I’m back in “work-mode” after last week’s weather did me in for a bit, and have been working at the Rooms of “Nikria’s Menace.” As you know, I want this one to be more of a “game” than just a “click to continue” story in the guise of one. Yes, I’m a writer who actually does want to design games, not just show off her work. That means I need to do some heavy rethinking a lot of the time; after a looooong conversation with my husband last week about how to organize what I have so far, I realized I was still automatically organizing the code in the linear fashion of a story. We worked through it, I think I have a better grasp now of how this should be done so it’s NOT just a story, and so now I need to organize the Rooms in a separate Python file – each of them – so that they can be found by Player.
Not as easy as it sounded at first, even to me, I realized today. Oh sure there’s the Room where Player meets Gaukid for the first time and Player’s house where he/she hears the amazing and bizarre gossip from servants about the world coming to an end, giants patrolling near Kriseenph, and a mountain spitting fire. But, the catch is, in order for it to actually be a game, I have to organize what exactly is within each of these, what the Player encounters, what kinds of things Player does in each Room, what monsters or objects might be in there, where Player goes next (if he/she doesn’t die and end up back at Outside House)…
This is more in-depth than I’d thought. I’m ok with that; people who know me have known for years the amount of micromanaging I go through when I’m worldbuilding or characterizing, and this isn’t too far a stretch from that. I also know there are other things that’ll need to be put in later on, but the Rooms are the big thing for right now. Next will be stuff like making sure Player can go the direction he/she wants – I don’t want to put a loop in like I did with “Four Horsemen” where Player had to go west once he/she got GregorsNewSword. (I do need to put one in somewhere around the time of the start of the Eruption though, because at that point the landscape will change for the sake of the story). And then there’s figuring out how to deal with Death, and making an Inventory (because dammit, this game needs to have one).
I’m in an odd position, I know. There are writers I know of who’ve helped to create games from their work – at least who have given the story rights, and maybe who’ve provided some creative advising. There’s Raymond E Feist, for instance, and the “Betrayal at Krondor” game. Or, there’s “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream” by Harlan Ellison. Ellison, in fact, did voice-acting for the game. But, I honestly don’t know any other writers who’ve physically gone and become writer/programmers. Maybe they’re hidden somewhere in the indie game market, or maybe they just don’t exist and I’m the only one. It’s a weird place to be, whichever is the case.