About once a week or so, we get a comment from a passionate fan asking about our release schedule and why there’ll be so much time between episodes. These messages are almost always incredibly flattering to receive — I can think of few higher compliments than a player who’s enjoyed our game (Scarlet Hollow, play Episode 1 for free on Steam and itch) so much that they’re desperate to immediately sink their teeth into more.

But since we get this question with some regularity, we thought it might be helpful to explain the making of Scarlet Hollow, walking through each…

Writing for video games was a surprisingly different beast (read: much harder) than the linear story-telling Abby and I were used to when we first started work on Scarlet Hollow. And, like most writing projects, the game saw more than its fair share of rewrites and major edits before we released our first episode.

We thought it’d be fun to share some of the decisions we made (and then unmade) in earlier drafts of our script. …

In our first run at figuring out the relationship system for Scarlet Hollow (play Episode 1 for free on Steam), we tried a kind of Dragon Age-style approval system — some actions and dialogue choices would give the player a quantity of “yes, good” points with an NPC, while others take those points away. These points changed how NPCs would interact with the player and sometimes unlock bonus scenes or conversations.

Who among us hasn’t been crushed by this handsome boy’s disapproving gaze?

We quickly abandoned this for two reasons:

  • A like/dislike system meant that some dialogue options would be read as “correct” and others as “incorrect,” which in turn would encourage…

Players get to pick two traits from a selection of seven.

Hey folks, and welcome to the first in a series of blog posts we’ll be writing about the development and release process of Scarlet Hollow! Each of these posts will be available a week early to $5 supporters on our Patreon, and $10 supporters will get to suggest and vote on the topics of future posts (along with some other goodies!)

With my expert shilling out of way, onto the topic of this post, Scarlet Hollow’s trait system (there are graphs!!)

For those of you who stumbled upon this post without already knowing about our game, Scarlet Hollow is a…

Tony Howard-Arias

Co-founder at Black Tabby Games

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