I’m currently juggling two different major Twine projects! GREAT! (I am absolutely the worst at limiting this kind of shit.)
I’m still chipping away at Six Months, and I’m still on the horror marathon of Month Three. It’s been very hard to write Month Three– it contains a lot of violence and other upsetting stuff, and I’ve been struggling to figure out how to present this content in a way that works with the overall tone of the story.
One of my big goals was to present characters who live in a fantasy world but who are just as pathetic and squeamish as real people are in real life. Depending on your decisions, your protagonist, Simon, may have to watch a suspect get tortured in Month Three, and I wanted that shit to mess him (and the reader) up. I wanted to write a torture scene that focused on how miserable it is to see other people in pain, but I didn’t want it to be a gross-out scene, because that’s not consistent with the rest of the story’s style and mood. I think my final decisions work well, but it took me a while (and a few rewrites) to arrive at the strategy I finally selected.
i honestly spend more time thinking about this project’s mood and “style guide” than I do about story-lore questions like “what does a map of this kingdom look like?” or “how does the government work?” or “what is the king’s first name??” (This is 100% true! The king is a major character and I still have no idea what his first name should be. I wrote up a list last month but couldn’t come up with anything that sounded pathetic enough while also sounding sufficiently kingly.)
Anyway, this project is taking me a long time to finish, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Hopefully you’ll see it within a year! It’s going to be Mega Long.
Other Orbits is the name I’ve selected for a collection of sci-fi interactive short stories I’m working up. The first one will be The Hive Abroad, which I released in January. I’ve already completed the writing and Twine story structure design for the second one, which I’m calling Redundant. I’ve commissioned art for it and it will be released before the end of the year.
I want to write one more nonlinear story for this collection and release all three of them as a pack on Itch. The third story is maybe 40% written and is gonna require a LOT of editing. It’ll be much less linear than The Hive Abroad and will be hard to “balance,” so to speak– it will be possible to read this story in a lot of different ways, and I want to make sure that it is only confusing in exactly the ways I want it to be confusing.
I made a trailer for Other Orbits which appeared in the Alternative Digital Arts Festival a few weeks ago. It’s complete bullshit and I made it in about two hours. You can find it in the ADAF archive.
The second of the three interactive sci fi stories I mentioned above, Redundant, is Really Fucking Good in my opinion– I think it’s the best sci-fi I’ve ever written, to be honest– and a friend of mine who writes screenplays told me it might work as a screenplay?? I’ve been trying to write screenplays for a year now. I wrote two last year, actually, which both sucked. You will never see them. But I’ve been trying to write Rendundant up as a screenplay off and on for the past few months. I think I’m getting better at this.
I also wrote a horror story for inclusion in a Twine horror collection a few months ago. The collection will be out eventually, but I don’t have a good idea of when. I’m pretty excited for you to see that one, because it was an absolutely joy to write. It’s an unconventional “horror” about mass hysteria, mass denial of mass hysteria, and mass-self-doubt, and one scene contains an outburst of passive-aggression which was the most fun-to-write dialogue I’ve written all year.
I’m scouting around for more game jams to do, too, so if you’re in LA and need someone for a game jam, please reach out to me at @lmichet on twitter. I’m trying to get in touch with more people in games in Los Angeles and I think I’m doing a pretty good job. I’m making more friends, anyway, which is nice.