[Keyboard Kommander] October Build, Beyond

It’s alive! After months of preparation for our booth at the PAX Seattle Indies Expo 2018, and receiving klamorously positive feedback from game-likers and educators alike, the Keyboard Kommandos took a well-deserved break. Now, we’re back! Since our October build of Keyboard Kommander will primarily focus on back-end material, let’s focus on the most noticeable additions: KeyboardKommander.com will be our central communication hub for news, updates on various aspects of development, including, our story mode plans!

Here are our preliminary ideas for the tutorial/story mode:

The main character, the Keyboard Kommander, and his two cohorts will face up against the Orthographimancer[1], an evil villainess that has plunged the world into an Apokeylypse! We will be balancing the serious, macabre playable world of Keyboard Kommander with more light-hearted elements to bring out more of the humor. This mode will act as an all-purpose tutorial to the game mechanics found within the currently playable “arcade mode” of Keyboard Kommander, a typing tutorial for middle-school or high-school students along with individuals interested in practicing typing within a zombie world, all while telling a story that’s fun and worth playing!

This story’s content will be strictly rated PG. Nothing PG-13 or up.

This humor demographic is mainly for practicality. We don’t have a specific target audience for Keyboard Kommander, so we’re keeping the humor as broadly non-offensive as possible for students and expert typists. A current in-game joke, “did you know you can die less by playing better,[2]” could be sarcastically offensive, but really, it’s a zombie game. With our content alone, we won’t be able to please everyone. Still, we’ve got to have some snark! My humor runs the gamut from G-rated groaners to R-rated rippers while some members of the team might lean closer to G-rated humor or R-rated humor. When we start implementing flavor text, I have one for a healing item:

It heals you. What else did you think it would do?

On implementation, we have no release date for the story/campaign mode for Keyboard Kommander. “The story mode is the end goal but there’s a lot of writing to add to the game before we get to that.[3]” While we bring an entirely new mode into an already functional game, this implementation time will give us – myself as primary writer/brainstormer and Keyboard Mike as primary editor/designer, along with approvals from the real-life Keyboard Kommander, William, and contributions from the team – the ability to fully develop the world, plot, characters, humor, and storytelling elements that will appear throughout the game.

After all, that flavor is what people remember about their favorite games!

Throughout October, the creative side of the Keyboard Kommandos will focus their long-term efforts on developing more of the world that the Keyboard Kommander and the Orthographimancer inhabit, with their short-term goals being bringing in elements we can more readily implement within existing elements, like the item menu. We’ll also begin posting more content on KeyboardKommander.com on a more regular schedule.

Meanwhile, the technical side’s priority has been stabilization.

[1] The etymology of the Orthographimancer is surprisingly dense. My polyglot friend Choutas and I created the name from orthography or “correct [ὀρθός] language [γράφειν].” The suffix letter for “orthograph” could be “o” [American] or “i” [Greek], but we went with “i” because the -graph- particle came from γράφειν or gráphein, rather than the Americanized grapho.
…Basically, we created a new Greek word.
Special thanks to Keyboard Steven for asking the question that inspired this lengthy linguistics lecture: “shouldn’t it be spelled Orthographomancer?”
[2] This phrase was the pitch I used, actually, when Mike and I had our first meeting about our story mode ideas.
[3] The real-life Keyboard Kommander, William.
Sources: Commenting on our collective efforts.
Inspirations: Monthly update to cross-advertise Keyboard Kommander and my writing.
Related: Other Keyboard Kommander essays. Consider everything from 2017 as rough draft material.
Pictures: Screenshot showing snark.
Written On: September 23rd [4 hours], September 25th [30 minutes]
Last Edited: September 26th [1 minute]
My big goal is to write. My important goal is to write "The Story." My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame a fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. Let's strive to be better everyday. (Avatar)