Branching the story


#1

Thought I’d ask the members of the forum their opinion when it comes to the actual story it self.
Now it’s general knowledge that it’s almost a must to have choices that change the story where it matters.
So my question Im suck with is -
Do you prefer to have an A to B story which does change and reflects your choices, or one that branches out to unique side stories depending on the choices you made?


#2

I prefer stories that have many different branches but both have their pros and cons. Stories that are just A and B paths are easier to make and are still fun the first time through but it doesn’t have a great deal of replay value in my opinion. When I’m playing through a second time and I can see how little affect some choices have or how the path is mostly linear then I lose interest, but again that’s just me not everyone. I think making it more complex with tons of branching out adds more variety as well as a story more tailored towards you and your choices however as a writer/coder it can end up being very troublesome to keep all the stories in order and free from continuity errors or other bugs.


#3

It’s a tough call. I’m going with many branches that ultimately come back to the same core story. Say the MC could go one way or another, but the destination of the MC would be the same either way. The experiences would be different but I could still wrap everything up easily in the end. This also allows for you to have many, many branches (some minor that come right back after a short discussion and some major that span an act or even two acts) but still keep a cohesive story.


#4

I like to replay games and therefore prefer stories with multiple branches and side stories.


#5

(Might be best moved from the General category to Game Development?)

I feel that a good level of replayability is important in these games so myself tend to lean towards fairly heavy branching, but I suspect that the most ideal design lay somewhere in the middle. Too many overly-ambitious WIPs either fall by the wayside or seem to take forever… cough

An old CoG blog on this overall subject is well worth pointing out to each new generation of authors:


#6

Ah I was looking for just this link to suggest it. It’s a good read and very helpful.


#7

Quite a good read :slight_smile:


#8

Either work.

If you want a perfect scenario though, do both;

Actual A / B routes is a mammoth undertaking, especially if you’re the type to try and craft the detail in each route and have sub-routes dividing from them, moreso when they all lead to changes in the story AND unique side stories.

Best way to write that type of story is to focus on the one route from start to finish and add in the diverging paths when you finish. Don’t bother writing them all, unless you’re pretty dedicated and careful as you can always mish-mash elements that shouldn’t belong.


#9

Really, anyone interested in making a Choicescript game should read the entire “game design” tag. And they should write more of it, too, especially with years more of experience — there was an article on how to write the opening vignette promised in one of the articles 5 years ago that still hasn’t been delivered!