Happy New Year!
(The following post contains moderate story spoilers.)
We've done a variety of sundry tasks since returning from our holiday, but my great white whale so far has been the implementation of level 6's Sparta. I've mentioned before that the cumulative weight of all the player’s previous choices makes writing later scenes more difficult, and Sparta's no exception. First off, multiple characters have baggage tied to this location. Brasidas in particular has a checkered history the player might have uncovered hints about in her previous adventures.
Additionally, the party comes to Sparta to deliver a warning, but the exact details of that warning vary depending on what the party's learned. Our dialogue system is awesome for this sort of thing, allowing us to easily accent a conversation depending on what details the player has learned. I've additionally started using what I'm calling "general knowledge (GK)" variables which track how much a party knows about a topic (as opposed to checking against various specific events). These GK variables work well when that information is likely to be mentioned and referenced in various paths; for example, one such variable is checked in Sparta (and elsewhere) to see if the party has specific knowledge about the enemies’ weapons.
From a narrative standpoint, sh6_sparta is exciting because the player gets a big reveal of a certain clandestine order. Though they're peripherally (and furtively) involved in a few other social hubs the player could have visited, this is the first time you can stop and ask questions about their philosophy and motivations.
Next Week: Hopefully something with more pictures and less spoilers.