Our Narrative Has Developed

Greetings! Here's a blog.

As I find myself working on the tutorials for the millionth month I wonder how exactly that happened. It's not actually that complicated, it comes down to two simple reasons. The first is that when I originally started working on the tutorials back in July and August of 2020 the game was still pretty sparse on features. Arthur had a plan for what he generally wanted to be in the game but anyone who's worked on a large project before knows that the difference between planning and implementation is... everything. Even beyond the fact that wanting a thing is very different from building a thing, there are aspects of the game that are the most interesting to Art and which were his prime focus for a while and there are other things which have been brought up over time that he never considered, such as diplomacy. He'd never thought about it. Art doesn't tend to take the diplomatic approach when he plays 4X games, Art likes war. Diplomacy may or may not make it into the game, I definitely want it but again the difference between planning and implementation... yeah. This is why a good team with strong communication is incredibly valuable in endeavors like this; the more ideas which are passed around and considered, the stronger the game becomes.

Where was I? The tutorials, right. So Art had a plan but we couldn't wait for full implementation to at least start up the tutorials so that means that the early tutorials were written as the game became more and more complete and, admittedly, it kind of shows. This might be my fault, perhaps I could have designed them better based on what the game was inteded to be like rather than writing as it came together but all I can say is that they were my first tutorials and I'm learning as I go.

The second reason the tutorials have never been complete to my, or anyone's, satisfaction is all narrative. See, the initial story of Rank: Warmaster about the isolation of Earth and the player as a corporate settler was the idea of one of Art's friends waaaaay back when the game was first being worked on a couple decades ago. Art is not much of a writer himself so he just needed a basic narrative for why anything is happening and that worked. I inherited this basic narrative and from that I wrote the first story notes that are part of the tutorials. And that was almost a year ago now and our narrative is superficially similar but now we have an actual theme and motif and other writing terms and what that all means is that the tone I used in the first version of the tutorials doesn't match the tone of anything else I've written for the game anymore. So it needed to be revisited anyway and I was planning to do that after the Early Access release but with how the tutorial implementation ended up being, in that we never got a good implementation before we started using Articy, the best time for a good first impression of the tutorial became now.

And that's why I'm still working on the tutorials. Not because I've been doing nothing this whole time, although it can feel like it some days but that's just stress and fatigue talking, but because the thing I was writing changed while I worked and I need to reflect those changes. Anyway, thanks for stopping by! See you all next time!

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