeeeeeeexactly. back when i was really into making gif animations one of my frustrations was that gifs max out at 256 visible colors. you can use a trick called "dithering" that will put two differently colored pixels next to each other so they approximate the in-between color, but this just gives the illusion of more colors. you're still limited to 256. if you dither you also need to use compression algorithms so that your file size doesn't blow up. so the color limit forces you to mess around with your palette, with dithering, and with compression. you can end making something minimalist or you can end up going full glitch art. you will come up with different ideas than you would have if you had access to photorealistic true color. gif art or visual novels or pancake sculptures or whatever can exercise muscles you didn't even know you had. so yeah stop making excuses and jusdoit.

I've started writing again yesterday evening and I'm off to an exciting start as far as getting some characters together, but I'm getting really stuck on the setting part. It's super hard to come up with something of a Grim Fandango quality but SOOOO EASY to just go for, like, pirates, or wizards, or space captains. I could also just do "real life" I guess, but I prefer a bit of escapism. I appreciate all the more that Tim always tries to do a non-obvious thing with his settings.

I'm sure I'll figure it out one way or the other. Maaaan do I feel out of practice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

eh don't overthink it. tim himself doesn't come up with ideas as cool as grim fandango all the time. just do whatever the first thing you think of is. do something stupid and ambiguous like "doubleville." like, what happens in doubleville? do my characters have jobs or are they in school? i don't care, lol. maybe at some point i will feel like working this out more but right now it doesn't matter. i'm ok with it being the cringe-worthy silly thing that it is. the point is that you are not trying to write a good story. right now you are just trying to write a story. think about writing good stories after you write 20 a stories. so just put your internal censor to bed and mash on keyboard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's cool; I've already got an idea for setting going. Several locations, actually. Not sure if I'll stick with all of it yet, but it's what seems right for now. I understand not overthinking setting too much, since story is mostly characters. But at the same time I've always agreed with the philosophy that the setting of the story IS a sort of character. What is Psychonauts without Whispering Rock? What is Harry Potter without Hogwarts? But then at the same time you have, say, a game like Persona. Who cares what high school it's in, right? It's just a high school whatever.

But I'm over that hump for now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yeah, sounds fun! here's hoping for not hitting too much writer's block.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So last time, we decided to be bold and try to go back and sort things out with Hot right away...

kYnXBmSl.png

0YUaEswl.png

rbav8gdl.png

0aUUSZTl.png

OgiwMx5l.png

nlr43qwl.png

EJ8ELWol.png

Ads5xAjl.png

3PLmWGUl.png

iFV22dcl.png

zFZu925l.png

v9UqOQMl.png

Z5tG7CJl.png

wg3R8kDl.png

TKP7HY7l.png

srHsw16l.png

5zdmphpl.png

JtI5qd5l.png

SG6xL9Vl.png

iMxjB0tl.png

eW4OwxGl.png

JwK5K0vl.png

xQRnZDfl.png

gkFBTLOl.png

BqMbkD9l.png

0RVrbaTl.png

wOuAiKCl.png

cY8dGzHl.png

Well, looks like that's the end of the game! What did you guys think? I think I'll probably start a different game now, but perhaps one day I will go back and choose the other options. Until then, subscribe, hit that like button and keep your station tuned to Hot Game Walkthroughs. Laters, baby!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if you read all the way to the end, you read "125 dialogue blocks, containing 2,770 words and 14,279 characters, for an average of 22.2 words and 114 characters per block. The game contains 3 menus, 18 images, and 12 screens."

congratulations!!! all 3 of you. lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry if you guys are tired of seeing this thread (I'll stop bumping it now), but I have a couple questions to ask if anyone is really bored and feels like responding. (If you read my thing perhaps we can do tradzies and I'll read/watch/play your project, as long as it's not crazy long. Start a little writer ring up in here.)

Anyway this is kind of a neat story for me since I wrote it in episodes. As I was writing the last part here I found it slightly difficult to get back into the same mindset since it had been a few weeks since I thought about this. I can't tell if the ending really works. Also normally after finishing something I would go back and start changing things to fix it up or match my current thoughts, but I didn't want to start retconning for a <3000 word story. (Other Chris ended up too weird, lol. I tried to make him sympathetic in the third part but I still feel bad about using your name for him, Darth.) So here are my questions if anyone's up for it...

1. Did you guys assume the protagonist's gender matched your own? I tried to keep it as gender neutral as possible, but as I was imagining it I kind of thought of the protagonist as being more female.

2. Was the protagonist hard to relate to, and if so did that bother/annoy you or did you think it made the story worse? What did you think of the choice options? (It's a tricky balance to give a protagonist personality while also letting players feel like they can embody them. I know Double H gave some feedback along that line which I was grateful for.)

3. Did you like the story? Did it come off as well written or did it seem amateurish? (It's okay if you say amateurish, because I am an amateur. I just write this stuff for fun and because I have an overactive imagination, lol.)

4. Did you notice that there are no female characters that you talk to? If I made this story longer I would definitely try to pass the Bechdel test but I also didn't want to throw in female characters without really having an idea behind it. Maybe I should have did it anyway.

5. I threw in Tim at the ending because like, can't have Doubleville without Tim Schafer, right? But I also wanted him to be the seemingly big and important character who looks like he will come in and magically fix everything, but ultimately he doesn't really do a lot and the protagonist eventually recovers on their own. Kind of a red herring. Maybe I overthought it though. Is this character unnecessary?

Anyway that's all, wheeee.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. Did you guys assume the protagonist’s gender matched your own? I tried to keep it as gender neutral as possible, but as I was imagining it I kind of thought of the protagonist as being more female.

Actually, yeah, I did assume that. But I don’t think that is a flaw with me or your writing. I am the kind of player who wants to project his self onto the protagonist, tending to want game experiences to be first person experiences to whatever extent possible. Like, when some people play Zelda, I think they are thinking of it more as controlling the character of link, similar to playing with an action figure. But I project myself onto link and think of him as “me” in a sense. And since I am already projecting myself onto most characters I play, unless a game specifically indicates a female protagonist, I will default to male because I am a male who is projecting himself. I find playing female characters interesting, though, because it is interesting for a male to try and project himself onto a female and to therefore think of himself as female. That is a good exercise, I think.

2. Was the protagonist hard to relate to, and if so did that bother/annoy you or did you think it made the story worse? What did you think of the choice options? (It’s a tricky balance to give a protagonist personality while also letting players feel like they can embody them. I know Double H gave some feedback along that line which I was grateful for.)

I assumed the protagonist was a male character but was experiencing some homosexual feelings toward a person he met, and maybe it was kind of a new experience for him, so he was trying to make sense of it. So to that extent, I didn’t really relate to it, because I have no real common experience there, but there were some other ways in which the protagonist was more easy to relate to. Like he/she seemed kinda socially awkward, and social awkwardness speaks to me.

3. Did you like the story? Did it come off as well written or did it seem amateurish? (It’s okay if you say amateurish, because I am an amateur. I just write this stuff for fun and because I have an overactive imagination, lol.)

Well, it partly depends on what you were trying to accomplish, I guess, but I get the impression you were just kinda jamming here, so probably you weren’t aiming for any super specific goals or expressions.

I will say your dialogues actually seemed pretty good! Writing a story in the sense of plotting out and describing events is one thing, but making characters speak in a way that sounds natural can be tough to do. You see it in games all the time especially. In Skyrim NPCs speak in a way that is dorky, hammy, and unnecessarily expository. It doesn’t seem like dialogue that a real person would actually say (with some occasional exceptions). So the fact that your dialogue actually seemed pretty natural was definitely a good thing.

I’m not sure if the central problem/conflict of the tale was especially interesting. There seemed to be a struggle with the protagonist wrestling with nervousness, awkwardness, and whatever his/her feelings were about another character. But then later there was the problem of possibly having a bit of a falling out over the furry exchange..? But the degree to which hot (the character) was truly upset about it or the extent to which it was actually a conflict at all was vague. It was an interesting vaguess, but vague. I’m also not sure I understand the resolution of it. Seems like everything is cool?

Another litmus test one might use, I suppose, is whether any characters are dynamic. Not every character has to be, but in any good story, at least one character should be. There should be a change in their character somehow. Lessons learned, wisdoms gained, or some kind of improvement or betterment of the self in some way. For a positive sloping story anyway. If it were a tragic story, the character could change in a way where he/she gradually degraded into increasingly more pitiful states. But I didn’t feel like any of the character really change much or learned much in the arc. But it could just be that I didn’t pick up on it, or it could be that there was so much time between each reading.

4. Did you notice that there are no female characters that you talk to? If I made this story longer I would definitely try to pass the Bechdel test but I also didn’t want to throw in female characters without really having an idea behind it. Maybe I should have did it anyway.

Nah, don’t throw in a character of a specific sex just because you think you have to have one. Nothing should be in a story unless there is a good story reason for it to be there.

5. I threw in Tim at the ending because like, can’t have Doubleville without Tim Schafer, right? But I also wanted him to be the seemingly big and important character who looks like he will come in and magically fix everything, but ultimately he doesn’t really do a lot and the protagonist eventually recovers on their own. Kind of a red herring. Maybe I overthought it though. Is this character unnecessary?

I think I like the idea of using it to make fun of or criticize deus ex machina as a narrative device. The problems with that, though, would be that most people agree (whether they actuall know the term or not) that deus ex machina is a pretty lazy narrative device. But even if you ignore that and want to use this Tim Schafer scene as a joke/criticism of it, I think it would need a lot more setup. I think you’d want the reader to have a lot more expectation that Tim Schafer is the golden ticket, the jesus, the cure for all ills, which makes his friendly purposelessness in that final scene more surprising or pronounced. I know when you’re kinda just winging it that you can’t really do elaborate setups and foreshadowing so much, so I don’t fault you for that. TLDR: I like the concept, but not sure how it works in execution.

Still tinkering away on my story and character concepts. Not sure how long it will be when done, but will probably post here whenever I finish it. Probably we’ll all have forgotten about it by then, but ah well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, yeah, I did assume that. But I don’t think that is a flaw with me or your writing. I am the kind of player who wants to project his self onto the protagonist, tending to want game experiences to be first person experiences to whatever extent possible. Like, when some people play Zelda, I think they are thinking of it more as controlling the character of link, similar to playing with an action figure. But I project myself onto link and think of him as “me” in a sense. And since I am already projecting myself onto most characters I play, unless a game specifically indicates a female protagonist, I will default to male because I am a male who is projecting himself. I find playing female characters interesting, though, because it is interesting for a male to try and project himself onto a female and to therefore think of himself as female. That is a good exercise, I think.

Regarding projection, I like this little game that talks a bit about the tension between video game protagonists that you can "embody" and those that you "portray." I think those terms describe the difference nicely. I sort of tried to accommodate both styles by keeping the personal details of the protagonist vague (gender, age, etc.) while also filling in their personality a bit. It's a weird balance, though. There were a few instances in which I think I hinted at the protagonist's gender: the poster in the room is for a manga that is more oriented towards girls, and I included a vague line about getting ready to accommodate those women (and men) who spend time in the morning doing makeup or whatever.

I assumed the protagonist was a male character but was experiencing some homosexual feelings toward a person he met, and maybe it was kind of a new experience for him, so he was trying to make sense of it. So to that extent, I didn’t really relate to it, because I have no real common experience there, but there were some other ways in which the protagonist was more easy to relate to. Like he/she seemed kinda socially awkward, and social awkwardness speaks to me.

To be honest I didn't really think through how the protagonist might be having a new homosexual experience and how that might be contributing to their awkwardness. That definitely changes some things. I meant for the awkwardness to be more of an internal trait instead of something that is influenced by social circumstances. I guess it shows that you can try to be inclusive and account for different experiences but even if you include more possibilities it's hard to really think through the implications of all of them.

Well, it partly depends on what you were trying to accomplish, I guess, but I get the impression you were just kinda jamming here, so probably you weren’t aiming for any super specific goals or expressions.

I will say your dialogues actually seemed pretty good! Writing a story in the sense of plotting out and describing events is one thing, but making characters speak in a way that sounds natural can be tough to do. You see it in games all the time especially. In Skyrim NPCs speak in a way that is dorky, hammy, and unnecessarily expository. It doesn’t seem like dialogue that a real person would actually say (with some occasional exceptions). So the fact that your dialogue actually seemed pretty natural was definitely a good thing.

I’m not sure if the central problem/conflict of the tale was especially interesting. There seemed to be a struggle with the protagonist wrestling with nervousness, awkwardness, and whatever his/her feelings were about another character. But then later there was the problem of possibly having a bit of a falling out over the furry exchange..? But the degree to which hot (the character) was truly upset about it or the extent to which it was actually a conflict at all was vague. It was an interesting vaguess, but vague. I’m also not sure I understand the resolution of it. Seems like everything is cool?

Another litmus test one might use, I suppose, is whether any characters are dynamic. Not every character has to be, but in any good story, at least one character should be. There should be a change in their character somehow. Lessons learned, wisdoms gained, or some kind of improvement or betterment of the self in some way. For a positive sloping story anyway. If it were a tragic story, the character could change in a way where he/she gradually degraded into increasingly more pitiful states. But I didn’t feel like any of the character really change much or learned much in the arc. But it could just be that I didn’t pick up on it, or it could be that there was so much time between each reading.

Yeah I was pretty much just making it up as I went, and it shows. It's nice to hear that I'm at least better than Skyrim NPC dialogue (arrow to the knee!!!), since most of the effort I put in here was in trying to make the dialogue flow well. With the plot the general idea was to go from awkward/stressed -> less awkward/stressed, so that's why I tried to have the character calm themselves down and at the end did a reversal of the first scene (protagonist approaching hot). With the main conflict my experimental idea was to try to have an argument/misunderstanding in which no one was obviously wrong (no villain), but looks like the price of that was that it came off as too vague. If I were to rewrite this I would definitely try to make the plot/character development arc more defined.

Nah, don’t throw in a character of a specific sex just because you think you have to have one. Nothing should be in a story unless there is a good story reason for it to be there.

Yeah, I agree. It's good to ask "why not" every once in a while though. Sometimes you can have a character that is male but there is no actual reason it needs to be male, so why not change it just to mix things up?

I think I like the idea of using it to make fun of or criticize deus ex machina as a narrative device. The problems with that, though, would be that most people agree (whether they actuall know the term or not) that deus ex machina is a pretty lazy narrative device. But even if you ignore that and want to use this Tim Schafer scene as a joke/criticism of it, I think it would need a lot more setup. I think you’d want the reader to have a lot more expectation that Tim Schafer is the golden ticket, the jesus, the cure for all ills, which makes his friendly purposelessness in that final scene more surprising or pronounced. I know when you’re kinda just winging it that you can’t really do elaborate setups and foreshadowing so much, so I don’t fault you for that. TLDR: I like the concept, but not sure how it works in execution.

Good point, if I could go back I would have Tim make little cameos at various points.

Still tinkering away on my story and character concepts. Not sure how long it will be when done, but will probably post here whenever I finish it. Probably we’ll all have forgotten about it by then, but ah well.

Okay, but don't take too long though. As Herbert Hoover apparently once said, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shit_or_get_off_the_pot. lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With the main conflict my experimental idea was to try to have an argument/misunderstanding in which no one was obviously wrong (no villain), but looks like the price of that was that it came off as too vague. If I were to rewrite this I would definitely try to make the plot/character development arc more defined.

Being vague isn't always bad, per se. I mean, there is the thing everybody always quotes Stephen King on as far as the scariest things of all are the kinds of scary things that don't have explanations. But vagueness is good in other types of stories when it's purposeful. It was even good the way that you used it for certain reasons. Like after you have the furry conversation and hot shows up and gets upset and everything. The way that whole conversation goes leaves a lot of things vague at the end, like WHY is hot upset? IS he actually upset? HOW upset is he? what did you do exactly that made him so upset? What is Chris's deal? And that's a really effective kind of vagueness that people can relate to, I think, because I think all people have had the experience of being in some kind of social situation where arguments are happening or things are breaking down and it's not entirely clear what happened, why some people are upset, or what you are supposed to do about it. Confusion can be really good sometimes if confusion is what you actually want the player/reader to feel in the situation.

So I was fine with all of that when it first happened, but what I kinda expected was that by the time the story ended, chris and hot's behavior in that scene would be kinda explored/explained at least a little bit, and it would at least be clear if hot had been upset and why. Like maybe hot would meet the protagonist somewhere later, apologize if he seemed to lose his cool, explain the chris dynamic, like maybe there was some history there that the protagonist didn't know about or something. Just to kinda help the player/protagonist understand exactly what happened back there, you know? So I feel like it was really good when it was vague at first, but it maybe wasn't so good that it stayed vague. If that makes sense.

Okay, but don't take too long though. As Herbert Hoover apparently once said, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shit_or_get_off_the_pot. lol.

Haha, I dunno, man. I can only give the Valve answer: "It'll be done when it's done." I work on it a little bit every day, but some days are super productive and other days are absolutely constipated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With the main conflict my experimental idea was to try to have an argument/misunderstanding in which no one was obviously wrong (no villain), but looks like the price of that was that it came off as too vague. If I were to rewrite this I would definitely try to make the plot/character development arc more defined.

Being vague isn't always bad, per se. I mean, there is the thing everybody always quotes Stephen King on as far as the scariest things of all are the kinds of scary things that don't have explanations. But vagueness is good in other types of stories when it's purposeful. It was even good the way that you used it for certain reasons. Like after you have the furry conversation and hot shows up and gets upset and everything. The way that whole conversation goes leaves a lot of things vague at the end, like WHY is hot upset? IS he actually upset? HOW upset is he? what did you do exactly that made him so upset? What is Chris's deal? And that's a really effective kind of vagueness that people can relate to, I think, because I think all people have had the experience of being in some kind of social situation where arguments are happening or things are breaking down and it's not entirely clear what happened, why some people are upset, or what you are supposed to do about it. Confusion can be really good sometimes if confusion is what you actually want the player/reader to feel in the situation.

So I was fine with all of that when it first happened, but what I kinda expected was that by the time the story ended, chris and hot's behavior in that scene would be kinda explored/explained at least a little bit, and it would at least be clear if hot had been upset and why. Like maybe hot would meet the protagonist somewhere later, apologize if he seemed to lose his cool, explain the chris dynamic, like maybe there was some history there that the protagonist didn't know about or something. Just to kinda help the player/protagonist understand exactly what happened back there, you know? So I feel like it was really good when it was vague at first, but it maybe wasn't so good that it stayed vague. If that makes sense.

oh yeah that totally makes sense. basically you're saying i kind of left the ending unresolved like a cliffhanger, which is basically the number one thing that annoys me about video game endings, lol. no catharsis.

...my god, i am become hypocrite game developer. lol. anyway i'll tell you the original thing i was going for.

1. weird argument/misunderstanding goes down

2. because of that, the protagonist gets upset

3. however, the protagonist eventually cools down by thinking over things and imagining how the reconciliation conversation would go

4. eventually, she/he would meet hot again by approaching him (reversal of first scene, shows that she is becoming more assertive)

5. finally, the ending would happen just as their conversation begins, BUT it would be implied that it would play out the way it was imagined. (implying that protagonist is making her imaginings come true. something like that.)

so if we're going to do a postmortem on this, i would say there were two main points of failure. the first is that i didn't set up the imaginary conversation well enough. there were a few lines in which the protagonist talks about how it might go down when she meets hot again, but it wasn't in-depth enough. i might have even had an "imaginary" hot appear on the screen and have the dialogue play out in real time. in this imaginary dialogue i would suggest some possible explanations for what happened. i think the most plausible one would be that hot is overprotective of other chris because reasons. something like that.

the other point of failure was that i didn't call back hard enough to this imaginary scene at the ending. if i wrote out the imaginary dialogue more concretely earlier on, what i could have done at the ending is use the first few lines from that so there is a very clear connection. the end result of this would be that the ending would still be kind of vague and open, but there would be a very clear way that things could play out so the player could just mentally fill in the blanks and follow that track without me having to explicitly show them that.

maybe the biggest challenge here was that i just tried to do too much in one thing. taking on a new medium (visual novel), trying to have a vague/confusing conflict while making everyone sympathetic, trying to have an implied ending. it was a fun exercise, though. this is why it's so nice to have someone else read your stuff, because you can want it to play out a certain way in your head but sometimes the individual pieces don't all come together the way you think they do. i actually kind of want to go back and fix up this story now, because i think i could make it work better because of the things you pointed out. thanks bunches, my homie!

also, if there are any non-male people out there who've read it, i'm still curious as to what gender you saw the protagonist as. one of my side goals (sidequests?) with this exercise was to have the protagonist's gender be more pliable and not read as default male.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the other point of failure was that i didn't call back hard enough to this imaginary scene at the ending. if i wrote out the imaginary dialogue more concretely earlier on, what i could have done at the ending is use the first few lines from that so there is a very clear connection. the end result of this would be that the ending would still be kind of vague and open, but there would be a very clear way that things could play out so the player could just mentally fill in the blanks and follow that track without me having to explicitly show them that.

As I started to read your explanation, that was exactly what I was thinking, and then bam, you come right out and say it. If we both thought of it, then it must be right.

Or we're both idiots.

Let's bank on the "we're both right" theory though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

omg guys this thread is the 12th result when you google search for whatever's on your mind game, coming in right after "Lil Wayne - Prostitute 2." nice!!! google loves me!

I wouldn't care if you was a prostitute

And that you hit every man that you ever knew.

It wouldn't make a difference if that was way before me and you

And you don't ever have to worry about me long as you keep it real.

Whatever's on your mind,

Speak how you feel~

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Exactly how did you make this? Because I have an idea for something that could use this format.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...