As promised, I’m here to do a quick update on something that isn’t exercise or food related for once. After attending last night’s excellent performance by Neil Gaiman in Seattle, I’m more compelled than ever to get back to my writing work. After all, writers write things… and then they finish them, don’t they?
(If you don’t know who Neil Gaiman is: you’ve missed out on a grand thing. You may rectify this lapse in judgment here. If American Gods is too subversive for your blood, I recommend Neverwhere as a gateway drug.)
Some of you may be wondering what happened to my beloved little project known as The Looking-Glass Girl. I’m pleased to report that I haven’t forgotten about it – but making my health and future a priority has definitely cut back on my available time for creating. I’m hoping to get back in the saddle sometime this week or next, as we’re starting to settle into a good routine and I now know what to expect in terms of being sore, tired, and busy. (I am sorry to those of you that were waiting to help edit! I plead insanity since late January on all outstanding issues…)
Most changes I needed to make are in. I’m still tweaking some things in the opening and interstitial scenes, which I’ve updated to a) more clearly show who’s talking and what is going on, and b) reflect characters and events that appear in the Legend of Asguardia IV mini-game (planned for inclusion with the final release.) It should be done soon, since I was almost ready for more eyes to judge it before I stopped work last time.
In addition, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not sure this game benefits from having a “bad ending.” Back when I thought TLGG would be heavier on the choices, it made a lot of sense and added replay value to the game. Given the length of the current game, and the fact that I wasn’t able to fulfill the promise of the “bad ending” as well as I wanted due to newbie design flaws, I’m concerned that it’s a distraction from a game that stands perfectly well on its own. I’d rather have folks get the “real” ending and walk away satisfied the first time, than risk 10+ hours resulting in what amounts to “try again.” Someday I’ll write that choice-heavy game, but TLGG isn’t it, and it deserves to tell the story it’s trying to in the best way it can.
(I have promised John that the “bad ending” will still be available somewhere in the game code, for intrepid fans and/or posterity-seeking creators, but it won’t be something a player can luck into by accident.)
What does that mean for the final project? First, I’m going to have to go in and decide which choices are “canon.” (For those that have played the game: yes, you may assume I’m keeping the silliest ones!) This isn’t the hard part. The hard part is in addressing the fact that player choices also dictate the cookies you get each day! I don’t want to lose this aspect, so I’m going to have to find ways to work in choices elsewhere to compensate. Expect to see more choices that focus on Kacey’s behavior (for example, whether she stole Dad’s cookies or not) and less on her reactions to Theo, which were the keys that determined the ending before. Since cookies are representative of Kacey’s normal, non-magical life, it makes sense to have them affected by normal, non-magical events!
That’s where things stand at the moment. I’m hoping to make enough progress to start looking into official release by the end of April, though that’s going to (of course) be contingent on whatever needs to happen with 20/20 and the rest of life. This game has been in development now for longer than I’d hoped, and it’s time to see it off into the sunset so that I can focus on new projects (and sequels!) I’m excited to see what else I can accomplish, and I have so many ideas for where to go next.
It’ll just have to be a couple hours at a time now, instead of the 12-hour days I was working. C’est la vie…