development diary for yet-unnamed animal text game


i've been mostly offline for a while because while i was moving i accidentally left my laptop charger at my old apartment and whoops there goes my access to all my game notes. but before that i hammered out a ton of nonplayer characters and worldbuilding for this game.

i'm in such an early stage of this project that anything i put down on paper might get trashed later, but here are some character profiles i'm excited about. regardless of whether or not they change in the end, they are some truly funky little guys. i'm working on actual profile pages to connect the thumbnails to but that's for later.

right now i've split characters into two categories: mundane creatures and legendary/folkloric creatures. there's a little bit of overlap, especially concerning the owl mystic who lives in the woods and the trickster raccoon.

generally, characters who live in the dangerous, inaccessible woods do so because they live outside the bounds of civilization and have some kind of magical ability. the owl mystic, though, is a normal owl who studied and meditated deeply and learned how to see visions. the trickster raccoon, who is based on similar characters in several world mythologies, is a completely magical critter who hangs out around town and who everyone else thinks is just a local buffoon.


while i've made a little bit of progress on actually writing the dang game, i've been doing a lot of real-life research. a couple weeks ago i went to the zoo and took a bunch of reference images/videos of the types of animals i'm trying to write about. see these little guys (kiki poison dart frogs):

two small green frogs in a rainforest setting

i've also been working my pixel art muscles, but i'm not really expecting to get a ton of work done in the near future unless i get very, very bored at work. the day i went to the zoo, i was killing time before my last apartment tour, so i have to get ready to move next month. i've also been elbow-deep in trying to solve cain's jawbone. y'all ever heard of this shit? it's crazy. anyway, i'm pretending it's research into another type of text-based interactive game, or something.


i've been working on this for i think roughly a month? it's been over two years since i've learned a new type of coding/programming in any kind of meaningful way so at this point i've mostly been working on getting used to the harlowe language and getting the basic map and characters down.

i'm taking a lot of inspiration from sources that don't make sense together in the slightest but have vibes that have really stuck with me - the wind in the willows, salad fingers, alice through the looking glass but NOT alice in wonderland, jane austen novels, edith wharton novels, vaporwave, etc. i'm thinking i'll probably upload a version of the game once i have a decent amount of it done, and then i'll go back and rewrite the story parts because it is simply not vibey enough for me yet. but it's a first draft.

when i initially started i was planning to include old 17th-18th century illustrations, but i couldn't find enough that were consistent in style or quality so i dropped that idea. but now i think i DO want illustrations and i'm going to try to do them in pixel art, which would give me a lot more freedom. so now i need to teach myself how to do pixel art.

mood board

kira circa 2022. home.