Just joined. Yay! I'm kinda doing a storygame right now. It's not that big, I'm only aiming for about, I dunno, a 8/8 length. Yeah. I wanted your opinion on this. Is this a relatively okay, no harm no foul sorta thing to do, or am I just batshit crazy?
If you wanna know more about me and the storygame, check out my profile page. Please? I mean, I don't know why you would want to, but..... please give me advice!
Hmm, wanting to write a long storygame doesn't mean you are crazy, so I guess it's a relatively okay thing to do.
Anyway, if you don't have experience writing branching stories you should know that it can be a quite large undertaking, so it tends to be recommended to try writing a shorter storygame first, I'd say especially so if you haven't yet figured out how scripting + variables work, as they can make some things considerably less tedious to implement. Granted, they are by no means necessary, but at least having some idea on what they can do can be helpful as then you'll know if it would benefit your story immensely or not. Ultimately they are a tool that can help bring whatever you got in your head to life. I should also quickly mention that there are obviously simpler and more complex elements in regards to scripting + variables, and that I'm mostly talking about the simpler side here (but the complex things can be truly impressive).
However, to get back on track, the other side of the equation is actual writing. People have different things that work for them, so if you haven't really written much in the past, it can be a good idea to just try different things. i.e. Try sitting down and just writing, and then try planning something out and then writing. That sort of thing. Do keep in mind that ultimately, you do need to actually write the work itself, since all the planning in the world won't do you any good if that's all you do. Main general writing advice I would give is:
- Remember to proofread.
- Stick to one tense (i.e. past, present, future).
- Stick to one person (i.e. first, second, third [I, you, them]).
Another thing, asking just for advice without being more specific can ultimately be unhelpful, since there is a lot that goes into writing a storygame, and you'll probably get stuck with very general advice that might not actually be much help to you. As such, trying to write something and then getting feedback on that can be good (if you can't think of more specific questions to ask). However, asking for feedback/advice and being receptive to it can be a huge help in developing one's skill, as it can help you improve faster than being purely self taught (as also other people's views can be helpful in shaping your own, and having a more rounded outlook).
As such, my other main general advice will be:
- Consider starting small.
- Just write (and plan [if you want to]).
TL;DR Just write, maybe plan, find what works for you. Starting with a big storygame can be difficult, so I also suggest starting small.
P.S. I wrote this based purely on the forum post, might look at what you got so far for the story latter, since I'm sorta out of time (for now). Anyway, best of luck, hope there is something useful for you in this here post (and maybe for others as well!). EDIT Actually I probably won't check it out since it doesn't seem to be on sneak peak, so guess I'll wait for it to 'probably never come out'... I will quickly tell you that almost any idea can work, and it is more about how you actually handle on executing it. The idea you mention on your profile is way too vague for me to be able to guess at whether or not it will work out, so I'll just say that it certainly can work (probably because it is so vague,) and as such you should work on writing it (if you want to, obviously). END EDIT
P.P.S. I just remembered, dialogue punctuation has some rules that are generally widely unknown (as far as I know), so maybe look into it to see if you are doing it all right. Granted, most people probably won't notice if you aren't following it exactly, but I still wanted to mention it, as by pointing it out more people will (hopefully) start knowing it.
Make sure to do something you're interested in, give it a vague plan but don't plan it out too much, and tease the story out slowly so you don't get bored of it.
Oh, and I nearly forgot, I assume you were being sarcastic about it being short, as its' 8/8 length, but for your first game, shoot small, less than 20k for sure. Just get something out there. Finishing a project and seeing it read and reviewed is great motivation, and increases your chance of putting in the effort and finishing another one.
I think that aiming for an 8/8 play length is a perfectly reasonable goal. There are a couple of considerations, though:
1.) Is that the right play length for the story? By that, I mean will the storygame really warrant that sort of length to complete the experience? It depends on the answer to the next consideration.
2.) Can the storygame remain interesting at that length? If you are a good writer and the storygame does not become drawn out, this will not be an issue.
The play length should be more of an organic metric. Let it figure itself out and focus on other things. If you want to focus on anything, I would recommend setting goals on either the difficulty, as that will greatly influence how you build the game, or on the rating you want to achieve, as that would require a certain level of quality from your writing.
Ultimately, I wouldn't worry about any of that. Just focus on making the writing that you do put down the highest quality that you can. Original concepts, fun execution, and thorough proofreading/editing will take care of everything for you. Be sure to read the articles in the Help & Info section on the left. Play around with the different levels of the editor, depending on what kind of storygame you want to create, and find what works best for you. If you can't find the answer in the articles or by searching the forums, feel free to ask for help. If you want to bounce some ideas around, create a thread in the Writing Workshop.