In which we retool how we develop things so our writing won’t suck so hard

April 19, 2010 in Painter Story by Chris Charabaruk

Let’s start off by welcoming simpleDvorak to the Painter Story development team. As zahlman has been promoted from interstitial writer to actually managing one of the story paths, I decided that we should have someone who isn’t doing any path writing to handle editing, especially including smoothing out the differences in writing style between zahl and myself.

With that out of the way, I’d also like to announce that we are completely changing around the project schedule, and here’s why: Our current method of writing (straight into Ren’Py script files) takes away focus from writing the story, and puts it into making something that runs. And thanks to the horribly loltacular temp assets we are currently using for graphics and audio, this has caused much consternation for the people we’ve forced to read the story (as well as those who have received builds simply for hanging around in the right places on IRC).

So, rather than continue down this dark and dreary (and complaint-filled) path, we are, effective immediately, changing the writing workflow and all but entirely scrapping the Ren’Py stuff we’ve done so far.

zahlman and I are currently working on extracting the actual story scripts from the piles of .rpy files lying around, and reformatting them more along the lines of screenplay scripts. For one thing, this means instead of simple Ren’Py style direction, we can actually express what’s going on in a more meaningful way for the story. For another, this means we won’t be doing any more demo builds for a good long while.

Less complaints, a writing workflow that lets us focus on what’s happening in the story and not the engine — looks like a win-win situation to me.

Anyway, in the long run we’re probably looking at another nice big delay to a decent, public demo, although the format translation work for the scenes will probably be done before the week is even over. We’ll have to get used to the new way of writing out scenes, and now we won’t be doing a dev demo for recruitment.

And speaking of recruitment? We’re not going to look for artists now, after all. I might ask some people I know for concept art from time to time, but that’ll not be announced here, obviously. Even if we do show the results of it.

Have fun, see you in another week, or month, or whatever.

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