Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The development process...

Here are some things I've learned while developing DH, in all its forms.

Production always takes about 3x longer than I hope.

I am the worst critic of my work and tend to forget the good sides of it. I just forget what I wrote, and when enough time has passed, I play and go like, "Hey, when did I write this? This is funny. Maybe it's not so bad after all O.o "

When I feel like something isn't right with the planned plot, I can't write anything. I can't admit to myself that the plot is wrong - I just get a writer's block.

I tend to get stuck halfway when trying to create a game with a huge plot. I remember how I first split the story in halves, and then split the first half into chapters 1 and 2, because as I worked on them, it became clear that chapter 1 is finished, while chapter 2 is nowhere near so. Likewise, I have now finished the first half of what I thought would make it into the game, and was totally panicked about the second half. So, the solution that has worked so far is to cut the part I'm having problems with. Then I have an almost finished game, as opposed to a huge mess!

Thinking about pleasing everyone definitely gets me stuck. I have to pick one way of doing things and stick with it, and it will be good enough to someone, somewhere.

The current state of the game content:

The game will be shorter than we all hoped, but finished, in a way. There's not enough time to go anywhere meaningful with Brash, and a relationship with Ari/Arana just doesn't fit (that's what had me stuck for so long - I literally have the game finished all AROUND the parts where she appears). But at least Raze will get an ending. :D Which doesn't have to be the end of it in case there is a sequel. But a sequel is optional.

You will be seeing more of the guys from the camp.

Raze will start talking in your head from the beginning.

The number of characters is limited, it's all about the major ones.

The ending will be content that has been planned for a long time and never published.

I'm looking into making fancy alternative endings if you play the 2nd+ time.

This is the wench who's been giving me so much trouble! (Ari) Now don't ask for more content with her, I'm going insane. xD


  1. More Ari!
    As always though just make sure you make the game you want and I am sure there will be enough of us that love it too.

    Really looking forward to finally getting to see the game. Even if it's cut in half it is still more than we had before. Sounds like there is even a proper ending somehow. Still really really want a part 2 and onward's.

    Sad to not see any lesbian love but if it don't work out for you I guess it can't be helped.

  2. It just seems like too much, because of Rivera and then Raze. Ari is, like, attracted to them all, including the protagonist. There isn't enough time and it's very confusing for her.

    I don't know how to call things, like are these interactions called romances or not? I'm not setting a fixed number of conversations for each character, it's all part of one big tangle. Even the genre of the game is questionable, because "visual novel" implies few conversation choices and "choose your own adventure" implies choices with vastly different consequences throughout the whole game, doesn't it?

  3. Sounds like she'd need a part 2 before having a chance to sort her feelings out then.

    I would call it romance as long as someone has feelings for another, don't really need to even have the other party be aware of it.
    Yes that is actually all that's needed to please me. :)

    And well they even brand the division as RPG so I don't think you have to worry too much about what genre you tag your game with.
    I would personally go with visual novel as I think that draws a larger crowd than choose your own adventure does.

  4. Kinda disappointed with how this seems to have turned out, sadly. Most of the story and relationships have been gutted from the sounds of it. A lot of the "epicness" from the modules came from the expansive dark story and the decisions you made in it, including the ones pertaining to the other rich characters. Half the story is there from the sounds of it with no set plans for a sequel /: And the new picture of Ari/Arana is a bit cringey to me. What happened to the beautiful green eyed red head? Will we ever get to meet that Marissa(?) character from your blog, or find out where Sinallion's story goes? The relationship with Brash not going anywhere meaningful is the real killer for me. I could deal with the no sex/rape thing since that wasn't overly important, and the loss of the apocalypse storyline, but Brash was my favourite and what we got to see of his character development based on our choices was amazing and I was so interested in seeing where that went. That dynamic (personally) felt more important to me than the one between Raze and the protagonist, which seems to be getting the limelight.

    I'll still check out the finished product because I love your work lamb and think you're a fantastic writer and world builder and I don't mean to discourage you but with the amount of time that's passed since the last module release and how your visual novel sounds like it's shaping up, a lot of the magic is gone for me.

    1. I totally agree with you. No meaningful relationship with Brash... :<

    2. The main character is a redhead now (custom appearance is a possibility, but it's fixed for now).

      I am planning a sequel if things go well, but I don't want to call the game "episode 1" or something similar, and wouldn't want to leave any obviously loose ends there. All the relationships can go somewhere if given enough time, and there are characters I would like to show later, but we'll see how it goes.

    3. Honestly kind of agree with the sentiments. Everything just feels gutted out now, and while I personally can still pursue Raze, I really feel bad for all the people who liked Brash and Ari.

      The removal of Ari's relationship is also kind of leaving a bad taste in my mouth, as a bisexual woman. I get what you say about her having multiple attractions to different people and thus a relationship would take time with her, but removing it entirely (for now) just feels... kind of cringe-y?

      Overall I am still wishing you had stuck with the NWN modules, I feel like they presented a lot more freedom both for you and for us the players than this VN/Choose your Own Adventure thing. It may have been more work, but in general it always paid off and everything just felt great as it built up to this giant apocalypse looming on the horizon, while you're trying to figure out what's going on and deal with all these people around you - including a demonspawn that seems to be bordering on a mother complex and sexual romanticism.

      I'll still be following this and awaiting the game, but I feel like as someone who was here from the beginning and is a huge fan of what you had started creating, that I should just let you know how I feel about this all :/ I hope in the end you feel it's good, as that's all that matters - but as for me, a player, it's just... looking a little gloomy here, personally. ;;

  5. I thought it was Rivera in that picture. O.o

  6. I was never fond of Arana so I won't really miss her. I usually end up betraying her in the nwn mods because she's either untrustworthy or too much of a pushover, can't really decide. That said, her original portrait looked a thousand times better... This one has an odd red nose as if she's been drinking and a light spot on her chin that makes her look really ugly... I really like your story telling though so no matter what the art looks like I'll still buy your game.

    1. Well we can always imagine things and remember how they were :))) besides the most important thing is not the art but the writing. Id preferred if you kept your own portraits for the characters - they are excellent. Heck im still replaying your modules. But its your call as an author - do whatever you feel/need/want to do. I love your story and your world and wait eagerly for the novel :)

    2. "Hell, yeah" to all of your post, Arideya L !

  7. I suppose I'll still stick around to see how this plays out but the cutting of the branches was a rather serious blow.

    That said as someone who is constantly far harsher than is needed on the things I create I can somewhat understand.

    No one will be angry with you if you decide you need to take more time to work through the things you're not happy with. Some people might be bothered if some of the potential romantic interactions are cut entirely.

    I still wish you all the best but I will continue to hope that the final product will see Brash who isn't my cup of Tea and Arana *Ari now* who is along side Raze *who kind of rubs me the wrong way.

  8. The hope for Chapter 3 NWN module lives on still. Now more than ever this dream of Demonheart with uncut plotlines and content beckons to us.

    1. No, I think the NWN era is over for lamb. She won't go back to that now.

      As I see it, the new work is her story, the one that she's had in mind for ages. It's shorter than she'd have liked. But I guess it's OK enough to publish, and if it gets good attention, maybe she can/will build on it in the future.

      I'd kind of interested how things play out as a VN. I liked the adventure/fighting aspect of NWN. I'm curious how things play with the VN.

      I hardly check this page now, that's why I leave this a month after the post. Maybe I'll check back again in six months, see how things are.

      Thanks for your work, lamb. It sounds like it'll either be great and quite memorable, or something that just won't attract attention. I hope it's the former. Cya.

  9. These news, combined with all the other changes that game have gone through, is unfortunately a dealbreaker for me. I won't be checking for news anymore and won't buy the finishen product. Good luck in the future!

  10. I'm happy to hear that Raze got a route, while Ari and Brash were cut(Never was interested in Ari and Brash is..... well Brash. Never liked him.)
    Whatever you decide, I'm eager to see the finished product. And, please, take your time. Don't force yourself to do something you don't like or doesn't feel right to you.

  11. I just stumbled over this site which may or may not be something for you, Lamb.
    Do take a look if you could use some extra funds to get your game done/improved.

  12. Aw man this story had such potential and I was looking forward to buying this when it came out. But with all these changes to the story and cut content I can't say I feel the same any more... I will probably be a great game still but just not for me. I wish you luck on completing your game though.

  13. Please update soon!