Friday, August 10, 2012

A Late Night, and a Milestone

A couple close friends have been kindly chomping at the bit to playtest, and I decided to scope out a demo and work towards that as a milestone.  Focusing my work like this felt pretty helpful, and a few sessions later I found myself cranking out the last few bits.  It kept me up until 3 in the morning, but I got it done and sent off.

It's too early to release anything public, but I'll talk about what it includes and what's next.  Basically, this demo shows the initial set of plot types all working together in randomly variable configurations, forming chains of related goals.  The most complex scenario, involving most of the available pieces, is a hostage situation in which the kidnapper is immune to normal weapons, necessitating a secondary quest to find a magic sword.  This secondary quest can be complicated by the sword being broken into several pieces that must be found.

The storytelling model continues to evolve with each new thing I try to make it do.  Every step so far feels positive, and I get a lot of opportunities to introduce things that feel like they'll be useful as the amount of content increases.  A recent example is an abstraction of a "fact," such as the fact that a hostage has been taken -- these relate to goals but have a separate identity and different responsibilities.

Now that the demo is done, I'll be going back to level layout.  I had a flash of inspiration the other night and want to try out a very promising new strategy that just might lead to great things.  I'll hold off on the details until I see how it pans out, but this could be very good.

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