Ugh. The shrink’s office.
I really wrote myself into a corner with that one. Even back when I still thought this would be a game. At that time, the office was situated in the local hospital, where Eddie would endanger every last patient in there by starting a grease fire in the kitchen. To be able to start that fire, you’d have to go into the operating room and steal a bucket of fat left there after a liposuction. I don’t remember doing drugs around that time, but that’s the only excuse I have at this point.
By the time the book came around, the whole hospital scene had to be condensed. Adventure game puzzles don’t translate to enjoyable reading. My first course of action was to just leave the whole scene blank, hoping something else in the book would spark an idea.
As you undoubtedly expected, it didn’t. I had no idea how I was going to get Eddie into the office and give him the opportunity to fiddle with Asphyxia’s file.
Well… No idea besides the grease fire. Clearly, if the psychiatrist thought his office was on fire, he would have to leave quickly.
Eddie manages to banter his way into an appointment and after jerking around the psychiatrist for a bit because I thought I had some good jokes to fit in there, Eddie asks if he can use the toilet and this is where it all goes a little wonky, writing-wise. How the hell do you set a fake fire in a small room consisting mostly of water and tiles?
Through the most contrived means, that’s how.
Using a roll of plastic bags from the trashcan and some moist paper towels, Eddie gets some smoke going. As it takes time for the smoke to reach the nearest detector, Eddie returns to the main office and waits for the alarm to start wailing. Still with me? There’s more, sadly.
When it does and everybody evacuates the office, Eddie obviously has to leave as well, putting the whole scene back at square one, so I did what any hack would do and I pulled a deus ex machina out of my ass. Eddie finds a previously unnoticed backdoor. Unfortunately, he also finds out the fake fire he started has turned into a real fire, so now we’ve got some artificial tension going while Eddie struggles to find Asphyxia’s file.
That scene remained in the story for a long time and it came pretty close to being in the final thing. To be honest, I don’t remember what the reason for reworking it was. Might be that I had to cut an assload of material to get the story down to a less biblical word count.
So I had to rework it into something shorter.
Goddammit, I have to think of new shit for this shit and it has to be shorter than the other shit.
For a brief moment, Eddie held Dr. Lane (the shrink had a name and everything. His receptionist was a lovely black lady called Donna) hostage and coerced him to change Asphyxia’s file. You know, a situation that never had bad consequences for anyone.
But while Eddie might be a jackass from time to time, he is not a bad guy. This scene didn’t even make it into a proper draft.
Through bad ideas and lots of cursing, I wound up at how it is now. It helped that a scene involving Domino influencing fate elsewhere in the story was cut too. I repurposed it so I could keep some reference to Domino’s influence and get Asphyxia’s file into Eddie’s hands.
Remember the part where Eddie decides he’ll just have to break in at night and get this nonsense over with? Those are literally my words. Almost literally. I didn’t say ‘nonsense’.