Alright, okay, it's time to get down to business. This isn't our first rodeo, you know the drill. I do the planning, you do the choosing. We'll make a project that'll knock everyone's socks off!
[[A pirate story?->Pirate Bay!]]
[[A ninja story?->Ninjaland!]]
[[Chill out for a second?->Chill]]Okay, Pirates, I can work with this. Yeah. Yeah! Cutlasses, cutthroats, and historical overgeneralization. Okay, according to the rubric we need to innovate and take risks.
What risks can we take to make this a pirate story like no other?
[[Fighting Sea Monsters?->Sea Hunters]]Hunting sea monsters huh? Sounds good, now what to do with it?
We could add stats, yeah stats for the Ship, like health and armor and damage and bouyancy! It'll be great!
[[Is that doable?->Sea Hunters.]]
[[Okay, what else?->Sea Hunters!]]Yeah, you're right. Just fighting a single sea monster won't be enough. The sea monsters need to be different. Like a whale that shoots lasers and a mermaid with a trident and a shark with huge muscles and an eye for boxing!
Oh and while we're at it, we should program in an EXP system to!
[[Maybe we should scale it back?->Sea Hunters.]]
[[Could we add more?->Sea Hunters!!]]Of course we can add more! The crew needs to be fleshed out as well. Maybe there could be a trust system like from that one phone game we like, where increasing their trust unlocks special saucy dialogue from our crew.
There could even be a unique plotline where the pirates go around to different islands and steal stuff from the locals!
And there should be multiple endings of course!
[[This seems like to much right?->Sea Hunters.]]
[[There's got to be more we can do right?->Sea Hunters!!!]]There's always more we can do!
We could give it an immersive story with voice acting!
And we could add a hidden super secret ending that you can only unlock by eating all of the golden yams!
And give it a 10 year road map for future content!
[[Wait do we know how to code?->Sea Hunters?]]"As soon as all of your ideas are committed to paper, you realize you have no idea how to code"
"Not letting something like that stop you, you watch some Youtube videos to learn the basics, unfortunately, you get bored halfway through them and decide coding is to hard"
"You then remember you still have a project to do and throw together a half-baked pirate story using Twine"
"Suprising no one, you get a half-baked grade for your troubles, but you learned a valuable lesson: coding is hard"
''Congratulations, you got the "Sea Hunters?" ending, it might be time to [[Rewind to the Drawing Board->The Lobe]]''Hmm, you have a point. Okay lets think a little smaller.
[[How about something with software we know how to use?->Pirates.]]
[[Small won't be enough, what can we do that's big?->Sea Hunters!]]Well Twine dosn't seem that hard to use. Let's try that, but it will limit our options.
[[Limits are necessary, what next?->Pirates..]]
[[Screw limits, how can this be awesome?->Sea Hunters!]]Well, maybe we can have a pirate themed conversation project!
It could focus on pirate themed dialect and sayings, it could be really funny!
[[Okay, how do we focus it more?->Pirates...]]
[[Forget what I said, how do we make this project exciting?->Sea Hunters!]]Okay, it will be a one on one conversation! You, alone, with a pirate captain whose kidnapped you, spooky!
They will speak in ye olde pirate talk, and part of the challenge will be actually figuring out what they are saying to you!
And it'll have different endings based on how well things go!
[[This sounds feasable, when do we get started?->Pirate Talk]]"You get to work researching how pirates would've talked and find out all kinds of new insults to throw at picaroons who think they're tough"
"You start to make an indepth conversation about your mysterious captain, accidentally blurring the lines between interactive fiction and just plain old fiction"
"Suprising no one, you get a pretty plain grade for your lack of interactivity, but you've picked up some new insults, they're real citrus slingers"
''Congratulations, you got the "Pirate Talk" ending, it might be time to [[Rewind to the Drawing Board->The Lobe]]''Ninjas? Alright, that's always exciting! Sneaking around, dispatching fools, being the icon and prefered Halloween costume of 13 year old boys everywhere! So, according to the rubric we have to innovate and take risks!
What can we do to make this a Ninja story like no other?
[[A modern ninja story?->Modern Ninja]]Oh yeah! Good idea! A modern ninja that stalks the streets of Clever City Name, USA. We all know a ninja is only as good as their enemy, so who will our ninja fight?
[[They should fight crime?->Crime Fighter Ninja]]Crime fighting huh? That's perfect! It's an easy way for the reader to feel no moral restraints when beating enemies to a pulp. Well, no moral restraint other than the fact that crime fighting narratives often demonize low income communities and those with mental health issues, but that isn't here nor there.
Now we have to remember that we need an innovative concept, so how do we innovate the crime fighting ninja?
[[Use rodent theming?->Ninja Rat]]
[[Use dog theming?->Ninja Dog]]Okay, a ninja with rat theming. Ooo this will be perfect, the irony of a guy dressed like a rodent beating up criminal trash. In the words of Hollywood "it's Oscarworthy because it's surface level"
I think that we should also make our rat able to fly around the city with a cape or something, having to write in him traveling through tunnels and junk will take forever and be super gross!
[[Hmm, rats can't fly, try a different type of rodent?->Ninja Bat?]]
[[If that's the case, let's go back to the dog idea?->Ninja Dog]]Hold on, what other type of rodent can fly. Oh yeah, bats! Duh!
Okay we'll have our Ninja Bat, who uses his ninja bat training to beat up criminals. But why? Why does our Ninja Bat beat up criminals? We need to give our player some sappy plot motivation! Think man think!
[[Kill off his parents?->Ninja Bat!]]
[[Go back to the dog idea?->Ninja Dog]]Killing off his parents, genius! Everyone loves their parents, unless they were raised in an abusive household, but that's neither here nor there.
So we have his parents killed off in some dark alleyway, preferablely one that's known for high amounts of crime.
Then, to get revenge on criminals everywhere he dawns the costume of Ninja Bat! That's awesome! Everyone's gonna love it!
Wait, wait, we're missing something here. Hmm, a nemisis. Players would get bored if we just fought random criminals with no names or personalities. Ideas?
[[I don't know an evil clown or something?->Ninja Bat!!]]
[[This sounds a little to complex, go back to the ninja dog?->Ninja Dog]]Alright alright alright! I see it now, as a boy his parents where killed by some petty criminal who may or may not have further plot relevance. To get vengeance on the criminals of Clever City Name, USA, he dawns a bat costume and becomes Ninja Bat!
His actions actract the attention of Clown Man, a criminal mastermind who uses carnival theming in his crimes.
The player will have to track down Clown Man and bring him to justice, beating up bad guys and solving puzzels along the way!
Sounds good or what?
[[Wait, does this sound familiar to you?->Wait, this is just Batman]]"After getting your project ready you realize that you just made a generic Batman rip off, you suppose this was bound to happen playing two Arkham games back-to-back!"
"Unfortunately, you are to late into the project to stop now, so you hope no one will notice when you turn it in."
"Suprising no one, you get a pretty generic grade for your efforts, and a cease and desist letter from DC Comics."
''Congratulations, you got the "Wait, this is just Batman" ending, it might be time to [[Rewind to the Drawing Board->The Lobe]]''Okay, dog theming. Sounds good, he's going to sniff out evil dooers and give them a good chomping on for good measure. Now that I think about it, this story would be super weird if it was a guy doing the chomping, ideas?
[[Make the ninja an actual dog?->Ninja Dog!]]
[[Go to rodent theming?->Ninja Rat]]Hey good thinking, make him a dog! That's as cute as it is easily marketable! Think of all the potential plushie sales!
By itself it's kind of plain, how do we spice it up?
[[He still fights crime right?->Ninja Dog!!]]
[[Double back to the rodent idea?->Ninja Rat]]Oh right, almost forgot about that part. Okay he's a dog that fights crime using powers that only a dog that is also a ninja has. Like sneaking around, sniffing for clues, and attacking UPS drivers!
We could have our ninja dog track down a heroin dealer and his gang. The player has to use their skills to sneak into his compound and defeat him.
This all sounds good but is there anything else we can add to make things really innovative?
[[Don't tell the player they are a dog?->Ninja Dog!!!]]
[[Maybe use the rodent ninja instead?->Ninja Rat]]Perfect! Perfect! Only from our subtly laid context clues can the player figure out they're a dog. That'll be perfect in addition to the project.
I mean, look at all the scholarly books we've read, they've been talked about for hundreds of years, and they're all super vague!
This is gonna go great!
[[We should get started then right?->Ninja....Dog?]]"You get started on your project, making sure to never mention the fact you're playing as a dog."
"However, you make things a little to subtle. To the average reader, the project is about an extremely short canniable who only eats heroin dealers and car jackers."
"Suprising no one, you get an okay grade and an email from your professor to see if everything is going okay at home."
''Congratulations, you got the "Ninja....Dog?" ending, it might be time to [[Rewind to the Drawing Board->The Lobe]]''What? Chill? Why would we do that, we've got a project to work on here! We don't have time for this.
[[Fine, get us back to the start?->The Lobe]]What do you mean make time? If we could do that we could do whatever we wanted! But we can't so get us back on track already!
If you don't I'll just leave!
[[Is that even possible?->Breath]]Probably not, but we have work to do! Do you know what's going to happen if we don't do this project!?! Have you thought about that at all?
I thought you were the one with the foresight around here.
[[No, what's going to happen?->Listen]]Well first we'll fail the class, then we'll flunk out of college, then we'll never get a job, then we'll die homeless! And alone, but mostly homeless!
[[Do you hear yourself?->Reflect]]... Yeah it does sound kind of silly. But what should we do?
[[Just take a second and stop?->...]]...
[[...->Remember]]Remember when we took out the trash a few weeks ago.
[[It was cold then right?->Remember.]]Yeah, yeah it was. But we had a jacket.
I remember us seeing the cars pass by on the street. We stood there for what felt like hours, just looking at the cars going left and right, feeling the cold, hearing the electric lights. Thinking of nothing.
I'm still jealous of us then. I wish I could just disconnect for a minute or two sometimes, just receive things.
[[I know how you feel->Back at it]]"Time to move"
''It might be time to [[Rewind to the Drawing Board->The Lobe]]''