Author Topic: Not sure where to begin this idea  (Read 1023 times)

hedkrakka

  • Emaciated
  • *
  • Posts: 24
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • Lightweight
    • View Profile
Not sure where to begin this idea
« on: March 07, 2017, 05:03:06 AM »
Hello, one and all. I've an idea for a game, but I've run into a few hurdles, and I'm hoping someone might be able to help me out.

The basic premise of the game is almost like a highlight reel, if that makes any sense. The protagonist is a young woman named Julia (I've just always liked the name, to be honest). At story start, she's in her last year of high school. The fat kid in elementary and middle school, puberty hit her like a freight train, and she became quite the knockout. Her appetite and lack of will power (for which I blame the players), combined with her being done growing up, are why from this point on, she'll be growing out instead.

The game follows her from the start of her final year of high school, into her college years, and finally into her twenties and the work force. The choices the players make, the right flags being tripped, etc, have an impact on Julia at the end. How fat and gluttonous she gets, how comfortable she is with her gain, even some innocuous things like what she does for a living, or whether or not she finds romance. Each chapter consists of one day, with a passage of time anywhere from a few days to a few months between each one, and you getting to see the impact of the choices you made at the end of that.

At least some of the inspiration for this comes from other authors on the site, "Anna's wedding" and "Kate's Uni Days" being significant culprits. Actually, quite a few of the Quest games, now that I think about it. I really liked how there could be multiple endings with various weights and gains, and I really loved seeing how large the protagonist could end up after all the choices I made. What I didn't like was the severity of the time skip. The protagonist gained two hundred pounds off camera, and damn it, I wanted to be the one that had her put on those 200 pounds. That in essence is what I'm aiming for; simply to add more steps along the way to influence the character and enjoy the results.

My greatest strength for this is my ability as a writer. I'd like to think I'm rather good at detailed description, so writing eating scenes, clothes destruction, self examination dialogue, I find relatively straight forward. I have little to no skill as a programmer, and am struggling with how to start and where to take this story. In terms of medium, I'm bouncing between Quest and Twine. I've got more experience with Quest, though Twine might be more applicable to what I have in mind. I'm just not sure.

As I said, any and all help will be appreciated. The more I think about it, the more confused I get.

Kostromama

  • Fat
  • ****
  • Posts: 294
  • Karma: +25/-5
  • Prime Amazon
    • View Profile
Re: Not sure where to begin this idea
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2017, 01:47:01 PM »
Speaking as someone else whose words are strong but whose codes are weak, it sounds like you want to work in Twine.  Quest is great, but is more suited to a game that takes place across a single continuous period of time.  Twine is almost as easy to learn (the only thing that makes Quest easier, in fact, is that the functions are listed in a drop-down menu, whereas in Twine you have to remember them) and much more flexible.

Essentially, if you want core gameplay to be moving between rooms and hoarding items, Quest wins out, but since you're time-skipping pretty regularly, it sounds like you just want to use Twine and have the core gameplay be making choices that send the narrative down one path or another (while tracking some variables).

As for where to get started, here's some advice:

This sounds really ambitious.  Possibly make a smaller game before taking this one on, as working within the bounds of a more limited project might spark more inspiration on how to frame this one.  Also, you'll otherwise learn some things about Twine halfway through a large project that make you want to start over and do a better job.

Keep a design notes document.  Brainstorm on paper if it works better for you.  Think about your game as a series of scenes and start writing down your ideas for those scenes and what kinds of consequences they might have.  It's hard to hold more than two or three small stories in your head at once, and an IF game of this length is many, many small stories.

Good luck, from someone who hasn't finished any of her own attempts!

PeachClamNine

  • Chubby
  • ***
  • Posts: 173
  • Karma: +42/-5
  • Lightweight
    • View Profile
Re: Not sure where to begin this idea
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2017, 06:42:17 PM »
Probably Twine, yeah. Or Dedalus if you want a bare metal 'just get out of my way and let me write' approach. Whatever you end up using, you'll probably want to flowchart the basics of your story before you get started. Programming yourself into a corner isn't any fun.


If you are just interested in the writing half of game-crafting, another option would be to pair up with a programmer (like ME) and split the work that way.

geekdragon

  • Average
  • **
  • Posts: 65
  • Karma: +50/-0
  • Lightweight
    • View Profile
Re: Not sure where to begin this idea
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2017, 03:26:45 PM »
The more complete your initial plan, the less painful the development. (This is obvious enough, but I still caused myself grief with my own project because I thought I could "wing it". Nothing worse than making a late feature addition that forces a substantial re-write.

If you can put together a good snapshot of your "scenes", decide what your "flags" will be, and exactly how they will affect your story, you're well on your way. After working with Twine a bit I have little doubt it could serve your purposes.

dingotush

  • Developer
  • Chubby
  • *****
  • Posts: 117
  • Karma: +30/-0
    • View Profile
    • Yaffaif
Re: Not sure where to begin this idea
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2017, 10:57:42 PM »
The more complete your initial plan, the less painful the development. (This is obvious enough, but I still caused myself grief with my own project because I thought I could "wing it". Nothing worse than making a late feature addition that forces a substantial re-write.

That's excellent advice.

If you have a good plan and the words already written you could always build an initial chapter in Quest and then in Twine and see which you get on better with.

hedkrakka

  • Emaciated
  • *
  • Posts: 24
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • Lightweight
    • View Profile
Re: Not sure where to begin this idea
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2017, 06:33:13 AM »
I'm not sure if this counts as necro posting or not, but let's find out.

First off, thank you all for your advice. After a lot of hmming and hawing, I think I've finally got an idea on where to start.

For the time being, I'm going to shelf the Julia story line. While I do intend to get back to that, after some thought I agree that it is fairly ambitious for a starter project, and would be very time consuming given my lack of any programming experience. Given that the end result would wind up simpler and sloppier then I want my final product to be, it seems a good choice.

For now, I've got a new idea, and one considerably better for a starter plan. There will be two games, the first in Quest (as I'd rather not have wasted all that time mucking about with the controls, only to scrap it for another system), and its sequel in Twine. The first game follows Beth and Marcie, two childhood friends who are now roommates in the latter point of their college education. Marcie has always been the heavier of the two, and wants to get fat. However, society's and her family's expectations have resulted in her not being very confident in her goal, and it's up to Beth to give her a little push. What the push entails and its results depends on the actions of the players. As for the second game in Twine... well, I can't spoil all the surprises.

I've already got my endings in mind, and a couple of major scenes, though I'm still working out how to weigh (heh) them against each other and the desired endings. As of right now, I can't make any promises on a release date, as we are entering our busy time at work, so my schedule will be somewhat chaotic, to say the least. Still, I at least have a coherent plan, and can finally start to work on scripting and actual programming.

Again, thank you all for your input. It was very helpful, and hopefully the fruits of my labours are well received in light of it.