Finally, we are entering the home stretch. I’ve given myself an arbitrary deadline of the end of September 2016 to finish the game. I’ve also scheduled myself as a presenter at the Mount Royal Game Society October demo night to make sure that I actually get everything done.
Will I have to hustle to meet this deadline? Yeah. But that’s probably not such a bad thing.
My goal now is to have all of the writing done by the end of this week(!) so that the last week of September can be all about playtesting and tweaking the UI. So far this seem doable as I don’t have any contracts at the moment, but resisting the urge to just binge on Netflix will be pretty tough. I’m still not sure if I want to include any images or music yet, but they should be easy enough to add if I decide that they’re needed.
Today I rented myself a desk at GamePlay Space so that I could really focus on writing, and so far it seems to have paid off. It’s been really nice to be surrounded by other game developers all plugging away at their games, and has really helped give me the confidence I need to see this project through. While I maintain that this little game I’m making isn’t going to revolutionize the genre, it’s still been tremendous fun and I’m incredibly proud of what I’ve managed to do so far, as hacky as it might be.
My biggest hurdle at this point is nailing down all of the clues I need to give the players and how to reveal them. I’ve written up the full opening of the game and filled in the blanks for all of the ‘less positive’ endings, plus smoothed out any weird switches in voice I’d accidentally included in my earlier rough attempts to lay out the structure in Twine. I’ve also been having a lot of fun finding new places I can link modules back together and my story structure is looking nice and spiderweb-y:
Things will no doubt continue to get messy as I add in clues and find new ways to link them together, but so far I’m very happy with how things are going and to finally have an end in sight. I know it’s just a jokey little game I’m making for fun, but the experience has really opened my eyes to just how much fun game design can be and I hope that by sharing my experience I could inspire even one of you to give game development a try.
You don’t need fancy computers, or coding knowledge, or art skills. All you really need is an idea and the time to execute it.
I’ll probably be checking in at least one last time to let you know how the presentation went and to share how you can play the game yourself as I do intend to put it online to play for free once it is completed. So, until then, wish me luck!