The writing process

December 18, 2023

By luissantander

Being a solo developer, I needed to have a very structured and fast method for the writing of the game. I’m a fan of the snowflake method. In this method, you start by outlining what you need the article or story to say, in headlines, and start expanding each one into a few sentences, and continue expanding on each writing iteration. This has the advantage of always keeping the final piece of writing as something readable as a whole, instead of being just a slice of a product.

In terms of software, I’m using Obsidian. This app makes it easy to develop the snowflake method. For example, I start a vault with a single document listing what is important for the game (characters, courses, etc). I quickly convert each title into a document by linking it. Then on each of those documents I can outline what is needed, and then convert each item into it’s own document too. Slowly I grow the network of articles, linking them. Obsidian’s graph view makes it easy to see the connections, see where the articles are clustered in and where they’re more sparse, so it indicates you where you should focus your attention.

For Obsidian I’m using a plugin called Smart Connections, which integrates your vault and documents with ChatGPT. So at any moment I can ask it for help, from grammar and spell checking, to plot holes detection, editing, opinions and suggestions. For example, I can get it to determine if any character is being underutilized in the plot, and suggest ways to incorporate them more prominently. Thanks to this process, I’ve been able to write a long story mode, and flesh out the character bios for the main racers, their related secondary characters, the locations, themes, etc.

Speaking of characters, I created a few more that didn’t make the cut, but I like them enough that they will probably be released as DLC after the game is finished. The plot was already too complex to add four more characters and give them enough to do, so they’ll appear at a later date.

Keep reading, in the future I’ll share more insights of the process and maybe something will be useful for other indie solo developers.