thanks for your response
I couldn't think of anything clever to say earlier, so here's some slightly late feedback...
The game will always end at a conclusive point but I intend to extend it. How many times? No idea. In what direction will the story go? No idea. As I find new movies, clip art, images, sounds, and music, I let them guide the story. Since I'm doing the programming I also expect I'll extend the user interface over time. How? No idea, usually it just comes to me. Hope you enjoy it.
It sounds like you're writing with a "safety net" (that is, a definitive ending), but also trying to improvise and let the story write itself. Sounds like a good compromise.
You are correct. I probably should have given a better explanation of the story. The story revolves around Mary Livingston who's boss, Joseph Leeds, has been murdered. The police write off the murder as a robbery gone wrong so she hires a private investigator, Dirk Caliber, to look into it. As they follow the clues they go to new locations, meet new characters, and encounter new murders they must solve. That's where my releases come in. A release will usually carry a new location and a new murder. The location and characters mostly come from the new movie clips I'm embedding (i.e. my next release, Dirk and Mary must solve a jewel robbery and murder on the Occident Express. The main movie clips come from an old Sherlock Holmes movie called “Terror by Night“ as well as three other movies I've picked. Eventually this will all come together and solve the murder of Joseph Leeds but I have no idea when this will happen.
It's written in c++ using Qt for the GUI.
Do you find these programs easier than Ren'py? Are you more familiar with them?
Hmm, we're kind of talking apples and oranges here. Ren'py is a wonderful application for scripting stories, Qt is a set of c++ base classes for creating graphical applications in multiple platforms (i.e. Windows, Linux, Mac, etc...) There is no game engine, no scripting, I had to write that from scratch. I've been writing business software for years, I decided to write a game just for fun (this is my first.) I chose Qt because it was the easiest for embedding a cross platform movie player in my application and it's open source with no royalties. I wasn't looking to use any existing game engines because the point was to write my own. Besides, I had no idea what the game was going to be. When I first started writing this game, I was thinking RPG, but quickly realized there were not enough pieces of public domain clip art to be able to animate them. That's when I switched to a visual novel. Writing my own game engine also allows me to change it over time. I expect I will be making the sprite animation more exciting and I'm thinking of adding RPG style puzzles that the user solves during game play.