I did it!! I have a thing!!! My very first playable thing is on itch.io!! I feel awesome!!
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OH MAN I'M DONE!
Sort of. I've got the first act complete, at about 8k total words! I've tightened up the code, got a "demo" file published, and I'm reading to shove it off on some beleaguered playtesters/proofreaders!
For the <<replace>> macros you found: it looks like you need to c+p that CSS code into your story's CSS passage, AND include that .js code in your .js passage. There's information on how to do that here, but the jist of it is you just need two special passages tagged "stylesheet" and "script" with these codes in them. Then <<replace>> and all the others will work
Hey, sorry I've been so quiet--been working my butt off on the word count!
I know I said it was gravy, but keeping track of if a player has already seen a parallel passage ended up being really useful. I was twisting myself in knots trying to come up with a way to write neutral to whatever the player had already seen--which is completely unnecessary! This if/else bit checks if someone has been to a passage at least once--if they have, they get one piece of text, and if they haven't, they get the other.
When I can't decide on a setting bit, or a name, or some other ultimately useless fluff, I do this :T Voila, instant card game. It's not CRUCIAL to the gameplay or the story, but it's helping me by taking the pressure off picking the PERFECT line. I'll let RNG piece it together for me.
The good news is I'll definitely have act 1 finished as a playable demo by the deadline--if I really pound away at it, I might have act 2 done as well! I'm at about 5800 words (I wasn't kidding about the novel thing), and I have another 1200 to go to round out the first act. Granted, players won't see all 7000 words, the nature of the beast is they only get 1/3 of what's going on in an individual playthrough. But one of my goals is to make a game people want to play at LEAST three times..
THE FIRST DISASTER
I ctrl+c'd when I should have ctrl+v'd and I lost 2k words. (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻
Other than that, writing is going well! I don't have much to show right now because I'm trying hard not to throw myself out the window.
I know it feels inelegant but putting it into startup is the best way I can think of to pull off what you wanted :/ Putting the code in its own passage to display when you need it means the code will rerun every time the passage is <<display>>ed.
But I like the idea of a new random show every time you start a new game, and am intrigued by Anthony Bourdain's Murder Children lmao
It's been slow for me--I'm finding it hard to manage my time and I'm getting intimidated by the writing part. But as soon as I put even a single sentence down I know it'll start pouring out of me.
1/4 and 1/5 was tightening up the code further:
I have a couple sets of variables floating around that keep track of which heroine was chosen for which act, and how many acts total they were chosen for. This allows me to spruce up text involving these characters if the player is favoring one of them (or none of them!).
The "$heroine_scenes" variable is numeric, so I can check it with something like "(if: $heroine_scenes is 2)" and then have text that only displays if she's been in two of the three major scenes. The idea is if a specific heroine is with the villain for a growing number of scenes, they should be growing closer and progressing the romance arc, but if they've had one or even no scenes together there won't be as much of a "spark" yet. I didn't want to muck around with Affection Traits or anything--it's not that complicated of a story!
I also have the specific acts set up with "flags" so that the game will remember which acts they were in. If a heroine and the villain share a scene in act 1, I want them to be able to talk about it in act 3!
I puzzled out a way to have Twine remove story choices that had already been visited, using my very favorite rotating array of links trick! This uh, actually took a long time. I couldn't figure out why "$salutations.length is 0" wasn't working, until I realized 2.0 Harlowe has way more intuitive phrasing.
This is the entirety of the "1stletterchoice" passage that displays when someone clicks "Continue." All it does is check which heroine the player chose (it will be the 1st name in the array) and then redirects them to the appropriate passage! Each of these passages begins with a "(set: $salutations to it - (a: "Heroine's name"))" so it removes itself from the available choices. If there's only one choice left in the array, it appears as unchangable text, and if there's no choices left at all, a link appears to progress to the next part of the story. I'm using this for parts that require a "visit every location/character/idea" before the player moves to the next part.
I'm toying with the idea of having the story keep track of which heroine/event you visit first (it's really easy to have Twine check which passages have been visited already) and changing the text based on that, but it feels like gravy. I really gotta get started on the writing!
I'm tightening up aspects of the setting. I want to make sure I don't end up spending more than half of the game on exposition, so I started working on one of my favorite writing exercises borrowed from Seventh Sanctum forever ago. I'll have few if ANY visual assets for this, so it's especially important that I describe my setting with care.
Today I put Actual Real Words in my game. The first sentence is always the hardest, and I'll probably delete it anyway, but it's still a big deal D:
I totally recommend outlining it in the actual Twine! You can get a feel for how things branch and if there's any weak areas you need to shore up. The only downside is I can't find a way to print the proof copy ಠ_ಠ
1/2 and 1/3 was spent solely on outlining the story, finding the branches, and building the code. I put placeholder text and summaries in place to help remember what everything is supposed to say. Then I had to put in all the links and triggers and variable checks to make sure that junk will work when I need it to.
I'm particularly proud of myself for figuring this out. When the user clicks on the activated text, it'll loop through the other text in the array, and on clicking "continue" (or whatever I end up changing that to say), a new passage displays that will check which text the player changed, and immediately forward them to the appropriate version of the story. Right now I have a very simple use for this (the player deciding which heroine to follow into the next act) but I'm brainstorming a couple of easy ways this can add flavor to less crucial areas of the text.
I don't have a lot of time today, but I'll use it to tighten up the last loose bits of my outline so I can be ready to start the fun stuff tomorrow! I'll post excerpts and bits of code I like as I move along.
I did it! I did a massive amount of work on my first interactive novel! This was a great experience and I don't know if I would have gotten started on this at all if it weren't for the jam. Thank you cloudhime, lysander, and chitachita for hosting this jam!
An evil sorceress has risen to power, intent on resurrecting a dark god. Three heroines, who couldn't be more different from each other, are called upon to stop her. When they find more in common with their enemy than they ever could have predicted, the question of how to stop her--or even if they should--grows more and more complicated.
Splinter the Moon is an interactive novel, with themes of past trauma, redemption, and how to heal. It's also a romance, but rather than spending time in first- or second-person with a few love interests, the player can choose which of the three heroines will help the villain on her redemption arc (We Know the Devil has been described as an OTP simulator and I'm so in love with that as a genre concept I wanted to take it for a spin).
I hope to make the framework as invisible as possible. I love interactive novels but I'm not a fan of "If you verb the noun click here" style actions--I just feel like they take me out of the reading! Right now I'm managing this with link-replace loops using rotated arrays which can then be referenced as variables--the player can click on bits of text to change them, and the story will progress based on player changes.
I have a lot of writing experience but next to none in game-making! I've published short stories and had a play produced, but interactive writing and games are my secret dirty passions. This is my first time creating an interactive novel and my first extensive project in Twine.
- Write 1500 words a day
- Finish two of the three branches by the deadline
- Make at least one of my playtesters cry
I'm using Twine 2.0 with the Harlowe story format.
Seeing everyone's beautiful art for their visual novels is making me self-conscious. I'll be writing and coding everything on my own, but I'm hoping, if there's time, to create promotional artwork to splash around.
This is my devlog! I've never had one of these! I guess I'll just run off at the mouth about what I'm doing and what I'm learning!