If you enjoy reading about game development, then you should read this article about the lovely Burly Men at Sea ($4.99). The blog’s written by Brooke Condolora, the artist, writer, and designer behind the game. She talks about the way they constructed this story-building game and how the branching scenes combine to form one overarching theme. They designed the game around the idea of folklore, which influenced the design in terms of length, tone, and moral. The way they went about designing for a cohesive moral was keeping the beginning and end consistent and letting players influence the events between those two narrative points. The game began as a more traditional branching narrative with dialogue choices, but they decided to abandon that for the discovery play style they finally went with.
One important decision they made early on was ensuring there are no wrong answers to choices because they wanted to make sure players felt comfortable enough to explore the world rather than try and find the correct path. The blog goes on to talk about how the viewport mechanic came about and all the challenges they met along the way. A very insightful and well-written dev blog that you should read if you’re even a bit interested in game design or simply enjoyed Burly Men at Sea. Check out the whole blog here.