Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Writing Developments! + CONCEPT ART DRIVE


'Who is this strange ~quadiddly character?', you may be wondering. Well, it's me. I'm the new head writer of Hungry Whispers. Lovely to meet you if we haven't already encountered each other on Skype. Would you like a cup of tea?

I've only recently got more time to pursue hobbies such as writing (context: my studies have swallowed my life for the past three years) but I've actually been a quiet part of the Team Wasabi/Project Whispers crew for a while. I've usually just proofread bits and bobs but now that I have the chance, I've volunteered to be in charge of writing the script for Hungry Whispers in order to really get the ball rolling so we can aim for a full game! Exciting, right?

Well, there has been quite a bit of progress in the past few weeks which I'm going to update you all on now. After ReadCon, Queen Wasabi and I sat down together and decided to finalise the plot/skeleton/structure of a full game. We felt this was a necessary thing to do having realised (in part because of ReadCon) that a) the game wasn't really getting past small beta/demo stage and that b) this was because we lacked proper direction. So, we sat down and we finally worked a direction out.

You can view the fruits of our labours here (it's a Google Doc which anyone can view as long as they have the link).

A lot has changed since you may have last seen this kind of thing. The main characters are all still there - Yu, Kemi, Lotus - but Rage Mom has gone and been replaced by a mysterious old lady with an umbrella (oooh, spooky). There's been a serious reduction in the complexity of the plot because the ideas we had floating about before had begun to get really, really out of hand. We've split it into five key acts (perhaps this is how we'll release it at the stage of completion - an act at a time rather than all in one go?) as well.

Please let us know what you think of the plot! Is it scary? Are there clich├ęs or inconsistencies which we need to work on? All opinions valid and welcome (just don't be nasty because that's unhelpful and immature, yo).

After that, I started trying to write a draft of the script for Act One. The link to it is here (also a Google Doc, but this time one which you have to request to view).

This was an interesting experience for me, because when I've written in the past, it's been in prose form - short stories, magazine articles, opinion pieces and so on. I've never really had to write a script before, never mind a script for a playable visual novel! In the process I've had to play through some visual novels to understand how the interface and gameplay work in order to gear my style to that, and I've also had to relearn how to write at least semi-convincing dialogue. As with any piece of writing, this will require a fair bit of editing and looking over, but this will come in time. I personally am extremely pleased to have got to this stage so far.

As it is, this script are by no means complete - the final product will have the full information on what needs to be programmed, including music, backgrounds and sprites. For now, what I'm working on is the bare bones - the dialogue by which the story moves forward. You artists, you musicians, you programmers - you'll be the ones to give this skeleton the flesh.

This means what I've written may not always read clearly - if this is the case, let me know. You are welcome to leave comments on the draft of Act One too, particularly regarding the gaps where research is needed. I've realised that we need to figure out what Lotus' illness actually is, as well as place names and the names of characters. If you have any suggestions, please get in touch. I will love you forever.

With this script moving forward and ready for your viewing pleasure, we are hoping now to encourage an increase in CONCEPT ART. If you read the plot and script and ideas start bubbling up in your head, put them to paper. There are all kinds of new things which need to be drawn - so get to it!

That's all for now, I think. If you have any questions or ideas, get in touch. Let's get this show on the road!