It’s been a good morning. I’ve been teaching the locals at the Sign of the Spyglass to gossip – as well as to keep track of your visits there. Should they tell you of the wicked Squire Lynch, you should find a new quest opening up, in which you dole out some justice to an overbearing landlord.
Most of my recent writing has been coding systems that keep track of various story variables, so it’s nice to be starting on writing a mini-story within the tale. However, though I’m sketching dialogue and event options there are a few things I need to complete before you’re able to to stop Squire Lynch’s speedy chariaeoli, defeat him in a duel, humiliate and rob him.
- The high-level code that decides, when you visit a location, what variable-generated information to give you. These are pieces like descriptions of the weather and scenery, designed to be wrapped into the particular writing of any specific passage. I want every visit to every major to be unique, tailored to the time of day, state of the sky, and the various random chances of other traffic on the road.
- I need to complete my engine allowing you to fire a gun.
- I need to complete my guilt engine – the tracker that will remember every sin and misdeed committed in the name of your own wealth or even for the good of the poor… It will all be significant later.
These are what I’ll be working on for the next week or two. Using variable text to create interesting and significant passages is really my aim. Many interactive fictions dispense with description because a reader skips them naturally, hurrying to the action. I’m trying to embed important information and other options within text. If it rains, that will effect your ability to chase a high-speed steam wagon. If you’re in a wood, you may have simple sub-quest options related to objects you carry – such as cutting wood or finding a particular mushroom. I hope to give the reader the ability to complete actions in any reasonable place, rather than at a specific quest location.