By now, I’m sure you’re all wondering what’s going on with Untold that made me cancel my Patreon. The answer is anticlimactic: I’ve done everything for the project I’m comfortable doing without a team. The stories for Untold are unusually interactive. They involve not just player choice but also active player participation and collaboration. I’ve written the story outline, the character bios, and the overarching background lore. I’ve worked up design docs. I’ve made graphs of how plotlines and character arcs intersect. I’ve weighed and reassessed every aspect of the story. Several times over.
Once the smoke cleared, I realized that I was overthinking the project and needed to let it be for a while. So that’s what I’m doing.
Brianna is still hard at work talking to angels and VC investors. She’s absolutely confident that we’ll hit our ambitious funding goals and can make the game on the scale we envisioned. As part of her ongoing campaign to raise awareness about GSK’s goals and ideals, she recently spoke about emotional storytelling at several conferences.
She’s also been busy working with legislators like Rep. Katherine Clark to get the FBI to take online harassment seriously.
Not only is this great news for people being harassed online, it’s good news for Project Untold. Community plays a major role in our game, and we’ve been concerned about harassment once the game was live. There’s no way the trolls who flood her mentions on Twitter would leave Untold alone. The abuse R60 got on Steam’s Greenlight is proof of that.
That’s the good news. The bad news is the same as it has ever been: raising big money takes time. I’ve worked on Untold on my own time for four months now, and I’ve done all the pre-production work I can do. So I’m shelving it for now. I have plenty of freelance work and ghostwriting jobs to keep me occupied.
I’m a true independent developer now, working on my personal game project here and there in stolen moments. A big change from the intense gamewriting schedule of AAA development. I kinda like it. Of course, once Brianna raises enough funding, I’ll move back on to Untold as creative director and work on the project full time.
All this to say that I can no longer in good conscience accept patronage from you lovely people. I know that money is tight for many of my patrons and even a dollar a month is painful for some of you. I can’t thank you enough for believing in Untold and giving me the gift of these past few months to work on it. Thank you!
Even though I won't be writing a dev diary every month, I'm still accessible via Twitter to give you Untold updates whenever you want them. I haven't been on social media much recently because a novel has been geysering from my brain. I wrote 120K+ words in less than four months, you all. That's dumbfounding for someone who never had any interest in writing long-form, non-game fiction before. I don't know if it's any good yet. I need some time and distance to be able to assess it critically. But I'm a much better writer than I was before I started it, that's for sure. And now that I've finished and the fountain has shut off, I'll be more visible on social media again.
That’s all the Untold and writing news that I have. In general news, I’m helping to judge the IGDA’s first gamewriting jam, The WAG Challenge.
We’re announcing the theme tomorrow. I’m excited to be a part of the jam and to see what people come up with. I’ve seen groups discussing Twine, Ren’Py, Gamemaker, and “Bioware-style” games. I can’t decide if that last one is daring or dumb, considering that one of the judges is a Bioware writer. If any of you are participating, best of luck!
I'm sad that I never had the chance to talk about process in this dev diary. I can't discuss any of the details of my project while we're still raising funds for it. So if anyone has any general questions about gamewriting, worldbuilding, character creation, pre-production, etc., I'll be happy to answer them in the comments section.
Thanks again for your support. The newest member of my household says thanks, too.
See you all on Twitter! ♥