This weekend’s playlist is the previous plus Dream Theater. There’s pretty well only one Dream Theater song I don’t like, so theirs is always a good discography to add in its entirety to a playlist. This weekend’s snacks are crio beans, cough drops, and leftover Schlotzsky’s pizza.

Sano’s Badass Adventure

Argh, so much frustration. OK, so, as I mentioned, when you and Saitou go into battle with a suspect you’ve confirmed is a double agent, Saitou wants to capture the guy so as to get more information out of him. So I want to set it up so that you have to defeat this guy last of the four smugglers in the enemy party (because if you beat him up too much when his companions are still there, he will retreat and they will cover his escape). This is tricky and obnoxious, but I think I’ve mostly got it figured out.

What I haven’t been able to work out thus far is a good reaction for Saitou to have if the player sets him to attack the suspect before the other enemies have been defeated. Of course the meta question immediately arises of what that command from the player actually constitutes. Is this Sano, the player character, giving orders to a party member? Or does the player’s input represent the impulse of each character the player is controlling?

In the first scenario, if Sano is telling Saitou to attack someone they’re not supposed to be attacking yet, there are a number of verbal responses from Saitou that seem natural, but I’m still unable to force him to change his target or do something other than attack. In the second scenario, I don’t even know what the hell is going on. Why would Saitou, of his own free will, deliberately sabotage his own strategy? And, once again, I can’t get him to change what the player’s input has told him to do.

This problem could be solved extremely easily if there were a way to disable a certain target being attacked by a certain player, but I haven’t been able to find anything of the sort. I did come up with a code that checks who’s attacking, who the target is, and whether or not a certain switch (“SQ Can Attack Suspect”) is on, but then all I can get to happen is that verbal response from Saitou… he still continues with the attack he’s been assigned. MOU.

So it looks, once again, as if I may have to post on the RPG Maker forums. I’m not a big fan of that because people either don’t understand what you want to do (and then sometimes get very patronizing about answers to what they think your question is), or instead of trying to help you find an answer they just ask why you would want to do something like that in the first place. But I may knuckle down and do it eventually.

Oh, incidentally, I’m pretty sure I’ve worked around the issue I mentioned before — the verbiage for the defeat of a character in battle. Once the other three enemies are defeated, the suspect switches to unkillable (so the “is forced to retreat” message never gets triggered), and when he reaches 0% health I just end the battle manually. So simple!

La Confrérie de la Lune Révéré

The problem I’ve been having with this story over the last few weeks is really just a small part of a problem I’ve been having with the story as a whole. As I’ve mentioned many times, Confrérie has a much more diffuse focus and progression than previous stories in this series or many other stories I’ve written in general… and therefore it makes sense that the buildup and climax would be more diffuse as well; this is totally natural. But I have to admit that the general flow of the story hasn’t been entirely satisfying to me.

And the problem with this problem is that I won’t really be able to judge the overall effect and how I feel about it until the story is finished… and probably until some time has passed and I’m able to come back to it afresh and see what I think. Therefore, really, it’s something I can’t do anything and shouldn’t be worried about right now. Yet it niggles.

I’ve mentioned before the choice an author of a serialized work has to make between focusing on the (for the sake of discussion) weekly experience of those that are following the story as it’s posted and the one-time experience of those that come upon it afterward and read it all together. Of course you always want to write the best story possible, and focusing on that goal usually translates to focusing on that one-time experience, sometimes at the expense of the weekly.

But I don’t think the transience of the weekly experience makes it a less legitimate artistic experience, or one less worth focusing on as the author. In the past, I’ve always tried to strike a balance between the two experiences in the audience I imagined… but having fallen so far behind on Confrérie has essentially pushed me into long-term mode: once the thing is finished and I can review it and make any revisions needed, then it’ll start to become the story I want it to be… which means that I’m giving an inferior experience to anyone reading it as it’s posted.

Unfortunately, there is nothing to be done about this. Except to resolve to be more secure in the amount I have pre-written before I start posting the next long story, whatever that turns out to be. I’m getting a handle on how busy I am these days, so I may have a better idea how far ahead of myself I’ll need to be before I start posting things in future. And speaking of long stories…

October Saitou and Sano item–

My original thought was to do this one little piece called In-Law for October, but it’s another directionless idea that, though super cute, has to be given a place to go before I can finish the story. So now I’m debating whether to do that or to make Aku Soku Zan(za) chapter 28 my October item. A chapter of a longer story doesn’t precisely fit my goal of posting something short about my boys every month, but with how cramped my writing time has been lately, it’s probably the only way I will actually manage to write a chapter of a longer story. And it would be nice if ASZz got some attention sometime this freaking year.

For all I’ve neglected it, ASZz holds a huge amount of interest for me. As (to some extent, most primarily in this part) a canon rewrite with altered relationships, it has the benefit of every intriguing detail of the canon that I feel like including as well as the Saitou and Sano mutual-character-building romance that I love best in the world — not to mention a different perspective on events and situations we know from the original story. And with so many aspects to the story that I love and find so intriguing, it’s tragic that I’ve lagged so much in writing it. So this may be a very good idea for October.

Yeesssss… the more I’ve worked on this chapter this weekend, the more official this decision has become. October ASZz ahoy! I’ma marry my own Tokio one of these days.