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A Bit Overdue


Sorry about that. I really meant to post last weekend, but, you know, things.

I've been contemplating which of the three I want to start writing out first, because no way would I be able to write them all simultaneously. Which would actually be amazing in terms of laying down themes on a parallel basis. It sounds fun...

But also insane.

I'm not up to the challenge. Not yet anyway.

Anyway, I figured I'd start with the middle one - O.N.I. No, it's not about my name; that's just happy coincidence. It refers to the Oni - devils from Japanese folklore. I've been envisioning that company as having made a proverbial deal with the devil to be able to travel across dimensions. Which of course we'll get to later. For now, I want to chat about the opening.

From a technical standpoint, I'm thinking of opening each of them in a similar way and trying to give an incredibly crucial first choice that also foreshadows the fate of the whole journey. Which hasn't been written yet. It's not normally a problem in prose, because in there, we can just put placeholders until we figure it out. But in interactive fiction? Placeholder a choice?

It can be tough to write IF novels because each previous choice determines the next, meaning IF novels must be written chronologically. Rearranging your narrative will result in disaster. In contrast, standard linear novels can be written in parts and pulled together by editing, rearranging elements where needed to suit your arc. GRRM writes like that normally, I believe. It's why his foreshadowing is excellent. Neil Gaiman on the other hand writes chronologically, which I find better suited towards writing more meaningful character progression.

But back to the problem: placeholder choices? Nah, too much work. I'll just write to the theme and do my best to make the story flow well.

Also, I'm considering between the ability to choose gender for the main and supporting characters or randomizing gender for all characters. The difference is huge, because it means leaning towards a game-like experience versus leaning towards a better narrative flow. Or maybe it could be a setting?

Hmm... Settings...

Oh! So to see what randomized genders would read like in an IF novel, you can read a short I started to write a while back, but never got around to finishing. It's not terribly deep, with only three choices per branch, but it was meant as a quick exercise for me. I wrote it a few months ago, when I first discovered Twine 2. First thing I wanted to try out was some of its basic scripting, so I put in a gender randomizer. Every time you reload the page, four characters' genders should change.

Check it out and read here: 211 in Progress


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