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Does this count as concept art? Maybe some history at least, clues perhaps.

So I was flicking through my book o' notes where I jot down my game ideas, game-flows, put annoying evented systems with conditional branches into flow-charts etc etc and I came across this sketch I did ages ago, way before I even started on this game, which may be a somewhat familiar scene to those who've played the current version of Novella:

The line is from a Taking Back Sunday song called "...slowdance on the inside" and is one of my favorites.

Here's where I ramble about nothing of importance for a while:

As I've mentioned before, this whole game is pretty much a patchwork of bits and pieces from songs and albums but they're all tied together, in a patchwork-ey way into distinct scenes in the game's unfolding because the idea I had for this game was to try to tell a story without much storytelling, trying to tell a big story in a short space of time by using what's implicit in every scene to the fullest extent I could: Music seems to do this a lot and very well (at least to me) so I tried to put that into a game.

Another thing I tried to do with this game was to ensure that the references I used weren't "standalone lines" by which I mean; if a player decided to research some of the lines I'd used in this game and read the lyrics or listened to the songs from which those lines came then they'd actually end up with a fuller understanding of what's happening in the "story". In a way I'm using other media as secondary material or a "companion work" even though that material pre-dates this game. This inclination of mine sort of comes from reading House of Leaves and once having a little thing for ARGs - I've always been somewhat enamoured with the idea of entertainment media that invites you into a collaborative breaking the fourth wall and points you toward other aspects of reality or other media in order to deepen the meaning and experience of the work. So I guess my inclination to do that a little bit here was a nod to those.

Anyway that's all I got. :>


An apology and some other stuff.

Right, so I couldn't finish the whole story in time for the event. So the download available, as you'll see is Novella: Part One. I had to cut it off where I could. I'm sorry about that guys.

Second of all, if you don't get stuck the game is very short. I'm sorry about that too, it seems I spent too long on things that don't add gameplay time. That said it's more of an arty thing to be thought about and interpreted/deciphered than a game anyway. Hope you don't mind.

So, If you play this I'd LOVE to hear your interpretations of what things mean, how obvious or cryptic you find the symbolism and your general reactions. I really took this theme to heart and went with something "experimental".

Fingers-crossed that everything works properly!

Thanks. It's been a slog!


A pre-emptive assurance.

So the other night I asked my friend to play through what I had done of this game so far and all that and to cut a not-very-long story short: He didn't "get" what things meant. Not without me giving some initial explanation anyway (and my friend's a pretty sharp guy).

So once again it's that matter of the creator not having any good way of knowing if what they're trying to convey is at all decipherable by somebody else. I'm not going to change anything that I have planned for this project. For one, there's not enough time and secondly this is how I want it do be.

Anyway, I was reminded of a particular review of The Mirror Lied where it was criticized for being too abstract and required too much analysis to get anything out of; without even being 100% sure if there was a particular message to be deciphered from the game's events or not - a concern I can completely understand with games that are very weird and abstract.

So I will make this assurance here now so that anyone who decides to play this when it's done will know that I'm not just subjecting them to a random series of events without any point or meaning to them:

I 100% promise that this game has a fully-consistent single narrative running throughout it which may or may not be obvious (I have no idea now, based on my friend's playthrough) and lots of layers of stuff to interpret in order to fully understand the whole story. In fact, almost every thing you see or that happens in this game is completely intentional in regards to its meaning. I'm not making something that's "weird for the sake of being weird", I promise :>

In fact if you're a fan of literary analysis then you'll probably enjoy this game.

I just felt the need to get that out of the way now. Also this eventing is killing me right now.


What to expect, what not to expect and all that jazz.

^This is old and will need updating by the time I'm finished. But I thought I'd post it as it's currently in the game.^

Yep, this is a lame music fanboy thing, I guess. Bring on the trolling (?).

I kinda felt the need to post a blog explaining what this is "about" so as to not mislead :>

What not to expect: An RPG, battles, resource management, much in terms of gameplay, things to make sense, player-friendliness, anything you'd usually consider normal game dialogue.

What to expect: Cutscenes, too many overlays, weird shit, references to music you probably don't care for, a cryptic and abstract story told as the game unfolds and a general slowness and demand for the player to actually pay attention in order to get anything out of playing.

Now that's out of the way if you're still interested then that's cool :>


What's worrying me is the deadline and how long I have left. I really want to get this project finished as I imagine it to be. This event has been a great excuse to get all my painfully "pretentious" and self-indulgent creative ideas expressed in one fell swoop simply because the theme lends itself very well to that sort of thing. My biggest concern right now is that what little I have of the game is severely lacking in sound and music (except of course for the piano segments) and that's gonna be a pain in the ass to make and go back through everything to put it all in. Lately I've been focusing on trying to get as much of the gameplay-time-filling stuff done as possible because this game really can't make any sense unless the whole story comes to a conclusion. The game is just a story, albeit a strangely told one - without the ending it'll be totally meaningless.

In other news I made a piano minigame/puzzle mechanic... Then I made an even better piano minigame/puzzle mechanic... and then narcodis comes along and offers to make me an even better one. Which he has done and it's really cool :> I also decided to revamp the graphics on it to better fit the mood of the game (the mood being "LOTS OF SEPIA TONES ON DARK BACKGROUNDS") -So yeah, that is why Mr. narcodis is now listed as a developer on the game page.

I've been working my ass off for the last 48 hours trying to chew through all this content I have to create and it looks like I'm going to be continuing that right up until the deadline.

That is all :>


Title Menu/Map Preview [video]

Early days here still, only have two maps for this project and one is the title screen, just finished this:

Thanks to Cherry's BetterAEP patch for making it possible to skip the default title screen and use a map instead.

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