Post Mortem & Twine Garden
Hi guys! This post is gonna have spoilers, so if you haven't played The Ritual yet, go play it & then come back.
I love doing these. Let's start with why I made this, what it's even about, and all the troubles I had with making it.
Why did I make it? I made The Ritual for Yuri Jam 2017. I went through a bunch of ideas before settling on this one, and honestly even this idea changed a ton over the two months I was working on it. Originally it was going to be a visual novel, with four characters, and you could set them up with each other. This...is a little darker, a little more linear, a little more minimalist and just overall weirder, than I originally planned. Which is something I love.
What's it about? It's about Valerie and Althea on a quest to perform a ritual - the ritual (spoilers) is a sacrificial one. Valerie needs to die for her kingdom to be prosperous again. It's a hard truth for Valerie and Althea to swallow, especially since they both love each other, and are both in different amounts of denial over it. Depending on how you played the game, they may have made some amount of peace with it. They may not have even realised it. That's life.
So what went right, and what went wrong? For starters, I loved and hated working with Twine again. It's a lot of fun to noodle around with - but CSS is of course a nightmare. I ended up doing things in loopy roundabout ways, and even having to scrap some of my ideas, because CSS just would not play nice and I didn't have time to force it. So that was fun.
This time around, I also wanted to use more multimedia elements. I, and my partner, took a whole bunch of photos (and also I used photos from our massive stack of bushwalk snaps) that I was able to use as background images. I had a really good time taking those, going through them, and editing them to keep the aesthetic consistent. I also used background music, sourced from Alyx. I was really happy with how easy it was to add background images and music to my game, even when I started getting super creative and making gifs.
I wanted to use the character art I commissioned from timefiddlermore prominently in the game, but that's one place where CSS really made my life hard.
I also didn't end up having time to write all the content I wanted (since I only decided I wanted it when it was too late), but that's life!
What's next for The Ritual? If I work on this game again, I'd like to incorporate the character art, and work on more content. I might add in new backgrounds, and add more gifs and other multimedia elements like sound effects or other background music for the different scenes. I might even noodle around with the links to add in the dissolve transition when linking to the same page. It definitely makes it look smoother - I just couldn't bear to edit all the links again.
So...is there a timeline where Althea and Valerie ask Paralumiel all the right questions, and Valerie lives??? Yes, and no. She has to die! That's how the ritual works. If she wants to live, she has to sacrifice her kingdom. But she's a princess - she knows her duty.
Thanks for reading!
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