Word Count: ~1,020
So I managed to make it to both writing sessions this week. Which is an improvement over last week where I managed to make it to absolutely none, although I did have a small makeup session on Friday. Writing Sessions have been going well. I’ve been making about a thousand words in word count, then switching over to my video game design. Daniel joined me for writing session today but otherwise I’ve been alone. The restaurant that I frequent has been starting to bore me so I’m considering looking for a new location. Although they have improved the wi-fi recently.
Word Count: 107,841
So about three thousand words since last update. Everlasting is slowly chugging along. I came to a realization the other day that one of the reasons why I’m still in the “swampy middle” and over a hundred thousand words is because my while my outline seems concise, each entry that would be a scene is instead an entire chapter or at least two scenes worth of action. Or at least I suspect so. It has been elongating my book significantly.
One other thing that has bothered me is that, given how there are three groups of main characters and none of these groups interact until the very end of the book, I’m starting to wonder if perhaps I’m writing three books at the same time, rather than one big book. I know I’ve accidentally started writing an epic given how may characters and story lines I have but could I instead break each of these into three books that all center around the same event and have the same conclusion? Something to consider in editing. I think it is an interesting idea though.
So aside from writing I’ve started up another project I’ve been wanting to do for forever. I want to program a video game/simulator of the rules from a tabletop roleplaying game known as Shadowrun. Specifically I would like to emulate the “decking” rules, which in Shadowrun terms is the computer hacking rules. The tabletop game has a significantly fleshed out mini-game where in characters can hack a virtual reality computer grid. Unfortunately in practice the mini-game is too cumbersome for the game master to run while also running the rest of the game. To make things worse, the premise that hacking the matrix takes milliseconds means that in reality, it doesn’t take deckers very much time to do what they do, even though in real world terms, it takes up a lot of time. Plus the mini-game’s rules are actually very interesting rules. Actual players of the game should note I’m referring to the 3rd edition Matrix rules, not the currently 4th edition.
So I want to create a simulator. I’ve started by writing out a design specification where I am slowly defining everything about the rules as defined by the Shadowrun game. I’m planning on expanding from there into a user interface design and major feature design, then get into planning out architecture and doing some iterative programming to try out different designs before I sit down to really program it. Since most of this will be writing, I’ll be keeping track of my progress here in writing time. I may also start-up a new article series Programming Time or Designing Time if the project gets further off the ground.
So as for the design. Part of my problem in starting this project has always been my architecture/programming focus. I’ve always felt that I already kind of knew the game (since I played Shadowrun enough as it was) that I could skip defining every little aspect. Years of software development, however, have taught me that users generally do not know what they want and in this case, I am the user. Already in trying to write down and define how I want the game to play, I’m learning more about stuff and ideas I didn’t think of before. So this design process is a really good first step. Next time I’ll go into more details, I think.