Because Writers Are Not Strangers is part of my PhD thesis, I’m not going to do a full post mortem just yet, as my thesis will probably count as that! I’ll hopefully be able to put the website for that live around March 2019, and it’ll contain the design documentation, game files and analysis.
What I will say is I’m very grateful for everyone who played, reviewed or otherwise offered feedback on WANS. I’m aware it’s a pretty weird piece of work (very different from my usual shitpost-style games!), and I’m glad so many people were willing to give it a go.
WANS was influenced by Creatures Such As We by Lynnea Glasser (relationship-based choices), Fair by Hanon Ondricek (inspired the idea of certain events always happening, but with the ability to interact with & experience them with different people & in different ways) and Life is Strange by Dontnod Studios. (I was particularly interested in trying to capture the quiet, meandering quality LiS has, which was hard in text!) I was also influenced by a review of LiS I read where the reviewer wished someone would make something like it, only without the superpowers, so it was also an attempt at that (although I couldn’t resist a few hints at superpowers!)
The main things people seemed to dislike were the fourth wall breaks and Alix herself. I think these are both fair. I was a little surprised the 4th wall stuff came up so often - I hadn’t thought there were that many instances of it, and it’s definitely only in a couple of the endings, but most people seem to have encountered it. Since WANS is 45000 words & you encounter maybe 5-7000 in a single playthrough, I thought people may have experienced more variation than they apparently did. I think this was mainly down to the way I set up the opening chapter - purely inexperience with CS on my part (I wrote that part before I’d fully go to grips with everything) and perhaps not enough balancing of variables (although it seemed to work well during testing, but i suppose that’s never quite the same as releasing it in the wild!)
I’ve already said way more than I intended to, so I’ll just wrap up by saying I am aiming to do a post-comp release, but I’m not sure when it’ll be. It won’t be a big overhaul, but should at least make some things a little more transparent, since that seemed to be another issue. I’m also aiming to finish off my introcomp entry and will put that in whatever eligible comp is around at the time. Finally, one of my shitpost games is in Ectocomp. It was just a way of getting to grips with Texture, so it’s in Grand Guignol purely because of the time it took - it’s far more Petit Mort in terms of scope and polish!