Update 9: Weird Feelings, Finished Games.
[[EDIT. THE GAME IS LIVE!]]
I submitted the game!!! Between the last update and this one I didn't really change all that much. There isn't much more that I can do in this time. There's lots of things big and small that I would change if I had another day, week, or month of concentrated time, but I set out to finish something and I'm proud of the progress I've made.
Some interesting observations: In total I spent about 25~ hours on this game. About 18 hours between initial design to finishing the narrative development of the game. And an additional 7~ hours of various amounts of polish and implementation of graphics. Lots of this was alleviated by the fact that I brought on an artist! She's been super awesome!
One of the biggest challenges I feel was finding time to dedicate to this amidst other obligations. It was tough to find the energy after a long day of classes/studying to go through and read about html/css to learn how to add elements to my game. Maybe that's an excuse, but also the reality of it is that my academics came before this jam. I suppose I found striking time management to be a huge barrier to the game's development. Perhaps naively I thought that I would be able to churn on the game late into the night and understand the things I was learning or reading. This was not the case.
Twine itself was another challenge. As I began using the engine I saw how it made certain aspects of design easier and others more challenging. Displaying text and writing in Twine is very simple and intuitive and friendly. But, any kind of graphics whether it be adding images or manipulation of text becomes a challenge very quickly. (without prior knowledge of html). I think moving forward I want to dive deeper into learning HTML/CSS/JS and explore different web based games I can create.
I mentioned this earlier but overall I'm pretty proud of the journey I've taken. I feel like I've learned a lot about the process of game design just by trying different things. It's still one of the things that has brought me more joy than lots of other things. I feel like I'm converted and more than anything I just want to do more.