So uhhh, I’m probably spending more time here than I do on my story except I have a new problem. After finally deciding on what the player’s motivations are I began writing the prologue. Except now I realise I keep stopping because I don’t know how to go about implementing customisation for something incredibly important. In the prologue it opens with the player having a dream about a lost loved one who went to the place they’re currently travelling to. I felt letting it be very customisable would be good but as I typed it in my notes app I realise it pretty much starts spiralling into choice after choice “do you see a family member/friend/lover in your dream?” then immediately followed by “Okay, but is it your mother/father/parent/sister/brother/sibling?” “Is it your boyfriend/girlfriend/significant other” “what is your friend’s gender” then after all of that “what’s their name” which looks incredibly messy and feeds into a pet peeve I think some players might have when they have to go through the customisation at the start and blunts the impact of the flashback? At the same time I also have my problems with a premade character concept because on the contrary players might not feel much of a connection with a character that does not specifically align with who they picture themselves risking their lives for.

I’m not sure what I should be doing.

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Maybe combining the first two choices could work? Like instead of “is it a family member?” leading into “is it a parent or sibling?” You could make the first choice include all the options? So you pick whether they’re your “mother/father/friend/girlfriend/boyfriend/etc” in one choice.

And after that, maybe you could break it up a bit before the reader has to pick what they’re name is? So the MC would talk with them a bit before having to say their name.


Maybe they could start as a shapeless form and you gradually identify them. First they start taking the form of a man/woman/person, then you feel a connection of love/friendship/blood with them and in the end you say their name, something like that.

The family member could always be a sibling, having to choose between lover, friend and sibling is enough customization imho.

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Maybe you could switch the order of the questions?
Like, first you see a figure of “man/woman/person”, then realize it’s either “mother/sister/ girlfriend” etc, and then choose the name.
One less question that way, and somewhat less choices on each move.


I know it seems like a lot of question but personally i don’t mind…I’ve read stories with such type of customisations through multiple questions…I like it…it makes you feel more in control and in connection with the story.

I would recommend to do it in multiple drafts. First draft, try to limit your choices. While this much customization can be fantastic, it can also be overwhelming on the author to track these things. I recommend to take it slowly and start smaller. Get a chapter or two in and return to it. See if you feel comfortable adding more customization and the compounding weight of it. Do more chapters and return to it, these extra drafts might improve the original as you would have more time to reflect on it and have it grow.

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