Something I didn’t think about when I talked about this stuff the other day was repetition. For me, this is definitely the most fatiguing part of game writing. My most recent efforts have been to code a quest wherein the player looks for three items to make a complete disguise. These items can be collected in any order, and so every time one is collected, the game has to check for the other two. If they’re present, then the quest is complete and the game can continue, if not, then the player keeps looking.
However, I had to have the bright idea of having three different disguises.
I separated them into sets to make things easier, meaning that the item-checking isn’t too complex. But the second part of the quest, delivering the disguises to another character who may choose if there are two or more sets completed, makes for a lot of hierarchical switch-checking.
That is as dull as it sounds. But that isn’t the part about repetition. The repetition writing in this quest came from the fact that I had to write nine different instances of the character responding to a complete set. I had to do this because of the nonlinear nature of the item-collecting, mostly, but it was a bigger job because of the larger number of items.
There are only so many ways to write: “This should be enough. Time to go back and give him this stuff! Or should I keep looking?” And I wrote all of them. If I repeated myself, then that happened, but I didn’t copy/paste that message. I did have to copy/paste plenty of other things, stuff like code and the like. But not really dialogue, except in the case of copying what was a one of two choice in one event to make it a pass/fail choice after that first decision was made.
Dunno if that makes sense, but sometimes this stuff just doesn’t.
It’s not easy, and it’s quite taxing for someone like me. I like to get to the next bit, to do it once and then have done with it. Working on Desiderata has been good for my patience and probably other things like it. I’ve had to go over things again and again, making sure that they look and play the way that I want, and normal story stuff that one edits in a prose work.
I also have to keep them error-free on a technical level.