Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Developer's Diaries Episode 15

Aura is back writing Developer's Diaries, and he's come up with this:

Where are we going? Writers are soonish reaching the ends of the first parts of their paths (actually crud, being by far the most productive writer, already did). Delta finished the first alpha of the demo for internal playtesting, but as everyone is either busy with their actual assignment or lazy, extensive testing and polishing has to wait a bit. Other things are coming along as well.

Progress is the key thing to any project, it's actually the reason I write these blog posts, to keep record of our progress. Of particular interest to me is the progress of writing, not from the perspective of word counts or scene numbers, but the plot. It is important that the stories we are telling work, are paced well and make sense. I have noticed that it's pretty hard to keep a long story under control, even though I am not even halfway through mine.

All writers have gotten a bit of flak about progressing the plot (and with it, the relationship of the main pair) too slowly, and I do admit, we are a bit slice-of-lifey most of the time (I was inspired to write this post by the scene I am working on, codenamed R12. It does absolutely nothing to progress my path, and I hate it for that because i have been already brainwashed to think that slice-of-life is bad). I am not sure why this is a bad thing though, nor i do understand the reasons for all writers acting the same. Of course, in our case there are a few other things that naturally slow down the plot progress, notably the fact that Hisao knows none of the other characters before the game starts. This basically forced us to spend some time to estabilish the characters not only to the player, but also to the main character. But still, is it because all five of us have been infused by the western culture environment, so a certain kind of image of a relationship has been imprinted in our brains? Thus, some staples of our genre (incredibly quickly progressing romance, sex on the first date, sex before the first date etc) could be subconsciously impossible to write because they sound ridiculous and implausible, perhaps?

It turns out that KS, despite its outrageous premise of a special highschool for disabled children ranging from mental patients and burn victims to paraplegics and double amputees, tells stories that are not outrageous at all, most of the time. Instead, the flow of life is very mundane all around, following the slow cycles of a school year just like in any other school, with the neverending days seemingly similar to each other ultimately leading to something I hope is five stories worth telling.

Then crud added:

One thing that I should point out, that I've noticed from a few of my projects, is that whilst it seems like it's taking forever to achieve anthing, it 's usually pretty quick.

I know that I have reached a "critical point" in my path, and I know that others will be approaching the same point rather soon.
It seems like it's taken forever to get here.

But, in the timeline of the game, it's a little less than a month.
Additionally, it would probably only take a solid hour's worth of reading to get to where I am....

So basically... cheer up, writing team! It's not that bad! We're just slow!

...maybe just ignore that last point...