Wednesday, July 03, 2013

About the closed beta...

...It's already out. So, if you had to receive a link, but somehow didn't, let me know (by e-mail or PM). I still have this feeling that I am forgetting someone, that's why I am writing this. So, nothing to look here! The important stuff is in the previous post (probably!). ^_^


  1. Hey, I missed the post on the 28th, So I thought I'd post my response to that one here - sorry if that causes confusion.

    Strictly speaking, you do already separate events into chapters, in that your events trigger by general time, instead of running it cued to a particular location (what I mean is, the first time you hit a new planet, you can have a new conversation with everyone - doesn't matter which planet you hit, just that you've hit one. Same thing with the second run-in with Mr. Nice Guy - he hits when you get back, regardless of what you did or did not do. Just check a box based on completing each of the three Alice in Wonderland sections, or each time you hit a new world, or after x number of flights (or some combination there of), and proc the additional content based on the number of checks, gated by certain unmissable quests (the return of Mr. Nice Guy is one of these); don't worry about the order they're done in.

    AS to Piper...Jane's romance is a mediation on being a "good" SO. I'm looking forward to you making us make some hard decisions about how far we're willing to go to keep her, without going overboard (or going overboard, and her breaking our hearts to wake us up to that fact).

    Malena's is a mediation on lust and need. It isn't a question of "will they?", but a question of "How far, how fast, and how desperately?" I'd like to see more of what drives Malena, and why she "needs" so hard, so quickly, and for so much. (I also have an internal bet that she's Alice's Master...)

    Piper, then, I think, is a mediation on freedom - what does it mean to be free? Is freely serving different from merely passively complying? Is it different from freely choosing independence? How, and why do these choices matter? In that respect, I would encourage you to make her romance a rather more varied and branching thing than the relatively straight shots that Jane and Malena have (yes, Jane has choices, but, frankly, if you are crazy about someone, wouldn't you try to see and do everything with them, if not immediately, then eventually at least?). Yes, it means a heck of a lot more work, sorry about that.

    1. Don't worry, it's not a problem (you could have also written this under the other post without troubles, as I get notified when there are new comments).

      The chapter thing is more orderly than what I do now, though. Right now, almost all the quests are always available at all times, which means I can't know beforehand which one you played before. If the game was separated in chapters, instead, while I wouldn't know in which order you complete the first chapter, by the time you reach chapter 2 I'll know for sure which quest you did and which you didn't, and I would know that this can't change anymore. It makes things MUCH easier, believe me.

      There is a variable that keeps track of your progression over the main quest (which is also how I track time passing by, for important changes), so I currently do what you suggest for the game. But having a variable for each of them would be a requirement, if I wanted to reference previous events, and the combinations would be numerous, even on a short list of events to track down like this one. It basically forces me to not acknowledge everything you did, but just to cherry pick what I believe is most interesting/useful, because things get too complicated, otherwise.

      I just think I could improve a bit the way the plot evolves, without throwing away the gameplay, if I used chapters. Oh well, TOTDC is what it is, and I am not going to change it, so this might only affect future games...

      Jane is the goody two shoes of the group, so yeah, she is generally hard to deal with when you have to make tough choices (there is one you'll have to make to recruit one of the persons you need to deal with the current situation, but I won't say more, since it isn't in the game, yet). This is a problem regardless of your relationship with her, though, so I am not sure if and how should I reflect this in her romance. I might make Jane the "vanilla" romance, but I don't know. We'll see.

      The relationship with Malena is more or less what you say. The romance will give you some insight on her character (if you want to know, her figure is vaguely inspired to Lila West, from the Dexter tv series, with slightly less dark undertones, although her story won't follow the same path). As for your bet... You would lose it! :p Now pay yourself!

      To be completely honest, I hope people will like the twist I have in mind to close "season 1" (no cliffhangers, though, I am not sadistic like some TV show authors). It's the kind of story I would like, but who knows if people will appreciate it... Damn it, I am nervous, now! >_<

      As for Piper, that's how I originally envisioned her romance (in the sense of there being a tension between free will and blind loyalty). It was supposed to be the only one, before I caved in when people asked for more, so now juggling 3 romances has got me worried. I want the 3 of them to feel different, but I fear that Piper's romance might too easily resemble the one I am creating for Malena, in that there is a parallel in how Celeste compares to Piper and in how Malena compares to Celeste, as far as their paths go.

    2. I like working on the romances, but I feel like they are taking too much of my attention away from the main theme... Good romance is hard to write, and spending another year to fully write and implement those romances properly feels kind of wasteful (I am not saying it would actually take a year, but it would surely take a long time, of me doing nothing but that).

  2. Awesome to hear. I'm envious of your testers and not envious at the same time. I do QA for a living and I'm sure this game is complex enough to make tracking down issues for serious bug reports a real big pain.

    Thanks for always kicking so much ass. :)

    1. Yeah, I imagine the poor guys are starting to have way too many troubles, testing everything. I should at least add a way to skip the tutorial mission (I think players would like that too).

      You are welcome! ;p