Solarium design notes

I posted my design “notes” for Solarium on my blog. OK, it’s almost 2,200 words long. But if you’re interested, here you go: … ign-notes/

I also have a few broader thoughts about Twine as a creation tool.

Thanks to all who played and reviewed Solarium; it’s much appreciated.

A really interesting read for me - thank you for sharing!

I’m very interested too…enjoyed reading how it came about!

An outstanding Comp piece for me, up in my top 3 really.

Now I need to play Solarium again. There’s a lot more to see about the moral and thematic implications than I was able to comprehend on my single, rushed playthrough.

I regret suggesting that Solarium should have been a parser game. I see that the hyperlink mechanics are probably simpler and more effective than I thought. At any rate, it was natural for me to think that the work would have been better with a parser, because it very much evokes a lot of great parser games like Curses, All Hope Abandon, and maybe even Anchorhead.

Just one thing that sort of confuses me–why the very literal use of the caput corvi when almost everything else is metaphorical or mental?

Belatedly–that’s a great question and I don’t really have a great answer for it. Basically treating each link in the alchemical process as its own narrative unit, I was trying out different things. Some of the threads were more cohesive than others, and this was one of the early ones I did. I might have toned down the literalness if I had more time. Also:

I didn’t really spell it out or name anyone specific, but there were two different bird attacks in the story…and they weren’t coming from the archon. So there was another one of their ilk lurking around out there, trying to help the archon…maybe that’s another story, one day.

Interesting, I had assumed that the attacks were caused by the archon. How many of them are mentioned in the game? I thought three, plus now the bird one. Are there others?

[spoiler]along with the crows, I was thinking of this passage (“Wilderness”):