The first of a proposed 12 short stories, fleshing out the world of Keyboard Kommander, is complete! The next few Saturdays will reveal a story arc that will be unlocked in-game. We’ve been brainstorming realistic short term and the fantastic long term story mode ideas. Don’t worry! There won’t be any spoilers below. I’ve grafted the spoiler tags from my own project, “The Story,” to be sure. Here’s the spoiler-free update for our short term plans:
Spoiler Warning Scale: None (just general planning!)
Khoose Your Kquest
My aforementioned plan is writing about 12 short stories in a “choose your own adventure” style. That number seems to be reasonable to present a cast of characters, build out the world, while not bogging things down with hundreds of short stories. Writing weekly seems like a good pace, too, since I can include feedback into how the narratives progress over roughly the next 4 months. Almost like a choose your own adventure story in real life!
Kreating Mature Tag
This is a zombie game.
It’ll get gory.
I’ll include a mature tag for all of the remaining 11 short stories. Even if it doesn’t contain trivial violence like Castlevania. That way you won’t be expecting a polite plot with cute zombies (maybe like future website mascot Terbie Betzom?) when suddenly something terrible or soul crushing happens. The compromise is minor deception because not every short story will be gory. Better to be safe than sorry.
Game Katching On?
I’ve estimated 12 short stories based on current popularity. Though Keyboard Kommander is popular on itch.io, and was greenlit on Steam, it’s not huge yet. We’ll see how popular the game gets between implementing this story mode and gameplay updates by lead developer William and the team. If things really take off, of course I’ll write more, otherwise if nothing else, then this will have been a good display of short story and project management writing.
Kast Of Kommanders
The story arc of Kiki, Karla, and Khoutas will set the tone for the story mode. The remaining short stories will include characters, like technology neophyte Klark and perhaps self-aware character Killiam, to establish interesting contrasts in philosophy with the antagonist. All of these characters will appear in a larger branching story. Perhaps more? I’ll defer the specific character designs to the artists and the programmers for now then will write with our final choices.
Keeping It Real
Of course, it’d be fun to write a large ensemble cast of characters, many being killed off after brief appearances to show a sense of calamity and scale, including variants of my own characters John and Trishna. It’d also be fun to write complex, experimental narratives that really push the limit on storytelling within the videogame medium. Our primary consideration, however, is working toward a bold minimum viable product to shop around to larger audiences.
Keep Ambitions Burning
The more wild ideas birthed during brainstorming sessions should remain on the backburner until fully servable.