Skills shown: Understanding of Ren’Py syntax, editing for continuity and content, writing for existing voices, plots, and characters
1931: Sheherazade at the Library of Pergamum is a visual novel adventure/romance game designed and published by Black Chicken Studios. Set in early 1930s New York, it follows an exciting year in the life of Scheherazade “Sadie” Keating, a young student archaeologist whose parents went missing years ago. On the eve of her high school graduation, she discovers a mysterious puzzle that leads her to Egypt, Peru, Australia, India, New Orleans, and Turkey. Along the way, she encounters a number of allies and enemies, including several handsome young men interested in Sadie in more ways than one.
I was originally brought on as a two-week playtester while working for another unreleased Black Chicken title; after offering extensive feedback on the plot and identifying several technical bugs to do with branching narrative, they kept me on the project. I had a basic understanding of Ren’Py, and once it became clear that I could read and alter the source code, I was promoted to Editor and tasked with making corrections, additions, and adjustments in the code directly.
This role soon expanded to include writing as well; first I added dynamic journal entries for each mission (including win/loss states), after which I wrote several in-game sequences, including character birthdays and a unique “date” sequence triggered on Valentine’s Day. I also wrote the majority of the game’s endings, and edited the rest.
For those interested in learning more about the game or trying out the demo, the official website is here. Here is a sample of my writing, the Valentine’s Day sequence in both regular script and in Ren’Py scripting.
Valentine’s Day scene: