I reached out to you a while ago to ask about your consultation services / fees and you told me that you weren’t taking on any new clients. I respect that. I was hoping you might “mailbag” my question or maybe have a little advice off the top of your head. Any help would be greatly appreciated! I posted this on the IntFiction forums as well and just hoping to get a little bit of your expertise / feedback.
I am working on a CYOA sandbox visual novel project. My buddy wrote a framework in C# / Unity and I’m currently writing the story in OneNote / Scrivener with articy:draft doing a lot of the node-work / structural organization. I used SimpleMind to do some high-level mapping for the sandbox but it’s been very clunky. I reverted to using Excel so I could bring direct mathematical tests into my work for planning and it’s been really tough to combine the cell-based organizational structure with blocks of text.
Creatively – I don’t write well in little bubbles…at all. I prefer writing in a Word / WordPerfect / Scrivener / Notepad setting. It’s easiest for me to see all the text, re-read what I need to, edit, etc. I’m at a point where the story is getting difficult to test / debug / and translate into Unity. At the end of the day – whatever tools I use – I have to be able to hand my work over to the developer and make sure he understands everything in as neat / concise a manner a possible.
Here’s an example of some of my code:
\INSTRUCTION((ONCLICK.CELLPHONE)(=)(0)) // sets the variable that counts the number of clicks to zero – variable declaration
\INSTRUCTION((ONCLICK.CELLPHONE)(+)(1)) // adds 1 to the counter variable
\CONDITIONTEST((ONCLICK.CELLPHONE)(=)(1)) // tests the counter variable – boolean (true / false)
\ITEMDESCRIPTION((CELLPHONE)(ONCLICK)(This is your cell phone)) // cell phone description on the first click
\CONDITIONTEST((ONCLICK.CELLPHONE)(=)(2)) // cell phone description on the second click
\ITEMDESCRIPTION((CELLPHONE)(ONCLICK)(This is STILL your cell phone))
\CONDITIONTEST((ONCLICK.CELLPHONE)(>)(2)) // cell phone description on every click after second
\ITEMDESCRIPTION((CELLPHONE)(ONCLICK)(Why do you keep checking your cell phone?))
The bottom line: Some of what I do is creative writing – storytelling, dialogue, and narration / item / entity descriptions, etc. And the other part of what I do is basically writing the instructions to the developer so he knows when to call which functions and how the visual novel is basically supposed to operate. Does that make sense? It’s super time-consuming because I have to partition portions of my mind to work on the tasks separately. My biggest hurdle to overcome is finding a medium in which to do this. I can’t write everything in Unity because I don’t know the C# code and that’s really what my buddy is there for. I’d write everything in Scrivener but I need the math functionality.