After some initial setbacks, I think I’ve finally hit my stride. I wrote nearly 2000 words yesterday and am almost finished with the 2nd act of Zira’s route. Each route is divided into a second and third act, which are unique to each character, with the first part of the game that takes determines which character’s route you’ll take being the first act. The first act is what ended up being the initial alpha and later the public beta which is what’s available on Itch now. I’ve mentioned ‘second’ and ‘third’ acts a lot in when I describe working on the game without actually having clarified what I meant. Hopefully this will make my descriptions of what I’m working on less confusing.
As for how I determine what defines an ‘act’, I generally break it down by two factors: major plot points and game branching. Essentially, once I hit a big, story defining plot point that would signal a major crossroads for the main character, and the way it resolves itself as the way the act ends. It took me a long time before I could competently define my writing, and it took a while to learn how to break plots down that way. It’s very easy to keep droning on and on, but after years of working on comics that had to have defined chapters that have to fit into a relatively tight page count (my magical girl comic has chapters about 30 pages so volumes are about 150 pages, while my horror comic, which is more like a standard American comic, has to fit between 20-24 pages), it gets a lot easier to break down my game into scenes and acts without running on forever, or feeling like scenes jump too abruptly.
I’ve said in the past that working on a game is a very different animal since I have to think these things through multiple pieces at a time, and that is still true. But there is still a lot of crossover when writing all these different kind of a media.