A quick screenshot of our manuscript editor, note that there are just a action flow and no data inputs.
I’m a programmer and for me it has always been natural to build progression in game using code. For Lake Ridden, since I’m also in charge of design and story, I decided to make a manuscript system instead of simply relying on events and code. This is awesome since it is very easy to find a specific part of the story and be able to tweak it without testing any new code. It is also great that my non-coder colleagues can make changes without understanding the entire system.
Please note that this is not a visual scripting system like Unreal. Instead it’s modeled after Twine with a simple event to actions flow, where one thing causes something else. Also the events are not as generic as with visual scripting, which is also the point when writing the dialog. I don’t want to think about how it all works while I’m working on the story.
Now that we have split up the game in manuscripts, this also gives us some nice shortcuts while developing. These can be used later if we want to add chapters to the game and it should set up everything correctly.
Currently, only one manuscript can be active at a time which I’m 90% sure will not be enough later. It feels very strange as a developer to not build the final version of a system from the start, but with a relatively close short development time, iterations are best.
One problem right now is that dialog lines are integrated straight into the flow, which I thought was great when I made it but has now become a bit cumbersome. The next step is therefore to break out all of the text in the game into its own database where we can more easily manage things like audio track and possible translations.