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Gamer Diary, Developer Journal: Day Three

Illustration for article titled Gamer Diary, Developer Journal: Day Threeem/em

The prologue is completely finished in terms of writing, but I’m running into a few issues with planning out the first act. This is the part of the story that will determined which branch the story will go to, and I need to figure out a way that gives players an opportunity to access all four paths. It might just be easier to make some paths easier to access than others, so while I ruminate over that, I’ve started tinkering around with the actual coding.

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It’s been a long, LONG time since I’ve done any serious coding. I built my own websites using the absolutely simplest coding possible (it looks far more advanced than it actually is) and I had some Visual Basic when I was in high school. Without dating myself, les’ jus’ say it’s been a while.

I also started puttering around with Python last year as part of TAY’s defunct Code Club. I managed to get through a handful of lessons before the more complicated stuff made me give up. Python is only maybe slightly harder than HTML, but dyslexia and coding tend to not be good allies. RenPy is nice that is does most of the hardest stuff for you. As long as you keep the formatting correct, it will pretty much do what you want it to. And it will also politely point out exactly where the game is broken, which is nice, because at first my game was breaking a lot.

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After doing Gamer Diary I’ve found something, coding a game is much like playing a game. You are presented with a challenge that requires you to figure things out before you can continue your progress. A lot of stuff you can figure out on your own if you just keep at it, but occasionally you’ll want to rage quit because stuff gets too hard and you have to look it up. But once things do start working again you’re just more determined to keep going again.

At first I couldn’t even get the game to load properly, and now I’ve included a feature that you can name your own protagonist, and got the first two sets of decisions to work properly. I still need to figure out how those decisions can start affecting what ending you get and which path you unlock, but it’s tangible progress.

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