Mar 07

Weekly Update #290: Writing Revelations

So, I’ve continued working on the outline for the final chapter of GENBA no Kizuna and it’s slowly taking shape. The problem with it is that, similar to SHINRAI‘s finale, the entire case needs to be wrapped up. All the mysteries need to be solved and the culprit needs to be exposed in one lengthy discussion of the case. And ideally, this discussion has a logical and natural flow.

In my opinion, it’s always best to go in chronological order and to get some simple/basic things out of the way first. Especially when you have a very complex case to unravel. You want people to be able to follow the revelations without getting confused, after all.

Unfortunately, this is easier said than done, because sometimes, a single piece of evidence can lead to multiple different paths the discussion could go into. So, at the moment, I’m still shifting entire discussion sections around, trying to find the right spot for them. There is one topic in particular, which could be discussed at several different points and I’m really indecisive where to put it.

There are a lot of things to keep in mind when it comes to wrapping up a case. For instance, sometimes it’s also about impact and effect. Although it might make sense to discuss a specific topic early on, maybe it leads to a crucial revelation… and you might want to save your heavy hitters for later on, so that you can have some build-up!

With SHINRAI, I made the decision to have the most important reveal right at the start: the identity of the mastermind. This was done for several reasons. For one, it made it much easier to unravel the mysteries once the identity of the culprit was established. But more importantly, it allowed me to write the fake endings more easily. Once you had picked your culprit, you could use the evidence to build your case and frame them. If I had solved all the mysteries first and saved the culprit reveal until the end, doing the whole “bad end” thing wouldn’t really have worked anymore.

Still, some reviewers told us that they would have liked it more if it had been the other way around, with a slow build-up to the culprit reveal. So with GENBA, I’m trying to do things a little differently. I still want to have my fake endings, but I don’t want to have the culprit reveal right at the start of the discussion. Unfortunately, I can’t save it until the very end either, because by then, it’s going to be obvious who did it. So I need to find just the right moment to have players pick a suspect, or I have to use a completely different system. Right now, it’s a mix of both, but I’ll still have to tweak it a bit more and see if it really works.

So yeah, just knowing the solutions to all of my mysteries isn’t quite enough and it doesn’t make writing the reveals any easier…

I will hopefully have a functioning draft ready by tomorrow, so that I will only have to polish it afterwards. Guess you’ll know how it went next Saturday, so until then, take care! And as always, please enjoy the rest of your weekend! :3