I worked today on part of the design for a different game, and found that my writing style changed. The game takes place in a somewhat different world than “Nikria’s Menace”, one that’s darker – it’s more tech steampunk, has a ton more elements to it and so on. I’ve worldbuilt there on and off for a few years now, catering to my darker side when I feel like it. Anyway, the game itself isn’t what I want to talk about here: it’s the writing style that I’m now doing. It’s new and is very interesting!
You remember the stuff with Rooms and so on that I’ve been talking about? Well, when I started hastily scribbling down the info for this darker game, all of a sudden I found myself writing it out in the pattern that I’d be doing it in code – just like notes for the code, that I could clearly fit into that. For instance, the section I was working on today was about an area called the Stone Archipelago, reachable from the capital only by line cars because it’s a section of mesa-like mountaintops. But there’s giants roaming around in the valleys, and they constantly are demanding tribute from the people there. So each mountaintop village will be a Room, and each section of a village a Room within that, and each area of the valleys will be a different Room – I didn’t write out all of that, but it’s in my head what to do. What I did write was what events will happen there, how to kill the giants, how to kill dragons in a different section of the mountains (I need to know how to do that so I can give that kind of info to the Player in some way)… and then I wrote a blank section title for Objects that’ll exist in the mountains, for the Player to interact with. Then I moved on to what people Player will find (Anatole Tesla is there with a brother named Richard, who’s a junk artist, and they own a sweatshop)… and I figured out a few other things. (Including one of the most amazing magic illusion shows the people in the villages never want to see again:)).
This is not how I’d ever do notes on a story. If you’re writing a story, you just scribble down the tale. You don’t need to go into detail about “what ways can I kill this giant under these circumstances?” you just write it. You don’t list “encounters in the Archipelago” because that’s just the story, it’s going to be seen. This is sort of like making an outline, but even when I made outlines I certainly didn’t make sections for all the people and all the objects and all the stuff of other sorts going on and being picked up and doing this or that…
It’s very different. But what it does say to me is that I’ve learned a LOT so far from “Nikria’s Menace”, and the thing isn’t even half done! I mean, I just started doing this automatically in this style.
And here I was worried that having difficulty concentrating on it for more than a couple hours a day, and spending so much time on one Room, I wasn’t really doing much.
Apparently my brain thinks differently!