Monday, November 5, 2018

The Story

"Bound" is only designed to be a few minutes long, yet it tackles an intensely complex and emotional subject. I only have the amount of time it takes the player to navigate to the track to give context; to invest the player in the character that they're controlling. So, I put a limitation on myself of a maximum of ten lines of introductory dialogue. This is enough to convey what I need, but not so much where the player feels like experiencing it is a slog. After beating my face repeatedly against my keyboard, here's the content that I came up with.

  1. "Do not under under any circumstances, wear for more than eight hours a day."
  2. "Do not wear during strenuous physical activity."
  3. That's what the package told me.
  4. Then, later when I googled it, the internet told me the same thing.
  5. So, I said "Fuck it!" and now I'm here. Where I went to middle school like... Eight years ago.
  6. Wearing this binder that I'm not supposed to and running shoes that I haven't touched since I came out.
  7. Everyday after lunch, I used to fly down this sidewalk and up those stairs to the track.
  8. My friends were never able to catch up with me so they would just lean back on the chain link fence and watch. Flashing me a thumbs up when I blew by.
  9. I want that again. So badly.
I got away with only nine lines of dialogue. Ha! Take that, past self! While this is NOT the final version of this text, I'm moderately happy with it at this stage of development. It conveys three important things to the player; the main character is wearing a binder, the main character "came out," the main character used to love running. My fear is that people who know nothing about the trans community will be totally lost. If you don't know what a binder is to a transguy, do the first four lines make the sixth line comprehensible? Will the player be able to infer that the main character "came out" as trans? Only playtesting will help me answer these questions. I do think these lines excel at showing the player the situation rather than telling them.

Once the dialogue is finalized, I plan to record and voice act them. I'm definitely not experienced in this way, but I have the authentic voice of a transman and can't afford to pay any professional talent. It's incredibly important to me that an underprivileged voice is featured.

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