Once again, I decided to check in with a little update to how things are going on the game design side and what exactly that really looks like.
First and foremost, after having pounded out the basic concept and design of the initial cutscene, I realized two major issues. One, I had not fleshed out any of the actual STORY for my STORY-BASED gameplay. I had vague ideas and concepts but had never sat down and started pounding anything out. This quickly led to number Two: I wasn't satisfied with what I had written initially and have to have my poor voice artist re-record stuff.
Luckily she had only done three lines as of yet.
I'll have her rerecord when it's done. Not when I'm starting.
And so, as I began actually WORKING on the story, I was very quickly presented with a whole new problem to handle. Dialogue. Now, as a writer, I was already very comfortable with dialogue and making things go back and forth. You get a certain sense for how people speak and interact and how to cut out the fluff to keep the story moving forward. What I never thought of before this, however, was the problem of 'dialogue trees'.
In a regular story/book/etc. you are dealing with a simple back and forth. Character A says blah, Character B says blah, proceed to blah blah blah until you've gotten to where you intend to for the story. But within game design, particularly a game that's designed around a self-building story with multiple endings and multiple paths, you have a key issue of dealing with multiple dialogue options.
If one character says blah, another character might say ha. If that character says ha, than the first character might say la OR blah depending on whether it's ha or HA. So, in order to make things flow and functional, I'm now building a dialogue tree that connects paths to and fro. Dialogue 1 leads to Dialogue 3 and 4 while Dialogue 2 leads to 5 and 6. Branch and connect as needed from there.
Honestly, it's been kind of a bitch. It's hard to think in that manner but I'm trying for now. I realized that while I had one line of dialogue planned out, I never really considered the next trail of information or how everything would connect. I'm thinking I'm probably going to need to go storyline by storyline from top to bottom, beginning to end, before I go any further because otherwise there will be too many loose ends and knots in the story.
No matter how I write it though, I need a way to do it.
I quickly found out that just writing the dialogue in a standard word document did not work. It worked even less well trying to plot it out within the game itself. I ended up hunting around and found a few different options, none of which I'm particularly satisfied with but I've currently settled on writer.inklestudios.com.
As it stands, inklewriter works like post it notes that you can add dialogue directions to. If you have Point 1 and Option 1 and Option 2, you can follow respective options and keep writing, creating more options and points as you go. Personally, I like the flow of being able to just type like I was writing on a notepad, but in turn I can't SEE the flow of consequences. I can't see the tree...it's just a straight line of little pieces of paper.
There were a few other options but none of them were particularly appealing.
I'll need to just keep looking. If anyone else has ever worked on dialogue trees, I'm more than open to input.
As always, I will try to post updates and new content through the week, but worst comes to worst will return on Sunday. With that said, I hope you all are having a pleasant day and enjoy.