I’ve been thinking a lot about how to approach my next project – even though I never formally finished my prior on (short story, “The Steel River”). I am planning on returning to finish that in the near future, though.
The writing project I am undertaking is writing the script for a game. Since I am working on a programming project as well (a 2D Role-Playing Game), I have been wondering on how to approach the writing for it. While I would like to do an ultimately open-ended dungeon-crawler, I gravitated toward something else.
I grew up on the Japanese RPGs, like Final Fantasy, Secret of Mana and Xenogears. While these were all RPGs at their core, they were different than western RPGs on a very key detail. The storyline in most western RPGs (of course, there are exceptions) is just a placeholder; not that it’s insignificant, but it is not the main vessel of the game. The primary function is a means to allow exploration, and open-endedness. Japanese RPGs are much different, because they are much more cinematic, and large portions of games are very limiting in the player’s freedom, so that a story can be told. While this can be bad if you want an open-ended game, I really love that aspect of J-RPGs.
So, the writing for my game will basically be a script, a screenplay that will serve as my writing project. It will be a novel, set to a game. But more than that, it will also allow me to write extensive lore and descriptions of different characters, factions and locations in the game. Basically, I want to create an entire world through writing, and implement it in a game.
It sounds very heady and over-ambitious, and I am somewhat remiss to lay my plans all out here, because I read something that confirmed a suspicion of mine. People who tell others of their grand plans for the future are less likely to carry those plans out to fruition, because of a quirky aspect of the social mind. (look it up)
I have a different blog that I am keeping for this purpose, to slowly shape the fiction of this world and its characters. I have a lot of ideas swimming around in my head, and am very anxious to get into the meat of it. But, for some reason, I have not yet found the necessary catalyst to jump into working on it in a serious way. I just let the ideas percolate, and to my surprise, they get better and more detailed every day.