Monday, September 22, 2008

Rume

The intro of BL (the Prologue and Chapter One) has probably been subject to more revision and disproportionate attention than anything else. Which I suppose is appropriate, since that's the segment that determines whether people will stick around for the rest of the story.

A particularly vexing portion of this has been the character of Rume, and specifically the nature of the player's choice to leave or stay with them. Originally conceived of as a plot device to help explain Wayfaring and bits of backstory, Rume has slowly evolved from a quick cameo into a more and more complex character, who now, depending on the player's choices, can be one of the most important characters in the game.

Near the end of this sequence, the player must choose to stay with Rume, or answer the Call. I had always been aware this was sort of a false choice (since the body of the game occurs if you answer the Call) but conversations with various friends convinced me that giving the player a false choice so early in the game would undermine my whole philosophy that the player's intentionality was actually significant, not just illusional.

So what happens if you choose to stay with Rume has been through three complete iterations now. I think I've finally hit on something I'm happy with. Of course, the player still does end up on Lacuna, but hopefully with altered goals and a different perspective. And the choice has repercussions much later in the story, as well: among other things, it's a prime deciding factor in which epilogue you receive.

So:

1. Finish the Epilogues
2. Rework "Staying With Rume" in Chapter 1
3. Finish Progue scenes for his "Uncertain" psyche.
4. Finish sketched-but-unwritten portions of The Confrontation.
5. Finish fleshing out and implementing "Forest" and its people.
6. Add support for Intelligent Hinting
7. Finish attitude-adjustment Progue mini-scenes.
8. Go through whole game and solve any structural / derailing issues.
9. Optimise for speed as much as possible.

This is immensely encouraging. Almost done!!! Well, for certain values of almost.

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