Update 1 (4/11/2014):
I've decided to write the story
using Twine. After seeing mustcontainanumber's Test Lab, I realized that
it's possible to write AIF in Twine that feel like traditional IF.
Twine recently added using variables as links which makes this much
easier. I tried writing an initial draft of the beginning section in Twine and the result feels like a menu-based IF. I like it. I might rerelease Nat Dewey using a similar interface.
that I'm using Twine, I find that although Twine works, Twine itself is
often sloppy and buggy. It's hard to keep track of lots of variables
and to keep the formatting consistent. I might switch to using Twee
Right now, I'm having trouble developing the
character of the male protagonist. The other characters still need more
work but they follow the well-known stereotypes of the jock, the slutty
popular girl, and the shy nerdy girl. Who should the male protagonist
be? Usually, I would make him a blank character so that players can
project themselves onto him. But in this game, you can play as the shy,
nerdy girl. If you play as her, then the male protagonist needs to
be sexually attractive to you. The shy, nerdy girl fits the sexy
librarian dream for male players. I don't know if female players have a
male equivalent to the sexy librarian. As far as I know, popular culture
doesn't portray shy, nerdy boys as attractive. I could use the strong,
silent, brooding stereotype. But I want the male protagonist to be a
regular joe so
that it will be easier for male players to play as him. Buffy used
Xander as an everyman character, but did women viewers actually want to
have sex with him? Or maybe I could use the sincere, amiable guy, but
that's bland. What sort of hobbies does sincere, amiable guy have? What
would you talk about with sincere, amiable guy? I don't even want to
talk with sincere, amiable guy, let alone write a story about him. He's
such a Baxter.
I'm also having problems with the male
descriptions. What makes an attractive man? What should be wear? Preppy?
Urban? Grungy? Sporty? Clubbing wear? School uniforms? I'm worried as
well about the dance. I heard that schools don't have dances any more
because kids aren't into those things any more.
Note: I am not denying that there are many types of desire. I agree that people and love are varied. But this is porn. It is fantasy. It is wish fulfillment. It is meant to satisfy the craving of "I'm happy with my wife, but if Scarlett Johansson were ever in to me..."
I am familiar with male fantasies. The Ugly Duckling tales of the homely girl next door who doesn't realize how pretty she is and happens to turn into Taylor Swift when she takes off her glasses and is naive but wild in bed. I am not familiar with the equivalent female fantasies. In the love quadrangle, I don't want women players to feel like the are "settling" if they opt for Everyman instead of the Jock. I want the choice to feel like "Firefighter vs. Rock Musician" not "Firefighter vs. Sensitive Bob in Accounting." I want Sensitive Bob in Accounting to also be a Rock musician.
Original Post 1/31/14:
I am starting work on a new AIF game tentatively called Friends and Yearnings. My last AIF game Nat Dewey was heavy with dominance and submission. This made it easy to come up with new ideas for sex scenes. Actually writing those scenes was hard though because the sex was often mean and nasty. My new game will be lighter and more tender.
Friends and Yearnings is a homage to Goblinboy's Camping Trip. It will be a linear game involving four characters: two virgins and two "playa"s. Their relationships will be complicated by a love triangle. Or love quadrangle? My game will not have any camping in it though. There will also be no bets or forfeits. I want to have a sexy game like spin-the-bottle and an orgy in it.
My goal with Friends and Yearnings is to work on making more believable characters and relationships. Why are they all friends? Why does a love triangle exist? Why do the characters do what they do? What do they see in each other? I want all of their actions to be reasonable and consistent with their personalities. At the end of the game, I actually want it to be hard to decide whether you'd be happier with the slut or the virgin. In order to keep me honest, I will be writing the game twice: once from the male perspective and another time from the female "Becky" perspective. Writing from both a male POV and female POV is challenging. I might not be familiar enough with the opposite sex to make their experiences feel real. I want to avoid the pitfall of writing the female perspective by simply taking the male perspective and replacing he with she. I will try my best. I want the game to make sense and be believable regardless of which character you play as.
Right now I am trying to find the best engine for the game. Since the game is very linear, I am thinking of Twine. Twine is limiting because it is hard to separate characters from locations. Since Twine is a CYOA engine, the concepts of character, setting, and plot are all mixed into the single idea of a Passage. I can't let the player interact with a character in different rooms and at different times because the character passages are fixed to certain places and plot points. I am worried that the game will become TOO linear if I use Twine. I am also considering Tads 3. Writing the game in Tads 3 will be slower though. It is also hard to play Tads 3 games on the web. Inform 7 might be better but I do not know that language.
I will publish progress reports as new development diary posts on this blog or I will just add a comment to an existing post. I expect to finish writing the game in a year or two.