Saturday, August 22, 2015

Where this is now

As of now I've been working on this as much as I can for around three weeks. Writing progress is fast, since this isn't the first time I've turned a hand to erotic fiction, but coding progress is glacial because I'm a total novice.

I will get the question I got a lot of over at /d/ out of the way: this is still a long way from completion. As promised elsewhere, I will post it on /d/ (and here) when it reaches something like alpha status.

The game's heart is prose that adapts to slaves' attributes. For example, the game will describe a slave the player is examining in 100-200 words, but this short description is pulled from descriptions totaling over 3,000 words. The goal is that every scene in the game will read differently if you experience it with different slaves.

Right now, according to Twine 2's story statistics function, Free City clocks in at 74,000 words, though of course many are repetitions with variations for different slave attributes. Individual slaves have a whole cloud of attributes from age to mental state to sexual experience to hair color and style to tattoos and piercings, and more, all of which affect both the text the player sees and gameplay. I tried to calculate how many different slaves the random slave generator could create, and stopped when it became clear the answer would be trillions.

Right now, the game functions well enough that I can playtest it myself. However, there's a great deal of work to do, in three main areas:

  • Adding content. I'm trying to limit any further additions to customization of slaves, because every added customization has to be called out in the text the player sees. The content I'm working on now is the game's bread and butter: scenes between the player and their slaves that appear based on the slaves' stats, that present the player a short list of options to guide the scene and further impact the slave.
  • Squashing bugs. My total lack of coding experience means this will take a while. In addition to the usual fatal bugs, the way the game's prose gets spat out means that I'm constantly fixing issues where slaves appear in situations their attributes don't support.
  • UI improvement. Twine is clearly intended more for choose your own adventure stuff than a management game, so it's going to be clunky no matter what I do, but work continues. My biggest focus is ensuring that 90% of basic actions can be accomplished from a sidebar to minimize mouse movement.

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