Bring Out Your Dead: The Wedding Party

Bring Out Your Dead is a game jam for unfinished work that never quite worked out. It’s primarily for IF pieces, but has expanded out to non-IF games, prototypes, and pen and paper storygames. As a rampant perfectionist and someone who has a habit of keeping projects clutched close to my chest, this jam makes me very nervous, which is exactly why I figured I should enter it.

The Wedding Party was my first non-Twine, non-mod IF piece. I wrote it during 2014 until it stalled. Its setting and characters are roughly based on those in a novel I was drafting at the time.

There are things I like about it: deciding the PC’s preferred address rather than their gender, the characters, the setting, the ridiculous intricacy of the breakfast scene in which vast nests of conditional text display depending on who you’ve spoken to and who you happen to be romancing.

However, in my excitement to get the story down, I didn’t really plan it in advance, resulting in a lot of early quest-giving and not as much problem-solving. There’s a fair amount of binary choices which are clearly “do you want to raise X stat or Y stat?” and I’m not sure about how well the PC signalling their intent works. Ultimately those things could have been fixed (maybe will be fixed at some point in the future?) but the lack of planning meant that I had, and still have, little idea of the project’s scope or where exactly it’s going. Which resulted in stalling and other, smaller projects being more appealing.

Still, I’m fond of it and it certainly taught me a lesson: keep a strong plan and outline in mind at all times, as it’ll help with pacing and story structure.

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6 thoughts on “Bring Out Your Dead: The Wedding Party

  1. I’m avoiding spoilers, so while I haven’t read your breakdown yet (I will!) I wanted to let you know that I’ll be Twitch streaming your game along with the rest of the BOYD submissions later today (starting at 4pm central, your game is 24th on the list). Even if you can’t be there live, the archive will be there for 2 weeks. http://www.twitch.tv/lglasser

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      • I didn’t catch it live but watched it just now – thanks for playing and for your commentary! It was fun to see someone coming to it completely new, and I agree on it being a bit overwhelming with so many quests/characters stuffed in. If I was doing it again, or expanding it, I think I’d trim them down and also put more proper action from the PC earlier so it’s not so “here’s a thing you need to do, here’s another thing!” And shuffle the stats around too…

        It was very cool to watch and has given me food for thought!

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