First Person vs. Second Person

Yeah, There is Fatehaven and Samurai . But in both choices are utterly meaningless. Your choices do absolutely nothing . a set protagonist and set gender etc only would be great if choices did matter and you could change the character and the outcome. But authors don’t like that so they make all choices end exactly same or with only a type of personality.

I think I understand what you mean about simple, character-based choices, but to some extent I do feel like if an author has one story they want to tell, they’d be better off just writing something traditionally. When the draw tends to be about making big changes, a story where you weren’t capable of that would feel like the author could’ve saved their energy not coding, and a story where you are capable of that doesn’t sound like what you’ve described.

Not saying it couldn’t be done, or even that it couldn’t be done well, just feel like there’s a pretty narrow window of interest there.

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In my opinion, the Samurai of Hyuga books are some of the most gripping and well-written offerings available on either HG/CoG. To be honest, most others aren’t even in the same league when it comes to creating a colorful, immersive experience.

And for me, the first-person perspective for the MC in SoH works wonderfully. I cared for my Ronin more than I cared for any other MC in any other CoG/HG, and perhaps that’s partially because I felt I was guiding him, not being him.

And based on the number of Android reviews for those games (numbers speak for themselves) I’d say there is more than a sufficient audience for that type of approach. I agree with @FairyGodfeather that there is room for varying approaches.

I’d love to see more…

  1. realistic stories
  2. first-person, more set protagonist stories
  3. stories with multiple characters you can control
  4. cross-overs between existing CoGs/HGs

I think continuing to adapt and grow and push boundaries of IF is a good thing.


I am not saying there is not market for them. I am saying I feel zero attachment to that and for me is not interactive enough since my choices mean nothing at all. They are great quality novels. There aren’t games for me. I had both bought so I am not trolling.

I would love those quality but with meaningful choices not mere cosmetic


I don’t think anyone in the community would argue otherwise. This is not addressing the perspective taken through 1st or 2nd person writing.

This is the crux of the matter. A lot of us are able to put ourselfs into the MC as we read the story. I’ve never really understood your perspective, where you can never imagine yourself other then you but I do respect it.

This is the exact same dilemma that most sport sims have: does the player direct their chosen avatar to greatness or do they make their own unique avatar to guide them in the narrative.

Personally, I can never in my life assume I can direct another person - because once I interfere and do so, that person is no longer themselves. As a consequence, I can never take over the life of another character that already exists independently of myself.

When I create my own avatar, I can always define who that person is because they would not exist without me.

It really is a matter of personal perspective and both have validity.


@poison_mara, I know you weren’t trolling. You were just expressing your opinion, as we all do here.

And @Eiwynn, maybe I will attribute my approach on growing up playing this Marvel RPG with my brothers. Because there were only three of us most of the time, we’d each have to control multiple characters, and they’d almost always be established characters like Daredevil or Spidey. So I never felt like I “was” any of the characters, but I enjoyed “guiding” them in the stories we’d create. Once in a while, we’d create original characters but they usually sucked (my brother made one called the “badger” and he had claws and a bad attitude and…I think he smoked cigars). You get the idea! Even with original characters, I never felt like I “was” one, perhaps partially because I was always controlling so many of them at once.

As to “controlling” another person, I would love to see a game where the MC breaks the fourth wall at the very beginning and tells the reader that they (the MC) has a history of making bad choices, and has decided to take your advice and act accordingly. I think it would work best in a light-hearted, romantic type of story but could be used in more serious ways as well. Imagine a down-on-her-luck character who realizes she’s hit rock bottom. She’s lost everything. She has nothing to lose by listening to your advice. I think this approach could create a VERY sympathetic character who, in effect, becomes your close friend. And I’ve learned from life experience that many folks will frequently put the needs of their friends and loved ones over their own needs. That sort of view could really create some emotional impact for that type of reader - the reader who values the friend’s needs more than anything else.

In any case, I know many folks here imagine themselves as the MC, and I totally respect that too. Heck, virtually all of the games, with second-person approaches, cater to that audience.


I understand your view, and I would love see the control of a character. If the choices were meaningful. In the high school I win a small context doing something like that you were a cat in Cinderella home. You can’t control Cinderella or other people but based in your actions you could affect lives a lot in fact you could broken the cristal shoe and with that no matter what Cinderella remain alone and prince married another realm princess. The perspective of the small story change from p of view between humans.

You could see the pretty cat is your choice helping Cinderella to gain time to sew or destroy her dress with his paws.


I respect your thoughts here but by breaking the 4th wall, the story fails for me.

What would work better for those that relate to the MC as I do, if you are placed in the story as a close confident, best friend or perhaps related family member to this girl and you try to help her from the rock bottom by giving her advise as that person.

Is this person truly an individual once you start to directly control her? If you give her advise to attend Betty Ford’s clinic to break her addictions and this character then makes that decision based on being that unique character - that is one thing. If you make the decision for her to attend the clinic, then how can this person claim to be a unique character any longer?

As I said, I totally respect your take on things and the popularity of all those sims where you take over someone’s life exist because many people share you view.


There’s plenty of choices you can still present, significant choices that have consequences, even with a set personality. It doesn’t mean your choices mean nothing.

Not quite I’m saying. I’m saying that you choose actions, not how your character feels. So you choose whether or not to shoot the villain, you don’t get a “why did you shoot the villain” choice, or a “what do you feel about it” choice. So the game will make some big assumptions about the protagonists motivations for doing what they do, it will tell ‘you’ how ‘you’re’ feeling, but most games do.

Of course the other way to write is one that you don’t tell the player how they feel, just try to evoke it.

Grabbed a link from google.

It’s that emotional impact that most writers are looking for when they reach for the second-person point of view. The second-person presents a very different emotional connection with a piece of prose than either the first or third manage. The reader is being directly addressed by the work in front of them, and it invites the reader inside the piece to experience the joy, anger, anxiety, or danger as their own personal experiences, and not simply those of a distanced character separated by the fourth wall of the page. It intensifies all of the emotions of your writing, as they reflect directly on the reader rather than on a character. (How to Write in the Second Person Point of View + Examples)

That sounds powerful to me.That’s what I was marvelling about when I read the fanfiction, the way it evoked emotions using second person in an emotionally rich way I’d not really seen in choicescript games, because we shy away from evoking emotions in such a way in favour of providing reader choice. And sometimes it’s considered a bad thing to tell the reader how they feel.

It seemed like it was. Eric did say that the games were written in first person, whereas most are written in second and that caused him to care more for his ronin.

Whereas here I’m saying that it can also be done in second person, but we tend to shy away from using the language that allows us to do so.

This is an interesting perspective. I do a lot of roleplaying too and I never really see myself as my characters. Just guiding them. Just as I’m usually not a character I play in a game, I’m just guiding them.

I think that would make for such an interesting idea. I know the Lifeline games do something similar, in so much as you’re playing as someone guiding the protagonist, but without the 4th wall breaking.


I don’t really think either is better or worse it’s better I think to find a way for you the author to discover your personal ‘tone’ every writer after a while develops a way of connecting to their audience and how they do it is quite varied.

My personal favourite is conversational 2nd person. As in the narrarator is talking to you the reader like someone at a bar telling the story back to you as if they witnessed it all just retelling it in vivid detail. “Like man you were awesome when you…” but in 2nd person the narrarator is like a disembodied all seeing being. A point of view you can actively play with a breath a personality into creating a unique tone.

One perspective I’ve yet to see would be something akin to first person narrator second person character. As in the narrarator actually exists as a character within the story telling their side as they travel with the main character. It would be an excellent way to avoid assuming the readers emotions or feeling but create your own and deepening the whole feel of it without stealing the MCs will. Seeing yourself through the eyes of another is a pretty deep feeling.


I’d love to see more of this. Watson never played a critical role in his adventures with Sherlock Holmes, but the stories where Holmes narrates just don’t have the right flavor.

I think it’d be tricky though to get the writing just right. Feels like it’d be tricky to get the reader to connect to the decisions.

ETA: You could have some fun with it if you killed the character being addressed. Sort of a “talking to your grave/spirit” thing. Also fun with action scenes and a lively character.


The tricky part is getting the reader to care about the side character or narrarator. Typically catering to their ego a little by beginning with admiration. Also allowing the reader to change things about the history between the narrarator and the MC how they met what their feelings were toward each other. Did they agree disagree? Did they understand one another. Were their secrets?

Their is one story I would love to do using this particular set up. A mysterious warrior and their young charge. Seen from the young ones eyes as this knight guides them through life or some great quest.


That makes sense. You’d get to develop both characters at once then, in a sense, without the codes spiraling out of control.

That seems like a fun idea to try with it, too. Seems like you could do a lot with the mentee narrating-- the warrior’s actions and the narrator’s interpretation of them affecting how the mentee turns out maybe.

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Yep and through those methods you tap into people’s psychology via the elder sibling or parental figure urges for good or bad. As well as tie the MC into a situation that will leave behind a legacy. And who doesn’t like being remembered!

Besides a legacy is a human nature type thing so you’ve got that nifty bit of instinct working in your favour.

Isn’t psychology fun;)


My problem is the only I get for those stories is hatred both characters. I had a big problem when someone says me YOU LOVE OR WHATEVER X DEAL WITH IT.
I need a valid reason to have empathy to care. In those kind of stories I ended or bored to death. Or wanting kill those characters I feel forced and there are not mine at all.

That’s why one shouldn’t tell the reader how to feel just let them feel. I was talking about the narrators feelings towards the player character. And make choices frome their.


Still I am not the player I am someone else. And I want hear the story of my character. I don’t care the other except few exceptions. Even if my actions influence those other I don’t care about him I cared about who supposedly I am.

I dunno. I’ve gotten attached to the full cast before, and I’ve started caring about what happens to the other characters. And I think the shift in perspective (so that ‘You’ are still the one driving the plot) would let the reader build their character.

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But this method is about seeing YOU and your actions through the eyes of someone close to you wouldn’t that be interesting?

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I mean if the thrust isn’t that your character cares, it’s that this narrator character cares, I think that works fine.

Tbh I’d also be interested in that even if it was pitched about the relationship between the narrator and the MC. It can have another plot, but if it’s described as being about this specific friendship then any players would know what they were agreeing to when they start playing and people who wouldn’t like it can avoid it

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