The Puzzles Cycle has gone into Brutal Render.
It also stands as my least favorite editing job, ever, for myriad reasons. The result of the editing job, I really really like. But the job itself? Egad.
First, the subject is obscure and ethereal, while also being of general interest and something people have opinions on – the worst of both worlds. Then, there was the process of piecing together many hours, dozens of them, to come up with the best statements that fit together – but it was all essentially about one subject. And then there was the part where I wanted it to be intensely interesting, even if you didn’t work with puzzles all the time. And finally, it had to flow as smooth as it could without dragging.
So it’s a short branch, under 18 minutes. It’s also packed with all sorts of opinions, people, and scans of design documents. And of course I put a few puzzles in.
I’m happy when I can take a subject I didn’t think anyone would cover and turn it into something giving that subject respect – hence once of my favorite pieces of work, the Fidonet Episode of the BBS Documentary, which tells a 15-year arc of a story about a computer network and somehow generally ties it together enough that’s actually coherent and in some cases entertaining. So that’s definitely the case here.
I err in the side of short length because there’s not a specific story arc that’s being brought out in talking about puzzles – just a lot of different (well-spoken) opinions and ideas and a way for you to see how deeply these folks have thought about this specific angle of interactive fiction/text adventures. I’d rather have people wish there was more than have them wish there was less. As the raw interviews will generally be released, you can listen to some very smart folks say some very smart things for hours and hours if you wish – I just don’t know if you need that to be on an edited DVD.
What’s left now is the finish editing the Modern Cycle and the Infocom Featurette, and then we’re in the polish stage. Hooray!