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Novelty forum • View topic - Pre- Hour Novel Planning Thread

Pre- Hour Novel Planning Thread

Discuss story ideas and the art of writing.

Pre- Hour Novel Planning Thread

Postby skim » Sat Oct 29, 2011 2:38 am

At another game making forum I once frequented, they had a weekly or biweekly event called "hour games".

As some of you probably know by now, when you're working on a game by yourself,
you are the boss, so everything is up in the air:
including the time to be spent on it, effort to be put into it, even if it'll ever reach completion.

The goal of HourGames was to create a a game in one hour (typically under some kind of loose theme, such as "school" or "longing" or "summer"): Nothing super refined came of it, of course, but it was a fun way to bounce ideas around, or to break that game developer's block, but most importantly, it got people into making games that had a clear beginning and ending in their development, even if the games created seemed like they were "no good".

Essentially, it is a practice run on the planning needed to make a complete game, and a test of one's proficiency with the game engine.

Perhaps we can do something similar for Visual novels too?


I think that since the game style is called a visual novel, the story is probably the most important.
It is tough to draw all the visuals, write all the music, AND write the whole story,
so I think for us we can try to stick to just writing a story (in either adventure or novel format) inside one hour for our challenges,
and then to present(upload) the story as a standalone visualnovelty game (without graphics and music unless time permits).


How about it? Would you be interested in spending an hour to write a story-only game to share with the board?
Here are two ways we can do this:

A. Universal start time.
We all start writing at the same time, and then end writing at the same time. (this is how the other forum did it, and they still had 3-6 entries each time)

B. Time Stamp method.
We all start at separate times but make sure to work exactly one hour by: Post a reply to this thread when you start, and then edit your post one hour later with what you have written. (time stamps prove the story is written in the right time frame)


Depending on everyone's reactions and responses I'd like to try to first one starting at a convenient time for most people (is 5PM EST ok?) next Saturday.
Last edited by skim on Sun Nov 06, 2011 3:25 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Hour Novel [11/5/2011]

Postby skim » Sat Oct 29, 2011 4:32 am

I was also throwing around ideas about having pre-made characters and backgrounds for each round, but that is a lot of work for one person to do alone oO.
1. However using pre-made images would be ok.
(All of my images are free-for-use for visualnovelty)
2. Planning the story ahead of time is ok.
3. Setting up a novelty file with characters set up ahead of time: ok.
4. Importing and setting up music ahead of time: ok.
5. Using videos: ok. (as long as they aren't the whole game)
6. thinking about what characters to use / recycling old characters: ok.

0. Writing out the story ahead of time: The only thing that's not ok!
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Re: Hour Novel [11/5/2011]

Postby fleet » Sat Oct 29, 2011 5:00 am

Sounds interesting. So the minimum requirement is to have at least the entire dialog written?
Why? I like big ones, that's why.
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Re: Hour Novel [11/5/2011]

Postby Avaible » Sat Oct 29, 2011 12:29 pm

I'm in for a round, though I'm for a combination of Universal start time and time stamp. Why not agree on one day where the game has to be made in any hour of that day, so everyone has more freedom in scheduling it. For example, I'm probably going to be busy the hour you suggested, but would be free sometime before that. This makes sense since we're all living in different time-zones, no?

That aside, I'm going to participate :)
When would we be informed about the overall theme of the stories, though?
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Re: Hour Novel [11/5/2011]

Postby Momiji » Sat Oct 29, 2011 4:10 pm

Just so i got the rules for sure:
>your given 1hour (60mins) to complete a short quick story
>the story doesnt require music/graphics unless you got the time (which is somewhat unlikly)
>the game is to be of your own individual work

One question, does the hour permit work outside the hour?
basically like say we do this next week, does this mean you are to think of the story in that 1 hour gap or are you allowed to be planning it outside the hour but your are to produce it within the hour?
^ the reason i ask this, isnt it hard to stop people planning idea's before starting? anyways just like a answer to how this part of its system works so if its create and write the story within the hour i know not to think of the plot and all before hand, if it permits planning of plots and such before hand obviously usefull to know =]

Also- you said to produce the game as a stand alone game, this sounds dumb but does the time limit include the time it takes to export it as a game? so say i finish writing it all in 58mins (ye i push my limits) and it takes 10mins to export (never really could see how a small graphicsless novel could take so long but its a example) would that 8mins i ran over the clock be counted or would it be over looked?

as for when to do it, i prefer time stamp method. I think the first idea is better if im honest, i like the image that a few of us (all possibly in differant parts of the world) are working on a simular style project challenge in a hour time frame, and then we all upload together it really does sound appealing but as Avaible said chances are finding times to fit everyone will be tough. 5PM EST if im not mistaken is GMT-4hours (GMT being my time zone) which means about 9pm, which isnt probberly to bad a time but i wouldnt be able to ever assure it (tbh though 9pm is quite decent for me)
i think we should vote which method we use, but with time stamps can we also make sure we all screen shot our computer clock at the start and end, (though it can be changed i doubt anyone would do that) to add a second line of proof for the 1hour limit? (thats why i like the first idea, it doesnt require anything behond the time as you all work together)

Other thoughts-
Will the stories have to be of a certain theme? as your examples said, school or summer or such? or we all have freedom to which ever we please?


EDIT:
ok never mind just relised your second post answers most my thoughts xD
i think i would stick to using a completly graphicless novel however, i feel adding graphical elements sacrifices time away and requires more thought to the project, so i would stick to graphicless (however others can do as they please) xD i would only consider em if i was finished and still had some time on the clock xD

Me, well im in, i admit i havent ever wrote under such strict cercumstances of 1hour so i cant promise anything entertaining but i think the idea could be some real fun and if nothing else will be a nice little 'game' of our own (im not one to compete so i see it more a fun game :D)
but ye i should be in, but if any the above isnt answered could it be done so please? the theme thing as Avaible was looking at would be nice, i dont mind if its a strict theme 'say a summer theme' or if its freewill so i could write summer whilst Avaible writes 'schoo' whilst fleet writes' mystery' whilst skim writes 'romance' (random choosen exmaples there xD)

anyways ye i think this is a great idea, should be a great laugh
i have one conern which isnt occuring but is a problem, next saturday in the UK (november the 5th) is Guy Fawkes night, which isnt really much of a holiday as its basically just glorified fireowrks being let off but non the less i probberly wont be present as said it isnt a major thing but i still wont be present most that evening as i will be out with a few friends for the holiday :D as said i think this is generally a UK based thing (as 4th of july is in america) but i wont deny i dont follow much so it could be celerbrated elsewere but just thought it would be worth letting you all know incase it effects anyone else? just thought it was best to make you aware as i only just remembered eheh

but still great idea ^^


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Re: Hour Novel [11/5/2011]

Postby skim » Sat Oct 29, 2011 9:11 pm

What the other forum did was vote on who made the best hourgame, and then allow that person to pick the next theme.
Here is a link to one of the threads from the other forum: http://www.bigbluecup.com/yabb/index.php?topic=40304.0

The theme was typically kept a secret until the day of HourGames.
So I guess you COULD plan a story ahead of time, but it could be pretty tricky to get it to work with the given theme if the theme is "emo" and your story is about making cupcakes for your girlfriend or something. Heh.

Well, I'm glad to see you guys are interested in this!

Would you like the theme to be announced ahead of time, or kept a secret until the day of? ;) I'd be more than glad to offer the first theme.
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Re: Hour Novel [11/5/2011]

Postby Avaible » Sat Oct 29, 2011 9:32 pm

I don't mind the announcing either way, but how can we make sure that you're not thinking of a story beforehand since you're deciding the theme? :P
Since I think it would take much of the fun away if the theme-decider is not allowed to be voted for, like they described in that other forum.
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Re: Hour Novel [11/5/2011]

Postby skim » Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:10 pm

I hereby solemnly swear that I am way too frequently absent-minded to be able to consider something like that so far in advance. :lol:

I have no problem not having my entry count for the first time for being the host.
Also having the hosts' entry not being an entry that's voted on allows participants to take turns deciding the theme.

Sometimes the theme is the deciding factor as to how many people participate, since there are some themes more people can relate to and some themes that less people can relate to.
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Re: Hour Novel [11/5/2011]

Postby Avaible » Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:26 pm

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Re: Hour Novel [11/5/2011]

Postby Momiji » Tue Nov 01, 2011 3:33 pm

you could always just vote on a first theme? i will enjoy reading the results if u do all go for a try this week ;)


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Re: Hour Novel [11/5/2011]

Postby skim » Wed Nov 02, 2011 4:40 pm

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Re: Hour Novel [11/5/2011]

Postby Momiji » Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:43 pm

Ai fair point, i overlooked the obvious there xD

could always have a non participating member decide on a theme
Have each participant message the decided member 2 or 3 themes they would like (so its more than 1, stop people helping out a friend sorta thing, or just post 2 or 3 themes so its public) then the non participating member chooses a theme they wish to see or just chooses one at random (what ever suits em i guess) and announces the theme the day of the game (wether its done at any given time or what not is down to everyone i guess, you could have it done a hour before you all start or dead on the word 'GO')

in a nutshell;
have a non playing member who seems active (for example if i never played assume i would be that member) who you all pitch some themes to (so say u got 6 themes it could be any 1/6 chance its a theme you want) then the member who decides on a theme chooses which one they want to have that week and then on the day you all play they announce the theme (times as said would need to be sorted).
so as said if im the example theme chooser, and i have 6 theme's you all want, i choose 1 (say just a casual school type theme) and then on the day 'saturday?' i announce i choose that theme (when ever time suits), meaning you could plan a story at hope its the correct theme but you only looking at a average of 15% chance of being correct (unless you write a plan for how ever many themes there are.... but to do that would be kinda dumb and sad on so many levels i wont touch on that)

and so that way your using a middle man to choose so no one knows either way ^^
i can re-explain if this dont make much sense as i didnt word it to well lol


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Re: Pre- Hour Novel [11/5/2011]

Postby Avaible » Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:59 pm

Momiji, love it. Your 'in a nutshell' is by far longer than your initial explanation :mrgreen:

I think we should just stick with skim deciding the first theme and after that having the winner decide the next theme (maybe from a pool of suggestions of the themself and other participants). That's easy and in the end it our priority lies in writing stuff, not deciding on the topic, isn't that so?
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Re: Pre- Hour Novel [11/5/2011]

Postby skim » Fri Nov 04, 2011 4:01 am

All right, then with most things settled, the theme will be announced under a spoiler tag in a NEW thread this coming Saturday at 3pm EST.
To participate:

1. Clear your schedule so you can focus for one whole hour just on making a visual novel.
2. Click the new thread created under Hour Novel when you're ready to start and announce your participation by replying.
3. See the theme. (Note: the theme is merely a suggestion. It is OK to go off on an unrelated tangent.)
4. Work like mad for one hour. (best if you have a timer rather than keeping time using a clock.)
5. ???
6. Post whatever you have after an hour!

You'll have 24 hours to submit your entry!
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Re: Pre- Hour Novel Planning Thread

Postby skim » Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:29 am

Hey all,
I was thinking that maybe instead of one hour for Hour Novel, we could have it so that you work on the novel for more than one, less than 2 hours.

Also I was hoping to extend the deadline of each hour novel from the Saturday that it's announced until that week Wednesday or Thursday so that people who have busy weekend schedules can find some way to participate.

I also want to make sure there's at least a whole day where people can vote on their favorite Hour Novel. (I think that is the fairest)


:) I'm working on promoting this even, so over time we should see more people joining in for the fun.


What do you guys think of this?
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