Sunday, March 5, 2017

Hard at Work/Getting Rid of Chaff

I've been writing, tweaking things, and experimenting a bit with the game, but I haven't much I can really post about. But I swear my silence is productive. 

One of the things I've been intent on recently is cutting -- editing both my writing and, more broadly, elements in the overall design that seem to me superfluous now. 

For instance, I've recently gotten rid of extensive item descriptions for common items as well as detailed mechanical information on weapons and armor. The game is going to be writing-heavy in some respects, but I want most of that writing to be in the form of conversation, and I want to make exposition as minimal as possible. Item descriptions, save in some special cases, will give only mechanical info. For instance, I recently changed the description of a copper wand from a few sentences about the icons on the wand, how difficult the storage of discordium is in magical implements, etc., to "Does magical damage." The other information may be provided in other ways if it seems important for the player to know, or it may not -- I'm really trying to curb the world-building enthusiasm many fantasy-inclined people have except where it has something really important to do with the story.

I also found that I was packing way too much info onto the text item icons, which made them confusing and unattractive, especially on small screens; the information was also redundant and easily accessible via in-game menus. So I've stripped these mechanical elements details away. 

A happy coincidence is that the elimination of both item descriptions and detailed item icons will save me time when adding more items to the game.

2 comments:

  1. Focusing your efforts so that the job scope is reasonable sounds like a good idea. I did really enjoy the item descriptions in the birthday and H&C plus the poems. But I understand that they take quite a bit of effort and if it is the difference between having a new Holbrook module or not, I'll take a new Zach module :)
    We all have busy lives these days so the scope has to be reasonable.

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  2. Thanks! I think more elaborate/important items will get descriptions. It's just that I was trying to do *everything* just a few weeks ago (even regular swords). Definitely a scope limiter.

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