Disliked Elements, Mechanics, and Tropes

Ok, i made this so we all can talk about the thing we hate most in choice games, it doesn’t have to be abut things in a game, it could be whats left out.

For example, one of mine is that characters never go to the toilet, so whats yours?


@Nukeboom123 laughs I shall endeavor to add a toilet scene into the game I’m working on. Just for you. XP

I guess for me… it would be not having a ‘back’ option. Like, okay- so I wouldn’t want this the first time I play through a game… but after I’ve finished a game, it would be kindof cool to be able to backspace to your last choice and read how making a different choice affects the story. It would also help for times when I accidentally double-tap the next button.


@Shawn_Patrick_Reed, or when you accidentally clicked the wrong choice right? I’ve done that quite a few times, thought I was selecting one, but was selecting something else.


Well yeah- except basically because I accidentally double tap the next and it just gives me whatever the first choice was.


I hate when the game tries to decide what my character’s personality is or makes assumptions as to how my character would act


Most of the games are way too linear for me, your choices don’t really matter, they don’t change anything.

But I understand that it is a sacrifice that needs to be made to avoid having to write for thousands of hours :smile:


The only problem I see with that is programing it into the story and making it work.

Is that even possible?


I figured we were including things regarding the choicescript shell, not just the games.

I mean, I haven’t really thought about whether it’s possible in-game; I just figure that, if there’s a ‘Next’ button, there could be a ‘back’ button.

@LadyKuonji Actually, now that I think about it, yes, it would be possible to code a game with a ‘back’ feature at every choice point. IE, a choice: #Go back to previous choice

Underneath this, you would need to reverse-engineer any variable changes that have been made since the last choice, apply those opposite changes to stats and variables, and then *goto whatever you have as a *label for the previous choice. It would take a heck of a lot of work, but it would be, simply put, rather genius to pull off, and a game with it would surely get accolades for it.

I, personally, don’t want to go through all that work. Maybe with my next game; I’d need to do sortof a different scripting style for it to work properly.


What I find most frustrating go in this order.

  1. Text walls that have little to no interesting content.
    The whole idea of writing is to push across an idea or story line and I get that.
    The problem I have is being confronted by this huge wall of text that feels like nothing but white noise.
    No. Thank. You.

  2. Poor character development.
    It is hard for me to enjoy reading a story of any kind with no character development.
    Many of the stories I have “tossed in the trash” have been stories with this problem.

  3. Little to no romance development.
    Now I am not talking about the whole “oh I love you so much!” kissy face
    No! What I am talking about is things like: Your MC is hurt or in pain of some kind. MC’s lover walks over and hugs or comforts MC in some non-sexual way. or “Hun why are you spending more time with character X? I don’t believe in his/her/ze morals and having you hang out with them makes me uncomfortable.”
    It just feels like the romance isn’t built up enough to show some of the real life issues.

  4. No proper Glossary or In story context.
    This one should be simple to understand.
    A lot of stories shouldn’t need a glossary to make the back story understandable.
    However, if you fail to show your back story or the back story is to complex then you should have a detailed glossary… It is quite simple…

  5. I hate characters that change personality types for no reason.
    You know what I am talking about.
    That single character that seems like a big tough guy then turns around ten seconds being scared at every turn.
    A personality change like that would only be understandable if it was explained.
    However most of the time it isn’t, and that bothers me.

@Shawn_Patrick_Reed That makes scenes though it does sound like a lot of work…


@Nukeboom123 haha the exact same thing annoys me about most ficton, so I made sure to include a bathroom scene in my story.

@Interestedparty this is something I do have in my game. I assume that you, as a player, are not driving the character’s mind - only their actions.

  1. I don’t like having too many skills/traits. I think 4-6 are enough, but if there are much more, the importance of each stat probably decreases, and developing them enough becomes difficult.

  2. I also don’t like having to pick a few skills/traits at the beginning of the game in a boring “character creation” scene. I prefer having easy choices (low skill requirements) at the beginning of the game so that I can see what kind of actions the stats I choose will generally let my MC do, instead of choosing the main stats like “Are you more strong or smart?”

  3. Too high requirements for skills are annoying, because if you don’t stick to the same 1-2 skills all the time, you won’t be able to succeed at anything anymore.

  4. Choices that don’t affect the game in any way. I think it’s better to make a shorter game where your choices are important rather than a long game where they’re irrelevant. If you write a linear game with choices that don’t matter, you should just write a traditional novel or a kinetic visual novel. Even more annoying is overriding my choices or making the MC disobey me so that the writer can push his or her agenda.

  5. Quizzes and required real-life knowledge, especially when it’s culture-specific or about a niche topic. I’m just going to google the right answers, making that part of the game boring.


You were right it was a bad choice of words on my part. I changed it.


A lot of the things I don’t like have been mentioned already. One thing I can think of is being confronted with a prompt to enter my character name straight off the bat. I don’t even know if I’m starting to like the game at that point. I just want a list of names so I can pick one and get on with it.


As others before me has mentioned, having a back button would be most useful. But of course, it should only apply when the situations aren’t catastrophic. You shouldn’t be able to go back after a major decision, but something as minor as a menial choice or the lack thereof should be given that option.

I could implement the feature with clever variable reversing and goto and label combos, but that’d be an incredible amount of work, not to mention that I don’t want a choice on literally every single page. Personal aesthetic preference, I suppose.

Here are my own.

  1. Illusion of free will: Aside from that I particularly despise meaningless choices. It’s fine to have a few fake_choices, but a game that I’ve played (highly rated too, which baffles me) had almost no focus whatsoever on my choices. I wouldn’t be surprised if other than basic information (name, gender, etc.) it had only fake_choices.

  2. De-characterization: If I want to be aloof, menacing or sleazy, it should be my choice. A game shouldn’t choose for me how I should be. I shouldn’t be limited to having traits measured out for me unless they’re integral to the story. There was a game that automatically assumed that I was a horny fourteen year old (same game as above, actually) and had me talking to women’s mammary glands, when I wanted to be mature (not immaturely mature, mind you) and aloof. Immersion killer.

  3. Cliches: Self-explanatory, I believe? It should be cliche to put ‘cliches’ on the list about cliche methods to ruin a game.


Been reading this thread with interest and wanted to point out one thing. The use of fake_choice doesn’t mean your choices are meaningless. The author can still set variables / stats etc. within the fake_choice syntax. All fake_choice does is remove the need for a *finish or *goto_scene at the end of it.

For example:

#Read the scroll.
*set Courtesy %+ 10
Opening the scroll, you find the following message:
#Make the messenger read the scroll to you.
*set Courtesy %- 10
The messenger struggles to open the scroll, clears her throat, and begins reading:
"Dear friend,

I need your help. BLAH BLAH BLAH

See? Completely possible to build *fake_choice with meaningful stats that will play out later in the story by will of the author.

As for the OP’s topic:

I can’t say I hate anything in the CoG platform. As a player, I approach it as more story than game and understand that my immersion will be limited to what the author provides. As an author, I realize my creation will be limited to what the available syntax allows. I don’t consider CoG titles to be sandbox role-playing games by any means. So … as a player, I don’t expect every single option for my character to be open to me. As an author, I don’t expect to be able to code every single option either. Which is pretty much how I approach most interactive fiction platforms in general. As an author, if I were building a sandbox RPG, I wouldn’t be using an IF engine/platform. And as a player, if I wanted to play a sandbox RPG, I wouldn’t be looking to an IF engine/platform either.

As for the CoG platform, I would like the default format to be more extensible via internal syntax, including css and javascript rather than me having to edit the html after compile. Also, syntax for arrays, including data maps, would be nice but I can pretty much work around that limitation.

I have experience with other IF platforms so keep in mind, this is a newbie’s perspective with regard to CoG. I’m well aware I may have no idea what I am talking about. :stuck_out_tongue:

Have fun!



Personally, my biggest problems with CoGs and HGs is that sometimes the stats can easily end up dominating the experience. Stats provide possibilities that could never be achieved without them. However, a great many games and WiPs have fallen into the trap of linearizing their game due to what I feel is an over-reliance on stats. The games I’m talking about are the ones that regularly provide you with 4 different options, but each of those options, except the one that utilizes your character’s favored stat, leads to failure. The game play is reduced to “click on the option that you are good at”, and the story becomes suddenly limited as there is only ever one or two valid options available.

The other thing I dislike is when writers focus on breadth rather than depth. This is most common with weaponry or powers. ESPECIALLY weapons. The author wants to provide the reader with the opportunity to wield whatever weapon, power, or magic they want. However, the author has to code different text for every single weapon or power they provide. The author then spends hours typing up a dozen variations to the same scene with little to no meaningful difference between the options. I should note that this only applies if the breadth of choices isn’t the focus of the game as it is in games like Life of Wizard.


well by using variables for each weapon, you could lessen the amount of typing you have to do, still gets tricky but it can be done.

The “one perfect playthrough” endings. Once reached, they kill the game forever, any new replay would be either the same or inferior.


To be honest, the turn offs for me when it comes to a game is low replayability, a wide array of overpowered characters (sometimes a stable worker can just be a stable worker, he doesn’t need to be the king’s best warrior in retirement), romance at inappropriate times, linear gameplay, and unrealistic reactions from npcs.


I dislike it when there are too many stats involved in a game. I end up obsessing over them and fretting over possible bad ends and that takes me away from the story itself.
Another thing I hate is when the game focuses so much on choice or crams so much into one game that the characters end up being insignificant. Life of a Wizard, for example, wasn’t very fun for me. There were no characters I could form a connection with, nothing that drew me in. Which doesn’t mean it’s a bad game, mind you (many people love games like that), it’s just not the kind of game I want to read.
Another thing is romance that’s obviously just there for romance’s sake, with characters whose only purpose it is to be a LI. I much prefer to meet characters who are involved in the story, who serve their own purpose. The chance to fall in love with them is icing on the cake.