5 very different branches too much?


#1

So I’m thinking about making my game Swish have very different play throughs based on chosen playing position.

This would mean 5 different stories with, more differing then blending. Differenf romances, games, and drama.

Is this too much? Will they take a game with this much branching?

Im not as worried about keeping things straight, more if this is viable with the program and coding.


#2

Personally, I think it is too much; the way you’re describing it, you’d be pretty much writing 5 different stories.

That’s a recipe to burn out, because it will be difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it will be difficult to provide 5 equally satisfying arcs.Why would your basketball position affect romance, drama, etc?

Wouldn’t it be enough to just have your position affect gameplay during game scenes?


#3

There’s no such thing as too much when it comes to branching. It only becomes too much if the branches aren’t realised well. Three great branches is, IMO, better than five bare bones ones.

The first question I’d ask is that why are the romances, games and drama necessarily wholly different is the player is just playing in a different position? Surely they could just be differing perspectives on the same games and drama, maybe allowing for different games to be won or lost depending on what the player does.

I feel the strength of vastly differing branches is overstated. I tend to play most Choicescript games only once or twice, so, to me, it’s more important to have a story that feels reactive than one that branches heavily.


#4

It’s honestly better to have fewer branches that are well written in comparison to having more options that aren’t that great. Cutting players off from certain characters and options routes because of such a small choice such as position seems like a lot of legwork for the player. Also, I feel like that would limit the mc, maybe try weaving in the different romances and scenes different ways to make it feel less linear. I am personally all for nonlinear plotlines and branching, but sometimes having so much leeway with the plot you rather lose track of how the player might feel playing it.


#5

Execution is key as @Rhodeworks puts forth but @Eric_Moser is absolutely correct as well in pointing out that the more you have in branching of the main trunks of the game, the greater the workload and potential for burn-out.

With regards to your approach, choosing the position as the main determiner may be flawed, especially with the trend in today’s basketball growing towards positionless basketball. In today’s basketball where you have a point guard like Westbrook or a shooting guard like James Hardin, the classic roles are mixed up and sometimes switched.

In my experience, developing major trunks adds on exponentially to the expected work-load. Developing the 3rd major trunk in my story required about twice the work because I had to balance it against two others. With 5 major trunks, you are looking at a balance and execution boondoggle.


#6

Honestly, I think you should keep it simple, and as you get towards the middle/end you can start to branch out and create different endings based on the players options during the game and choices, if you intend on doing this, I suggest that you shouldn’t make this too early on in the game.


#7

@Eiwynn @Eric_Moser @Rhodeworks @IlliterateSandwich @TrashyLollipops

Thanks for such clear, and in-depth answers. I get what everyone’s saying, and looking at my outline I see how massive a undertaking that would be. How do you balance your vision with not burning out? I don’t want to lose interest, but at the same time it’s so hard to give up the drive to reach my goal.

I guess ill try to get the branches in a different way, without elongating the story to an extreme amount. This style of writing is so hard, knowing that lines have to be drawn, and ideas sacrificed to reach an end point. I got some high respect for you who have completed these undertakings.

Oh and the reason position made such a impact, is that it would lead you too a different training program, opening up new faces, side stories, etc.


#8

I think it’s too much. The problem with over-shooting your goals is that as time goes on the chances of burn out increase, followed by the high probability of the project never even coming close to fruition. As a costumer and reader, it’s more important to see humbler goals that can be achieved within a reasonable time frame and workload than creating hype over this amazing product that will probably never release.

If you want people to trust you and buy your products you should be aware of your own limitations.


#9

I think @IvoryOwl makes an excellent point about the project needing to come to fruition first and foremost. Your ambition and your vision for the project should be the driving force behind everything, but what’s most important is that you get the project done at all. Sometimes, that means making a few sacrifices here and there in order to save time, to save yourself from burnout, or a programming/writing nightmare.

What’s always saved me is testing the waters a bit first! I write the minimum number of versions of what I ideally want, see how much work it would be for upkeep on those moving forward, and then make the decision on whether or not to write more from there. And remember, anything you don’t do now, you can go back and do later! I would recommend not spending too much time on any one section, though, lest the burnout set in and you get stuck!