P2: Map and premise

A theme I’d like to explore in my interactive fiction is overthinking and catastrophizing — as the process of constantly replaying and thinking about counterfactuals for situations in my own life feels to me very similar to the endlessly branching nature of a lot of interactive fiction pieces.

Premise: A divorced, aging old man spends his days constantly reliving the worst moments of his life, attempting to discern what he could have done. Every day he enters into a simulation, which play out some of the key moments that have led him to his current place in an attempt to fix them: the moment of his divorce, the moment his children stop speaking to him, the worst moments of his career. Every day he chooses a different set of actions to try and reach that “perfect life” he wants, but it never seems to happen — and as he spends more time in the simulations, he further isolates from the few things he has left, eventually losing out on a chance to reconnect with his children and a chance to see his friends before they pass.

Map: I’d like to divide the locations between the “real world” and the “simulation”. Interaction with people “real world” will mostly occur inside a small, cramped room, with most interactions actually coming through a computer screen chat interface. Meanwhile, the simulation world will consist of disparate small locations from different key moments — a few I’d like to explore are the old home the character lived in, the old office building he worked in, among others.

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