Constellations Dev Blog

Return flight: returning to Constellations

Hi there, Constellations. It's been awhile. I've missed you.

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The universe is a big place: Questions of scope

With four days aboard the Life Raft written, and many narrative threads planned, we decided it was time to begin thinking about the overall scope of Constellations. The script is already 20,000 words long, filled with challenging branches and variables, and the more days that need to be written, the more difficult this project would be for everyone involved.

There are several factors involved when deciding on the scope of a project, and these factors are different for each person on the team.

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Billions of stars, thousands of words

I have had a chance to dedicate a few days to working on the Constellations script and I have the first two days on board the Life Raft written and ready to go, totalling just under 9,000 words. Even better, the first day has been added to the prototype and is now perfectly playable, including systems like map navigation, notes access, and an inventory.

While Pontus is working on adding the second day (Day 174), which includes creating a stats system (which I so kindly thrust upon him), I've started day three (Day 175) and I wanted to talk a little about my writing process.

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Taking off

Since our initial brainstorm, an interface featuring placeholder text has been created with several key features: an area where narrative (including dialogue) will appear, a character portrait, a navigable space craft, and an openable terminal. The placeholder dialogue in this prototype can be hovered over and selected, and the mechanics of a branching narrative are functional. Everything looks and feels crisp and user-friendly (and super pretty), which is exactly what we were aiming for.

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Navigating space and interfaces

Game development is a constant process of determining the next logical step for everybody involved.

With our characters and their roles determined, the next step for us was to give them places to inhabit.

As the writer, for me that meant finding physical locations aboard their ship that they can spend their time and be found by the player character as they move around. Discussions led to the following terrible scribble, which outlines each of the areas that can be explored: the cockpit, common area, captain's cabin, medical bay, crew quarters, training area, and engine room.

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A new voyage: Early days

All great things begin with an idea.

Our idea? To create a game that explores the constellations of memory and identity, set on a spaceship with a trusted crew. Or are they?

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Releasing a DEMO is as easy as sending a llama into space

After several months, and thousands of words and lines of code, Horned Llama Studio has just released the demo of our work-in-progress title, Constellations.

Broadly speaking, Constellations is a work of interactive fiction that follows the player-character’s journey through space, while trying to recover their memories and rebuild relationships. It’s about identity and trust, and the web—or constellation, if you will—that connects these aspects of our humanity.

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