A game by Heather Logas and her friends

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Back to Work!

Hello dreamers! As you know I’ve re-entered the wild and wooly world of Academia and with it my time has been severely compressed. In a ruthless act of sheer survival this last quarter, I had to put Before You Close Your Eyes on hold while struggling to get through all my classes. It was a distressing decision, but it paid off in some good ways. Most notably, mid-quarter I wrote a grant proposal to teach an experimental game design class this coming year and I also submitted a paper to the Digital Games Research Association Conference. I both received the grant (and funding from my department to run the class) AND my paper was accepted to the conference! Both of these things will be very helpful when I am sending CVs out into the world, attempting to find an academic job.

But enough excuses! I’m pleased to inform you of another exciting thing that happened this quarter — I realized (with some help) that Before You Close Your Eyes fits my thesis research agenda! Which means it can be included as part of my final thesis project! Which MEANS… that it is now, officially, a main part of my school work, and therefore will not be put by the wayside again!

So this week, I am happy to say, I am back to work. Other than a teaching job which I start on the 10th, and parenting, it is also my main work for the summer. I am very excited to be devoting my life back to this game, which is a true labor of love for me!
Where are we at right now? Here’s a rundown:
• There are 10 planned “scenes” in the game. (Note that they are different amounts of content in each one. )
• 7 of 10 scenes have the first pass written and five of those are all coded up with the personality trait system.
• I have a second writing pass planned yet for five scenes, and a coding pass planned for six scenes
• Only one scene has yet to be begun at all!

My plan at the moment is to release two versions of the game. The first version will be…I don’t want to call it a “light” version, but it will feature all the main content of the game, written by myself. It will likely not have much, if any, art in it. After that’s out, I am going to work on an extended edition that will include the side-quests from Kickstarter backers and, hopefully, more art and we’ll see what else. I think doing it this way will allow for the game to be released into the hands of people who want it earlier and provide a much needed sense of accomplishment for myself, while also allowing me to spend the necessary time with the Kickstarter side-quest writers with fewer distractions. Backers who signed up to get free copies of the game on Kickstarter will of course be offered both (and all possible!) versions of the game. If you have feedback on this course of actions, I am happy to hear it.

Thanks again for all your support everyone! It is huge to me.

Dream well,
Heather

Quick before bed insight

When considering whether or not to branch… Branch if: You are offering the player a “side adventure”. Don’t Branch if: You are just offering the player “more stuff to do”. I completed writing a big scene tonight. YAY! This insight occurred to me as I was trying to decide whether to write a little side [...]

Just a quick weekly update

Did some very good writing this week, that I’m quite pleased with. Its still hard not to allow choices to explode out of hand. I had to make a chart so I know ahead of time where every thread is supposed to end. That way I am less likely to start spiraling off into a [...]

Re-thinking character growth

I had a really terrific meeting this week with a member of my cohort*. Duncan Bowsman, an IF creator of some prolificity (that’s a word — really) had played the existing BYCYE demo and sat down to chat with me about it, and talking through one aspect of the game with him opened up an [...]

2011: Looking Back, Looking Ahead.

When I created my original project pitch for Kickstarter, I knew I was underestimating how much time it would take to get this game done. I only gave myself two months because, honestly, I didn’t think I’d be able to raise much more than I was asking for. In fact, I had no idea I [...]

Push to Alpha and Halloweeeeen!

Hello everyone! As you know I am back in school. I was a little concerned about the impact of this on BYCYE, but as it turns out I have a chance now to devote a whole chunk of time to it. I am taking a class for my program which is a project-oriented class. And [...]

What is courage?

One thing that has been a big stumbling block to me during the creation of BYCYE has been the design of the character creation sequence. At this point, character creation has been through so many revs that I couldn’t even tell you just how many. At this point I think I have it to where [...]

Dev Diary #35 — Mini Diaries, 8/23 – 8/29

Monday — Working on “big reveal” scene, aka the “Dream Market”. Tuesday — “Dream Market” scene some more. Still a lot more to do on this scene. I notice I get more excited to write dialog after spending time reading well written fiction. Been reading Mists of Avalon, it puts me in a perfect mood [...]

Callen’s Tale — A Pre-BYCYE story

Hi all. Things are insane in my life, but I guess that must be how I like it. I am about 75% moved in at our new house at UC Santa Cruz. All of us love it here. Its especially great for my daughter, who gets to run around with tons of kids and also [...]

Heather goes on vacation, but leaves a present

Hey folks. Its time for me to get packing for that cruise I mentioned in the last post. Yay water! And whales!! Things will be pretty quiet ’round these parts for the next couple weeks I’m afraid. But I am leaving you a bon voyage gift. Its the second of Robert’s Making of Before You [...]