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- i have been revising  the SD script (well, reading it and writing down revision notes that i'll edit into the files at the end of the process) roughly at a pace of 10 pages per day. this is slower than i'd like, but it's steady. there are about 15-25 changes per page that i write down; mostly having to do with minor issues of wording, but occasionally larger changes.

-i also realized (through reading another e-book on revising stories) the "villain" of SD does not have a very strong presence currently; she appears at the end, too suddenly, and has no dialogue at all during the rest of the game. that isn't typically a good idea, so i've devised a plan to bring her into the story earlier, although this will require writing a new set of scripts. i just don't want it to be another ultimecia (the villain of ff8 which just suddenly appeared at the end). this is complicated by the particularities of SD's story and who the villain actually is, but i think i have a good idea of how it could work.

- there are a few other things that will require writing some new material, but not as much as the above. (warning, minor story spoilers ahead). for example, when venus leaves the party at the duck blind, the loss doesn't seem to be that strongly felt by mercedes (or the player); i need to increase that sense of loss more somehow (i have some ideas, but it'd require some time to figure out). i also want to add an epilogue to the best ending, to give it more substance and more of a reward than the other endings have. i also want to expand the theo (dream mode) dialogue a bit; they tend to be a bit terse, and it's also a good place to improve the conflict between theo and neotheo.

- i also want to add some new features into the code, related to the game's script. i want a dialogue review option (a way to "re-play" old dialogue, once the player has seen it). nothing fancy or ornate, just a way to do it, in case the player wants to go back and review something. it shouldn't be too hard to code something like that. i also want to add an in-textbox way to play certain sounds when certain segments of dialogue occur, or even within a sentence. that would add flavor to a couple of scenes (e.g. to have an emergency beeping sound when the dialogue says "Emergency!")

- the weakest part of my dialogue so far is the commtower sequence. they represent a recording of what happened to the duck blind while the leda was away from it. i felt overall that the writing for that sequence was fairly weak; i want to condense it, combine many of the scripts together, cut out a lot of the repetition, and make it more interesting somehow.

- the ares sequence of scripts is rarely played in the hostile mode sequence of the game; i want to make it so that it's much more likely that such scripts will occur; this should only be a minor code change though.

- i also want to space out the introductory scenes (separating them into smaller scene segments, with more gameplay in between them), because right now there seems to be too much text all at once. this will lead into one of the next tasks after this one (the improving the game's introduction task)

- lastly, as i'm doing this rewrite process i'm also adding some delay tags "$", screen-shaking tags "^", and "@" side conversations (parts of the conversation which only occur when particular members are in the party), where needed

- optionally, i want to add a sort of index/glossary for the game's terms, where if you hover over a key word (such as "duck blind") it will define it. this may be tricky to code however, due to how gm handles text placement (you can't really get the pixel location of an individual word from within a larger block of text very easily)

overall it's set to be a busy month, but a fun one. if i don't update this that frequently during december, just assume i'm revising another 10 pages of material a day.
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Paul Eres

March 2015

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