I’ve been working on my Introcomp game, and I’ve been running up against a serious problem. I don’t know how well I can explain this without spoilers. Basically, the only way for me to get this to work is to make people input commands and do things that I’m not comfortable making people do.
I’ve tried every way I can think of to get around this. Initially, I tried neutering my PC and making him deal with obstacles in more mundane ways, but any time I set up something like a regular adventure game puzzle, he starts feeling less like a dark supernatural entity and more like a raccoon trying to break into a garbage can. So, that sucks.
If I badass him up, then because of how power works in my universe, he needs to do unpleasant things. I’m fine with reading about characters doing screwed up things in regular fiction, but I get uncomfortable when I have to intentionally tell characters to hurt themselves or hurt an innocent creature. And this thread is so deeply woven into everything that if I pull it out my entire story will collapse.
I’ve written many thousands of words worth of story draft for this, and I’m pretty invested in it. I need to start more of the actual coding, but I keep putting that off because I’m concerned it will upset people.
And it’s not just a problem with this project. Everything I write somehow ends up getting really dark. Even if I set out to write something funny, incredibly messed up things still happen. I’ve figured out that I can get a story to end on a happier note if I make all of my characters birds, but I don’t think that’s a viable solution here.
I’m curious how other people feel about this. Does having to tell a character to do something cruel upset you? Or do you step back and read it just like you would a regular story with the same level of disconnection from it? Should I keep going with this and just put a whole lot of content warnings on it? Or ditch the interactive part and turn it into regular fiction? I think there’s a reason I don’t see a whole lot of grimdark in IF.