Should have written this a few days ago, but I simply forgot.
I read the theme, then the real theme and immediately looked up the history of alchemy on wikipedia, interesting stuff. Then moved on to other resources (mostly on Scribd), more interesting stuff! Somewhere here the idea of an interactive text based story started to take form and then it clicked. Better run with it.
Wrote 15 pages worth of design and prose before implementing anything. It all came out with relative ease. No stress, no fuss, just writing for 10 hours worth.
Here's why I was feeling so sure about the implementation. I'd been working on another text based project recently and that system, I reckoned, would fit well here too. It did! Had minor issues, but it was mostly smooth sailing (and hard work, of course). The fact that parts of the system were data driven and other parts code did annoy me quite a bit.
Finished the alchemy actions last, at the beginning of the final hour! Managed to draw one quick cover image while setting up the jam and itch.io pages. It came close and there is a RL reason for it. Had to spend 6 hours away from the jam on Sunday morning.
Total effective working hours: 43
After the jam I realized that the code part was a blessing in diguise. It is always easier to hack things together in code than in a custom data files. It took me many days (only a few hours per day, though) to port all the code logic to a completely data driven system for the post-jam project.
The project is nowhere finished, unfortunately. There are many story elements that I want to add to it and I haven't had the time to do a lot of writing yet. Now that the rating period is over I can concentrate on that some more.
The first interactive short story I've ever made; learned a few writing techniques. Also improved the data driven system for future projects so that's good.
A great jam as usual. I do enjoy these events a lot; the testing and commenting part is a big draw for me. I managed to try every single entry this time, taken that there were only 58 of them. I dread the jam where there are more entries than I can play in two weeks.
Will write some entry recommendations and ideas on the rating system in the up coming days.