I became a choice of games fan about 3-4 months ago. Recently I have been searching this forum’s topics and how people make up their stories and publish them and what not. I’m sitting here an thinking well I can do that. I mean I have an idea for my story and that’s a start. The problem is that the variables aka the stats are confusing and difficult as hell. A lot of details have to go into such things and I was wondering… would you guys play a game without those? You know just the story and choices alone. Because in all honesty that’s the only thing holding me back. I don’t trust myself to be able to handle that much work. Well that and the fact that i’m a horrible writer/speller.
I wouldn’t mind a story without stats, as long as the choices were meaningful and the story was enjoyable.
In my personal experience…
A game can be a bit dull even if it has stats, because they’re not utilized well. Why have a stat that affects one thing that no one notices? Why make a game with every decision being a fake one and you only being steamrolled in one specific direction. A game with choices that have no meaning at all to me is pointless, at least considering the genre of interactive fiction.
So to answer your question
Yes I would play one IF the choices I made mattered and the story itself was good. It all depends on execution, but even if you aren’t very good at writing or choicescript at first, I’d recommend to keep writing. You won’t progress without failure. If you remain afraid of writing something, because you think it’s bad then how will you ever get better? So if you’re serious about writing, then write your heart out. Let your writing skills develop, improve through trial and error, and let this great community help you along the way when you need it.
Also choicescript is a bit easier than you think. If you want to give it a go at learning you can always use @RETowers choicescript guide. Personally I learned a lot from it, and it was simple to understand.
I would if it’s done right and the story interesting. Idk about the other people but why don’t you ask someone who knows how to do the spell checking and other stuff, so the story will have everything.
I would read it. You should give it a go - a lot of us here consider ourselves second rate writers and third rate coders, and if you get too worried about it you might not put anything out at all.
If anxiety is an issue I suggest you write for yourself for a while. Don’t even think of it as something you will share here or publish. Then later when one day you think - hey maybe this isn’t so bad - come get some WIP beta testing help here on the forum. I got told my stats needed work, but was able to develop them at that later point into something that I felt worked for my writing.
Re diff ways to handle stats:
I hardly look at the stats, only when i forgot if i choose a female or a male character. So yeah go for it
Like everyone else has said, I would if the story was good and the choices mattered, but (and it is a large and luxurious but) something to keep in mind, at least in my experience, is that most of the variables built into a CoG or HG are never actually seen by a player on their stats page. Variables the author uses to simply their life, to check to see if certain characters are alive or present, if the player made a particular choice four chapters back, etc. Those typically don’t get displayed on a stat page and aren’t “stats”, but they are coded variables, and the only way to avoid them would probably be sitting down, cracking your knuckles, and writing out every possible playthrough all the way down each of its branches, (Or maybe liberal use of *goto) which could be maddening.
There are many resorces like the choice script wiki, tutorial, and forms that can help you with code.
But, I would play a game without stats if the game was well made.
But, what do you consider stats to be? Are you talking about health, strength, charasma, intelligence and such stats? If you are, your game doesn’t need them. But if you are talking about name, gender (writing a gender neutral protagonist is hard and may require more awkward phrasing. First person point of view can only go so far), events and pathways those are needed so you don’t have to copy and paste and you can reuse portions of story and make a game less linear. If a game is linear, it might be better suited as a traditional story.
What is this! You mean I don’t have to do everything in txt.edit and hit index.html all the time?
My thoughts exactly! I’d heard this thing mentioned in a few Game Development posts, but never actually knew exactly what it was.
There are always going to be things we haven’t perfected yet or are afraid to tackle. The important thing is to keep writing and moving forward, learning from the experience. Maybe this time you won’t have stats. Maybe while writing, you’ll figure out how to put in a couple. Maybe you won’t until you finish this story and move on to the next one. But just keep writing, accept feedback, look at tutorials, read, challenge yourself, and find your style.
You can play and edit your game in the same window with CS-IDE. It also shows how all variables change with each choice you make, so that’s nice especially with fair math.
Other nice things:
The Chronicles took seems good if you’re more into visuals and seeing how your game connects like a flowchart.
Lglasser’s interactive tutorial gives you downloadable coding templates for complicated coding like an inventory system and dealing with pronouns.
Searching the forms will also yield a lot of useful information.
My suggestion: Start your project without stats; see if the story as you develop it is worth continuing. If it is, you can add the stats in later. It will be harder going back then adding the stats initially but it still is doable.
It’s fully possible to create a game without stats.
I would definitely play a game without stats.
I’d suggest starting simple when you’re making a game. Read over the topics on the blog. Think about stats. Write your story without them though if that’s what’s easiest.
Maybe use a few simple variables to track specific events. Start small.
I speak a bit more about stats here:
Wow, I wish I was able to forget the gender thing, even before choosing the gender of my PC I’m already imagining it being male, it’s a curse because I like playing as a Female (it creates more distance between myself and the character, which is good when replaying).
To answer the question of the OP, I would play that kind of game, what I look in CoG is meaningful choices and a good story, the stats can be needed or they can be fully dispensable, it all depends on the execution of the story.
Yeah, the important is the story, I totally support you, go and make a wonderful book
For me, too many stats can get annoying. When there’s a million things to keep track off, I’ll just get confused about it all and grow to resent having to check them for every single decision I make. So if you can make a story with meaningful choices without stats, all the better.
(Then again, I’m not someone who’s particularly hung-up about choices. As long as I can play a female and choose a woman to romance, I’d be cool with having an utterly linear plot otherwise.)
You’re going to have to have variables. Say you want to know if a character choose to save x person’s life in a story. You’ll need to:
1 *create savedlife false (in startup.txt)
2 *set savedlife true (after he decision)
3 *if savedlife true (to check if thar decision was picked, then display the consequences.)
4 that’s it!
Now that is the MINIMUM of variables you will need. Otherwise it’s just clicking through options and reading a slightly different paragraph for each decision, but never keeping track of anything.
For example, if you don’t save the person’s life, then you can never mention that person again in your story. You’ll need to check that variable with an *if statement whenever you’re about to mention that person later on in another chapter.
Stats are not so different from true/false variables. Some games only have about 5 stats. But I think you need at least a bunch of true/false variables to allow for the different endings. Stats are confusing if there are a lot of them and if they are not logical, but if you have a series of 100 true/false variables your story can be just as varied in content, just depend on decisions more than accruing enough stat points to make a decision matter.
I think people would play a game with less stats, for sure. But if you have questions we’re here to help.
Start with what you can do, ask for help on what you can’t figure out but want to do, and you’ll fit in just fine. Have fun and code things - we have people here to volunteer with stuff like proofreading - and maybe you’ll move onto stats when you’re more comfortable with the rest.
Welcome, and enjoy yourself.
My personal situation is this I am working very hard in my game, slowly because it is in English and it is not my own language. But nobody wants to playing it. I put post asking for beta testers etc nobody reply. I ended with a big depression about it and was away some months from here. I finally accepted the reality and move on, I an writing this for myself, too show I can. So don’t worry about the people probably they pass about your game or maybe you are great. But the important is achieve your goal. I wish you luck i am more for stats, because no stats mean 99% times a railroad tracks game with only minor changes .