Itchy fingers

Ever since I mentally called Words With Monsters “finished”  — it’ll never really be finished — I’ve been casting around without much luck for my next project. I really, really want to make another thing.

I have a few ideas. I really love the cliché-based pen-and-paper RPG, Risus, and thought about using some of the mechanics from that to make a sort of self-governing world building thing. I’ve done a lot of experimenting with Twine, most notably getting halfway through a little trading game that I tentatively titled Happy Little Fishing Game. I’ve played off-and-on with RPG Maker VX Ace, which I picked up on a Steam sale and which looks like it has a lot of promise; I have a couple of proof-of-concept projects in there. It’d be perfect for creating a love-letter to old-school Final Fantasy, or a simple dungeon crawling roguelike.

I just don’t like any of the ideas enough to push through from the idle tinkering stage to actually committing to a full project that would likely take weeks, if not months, to finish.

Words With Monsters was a real labour of love. It was an idea that I’d had in mind for many years before I actually got it finished. It had two abortive iterations before I ended up with a code base I was happy with, and the final version had two complete cosmetic redesigns along the way. The final version that you can play for free right now took, all told, just less than two years to launch. I did everything: all the design, all the code and database work, all the drawings and HTML. It was a huge undertaking, and not one that I want to  jump into replicating lightly.

Words With Monsters is a word-based puzzle/RPG that’s full of goofy monsters (like this Prehistoric Pickle) and groan-worthy puns. I’m actually pretty proud of it.

The nature of WwM is such that it’d be relatively easy to keep adding new monsters and zones indefinitely, and while that’s sometimes appealing, it has meant that I’ve wasted a lot of mental effort on thinking about what is essentially a finished project that I should be walking away from. Instead, I want to make something small, self-contained, and feature-complete.

I’m just waiting for the right inspiration to strike.

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