June 3rd, 2019

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Game Over!

Er. That may not be what I meant.

      I turned in the complete draft of the game yesterday! There will still be edits, and I still need to balance a couple of stats better, and my code is stilted, but it's complete, and you can play it all the way to the end. You can even get a happy ending.

It still amazes me how much coding is a linguistic skill rather than a mathematical one. It's grammar, not algebra! Or at least that's the only way I can conceptualize it. And the easiest way to fix a weird bug that I don't understand is to handle it the way I would handle failing to find a phrase in French or German: fall back on a simpler way to paraphrase the situation. The *gosub that the debugger kept telling me was appearing before it was called? (I swear to God it wasn't.) Eliminate the *gosub and put the text in both sections. Awkward and inelegant, but it runs. It’s like stringing together three or four kindergarten vocabulary words because you don’t know the “real” word: it’s obvious you’re a foreigner, and it’s not exactly pretty, but people understand what you mean.

In case you missed it, the game is A Player’s Heart, a f/f romance game from Choice of Games, set in the all-female Opera of the city of Tristendesande. Politics and art collide as you attempt to put on a show, avoid offending the Regent, and keep the city’s theaters open, while finding love. I’m a big fan of Choice of Games — the first games I played got me through a difficult Thanksgiving holiday, and I’ve been playing them ever since. They’re extremely well-written, with sophisticated plots and complicated decisions — the apotheosis of the “choose your own adventure” genre. It’s been fun working on it, and learning some new skills, and I can’t wait until it’s ready to share!