After having a not so relaxing break but a much needed refresher I'm ready to not grind; but passionately create chapter 1 again! This time with more content, with more emotion; with more quality than before!
The biggest change is the whole "life sim" aspect that's going to bring it's own challenges and the branching story that's going to take far more writing than before. But I'm excited that there's going to be a larger story with more possibilities! I love writing and to be able to showcase my flexibility will be a nice challenge. 
Things I want to note, Dead Ends can be a thing; but they will be tasteful. The game will track when you've gone down a Dead End timeline and will backup your data at that point so you can easily return and not have to replay the entire game again. They also won't be 10 hour long timelines; they'll be quick and effective so you're not replaying hours of content either. 
I contacted everyone interested in working on the game which is currently just artists. I can do lots of code and anything I need in code. I cannot however do the drawing thing very well. So, I spent some time making a temporary logo for the studio I want to create called Low Mana and getting everyone onto the server.
I then started work on the life sim aspect of the game. First came the player information, then the functional decisions you can make which is where I'm currently at. The biggest thing is that it's not hard, but it's daunting. There's so much that has to happen and be able to happen without restricting existing systems. It's just a lot of stuff.
The hardest part is currently trying to create a plot guideline that fits really well with the new systems and is just better. The last story was pretty tragic. I talked to my friend Matt who's honestly just my royal adviser at this point and really thankful for that. I finally have a plot guideline that I'll be using to create all of the current paths possible. Keeping track of what's going to happen when for each path is pretty difficult but I'm using some smart techniques to make it easier. I actually made a flowchart of the story and pathing in Godot (Well am making it, it's a WIP)

This is how I'm organizing everything.

Each Chapter has a Plot Point this is the big event of the chapter.
The smaller chunks under the Plot Point are paths that can be achieved at the end of each Chapter.
Your actions during the chapter will put you onto one of these timelines.
While they all flow down the same general plot they don't all have the same result.

Every player will start with a game failing
Every player will have to make another game
Every player will go through the marketing chapter

Not every player will make another game that'll be successful but now they have no friends.
Not every player will make mediocre games and romance another character.
Not every player will properly market their game and maintain health relationships with their friends and possible romantic interest.

While every chapter currently has the same plot.
They don't have the same content.

While I'd love to create a game where there's hundreds of paths to take; I'm but a single person who has little money that's going to art. But I wanted to make different stories built off the basic story. This way while every path flows the same they don't tell the same story. There's also side stories that'll impact the game as well. 
If you end up breaking up with a romantic interest it may remove some dialogue options in the future but it will directly impact the main story by giving you a debuff for a while that'll reduce energy and reduce relationship status with certain characters. Which will directly impact if your game ever makes it big.

I got enough of the story planned out to start getting the life sim aspect more sketched out. It's a good bit of work that just takes so much planning and playing well together between multiple mechanics and the thought of getting it working hurts my brain. But I did it!
Here's the first test of the life sim gameplay! 
Shortly after this I ruined the scene and had to rebuild it....But I did it no matter how tedious it was. And I broke it again...and again..I broke it too many times before I just settled on "I'm just going to fix this really annoying fucking bug." and I did. Hopefully it doesn't break my game later.
With that out of the way I can again DUPLICATE my event nodes. Which you may not think is super important but trust me; it is.
After everything stopped breaking and I could make some actual progress I did just that! I made this nice Socialization tab menu! It's still WIP but it's more polished.

Instead of further polishing every aspect of the life sim segment since the background art isn't final yet. I decided to get things into shape for enjoying the game. 
I've done a lot of polish in the life sim gameplay. I had to quite a bit of coding and setup to get it to a refined point where everything works with every chapter. All that's really left is get the art, sounds, and final events into the game; which is actually a ton of stuff to do.
For the rest of the night I'm going to be writing the script up for the new and improved version of the game.

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