New Dev Machine! And plot writing.

Some of you may recall that time my video card died. That was a crappy discovery, but hey, it happens. And if you were around then, you may also remember my primary HDD threatening to die almost a week later. Man! Tough breaks! Fortunately, I was able to get back up and running after each, but it took a day or two each time.

Things got quiet for a bit, but then, white screen of death! Fortunately, this seemed to be a temporary issue quelled by driver updates. The video card was never quite as good as the one before, leaving trails of sparkles on the screen at times. It was annoying, but I guess it worked.

Then, just this past month, the motherboard died. At this point, you're probably asking, "just how old is this computer, anyway?" Well, the parts range from 2004-2014, depending. And with this latest motherboard update, it was clear the case might be next (already causing audio feedback, and panels falling off).

Okay, okay! I finally took the hint. So this past week, I put in an order for new PC parts, and they arrived yesterday. Most of last night was spent putting them together, and this morning was getting Windows 8.1 installed, along with drivers and software. I still have a few more things to install, plus setup NEO Scavenger files, but I hope to be moved over soon. It'll be nice to be on a machine that isn't in the process of dying as I type each day!

When I wasn't installing software today, I was writing new plot encounters. I'm thinking of making this one start differently based on certain situations the player is in. I haven't worked out the details yet, but I can see this location responding to the player differently based in their previous choices.

There's also some lore and back-story I'd like to impart via this encounter, if the player makes the right moves. Hopefully, I can find ways to do this more organically than "it all started when..."

Lots of work yet to do on this one, but I hope it'll be worth the wait!


Scavenger's picture

Great to hear about events based on previous choices. It's bordering on loathsome how even big, AAA cRPG titles nowadays very often offer either stiff questlines or simply make all quests completely self-contained, leading to stuff like great dragon slayers/death of nations embodied missing some newbie quest in a village somewhere, and then being sent out to bring a potato or kill a rat in the basement of some hut - which on one hand is fine, as it's still possibility to play that content, but less so when the hero is disaptched in exactly the same way some random peasant would be.

While I understand it's hard to completely remedy such - writing alone for each variation of the quest taking into consideration past player exploits is quite some work - it's good to see a sign of movement on that front.

dcfedor's picture

Yeah, I get bothered by disjoints like that, too. It makes a big difference when the game recognizes a choice I've made, or an action I've taken. I keep harping on Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines as an example of conversations I'm trying to emulate, but it's for a good reason. Most of those characters acted like they had a memory, and would treat me according to what I've said and done to them.

It is hard, though. Every new choice made available doubles the number of possible outcomes in the game. So even 6-7 choices (64-128 possible outcomes) can become unmanageable. The best we can hope for is a smattering of "choice awareness" here and there, and enough people run into them that it seems like "most" of the players' choices matter.

Kinda like how all my other game systems work: an illusion of complexity created by a few exposed details :)

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games