Click F — Post-Mortem

For Ludum Dare this year, I decided to actually make something with the Interactive Fiction engine I’d been playing with for the past six months. I had fourty-eight hours to polish the very simple javascript IF engine and write a short story.

Plan

After some early brainstorming Friday night, I decided I wanted to make an interactive non-fiction story. I left college after my first semester, in part due to this shitty situation where someone had threatened to punch me because I was bi. I let the experience get the better of me, and it had more of a negative impact than I’d like to admit. I had the foundations of a plot, and wanted ot move on to a game play mechanic.

I’d been experimenting with clicker games for a few months, and wanted to add a clicker element to the game. My idea was having a clicker where you progressively got worse mentally as the days went on, despite your best efforts. I was trying to get a very simple system in the game to represent depression. While I was sketching out the design of this system, I came up with the name of the game. My initial idea was to have the title start as ‘Click F — — — ’ and as you engage with the clicker elements, the second word would slowly reveal itself as ‘Faggot’.

Implementation

I started out writing the script of the game. I was ambitious with the scope of the game, figuring I could knock out eight to ten thousand words by the end of the weekend. What I didn’t expect was for the writing to take a lot out of me emotionally. Reliving the experience and writing it out so that the world could see took far longer than I expected.

I slowly cut more and more of my plans. I ended up cutting a lot of the branching paths, keeping the story very linear. As time went on, I cut more, and ended up removing all of the clicker elements of the game. I left the title as ‘Click Faggot.’

The Title

The only regret I have about the game as it’s title. In the months after the release, I became more concerned about people outside of queer games seeing ‘Click Faggot’ as a repository in my GitHub profile. One day at work, I was explaining GitHub to a coworker and made sure to avoid showing her my public profile so that I wouldn’t have to explain that the title was not meant to be homophobic.

I do think that I probably recieved some clicks on the game during Ludum Dare’s voting because of the click-baity title, but that certainly wasn’t the reason I chose the title. I’d wanted it because of how it related to the nature of the game as a clicker. I’d wanted the self-hatred I’d experienced to slowly show itself, and have the title reflect that. Once I realized I wasn’t going to be able to implement the clicker system, I should have changed the title. But I was tired, and I didn’t. In the future, I plan to give myself a few hours away from the project before I release, even a small game jam game.

Response

The response from the game was almost all positive. Brendan Caldwell wrote it up on Rock Paper Shotgun’s Free Loaders feature, which was a dream come true. I also had a ton of positive comments on the Ludum Dare entry page. I even had a community fix to an issue with javascript in Safari browsers from Olli on the Crate and Crowbar Discord. Thanks!

Play the Game