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Small Details and the Highest Mountain in America

Back from vacation and GDC is close! Time to make a stable build of Storyteller for early playtesting.

One of the complications of letting people play in-progress versions of Storyteller is that small details matter:

Even in a simple story like this, your brain is interpreting the goal text, the rules of character behavior, the sequence of frames, what happens on each individual frame and the expressions on characters. This web of meaning is very fragile: even a slight misinterpretation of any of this things will make the game feel confusing and broken. If, for instance, you thought Adam is heartbroken on the second frame because someone dear to him died, the story would mean a totally different thing.

Every now and then, an idea on how to improve Storyteller's communication comes up...

In these two separate frames, which one is clearer about who receives the money?

The subtle "facing" of the chest in the right improves communication. Everything in Storyteller can be improved like this: goal texts can be shorter and less ambiguous. Character behavior can be made more intuitive and culturally universal. Expressions more readable.

Having a stable build means I have to do the best possible job at getting those small details right. And fixing bugs, of course.

9 comments:

  1. I've been intrigued by your concept for so long. Would you consider releasing an early build for testing?

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  2. I am letting some people playtest the game... I'll probably open the game to a select group of people later this year!

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  3. Never thought the subtle things are so huge. Excellent!

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  4. Hola Daniel! vengo siguiendo tu juego desde que lo vi en la revista irrompibles y me gustaría colaborar con tu proyecto en todo lo que pueda. Actualmente tengo ganas de entrar en el mundo del game design y tengo un par de materias encima de Game Developer (en Image Campus) así que me gustaría poder probar Storyteller. Realmente me parece un concepto fantástico el que estas armando. Ojala llegues lejos y al segundo que el juego entre en pre-venta / venta voy a estar ahí dándote mi apoyo económico. Un gran abrazo y lo mejor!
    Pablo Serpa.

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  5. Wow, a sandbox/toybox would be a good idea! Then you should be able to load and edit other's stories, and.. Sorry, I'm getting way ahead of myself.

    Epic game!

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    Replies
    1. You are actually able to do that already...

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  6. Established transportation infrasctructure for a plethora of lifestlye,
    dining and entertainment.the interlace

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