Writer Workshop for June 25th, 2014

(Posted by chris the cynic)

Those of you who also frequent Ana Mardoll’s Ramblings will find this somewhat familiar.  Here, as there, it was requested that there be a regular post to talk about writing projects (and other artwork-creation). Thus this post exists.

Pencil by Elisa Xyz

What are you working on? How are you feeling about it? What thoughts and/or snippets would you like to share? How does your activism work into your art? What tropes are you hoping to employ and/or avoid? Are there any questions you’d like to ask or frustrations you’d like to vent?  Writing workshop below!


5 thoughts on “Writer Workshop for June 25th, 2014

  1. alexseanchai June 25, 2014 at 7:05 am


  2. Only Some Stardust June 26, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Been programming my talking animal game (just added the amazzzing ability to EAT FOOD, lawl) and have been thinking of possible moral dilemmas talking animals might uniquely face. Namely, the potential black market for fellow talking animal meat, and whether the player should have some kind of option to buy ‘suspicious’ meat at some point; I’m thinking a potential consequence could be getting caught if the player tries to, by…. the Talking Animal police??? And not taking it would lead to some kind of alternate plot where one investigates the mystery of the black market.

    Programming only ‘good’ choices would be easiest (and might do that because time consuming hobby is time consuming), but, I’m also wondering what value there is in letting players be ‘slightly evil/morally dubious’. I know some games that go the road of letting you be a bit evil, but the evil is either not very evil (because it is against the bad guys you will slaughter either way, dun dun dun) or so ridiculously over the top evil so no one can take it seriously, like taking over the world while cackling.

  3. depizan June 27, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    Only Some Stardust,

    I play an MMO that has moral* choices – Star Wars: the Old Republic. I’d say my biggest complaint about those choices (beyond the artificial constraint of all game choices, and the frustration that comes with seeing that there should be options the game designers apparently never even considered) is that sometimes the “good” or “evil” doesn’t appear to be the choice itself, but why the game designers thought you’d take it – when there are, in fact, other reasons one might make the same choice. So that’s definitely a pitfall to beware of.

    *Though, since we’re talking Light Side/Dark Side of the Force, it sometimes dips into Orange and Blue Morality or just plain inconsistency.

  4. Only Some Stardust June 27, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    Hmm, yeah. It can be difficult to predict why a player would do something short of inventing mind reading (doable but out of my budget/expertise and would require people sticking electrodes to their skull I think). But I will have the advantage of having an open forum where people can request me to add more dialogue options, so maybe with that I will be better able to tackle things with depth should I choose to. So, the ‘options designer never considered’ will be easily fixable… although there will be admittedly constraints, I can’t program everyyy possible option ever, take too much time. The moral choices will probably be more of the degree ‘do this and there will be different outcomes, fair or not’, rather than rewarding you with special powers or anything.

    I’m also considering trying to program in a ‘mute’ version of dialogue, where you could go through the whole game without saying a word, and it’s making me appreciate how difficult it would be to get by without even sign language to go on. For the moment I think I’ll try focus on one thing at a time. Course I say that and then I do three things.

  5. storiteller June 29, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    That’s the nice thing about being a game-master in role-playing – it is guaranteed you will find out all of the options that people could possibly do, because your players will definitely do them, if for no other reason than to mess with you. Then of course, the hard part is figuring out how to react to those actions.

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