The last month’s been more than a little crazy for me, so I haven’t really had the time or inclination to blog for quite some time. I’d like to try and rectify that; while Twitter and Facebook have provided convenient avenues for broadcasting bite-sized glimpses into what goes on in my head, sometimes it really is true that 140 characters just isn’t enough.
I also notice that I haven’t really written much in the way of “what I’m working on” posts in quite some time. I write about things I’ve already finished, sure, but as I’ve intimated before, I sometimes feel like I’m treading into sales pitches, which tends to make me feel uncomfortable and out of my element. In an ideal world, the games I write would speak for themselves and I could happily rely on other people to write about them so I wouldn’t have to feel sleazy. But I digress. I think the reason I feel a little better about writing about works in progress is because it feels more open and earnest, like I’m inviting you behind the scenes to show you how and why I’m doing what I’m doing, and allowing you, in a way, to collaborate with me in some small form. Creating projects of this nature is a very solitary pursuit for me, which has its blessings — if I weren’t your textbook introvert, I wouldn’t be doing this at all — but too much isolation can easily cause me to lose touch with reality. You could say I’m seeking a balance of sorts.
Trouble is, it’s taken me a while to even come up with ideas for dedicated projects to work on for a stretch of time. I’ve been able to do a handful of short-form games — the interactive equivalent of flash fiction, really — which I’ve usually been able to dream up and implement in the span of time as short as a single weekend, finishing before I’ve even had time to catch my breath. They’ve been fun exercises, and they’ve certainly succeeded at serving their various purposes, but they’ve usually been things I’ve created in the midst of long writer’s blocks. For every idea I’ve finished and then some, I’ve had a lot of ideas come to me that I’ve scrapped due to me losing interest prematurely, or simply realising that I don’t have the resources, energy, or ability to do them justice.
However, all is not lost, for eventually, a few of those ideas coagulated into a katamari of sorts to form a more solid idea, and now I’ve got main characters, a basic story outline, and a good idea as to how the interactive mechanics will express said story. I have a graphical style, a musical style, and an open-source cross-platform adventure game engine and toolset to work with. Knowing myself and the way I work, I’m reasonably sure I’m at a stage where I can say I’m confident that I’m going to finish this project,  and as such, I’m reasonably confident enough to start talking about it here.
The game, tentatively titled Life Flashes By, will follow the near-death experience of a novelist named Charlotte Barclay, and will explore the decisions she made in her life to get to where she is, as well as the decisions she didn’t make and the paths in life to which they might have led her, creating a plot structure uniquely suited to the interactive form. It’s a story about love and isolation and feminism and spirituality, themes I sincerely hope I’m mature enough to properly express as an artist. I can’t guarantee that everyone who’s enjoyed my past work will enjoy what I’m trying to attempt with this project, but it is my hope that the kinds of people who matter most to me will; this game has things to say that don’t really get said in games, so I strongly believe that it needs to exist.
Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for now. There will be more to say in the future, I’m sure.