Development Diaries

NatQuayleNelson's picture

Stream of Pretentiousness: No sleep between the last 2 updates

Stream of Pretentiousness on

I'm starting to get antsy with this project. For me it's hard to keep any one creative thing going on a daily basis because my mind bounces around to so many different places (as you might have observed). And I need breaks like anyone else, so I'm planning to take at least a week off after I've completed a month's worth of entries. Maybe that'll be the time to revamp the cover image and other aspects of branding, plus institute private early access to new updates for my Patreon supporters.

Being antsy, I naturally thought "Why don't I just hammer out a bunch of daily twines on one day, and just sit back and release them. That'll buy me a couple days where Stream of Pretentiousness doesn't get in the way of other things."

I decided that was against the spirit of the project. The point is to force myself to use skills like scope control and time management to make daily work on this project sustainable, not to slip into using crunch and major waves of effort, then letting myself burn out.

Still, in the next iteration of this I think it would be healthier to make 5 updates per week, not 7.

Today's entry is probably the sloppiest one so far, because I happened to be awake when the clock passed midnight, and I wanted to get a headstart on my goals for the day. It feels a bit like bending the rules to do 2 of these updates in the same continuous stretch of wakefulness, so I'll try not to do it again.

NatQuayleNelson's picture

Stream of Pretentiousness Hits Day 12

Screen Shot 2017-07-09 at 9.55.02 PM.png

I just uploaded today's chapter of Stream of Pretentiousness, bringing the count up to 12 (unless I need to count again)!

This chapter deals with my emotional response to getting so many new Patreon supporters in such a short time after coming out as queer to my family/friends. I'm not sure it does justice to both the positive and negative ways in which the experience was overwhelming. If anything, it emphasizes the positive, which is fine by me because absolutely everyone has been amazing about the whole thing!

P.S. I'm considering making Stream of Pretentiousness available to patrons only, or at least giving patrons early access to new chapters. Basically the game would cost $1/month. (Making money from it might give me a strong enough incentive to keep going longer.) Any followers have an opinion on that?

NatQuayleNelson's picture

Stream of Pretentiousness: The Daily Interactive


Stream of Pretentiousness on

I'm making a new chapter of an experimental Twine game every day. As of posting, there are 5 chapters and I haven't missed a day. I'd fiddled around in Twine before, but not much, so I'm really learning as I go. My goal with this project is to break down the mental barriers telling me my work needs to be perfect, polished, while also being unoffensive to every conceivable player (because I do value accessibility in my games highly—but that can become a big encumbrance).

So far it's also been a place to express my inner thoughts, process my life, and explore my issues with gender.

I heard about this community forever ago and it's been on the back of my mind. I thought I'd give it a shot and actually share here now that I have a project which is such a good fit.

See you tomorrow!

Johny L.'s picture

Lads, that's me again after one half year since i've popped out again.

Hasn't been a while, isn't it? Guess not, because my last blog post didn't even get a comment, that shows i'm likely fading from previous popularity.
Well, you know, regarding the plans for a possible Mr. Cat visual novel game, is that i've decided to make a transition to the Twine engine. It won't be made as a visual novel because it seems now an odd idea for making a visual novel that is not a dating sim with pigeons like Hatoful Boyfriend, the story is going to be darker and a sort of a 80s adventure game reminiscent of Shadowgate, but it's not even going to be a "real" text adventure because i totally suck at making text inputting games. It really makes you forget about the terms used to move onwards, so it will be a hypertextual adventure!

The game i'm going to do at some time still won't be Mr. Cat IV, it's going to focus on a extended universe of the Mr. Cat franchise with many new characters and possibly there might be less funny stuff because i've started writing the plot and it's already going gritty. It will focus on Sergeant Duck, the main character of the spin-off, with a very sad backstory. The rest won't be revealed because there's 99% chances it's story is told in lots and lots and lots of words than the other Mr. Cat entries, of course, it's not going to be made in Clickteam Fusion, because that engine only left many words that isn't lots like this one!

On my Mr. Cat GameJolt page ( i wrote a more serious version of this blog which might explain in a different way, maybe i'd suggest that you'd read this after you read this blog post. Just a suggestion, because i never felt better to copy the text from that article.

Pass the laser beam

this is a simple game where you have to get pass the laser beams..

the keys are arrow keys for both menu and game + enter

the download :

FlaviusMaximus's picture

Yellow Jogger Laser Platform Madness (2017)


Hi again, everybody :)

It's been a good four years since I made my last entry on this website, and I decided to pay all of my game making buddies a classic tribute.

Once again I caught myself dwelling about production values, working on larger projects (all of which went into development hell hardy har har) So i stopped dead on my tracks and focused on this little gem of my past.

So here you guys go, it's a game about making laser platforms to get you places you wouldn't be able to reach otherwise. HOW FUN IS THAT!

I worked on it for about two weeks and the best part is that you can make your OWN levels on it! And... [drum roll] ...share it with your friends!

The game comes packed with 10 original levels and 5 pre-made custom levels.

Have fun! ;]

Scrib-dev's picture

Scrib's Adventure


Hey everyone, this is Scrib's Adventure, it's a riff off the "Egglike" genre that was popularized by Vinesauce's Vinny. I have been working on this little ball of weirdness for about 8 months now. It's on its 8th version including releases only made for my friends. It's been a fun project and I feel like it's becoming its own thing.

Enjoy, everyone:

Johny L.'s picture

Just a reminder.

Hello again.

It's almost a year i've never returned here but this time i'm peeking on this place once again, to bring a re-release of the Mr. Cat games on GameJolt. Yes, nobody ever saw the thing again, and i won't know if there is the future for it.

In regards to that, i am remarking that there is a tentative future for the series, let's give it a read to a news feed post i published from this day:
Despite the fact i’ve never looked towards this game anymore and the constant slow population i’ve had, i’ve been thinking to expand this series into more, except you need help to spread this game so that it can get enough population for an attempt to make another game of the Mr. Cat series.

A year ago i used to work on a real fourth entry of the series, Mr. Cat 4, which introduced a new type of level that is a big map, and other crap but the story: A group of aliens start to take over Neo Los Angeles with their demand on taking revenge to Mr. Cat after the defeat of Arthur. I attempted to focus on the development of this game, however, i didn’t have anymore the thought power than i did when i made the Mr. Cat trilogy.

Another game i used to think of is another spin-off to the series which was a sports spinoff, which has to do with some baseball, a name i could think of was Mr. Cat and the Baseball League. From my thoughts, Mr. Cat and the Baseball League is most likely a melee-like version of the gameplay, instead of shooting diamonds, you had to knock down enemies with your baseball bat while surviving hazards. The setting for it was in a typical baseball stadium in where resides a crowd of dogs + Mr. Dog who has taken revenge from Mr. Cat by trapping him in here. However, this idea was soon replaced with Mr. Cat III, and the spin-off never happened.

Since two days ago some pal at one of my Discord servers got me TyranoBuilder, a visual novel making tool, and I thought that a possible side story or a sort of gaiden game is possible, but it’ll depend on when it’s reasonable to do so, as however i’m recently stubborn about the current situation i have.

Thank you all for understanding.

Owlor's picture

Because You're Mine - Post Mortem


Alright, I submitted a game to Ectocomp, an annual competition for interactive fiction made in under three hours (they also have a category without a time-limit.) And I decided to take the opportunity to submit something written in Inform7, cus I should be able to learn a whole system in 3 hours, right? (Spoilers follow below.)

I'll be putting examples of from my source in quotes like this.

Now, I didn't include the hours I spent browsing through the documentation, only the actual writing process. I'm gonna talk a little bit about what went right and what went wrong from the perspective of a larval parser game-writer.

"Because you're mine" was named after a line in the song "I put a spell on you" by Jay Hawkins. The theme of the comp is Halloween and it's one of the classic Halloween anthems. I was also inspired about old novelty songs by Marie Laveau. Y'know, she's an important religious figure, but in pop culture she mainly survives as a jilted sorceress, pop culture is seldom fair. There's also a bit of Zecora in there; the main character could probably be described as "Zecora, if the ponies were right." Oh, and they are also a Horse.

I should probably explain about that. Most of my text adventures take place in a fictional universe of my own devising that's a spin on the MLP-universe. I thought about justifying it by invoking the Houyhnhnms of Gulliver’s Travels, explaining to anyone who wants to listen that it's actually a brilliant Swiftean satire of... but nope, it's ponies. It's not just Ponyville in disguise though, even if people might be thrown off due to their association with brightness and pastel colors.

One of the things that's struck me about MLP:FiM in particular is how the pony society is portrayed, intentionally or not, as kind of a lacuna of stability in a world that's otherwise inexplicable and terrifying. And that's the aspect I've tried to amplify for my own universe, bringing in influences from HP Lovecraft, Sunless Sea and Ursula le Guin. In my world, this stability is something that's constantly having its edges chewed on by forces both outside and inside.

In this game, you actually play as one of those destabilizing forces, a spurned sorcerer who is trying to perform a ritual to ensnare their lover. Right away, it establishes itself as one of THOSE games; the first sentence includes a piece of jargon: "Rootwork", and there's plenty more made-up Fantasy-concepts, with that one being one of the more comprehensible. (Rootwork is basically voodoo, at least for the purpose of this story.)

In order to not leave people completely in the dust, I included in the inventory a book that when examined turns out to be an encyclopedia.


The description of the book is "An encyclopedia. You can consult the book about unfamiliar concepts. A few pages are bookmarked: Intimidation, Singing, Vatch and Rootwork."

Apart from explaining important jargon (Rootwork, Vatch), I used the encyclopedia to introduce two of the custom verbs: Intimidate and Sing. Intimidation was, if I get to say so myself, a fantastic idea and all games with a villain protagonist should have it.

The supply shop is west of the shore. "The supply shop is fuzzy and damp. The exit is east." The small horse is a woman in the supply shop. "It is staffed by a small Horse sitting in a cardboard box."

Crow's feet is a thing in the supply shop. " Rows of Crow's Feet line the walls."

Instead of taking the Crow's feet, say "'Hey!' the tiny shopkeeper says in an annoyingly shrill voice. 'This is a barter system. You need to give me something in return.'"

instead of giving [thing] to [someone]: say "You couldn't care less about the barter system."

intimidating is an action applying to one visible thing.

Understand "Intimidate [someone]"as intimidating.

understand "steal [thing]" as taking.

After intimidating the small Horse:
now the player is carrying Crow's feet;
say "You give the small Horse a glare and she's reduced to cowering in the cardboard box in terror.

'T-take anything you need!' she stammers from behind the cardboard armor.

You take the Crow's feet, which is what you need to enter the swamp."

This "puzzle" is probably my favorite part of the game, as it introduces the social mores of this place and then requires the player to break them. It helps communicating what kind of person we're dealing with here, one that doesn't even consider regards for others an option. I would've really liked to do more with the whole "intimidation"-thing, I especially like the idea of it being a double-edged sword, giving you stuff but increasing the fear and persecution directed towards them.

Instead of going to the swamp when the player is not carrying the Crow's feet: end the story saying "You sink down to your knees in the swamp, then your stomach. Soon, the filthy swampwater is up to your neck. You are completely and utterly stuck and will continue to sink to your death unless anyone finds you and helps you up, which won't happen. Frankly, if somehorse saw you sink, they'd probably just watch your head disappear under the surface and stay until they were certain you were dead."

The most interesting part about having a villain protagonist was showing their loneliness. People hate and fear them... for a good reason, but this doesn't make their alienation less palpable.

Your lover is a man. Your lover is in the quaint drinking establishment. "Your lover sits by a table, chuckling slightly to himself. Your eyes narrow as you gaze upon this worthless lout. He doesn't appear to have noticed you."

After talking to your lover, say "'You!' he exclaims 'l-look, I can explain, I didn't mean to...' he doesn't finish the sentence and turns his head away.

'It's just... you scare me,' he finishes."

After intimidating your lover, say "Your lover trembles at the mere sight of you."

The scene with “your lover” helps hammer the point home that you are doing a bad bad thing, and that you have no time for subtlety; you just take what you can get. If I had more time, I would've liked a more elegant puzzle here. It's not the worst puzzle in the game, though, that honor goes to the Mandrake Root puzzle.

The gallows tree is north of the swamp. "It is called a gallows tree because it is the right shape and size for it, but the Horses of Creola does not actually hang criminals. Much easier to send them out into the bog and watch as they slowly sink to the bottom."

The corpse is a thing in the gallows tree. "There appears to be a corpse hanging from the tree anyway, so someone hanged someone at least, probably themselves."

The description of the corpse is "It's been hanging here for some time; it looks almost mummified."

Instead of taking the corpse, say "You have no particular use for this corpse."

An underside called under#corpse is part of the corpse.

The mandrake root is a thing in under#corpse. The description of the mandrake root is "It is a root that looks like a face twisted into a constant scream."

In Zork, there's an infamous puzzle that requires knowledge of baseball most Americans don't have, let alone people from other parts of the world that doesn't really play baseball. This puzzle is my Baseball-Diamond puzzle: it requires the player to know something about Mandrake roots that I don't think most people know, and that frankly would increase the ESRB-rating if it was ever articulated anywhere.

I thought about mentioning it in the book, but I liked having it be unstated and something the player either knows or only realizes in retrospect, but I should've put some sort of hint when searching the corpse that “look under” is implemented. (I'm using the extension Underside by Eric Eve.)

Corpsekissing is an action applying to one thing. Understand "kiss [thing]" as corpsekissing.

after corpsekissing, say "You reserve your affection for your lover. And corpses."

Now, this is my favorite part. As a standard, kissing in inform only applies to inanimate objects, but your character in this game has... particular interests that requires a slightly different behavior. I have no idea if anyone ever discovered it; there's no hint anywhere that you can do it, but if anyone tries kissing the corpse, they are in for a surprise...

There's this particular feeling when you look at your code and realize you just implemented necrophilia, somewhere between accomplishment and shame... oh, who are we kidding? I have no shame.

After taking inventory:
if the player is carrying a mandrake root and the player is carrying a Briefling's wing and the player is carrying a strand of hair, end the story finally saying "You cut the mandrake root up, put the hair and the wings inside and then sew it shut. If everything goes to plan, tomorrow he'll be yours."

The ending is a bit sudden and abrupt, and require you to bring up your inventory, which prolly isn't very good design. I've certainly never heard about another game where you take inventory and then you win.

Overall though, I am really happy about it as a first attempt to write a parser game. The results of the comp is still pending, but I hope it will stand up against more experienced IF-writers.

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