There's something really appealing to me about games and works of interactive fiction that simulate online platforms. I suppose it might be because of how immersive they feel- echoing my own experiences of connecting with people online, particularly clustered around faux-fandom experiences, or in experiencing some massive event that knits together a community in its aftermath, a dissecting line between the before and the after.

I'm generally a big fan of epistolary fiction, and that particular conceit is delightful for adding the additional layer of characterization in it being their own voice portraying their interpretation of events: regardless of how closely it hews to the truth.

There's a particular lack of formality in chat log conversations that I find really refreshing, though- as ever, my heart belongs to the elaborate, and at times, overwrought Gothic prose that radiates in its influence in my own body of work. It feels as if you're getting to know the speakers better, because you've been granted an interior look at their life, and the manner and style in which they choose to present themselves to their nearest and dearest.

I've attempted (and successfully written one) to take a stab at the same premise several times in the past, usually collapsing in on itself like a tower of cards because of futzing around with the UI too much and working myself into a tangled ball of yarn. I've had a better go of things this time around in more or less keeping it stripped down to basics- if I want to elaborate on the UI later, I'll allow myself to: but having it look 'presentable enough' and leaving it at that point so far has been far more productive.

The workflow for this project has progressed fairly smoothly: I nearly always begin with making cover art, and then choosing a title for the game. From there, I'll mock up a basic UI, (with particular mind to seeing how I can sneak in at least a little pink, if the limitations allow for it), and write before coding in finished portions as I go, before a final pass is done for some minor typos/error correcting, and it's published.

What's a little different is drafting inside of TextEdit, rather than Scrivener. With the amount of code that's slipped in alongside the writing in order to format usernames correctly, I've found it useful to colour code that all in one window, and write in another beside it, before popping it into twine. I have been putting fragments into Scrivener to try and keep the amount of screen time each character gets relatively balanced, since I find that helps me pay attention to fleshing them out properly.