Hey gang! I’ve been working in the background on a game that I’m hoping to release here at some point. I’m trying not to be too vocal about it because I have a tendency to forget about projects entirely. (You might notice my last post about this game was probably a year ago, and I’m finally picking it back up and getting to work on it.)
It’s going to be a Twine-based text adventure a la Abducted+ (A WGHFY Story) and I’m trying to decide how the player will interact with the Television.
My three main ideas so far are:
1 - The player chooses a list of shows they want to appear; the TV randomly selects one and spits out a blurb for it.
2 - The player MANUALLY chooses which show to watch each time and gets the blurb they wanted.
3 - Somewhere in between. Players can browse randomly or choose the shows individually.
I feel like I’m getting a little too lost in the details, (this might just make the game feel clunky and obtuse), but if I can pull it off I feel like it’ll make the game unique in this genre. This mechanic would be ported over and modified for other object interactions as well, such as having the character use a PC to play games.
I’ll drop in a poll to see what you all think, but please pitch in any ideas, suggestions, or solutions you might have.
Option 1 - Select a list and randomize
Option 2 - Manually select
Option 3 - Hybridize 1 & 2
Gandulf you have literal gum in your brain check the comments because I got an idea.
[Edit] - Just a note: I’m trying to make the game steeped in internet / digital culture, which is why I’m even considering such a mechanic in the first place. The main character is going to be a NEET of sorts.
one thing is DEFINITELY make the gameplay faster than abducted… it’s kind of a clicking simulator between reading and no one enjoys that. The actual content between the half-hour’s worth of clicking though? golden.
Funnily enough, that was actually one of the things I enjoyed about it!
The amount of clicking I had to do made it feel so much more rewarding to unlock the next weight descriptor, or unlock the next chapter. Similar thing with TiggerToo’s Weighting Game, (although it teeters along the edge of too long for me at some points).
So I definitely prefer that slow burn with big intermittent payoffs, but to your point, that’s one of the thing’s I’m worried about. If I make the TV / PC interaction screens too complex it won’t feel like a very streamlined experience and might make the burn a little too painful / clunky.
Might just need to dedicate a day to coding it in and testing it over a few hours…
What is the TV for? Will the shows have fetish content, or break it up? Will it provide any information the player will want to remember? Is watching TV something most players will be trying to maximize or minimize? Is the game as a whole about losing self-control or willfull self-fattening?
I was thinking the TV would do a bit of both, so the player can slow the flow of fetish content and RP as a nerd (i.e. lay around and watch anime for several hours), but also give eating descriptors while you’re watching. I’m definitely going to rethink the balance of fetish content around it though.
As a whole it’s definitely going to start off as losing self-control, leaning into willful fattening the further the player goes.
Once all the base gameplay is set in stone I’m going to start working on the story and NPC stories.
Depends what the core themes and setting of the game are. Trying to think about mechanics independently of the game can lead to inconsistency and wasted dev time later on, so I’d probably want to figure out some stuff like;
Does the Player own the tv and a remote with which to use it?
Is there some entity able to regulate the Player’s access to said devices and objects?
Are the channels mainly vanilla, fetish-related, or a mix of both?
Does any NPC/s have access to the tv and/or the ability to change the channel?
Having played Free Cities a few times, I found the tv system there kinda meh as it’s primarily acting as a surrogate for worldbuilding ie; a big dump of text, with only occasional events that have gameplay impact. That said, it does have a ‘hybrid’ system insofar as you are first exposed to a random channel but can switch to a different channel afterwards.
IMO, unless there’s game-specific reasons to do otherwise, I suggest primarily having the player manually select a channel from a list that grows as more are unlocked based on actions ingame.
If a willpower-type mechanic or other limits on player agency exists (hint hint other NPCs in the same room as the TV), that could override control over what channel is initially selected, instead switching first to a certain channel before giving the player a chance to pick a different channel. For example; perhaps if you are addled by hunger, you absentmindedly switch to a cooking show. Similarly, maybe low body confidence leads them to select an aerobics program or worse still, daytime diet infomercials.
E: Now that I think about it, if the setting is modern or near-future, deciding if the TV is a Smart TV that has access to subscription-based services (eg; cable, streaming platforms, etc) would be important. Then you can gate fetish content behind the quality of the tv, or the subscriptions attached to it.
I’ll have to check Free Cities out to see what you mean, but I’ll see if I can make interacting with it interesting enough to not feel like a waste. Glad you mentioned the text dump problem; I was thinking of putting out 2 - 3 paragraph blurbs about the show the player’s watching, but I’ll have to code it in and see how it feels. The questions are definitely food for thought too.
And yeah I was going to make it a Smart TV, but hadn’t thought of about gating the content yet. Might give it a try!