** STORY UPDATE **
So lately there has been a bit of a gap in the story of City of Amber that has been kind of blocking my progress in the development department. Finally I have found what I needed to fill that gap!
As we already know, Lilly has discovered disturbing information that has caused her to question her choices in life. This prompts her to take a leave of absence from the Military while she contemplates her future. During this leave she plans to visit her sister, Abby, who is basically Lilly's greatest emotional support, but on the way finds herself stranded in a mysterious town and swept away into a hellscape that preys on her past.
Now, these things are all well and good, but there still needed to be a stitching that could hold all of the chaos together without letting things spiral out of control and the story losing all sense of meaning. What I landed on is PTSD.
Lilly is not only going to be guilt-ridden, but she is also going to have a VERY terrible case of PTSD. This is going to be the driving force behind the transitions in horrors she experiences throughout the game. Certain things Lilly see's will cause fits of hallucinations and flashbacks that will transport her to different environments in order to progress the story.
I feel like this addition will help not only give more depth to Lilly's character, but it will also give more depth to the game's overall (Supernaturally Inflated) message. It's a story about the horrors of what war and a corrupt nation can do to even the strongest of soldiers' (Lilly's) minds, and the figurative and literal demons they must fight in order to overcome their past.
For me this has taken the story from an action-packed adventure to a bit of a sad and emotional trip into this character's psyche. But I think I prefer this approach because now I have something more real I can give the players to fight for, which is Lilly's own sanity, and eventually maintaining her bond with her sister, who will find herself trapped in the City of Amber at some point as well.