Monday, March 17, 2008

Developer Diaries, episode 21

Writers, especially crud, broke the heavens (300 000 word milestone) with their keyboards and there was next to no celebration. Which is why I'm writing this a day too late. Incidentally, the script of Hanako path is now finished as well, so we have at least one story in the bag (save for rewrites, edits, QC and all that sort of thing, which will take ages).

In other news, our artist harem is expanding again with the inclusion of the charming kamifish, and the results are showing. Alpha testing of first "Act" of the script has produced good results and I am hoping to get over that Namek soonish (which will not happen).

As for today's bit of VN design philosophy: the passing of time.

How to portray the passing of time, or explain skipping over an hour, an evening, a day, a week? VNs usually are read from first-person point of view, so timeskips are bound to cause some disjointing in the storytelling. This was a personal hurdle for me, but eventually I settled with just skipping without explanation just like everyone else. Not that the reader "loses" anything if he misses discussion number 9001 with some side character, or the events that have no bearing to the story, but it might make it harder to identify oneself with our protagonist.

Other kinks with time show especially strongly in KS if you compare the first "Act" to the others. Almost half of average playthrough lenght (measured by number of words) is spent during the first week in Yamaku, and the rest varies between 2-4 months of time inside the game world. I wonder if the shift will feel unnatural because the change, in most stories, is rather sudden. We'll see.