January 12, 2020

Skinwalkers

NOTE: I'm still kind of in an emotional bind, so things are still stalled. Sorry! Here's something I wrote way back when - 2000ish. Give or take a couple years. The concept was a werewolf political drama with lots and lots of juicy intrigue. I was living in DC at the time, so you can guess where the themes and ideas came from. In any case, I still think about this story from time to time. I think I will adapt it into an IF one day. Apologies for any mistakes in the text - I haven't looked at it in close to 20 years. It has no doubt aged poorly as well. As a final note, this is not a complete work. Rather it is just the opening hooks for the major factions and their main characters.

December 29, 2019

delusion

NOTE: I wrote this back in August of 2000. I was playing with perception, dreamstate, and reality. There are a few things going on in this short, and I hope it's easy to read what is going on exactly. Apologies on how sophomoric it is - I'm a little embarrassed to even reveal it, to be honest. Anyway, I've only done some slight technical edits because I feel the story flows better with these updates. I'm posting this now because I want to update this blog. Due to personal reasons, I haven't been able to work on Scion and have no news in regards to that. So this is a bit of an apology. I'll try to post more old stuff as time goes on, too. Enjoy!

December 9, 2019

Super Quick Update That Doesn't Say Much

Hello! I know I said that I would provide wireframes weeks ago, but I haven't. Sorry about that! I've been meaning to, really. There have been changes to my life recently that have necessitated this bit of a break. Plus all the holiday stuff has thrown a wrench right into the whole machine.

Most importantly, it's because my wireframing tools are a bit subpar. Don't get me wrong, Sketch and Blasamiq are both amazing at what they do. However, they're lacking in very specific ways, and they are serious hindrances towards designing the UI. Most critically, neither handle motion very well, if at all. Sketch, for example, requires a plugin to introduce motion. Balsamiq doesn't do any motion wireframing at all. For both applications, interaction is best demonstrated by duplicating an art board, adjusting it for a specific state and repeating. If this sounds rote to you, it is.

While looking for better wireframing and prototyping tools, I came across React Studio. It looks quite promising. It seamlessly pairs design and development fairly seamlessly, allowing teams to iterate very quickly. It looks very promising as it combines a component-based, drag-and-drop style of creativity with fully-functional code underneath.

All that's going to be necessary is integrating Twine with the resulting React app, and the game is just that much closer to initial release.

November 26, 2019

Me Likey Looky Touchy Rubby Tappy Pinchy

What? Why are you looking at me like that? Inappropriate title? What? You're crazy. I'm talking about user interfaces - what are YOU talking about?

In all seriousness, I'm going to slow down on drawing out Chapter Five's beats and switch gears to think about my interface and how it behaves. This is critical, as when I'm done, I should have all the pieces necessary to create a product requirements document. Ugh sounds so business... But it's necessary - you can't just code without a plan. Just like writing a story, if you don't have a roadmap, it's going to end up a jumbled, tangled mess. Except it'll also be filled with game-killing bugs. Hooray?

The PRD is going to define pretty much everything the game needs to have, from the systems to the variables and the logic in between. Since this is destined for mobile, I have to think about how you'll be interacting with your phone to move the story forward. Do you prefer to tap links or swipe the screen? Do you want expanding menus, or do you want everything always available? Do you want sound effects? Music? Do you want a customizable color palette? Or will a simple day mode vs night mode suffice? Do you want flowery, snappy, or witty prose, or would you prefer something more subdued and easier to read?

There are lots of things to think about in terms of how you absorb the story, and all of them should be intuitive, interesting, informative, and above all: entertaining.

Wireframes incoming - stay tuned!

November 21, 2019

Chapter Four Narrative Flow

So this flow took longer than normal. Well, for a couple of reasons - the first being that it consists of two branches. That's a lot of divergence and convergence to think about. It's tough. The second is that I took a couple days break from writing this. Just going through some personal stuff and needed a little time to center it all.

Anyway, the two branches are pretty interesting. You'll note that this is basically a training chapter, making the next one a challenge chapter. I think I may keep the branches separate through the fifth chapter and re-link them back together in the sixth. Need to keep the narrative tight.

You'll note that each branch has a different set of interesting rewards - I'm pretty set on having specific paths be more fruitful than others. It's kind of a subtle way to pass some of the ideas and concepts to the reader. Not everything has to be in-your-face, and some themes are best discovered through one's subconscious, or in dreams.

Sorry, am rambling. Here are the Chapter Four narrative flows: