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!

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