Today I will hopefully have the introduction and first two chapters of my IF finished and ready to go for class. I’m just finishing the intro and finalizing the basic game shooting engine and also finalizing the contents of chapter 2. So far it’s looking good, and all I’ll have to do after this is the other 4 chapters. I’ve got an ending planned, I just need to make a path there. The ending is heavily involved with one of the player’s choices in the second chapter. I figured the second chapter due to the fact that player has to readjust to his surroundings after the cascade at the start of the first chapter. It wouldn’t be fair to give the player the bad ending just because he messed up due to the fact that he wasn’t fully acclimated to his environment. I’m also really not liking this new WordPress interface, it’s missing a word count.
I had already spent alot of time making my IF before these blogs were assigned, but I figured I can still blog about Pre-Production aspects of parts of BMC (Black Mesa Chronicles, my IF) that are still in development as well as introduce everyone to what I’ve done so far. My basic concept is Half-Life from another point of view, much like the GearBox Software expansions except mine is not a Half-Life mod, it’s coded in Inform 7. It centers around the player who is a scientist that must escape from part of the Black Mesa Facility not shown in any Half-Life games or expansions. Half-Life differed from many FPSs at the time by using scripted sequences instead of cut scenes. The difference is that the player has control during these sequences, allowing for more realism and intensity. This makes Inform 7 quite a suitable medium for my version, as one of it’s key features is that during it’s scenes the player can still remain in full control. In fact the player’s choices during these scenes are going to be what determines the overall outcome of the game. I am also incorporating sound effects, music, and pictures that make the player feel more like he/she is in the classic Half-Life environment. This will hopefully make players familiar with first person shooters and/or Half-Life feel less alienated by the fact that they have much less control in aspects of first person shooters, along with more control along the lines of Inform capabilities. I also plan to integrate a help system uniquely tailored to the capabilities of my game for players new to IF.
In the beginning I was questioning how orignal I could be when everyone in our class had to do the same concept. I’ve avoided that aspect now and stuck to adding complexities to my story. As you can see the main aspect I’m functioning around is the stories of the people in the store, and how they connect. I converted all my pages to HyperTexTopia. I even added quite a bit more to the story, so that it is much more visible how all the characters interlock. With my link names, I always try to anticipate/ describe future events. I normally do this with “The (verb/noun)” to be as simple as possible with still foreshadowing future events. I still plan to add a lot more stories and have them all interconnect. So far, I have the security chief who discovers the punks stealing milk for kittens dumped by the Wife and husband who wrote a book slandering a former founder of a company but now works in the store due to the book. It’s complicated, yet simple how they all connect. Right now I only have three stories in the store. I plan to do eight. and I might move my current three to the end so that they would be the last three. HyperTexTopia is not the best thing for hypertext. If you want to link from a word in the text, you can’t do it again from that link. it’s called a shard and it doesn’t even show up as it’s own page. It justs pops up when you hover over that word. I decided not to use shards and just use the basic navigation system to avoid these problems. I think I’m an intuitive thinker, as I just write whatever pops into my head. then I refine it until I actually like it. I have had many successes so far, But when faced with a problem, I tend to search for a solution, or another solution if the solution is the problem.