Writing choice menus.

Venice 2017.07.16, written by Kuna.

Another week of writing and editing passed, this time it revolved around writing choice menus. I wanted to implement a good amount of choices for the player to make since the beginning, because Serenade is about unfolding a mystery and I thought that such storytelling would work better if the player take action directly towards this goal. And action in this case means “choices”.

As I wrote in my previous post, lately I’ve been working on dialogue choices, trying to find a convenient way to make them occur and let the player being part of the chatting among characters. There’s a reason for it, among dialogues choices, there are going to be also a different kind of speech line that the main character can use to affect a “specific stat” of almost every NPC. I’ll talk about this in details another time, I just mentioned it to explain better how dialogue choices are very important to the game. 

That being said, during the past week I worked on Teru’s “specific stat” alteration, and it went quite fine : D It’s the only character that the player can affect during the prologue, so I need to wait a bit before being able to test more of this feature.

So, Serenade will focus on dialogues for the most part and the way these affect characters around Kairi. I aim to make them funny for the player as much as possible, trying to include awkward lines and such. Beside those, there will also be the classical route branching structure that will divide the story into three main branches. It’s too early to talk about this and even to work on this in the code, but I’d like to write some preview from my planning, to give an overall perception of the game flow.

One of my first posts on this blog introduced the three romanceable girls of the game, that are Fujisa, Minami and Suzume. The romance feature is just a feature, meaning the primary purpose of the three of them is not dating Kairi, but providing him three different ways to approach the mystery he needs to solve. In other words, they are just a metaphor for the actions Kairi aka the player is going to take. At this point, choosing a route won’t be very difficult, as it would only take to chase after the girl matching our desired approach the most. And this means that choices will be openly presented as transparent choices between one or the other. Full control of the story, haha : D

Here’s a small glimpse of the tree branches from dialogues of scene 4 (can’t zoom in, sorry; software used: Blumind). They rarely branch one into another, and when they do it often produces an extra line or two only.