Monday, June 21, 2010

The Broken Hourglass: Questing Continues

Writing and coding have gotten very intertwined around one another this quest. I'm moving back and forth between the two, doing the both at once, and am very aware of the possibilities as I work.  As with all writing, it is a matter of learning while I work, watching while one plot twists around another, and each element affects the next. So I'm checking and cross-checking both code and writing as I think "Hmm...but what if the player visits her first, and him next...but what if they go over there first instead?"

The most complicated, fiddly bit, of course, is the finale. I don't want people reaching the finale before they've figured out (or at least come close to figuring out) what is going on, but I also don't want to make the player run endless errands long after he or she knows what the truth is just because the code doesn't account for the possibility of figuring it out earlier.

I think I'll have the first full draft done tomorrow, but after that, I get to play-test it from all possible directions to see what happens, and adjust it accordingly.That, of course, is the advantage of doing most of the coding myself now: Changing things is relatively simple matter of going in and tweaking rather than a matter of emailing back and forth and risking misunderstanding (as happened between Paul & me early on with the outside guards). The drawback, of course, is that I lose the feedback--an outside reader can be extremely useful; I keep a head full of voices, but they don't catch every angle. Hopefully there will be people who can read and play through these quests at some point before release. Someone needs to point out the blindingly obvious ahead of time.

The characters stayed chatty for the first bit, bless them, but now, having said their say, they seem content to put their feet up and rest. "We told you what you needed to know," they say. "You know what we did and why we did it, and you know who we are. It's up to you to work out the details."  And so I circle, alter, tweak, and revise, moving closer and closer to the end.

(Yes, I'm having fun!)


  1. Probably not the best place to ask this, but anyway; will there be dual wiedling in this game? The ruleset and the game seem nice.

  2. I don't really know--I've been focusing on quest writing & now quest coding pretty much to the exclusion of all else.

    A quick search of the developer's forum suggests that the answer is "no." I'll try to find out for sure sometime this week.

  3. Ok--confirmed--no dual wielding.

    Hope you enjoy the game anyway.

    There are some great (not-dual-wielding) villains.

  4. Thanks.
    :( I know it sounds a bit banal, but I enjoy having the possibility to dual wield (two short swords). It's fun and it looks cool. Also, dual wielding enemies. <3 hehe *childish*
    It's never too late - maybe there's still hope for dual-wielding in T.B.H. (pretty please!).

    So little is known about this game; will there be level scaling (I hope not), will we be able to travel outside the city? While city adventures have their own charms, I love being able to visit forests, caverns, deserts..

  5. No point pleading with me re dual wielding :) Waaay outside my jurisdiction. Gotta say, it highly unlikely that anyone will change there; I think the graphic and animation stuff was set long ago & the folk who did it are off making other adventures elsewhere.

    Lots of different single weapons. Jason once asked me "what kind of sword" I wanted a quest-reward sword to be & I remember the decision was more complicated than I expected.

    Mal Nassrin is completely sealed off from the outside world that's the central problem in the story--in some ways, it's a giant locked-room mystery. So, no country travels this game (maybe TBH 2, if there is such a creature).

    Level-scaling: I think the answer there is "sometimes" and "it depends." The fighting's not my bailiwick--I may code quests so they can or must conclude in bloodbaths, but I leave the precise nature of the bloodbath to the player and/or Jason & Wes. For that sort of detail, you may want to email through the main site.

    I know the player gains power & abilities throughout the game & I think at least some opponents will as well, but I don't know to what extent.