Devlog #1: 40 Percent done

American Angst will not only be my first Twine game, it will be my first game – period. So I thought I’d keep anybody who might be interested updated here.

We’re nearly half way there, so I thought I’d start setting up my today, because if you go public, there’s no way back. That’s exactly the motivation I need after having penned round about 23k words so far.

You can find out everything you need to know about American Angst on its Steam page, but I’ll just give a quick rundown of what to expect (without spoiling too much) in the following paragraphs.

American Angst started as an experiment. I was looking for ways to recreate the experience online I had with CYOA books when I was young. That’s how I stumbled across Twine, among others. What I liked about Twine were the possibilities of customization and the independence from a dedicated platform.

I downloaded the tool and started fooling around. Actually, I never intended to build a game. (I have absolutely no background in game development and even when (and if) I finish this game, I’d rather not call myself a developer, as I can’t code in any language whatsoever. Let’s settle for game creator for now.)

But then I read a few tutorials, started playing around, and pretty quickly, I had built the first dozen or so nodes and completed my first combat. This is interesting, I thought. So I decided to challenge myself to creating a little survival horror story in Twine. And when I say little, I mean it. 5 minutes game play max.

Well, here we are now, 20k words later, and we will probably have around 60-90 minutes gameplay, depending on how fast a player you are and what decisions you make (there is a scenario (and I am not speaking of dying in combat) in which you might be finished after 15 minutes, but that scenario is highly unlikely).

There will be multiple endings, and even the smallest decision may impact which ending you will experience. Speaking of „small decisions“: Depending on choices you make earlier on, some smaller decisions may have an impact or they may not due to what you did before. Totally unrelated example: You have the choice to get dressed first and then fix yourself a sandwich, or fix your sandwich first. In scenario B (sandwich first), nothing happens at this stage. But if you get dressed first (which results in time passing), the phone rings while fixing your sandwich, which in turn startles you so much you cut your hand. Stupid example, I know, but I hope you get the gist.

The tone of the story will feature dark humor. There will be swearing, violence, gore, and so on and so forth. So if stuff like that puts you off, I reckon you won’t like the game. American Angst is a pastiche of slasher, survival horror, dungeon crawler and RPG games, influenced by 70s exploitation horror flicks and video nasties like The Hills have Eyes and The Last House on the Left, as well as films like CubeHostel and Running Man, or games like Resident Evil and Dead Space. Of course, I am absolutely not implying that I in any way will reach the heights of said influences – but I will at least try to create an entertaining, maybe even shocking experience.

So, that being said, I hope one or the other visitor feels like following this project. I will be updating irregularly here, and more and more regular the closer we get to the release date, which will be somewhen in September, I guess. You can also follow the project on Twitter or Facebook. Thank you for reading this post.

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