Saturday, January 5, 2013

Waker Update

Over the past month, I've written and implemented Act I of Waker - a quarter of the story. If I had stuck to my original plan, I've done enough work to have been 2/3 of the way done, but had I done that the game would be far too short. The first act of the game was originally took about 5 minutes to breeze through - and there's no way in hell that I've put all this work in for a mere 20 minute game! So, I've trying to expand the story and the game's world, and thankfully it's been easy to do in a meaningful way and I've managed to avoid mere filler.

It's funny how I feel like I'm not telling a story but the story's telling itself. The game, when I originally conceived it last summer, was simply about a man in a cubicle who falls asleep and experiences a series of totally disconnected dreams that have little narrative semblance to each other besides a recurring romantic interest. Without intending to, the dream world became more unified and less surreal, the overarching story became coherent, and the characters became much more fleshed out than they were meant to be (one character that was originally named Deus Ex Macguffin had to be renamed out of necessity). The character that was originally the love interest no longer served that purpose. What was originally a game about how boring it is to work in a cubicle instead became a game about the victims of violence who struggle to find direction in an increasingly barren world. I planned for none of that to happen, but it did happen and it's pretty awesome.

Based on how long it took me to make the first act of the game, I'm guessing that the game should be done around late spring or early summer. My next project is definitely going to be much smaller - I'm can't imagine investing this much time in a single creative vision again anytime soon.

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