E3 was an absolute blast, and solidified my thoughts around _transfer--we're doing the right thing and making something cool that people want to engage with. But I also came away thinking about all the things that still need to be done, and that I gave myself about 5 months to do them in. The cool thing about making text games is that I don't have to deal too much with lots of art or anything like that, but there are still major changes that need to happen to the workflow that might take a few weeks to hammer out before I get to....you know...finishing the game.
The first big thing is that I need to fix is how the content actually gets into the game. Right now, it's kind of hastily assembled nonsense that is so convoluted that making edits to the text (which is basically the core of the game) can be a nightmarish proposition. I threw it together when we were on a deadline and it works so I figured there was no need to change it for a bit. But now we're on another deadline that's visible but a ways away so I have a bit of padding to actually think about a smart way to assemble something that will be robust enough for me but straightforward enough for Reed to be able to get new dialogue in without having to tear apart the entire system if either of us messes up. It should also make editing easier as well.
Springing from that, I also need to change how conversation itself works. This will take some doing but I never much cared for the current system. It does the job well enough and again was the easiest to implement on short notice but from the beginning we've wracked our brains around the best way to be simultaneously evocative of the somewhat constrained nature of hypothetical "machine thought", exclusively use the keyboard, and not make it impossible to write. I have the next system designed, though and know how I'm going to get it in, but it will require some substantial reorganization.
And everything will. That's point 3, and maybe the most dire. I need to just carve out several days and sit down to refactor the entire project. I started on this yesterday and it's a relatively tall order but entirely necessary going forward. After that, however, I'm not sure. There are many more features coming, some of which are built and some of which aren't as well as lots more story but I'm not even thinking about those. I might write another one of these in July after I finish those things outlined above. In any case, enjoy the apocalypse.