Zeitgeist 1980 started as a project for National Novel Writing Month and the NaNoTwiMo game jam. While I’d done a bit of planning with the general concept of a story involving 80s movie elements prior to November 1st, all actual writing of in game text, coding, and asset creation has been done during the challenge/jam.
As of the final November NaNo v. 0.5 release Zeitgeist 1980’s story is 80% complete, and the game is still in need of testing, copy editing, and bug fixing. Production will continue into December and, ideally, be wrapped up by the New Year.
One breakthrough has been a process for quickly plotting, prototyping, and implementing new scenes; story nodes are mapped out in the desktop Twine app to establish structure. After that, individual passages are scripted in Sublime Text, my IDE of choice for this project, saved as .tw files that ultimately will be complied through Tweego.
First comes the skeletal structure which is little more than passage titles, outbound links, and a general summary of what happens in each passage.
Then I go back and flesh out each passage into fully developed prose. As I do so I keep a handy list of when the character’s conditions, traits, and relationships might be tested, increased, or reduced based on their choices. Alternate text and options based on previous choices and player traits are written but not yet implemented.
Third pass is implementing the code for the tests, increments, and reductions.
Then there’s a quick testing pass. I miss a bit.
Now that NaNoWriMo has ended, further public releases will lag one version behind what my supporters on patreon have access to.
- 0.6 will be story complete.
- 0.7 will have all of the interpassage hypertext popups implemented.
- 1.0 will be feature complete. Barring bugfixes, this will be the final Twine release.
As always, the current public release can be found here.