Category Archives: Writing

#WriteTuesday – Memories Feedback Acquired!

My friend playtested Memories over the weekend!  Overall he liked it (he called it a “nice, heartful story”). 🙂  He found a few mechanical things I needed to fix, like how locked doors would open, display the text “the door is locked” then close (he helped me fix that!) and how the ending was a bit weird because after the credits it said “Game Over;” together we figured out that you could send the game back to the Title instead of using the Game Over command, so I’ve implemented that instead.

He also said he really liked how you get more and more dialogue options with NPCs as you unlock more emotions, so I’m super glad I got some of that implemented before he playtested!

So since then, I’ve been working on implementing more of those dialogue choices.  I think I’ve got pretty much everything in place now (there are still a few places where there isn’t a dialogue choice, but I don’t really think they’re needed).

Over the weekend I also noticed a problem with my naming scheme for all the characters.  Here are their names again:

Picture of Memories NPCs with names

When I designed this, I tried to have people who were related to each other have names with the same starting letter.  I thought I did a good job of this, but I just noticed that the wizard name (Edric) starts with an E, just like my mother daughter combo of Eireen and Ena! 😦  Unfortunately, these names are kind of ingrained in my head now; I took a look last night and couldn’t find anything else that worked for any of them.  So in the end I decided to leave them as is.  Whoops!

So now that the dialogue choices are all in place, I need to actually go back and make sure the dialogue works for each character (and that each character actually has their own voice).  Once that’s done, I think Memories just needs a better name then it’s pretty much finished! 😲

So how’s your week been?  🙂

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#WriteTuesday – Beginning Edits on Memories

writing subtext cover

Seriously, this book is fantastic! I really recommend it. 🙂

Over the weekend I finally read the book Writing Subtext: What Lies Beneath by Dr. Linda Seger.  I’ve had the book for years but never got around to reading it (lol, such is the story of my life).  But now seemed like a great time to read it – I was hoping it might help me improve the dialogue within Memories.  Writing Subtext ended up a really great read – even as I was reading it I had all kinds of ideas for what I could do.  Unfortunately now comes the hard part: actually implementing all of those changes into the game.  I’ll hopefully be going over all the dialogue during the next bit to clean things up and start layering in some subtext to the story. 🙂

On top of that, I decided I’m going to implement something I considered a few years ago when I first started working on Memories: I’m going to add some branching dialogue options as you unlock more memories (and the corresponding emotions).  So once you’ve unlocked the second emotion, you’ll now have two dialogue options with NPCs, rather than just the one I originally came up with.  I started implementing this yesterday and got quite a bit changed already.  So I uploaded the new game files for my playtesting friend.  I haven’t heard back from him yet, so this is perfect; hopefully he hasn’t started playtesting yet and will be able to try the newer version instead!

So how’s your week been?  🙂

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#WriteTuesday – Memories Has an Ending!!!!

Hey everyone, how are you holding up amidst this pandemic?  I haven’t been feeling well over the week and so have been staying home.  I started reading through some old magazines I’ve had sitting around for awhile (more about that on Thursday!) And then I started thinking a little more about Memories.

I started with a bit of brainstorming for the ending on Wednesday.  The ending has always been the #1 problem for Memorieshow should the game end???  At one point I actually had the avatar character and antagonist saying “What now?”  “I don’t know.”  Lol, not exactly a good place to end up.  Plus the final memory was just kind of there and didn’t really add anything to the story.

My first order of business was to tackle that last memory.  I figured if I could make it a little more meaningful, that would help with the ending.  So I started working on the game on Saturday afternoon.  By the early evening, the final memory was cleaned up and functioning.

So that left the ending.  I kept working with the dialogue a bit (I also had to laugh – some of the stuff I brainstormed earlier in the week were already implemented into the game when I last worked on it – I guess they were really good ideas!).  For a lot of this I had kind of a vague idea of where to take things.  Then by about 10pm I had it: an actual workable idea for an ending implemented into the game! 🙂

From there it took me about two hours to get everything working.  I thought everything was okay until I ran through the game and the ending seemed to just freeze with nothing happening.  I tried everything to get the new end stuff to trigger.  Just when I was about to give up for the night, I realized what was wrong: I had the new events set to “Action Button” (meaning the player had to walk up to them and click on them to activate them) instead of them playing automatically with “Autorun.” Once I switched them to autorun, everything started working properly (which let me run through it a few times to make sure everything actually was running as I intended).  From there, I built a short movie for the end credits, and Memories was ready for playtesting!

A friend of mine (who also likes to make games with RPG Maker) agreed to test it on Sunday.  So now I’m waiting on his feedback before doing anything more (…although in the meantime I may go back over the dialogue to make sure all the characters sound right…)

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#WriteTuesday – Wading Through Old Notebooks

Over the weekend, I visited my parents and we watched Gone in 60 Seconds (the newer one, with Nicholas Cage), a movie none of us had seen in awhile.  Part way through it, I was reminded of some old characters that I’d created many, many years ago, but I couldn’t remember their names.  So after I got home, I went on a quest through some of my old notebooks, wondering if I could find anything on them.

I haven’t actually looked at any of my old notebooks for quite some time.  I’ve scanned a few of them (which I have not looked through for those characters yet), but the others are sitting in a bin in the basement, still waiting to be scanned.  I wasn’t really sure where, if anywhere, information on those characters might be, so I picked a notebook at random and just started flipping through it.

The first notebook I flipped through started out as a sort of journal.  It was kind of fun to go back and flip through my thoughts from so long ago.  The other ones were a bit more typical for me: sometimes they had thoughts about what was going on, but more often they were full of story and character ideas.  I was blown away by the amount of them that I encountered that I’d completely forgotten about!  I’ll definitely need to see about bringing some of them to life, maybe even later this week (I’m trying to stay as socially isolated as I can right now; while I’m currently doing a bit more reading and house stuff, I’m hoping that by the end of the week I’ll be writing a bit more!)

Stay safe everyone, and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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#WriteTuesday – Nothing Much to Report

Hey everyone, this has been a pretty quiet week for me, so I don’t really have anything to report.  The weekend was kind of my last hurrah for winter (one more ski and snowshoe), so hopefully this coming week I’ll get back to more writing. 🙂

Hope you had a good week!

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#WriteTuesday – Panel Discussion and More Podcast Recording

Hey everyone, how’s it going?  I survived the panel discussion over the weekend!  I was super nervous going in – I haven’t done a presentation like that since grad school (and presentations have always made me nervous!)  But I made it through my fifteen minute presentation (I read it over the night before and timed it out a few times – it was about 13 minutes, so perfectly in the 10-15 minute time they gave each of us during the afternoon).  And I had a really fun time during the q&a discussion afterwards!  Unfortunately Austin Campbell was unwell, but Bry Kotyk, Clint Fleury and I were able to bounce thoughts off each other really well (our presentations, while looking at different aspects of creativity, all touched on similar themes, especially how the internet has made new tools for creative individuals to collaborate, or even just pull their own work up from anywhere).  I also quite enjoyed Dr. Scott Pound’s presentation; he looked at how creativity per se hasn’t changed thanks to the internet, but how it has enabled a sort of counter-cultural movement where people use texts preserved in the shadow net to create something new.

Then yesterday was another full day recording the podcast for work!  We’re actually doing really well in terms of recording; while we’ll need a few more days (including today) to finish up, we’ve got very few scenes left to record!  I’m actually really excited for today; we’re going to be listening to parts of what we have recorded already to see how it sounds (and to plan for any needed re-recording).  I’ve heard some random scenes here and there and it sounds great so far; I can’t wait to hear more! 🙂

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#WriteTuesday – Rejection and Preparing for Upcoming Panel Discussion!

So a few days ago I received word from Manawaker about the story I submitted for their Make Your Way anthology.  Unfortunately they decided to pass on the story as is; they said it has a good foundation, but needs some work to feel finished.  But I was invited to resubmit it if they’re still accepting submissions in the future after giving it some TLC.  Sadly I’m way too busy at the moment to edit it, but if they’re still accepting submissions in a few months, I’ll try to give it a go! 🙂

Speaking of being waaaay too busy, next weekend I was invited to take part in a panel discussion hosted by my local university!  I’ve never participated in a panel discussion before, so I’m really excited (but honestly a bit nervous about the whole thing).  After doing a bit of research, I started preparing what I’m going to say over the weekend (I’m going to have about 15 minutes to talk, then there will be a question and answer period after everyone has said their thing).  While it’s shaping up, I’ll probably be mainly working on preparing that all week now – wish me luck!

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