3rd person, present tense

Since you referenced Catherine, there was a let’s play by a youtube named cryaotic (chaotic monkey) where he stated that he didn’t feel like he had a choice because if the MC was questioning his relationship that much then it was clear MC didn’t really want to be in that relationship. As for me, I was fustrated by the lack of control because I thought the MC was getting drugged and date raped by Catherine and there was no option to do anything about it. But this theory was wrong

If you have a set protagonist, you could do it like the Guenevive wip where the player can define their character.

My problem with set MC’s is that I feel like I can’t choose ooc choices and that loses the point if even having choices, or I don’t like the MC because they are weak, dumb, or illogical. The only real choices with a set MC are general action choices like turn left or turn right. There are cases where a set MC is done well like when the character is somewhat general and relatable, but there is no replayability because I only chose what I think is in character for that MC and cant create new MCs with their own stories.

I usually try to write in first person, hoping it becomes more immersive. But now that you bring it up, third person might be really interesting if you’re a disembodied guide (still invested in the MC) or the PC and the MC aren’t the same person.

Now I have no idea what I was trying to say. Sorry.

I found Princess Maker inherently creepy, with how it cast us in the role of that creepy old man controlling the life of the Princess. Cute Knight, on the other hand, very similar game but lets you play the Princess.

I think there are ways to negate the impersonality of third person. We read books written in third person and care about the characters, right, and watch tv shows and movies.

I’ve played a lot of games where I’m not actually the protagonist, but I still care about them, the struggles they’re going through, and their choices. Even if I can’t quite get a glimpse into their heads. Some games, mind you, also have diaries in them, so I can get a direct look into the protagonists head. They’ve also a tendency to talk out loud.

I want to mention The Hunger Games. The books are in first person, the movies are in third. I know a lot of people find Katniss far more likeable in the movies than she is in the books. (Personally I like her better in the books.)

My own issues with third person are mostly I feel like I need to write far more description with it. I’m absolutely awful at writing description. My writing tends to be sparse when I’m writing in third person.

Are you planning on writing your game in a screenplay format? Or actual dialogue etc?

I would love to play a game where I’m a poltergeist or casper the friendly ghost type character that influences the lives and relationships of the family I’m haunting! First, I will befriend the youngest member of the family and tell her my real name and history. The youngster will just think I’m her imaginary friend and the parents won’t pay any attention to me. …until it’s too late.

I will then haunt one member of the family by moving their stuff, appearing in my ghostly form and doing ghost stuff. The other family members will think my haunting victim is crazy , except for the youngester but no one listens to kids.

At the end, the family can finally google all of my info and find out I was a real person who was murdered in the house and try to exercise me.

Or, I could be nice. I will put the kid’s homework that he forgot into his bag before he leaves for school so he doesn’t get in trouble. I can possess him and help him with homework or nightmares. I could clean and do the dishes while everyone is gone. I can impersonate someone’s dead grandma during a seance or reveal that the babysitter is secretly evil.

I vote yes for the ghost game. There could be a lot of replayability.

I’d also play a game where I’m the voice inside of a schizophrenic’ s head or one of the personalities of someone with DID, but you might have to research this topic before you write.

I like your Ghost idea. You should make that game. It sounds fun.

But please don’t do this.

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Well I am not fond of those style stories probably because I just never get attached other characters in games or novels. In the casper stuff i would end bored of that family at first chapter and just imagine how making them stop talking. That’s of course a personal thing, and there are some exceptions that comes from an amazing writing. Basically Bioware npcs companions and Walking dead Clementine . I just have a clearly defined me vs them personality in games books so if you trying let me hanging in a middle ground controlling a whatever other person. … I am weird i know and for me Cogs are games not novels.

I won’t mind a game written in 3 person, present tense.
It has already been used in Divided We Fall, but for other reasons.
But your concept of the player taking the role of some external force guiding a character sounds refreshing and I think using 3 person is appropriate here.

I’ve always had a hard time reading interactive fiction in third person, but then again , I’ve only ever come across one or two… so I’d say try it

I would say do what you want! no matter what you write, some people will like it and some won’t. just how it is so make yourself happy cuz you can’t many EVERYONE else happy

If you don’t mind sending it, that’d be cool. No worries about the quality. Just interested in the idea :smiley:

Hmm, interesting. Do you have a link to the WIP doing this style? I’d like to see how it’s working out. And yeah, I’m thinking of placing character names centered over the dialogue – then their words underneath. So no he said, she said, yada yada.

It’s not a story I have written yet, so the formatting could change over the course of the script… and to be honest I imagine it will change quite a bit. Novels obviously tend to use more words, and screenplays generally cut them to the bare necessities. But that’s something that I’ll look at after receiving feedback.

If nothing else it’s an experiment :wink:

Ugh, so much truth here, lol. It will be very difficult without scene control. And honestly I’m not sure how to go about balancing the freedom vs control. I think I may write the whole thing as the story I want to tell – and then afterwards go back and add two more distinct branches…

I suppose this is a CYOA question in general. How do people go about writing them? Write one path start to finish? Or write all the paths as move along? Writing all the paths at once sounds much harder.

I definitely understand your point of view. But I sort of went into the game knowing I won’t have full control of his character (Vincent is his name, I think). Maybe the problem here is that you didn’t like the character or the story, rather than how much you could affect it? – For example, Final Fantasy 7 has a great story, but the choices weren’t that dramatic.

So perhaps if you go into it knowing what your getting, you could adjust your expectations and enjoy it for what it is. That said, everyone is different. For me, I’d rather have a great story with no replayability vs a mediocre one with a lot.

I see what you mean :blush:

I was thinking more of a “disembodied guide” for the MC. Rather than a PC and an MC – though that idea sounds interesting as well.

I agree with you 100% on the movies/books thing. That’s what I’d like to accomplish. Just with a bit of choice thrown in.

As far as the formatting goes - yeah I was thinking to write the whole thing in screenplay format. Action, Characters, Dialogue, capitalized SOUND effects, the whole deal. But that’s up for debate, as I’m unsure how people will react to that style of reading… not even considering its application to a CYOA.

That all sounds like fun, actually :smiley:

Fair enough.

Thanks man :sunny:
We will see how it goes, haha.

How did you find the ones you read. Enjoyable?

That’s true. Was just wondering about the feasibility of it all. I suppose I would like to see something like it. If for no other reason than it being different.

Any reason you’re going with choicescript, and not something that might better lend itself to that format, like say Ren’py? Not that there’s not non-standard games out there, like The Ascot for instance.

I’d actually really like to see a story written from the perspective of that character, but in second person. A 1920’s noir hard boiled New York detective kind of thing. I suspect it would be hard to do well though.

Personally, I find second person so very difficult to write in. It just seems completely unnatural to me to do it. I don’t like that omniscient narrator of the ‘yous’. I prefer first, (or even third), but both of those have their own limitations.

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Two of my favourite adventure games take heavy influence fron that hardboiled noir detective thing. I’m not into the genre itself, but I think this is a fun idea.

@Reluctant_Sloth, I think it’s just harder to connect with the character, that’s the only real difference. Those games weren’t really all that bad, but they could have been better, and since I’ve only seen two, I’d like to see if you can do it any better, and maybe it was just those authors’ style which made it hard to read.

Here’s the link for the story I was talking about, putting names before dialogue.

Additionally, my CScomp game ‘Monsters’ uses 2nd person perspective. :wink: The tense is even present tense- huzzah, how’s that for an example. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Okay, so I actually only realized this after I had previously commented. It turns out that 2nd person, present tense is actually very natural for me to write in, as well. Though I can do third person well, also. First is more challenging, in my case. So, yes, I am with you.

I usually dislike first person in writing, but first person works really well in interactive fiction since describing what is inside the head of the other characters isn’t as important, and exploring the world and characters through a single viewpoint can be quite immersive when there are choices or customization options.

I find the role of an observer who is not shown doing anything but controlling that single character creepy.

I say try anything you want. Maybe the norm is wrong. If the story is compelling, the readers will be there.


@Shawn_Patrick_Reed Thanks! I’m gonna check it out right now :smile:

@Doctor Yeah, I hear you man

Well I like the way COG games look. And I don’t want to include so much art – which VNs seem to have a bunch of. hmm…

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Eh, wasn’t the name of this thread ‘2nd person, present tense’ as of yesterday?

The trick is to make the choices all feel like they’re valid choices for the ‘set character’.

It works anyway. Telltale’s games, for instance, have set characters with some leeway in shaping them.

And well, third person doesn’t mean you can’t have choices that matter. (Also, one key thing, due to the nature of the beast, you’re usually confined to telling a story from one character’s perspective if second person is used. Being able to bounce around characters if the third person perspective is used? It can make for a much richer experience, I reckon.)