Games with little description/narrative

Most stories/games I’ve seen are very descriptive. Like a novel. I get that. Most choicescript products are stories on steroids. I’m wondering though if there are any out there that are light on the description, focusing more on choices, letting the reader fill in the blanks with their imagination.

Another version would be where the limited story details support an RPG style journey where battles, stats, and the like are the main concern. Less narrative IOW.

Any recommendations along these lines?

Have you explored the Zombie Exodus series?

Looks interesting. Still heavy on the narrative in spots, but worth looking into for later.

The Lost Heir series is also very heavy rpg … but it too is narrated.

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Life of a Wizard, which like Lost Heir is also by @Lucid, is very much RPG-inspired but much lighter on the narrative than the Lost Heir series. I would recommend it as definitely worth a look if you’re wanting RPG and not a great deal of exposition. (:


I think swamp castle from memory might be along the lines of what you’re looking for.


Yeah both Life of a Wizard and Life of a Mobster are very flexible in terms of having names for various characters, and they have broad sweeps of arcs for storylines.

(Life of a Wizard for example is basically in four parts - a flexible opening for why the player wants to be a wizard, their training, their adventures in a RPG style party, and their role as court wizard to the new king. In some respects it’s my favourite COG as a result.)

I don’t know if there’s been a game yet like Skyrim, where you feel you can just wander around and discover all sorts of things, rather than one core narrative or broad strokes of arcs.


No, there where several attempts but no one was finished too much working for the gain. Cs is not the appropriate system to an open world game rpg


As @poison_mara said, Choicescript is not the best medium to do this, and this is not necessarily what the readers of these games want. Basically, my game, Tokyo Wizard, has an average wordcount per read of over 30,000 words (half of a Harry Potter novel, and almost as long as an entire fighting fantasy gamebook -not the playthrough but the entire book). Yet, there are still many reviews that complain it is “too short”. This kind of review then in turn makes me want to expand the descriptive part of the story. However, you might still enjoy the RPG elements of it (choosing spells, etc…)

Otherwise, my old WIP “The Nebula” was also along these lines, and who knows, maybe one day I’ll finish it. It was built around the idea of a starship captain rooming freely through star systems, planets, etc… but, this creates soooo much work. Maybe I should re-upload it sometime (it became unplayable when dropbox changes its policy…)


I just played a little of your suggestion. Very much my cup of tea. Thanks.


I quickly flipped through a few choices on Swamp Castle. Very much to my liking. Thanks for the suggestion.

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I can see where an open story line would be hard to do in CS. It’s probably difficult no matter how you do it. Besides, I would think that there would have to be some sort of a story line, even if it’s just presented in small bursts (what I’m looking for).

You can’t please everyone. I played Avast, Ye Mateys! a while back, and although I liked it, it was too repetitive, not enough narrative … or at least not enough narrative variety. But I liked it for its brevity and semi-RPG style (though it wasn’t necessarily about leveling up).

I think the only way to do something like that in CS would be to keep the narrative short. Perhaps have a central menu you come back to, a homebase if you will. From there you could choose to travel to different places, talk to different people.

At the beginning, your character wouldn’t know what to ask, but as you learn more of the story, more questions are open up to you, and then you can go back and talk to the same people again. The idea reminds me of the Nancy Drew games my wife used to play.

But it would still have a narrative.

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My personal opinion if a TEXT only game has no narrative what hell is the point? You enter forest go left right There is a treasure pick no pick…
That is not open world thats not a cog… is like a half Backed if bread.

I didn’t say no narrative. I said less narrative. And even open world games often have a story, sometimes more than one. There should be a way to win or loose the game, not just walk around exploring stuff. The exploration aspect progresses the narrative.

But I don’t need to know every character’s backstory—tell me what I need to know and move on. And if it’s an interesting backstory, don’t throw it at me all at once. Small bits keep my attention better. IOW, keep the info dumping to a minimum.

I also don’t need to know what happens in a scene with exquisite detail. It may not be purple prose, but I get lost in the endless details. Taking pages and pages of a real book to have a conversation because every emotion, action, and everything else has to be included. I know that’s overkill, but I’ve seen stories like that, and while others appreciate it, I’m usually turned off.

Interesting you say that, because I have toyed with the idea of a game - whether I do it on CS, Twine or both - where you have a time machine as a homebase as you describe it, and can actively chose from a selection of locations across history (and possibly the future, assuming I can think of some logical different future possibilities) with a focus on exploration and encountering people of the time (both famous and not). But whilst I would like to do that I think that I would still try and have a core story, possibly that you trying to locate the original creator of the time travel device (which is randomized) or taking part in missions and puzzles across history, maybe to open up new areas or new options. I think a game like that has some promise, so long as there is some level of core purpose, but people do like to explore interesting places.

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Stay tuned for the announcement of my game. I like to think your imagination will be heavily invoked.

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You’ve got me intrigued.

I love your story idea. Time travel is one of my most favorite sub-genres of sci fi. I would definitely like to be a beta reader if you get it to that stage. Perhaps even help with the story itself if you would welcome the company.

Thanks! Time Travel is a fav concept of mine too and there hasn’t been that many games (interactive fiction or otherwise) which have given you such control over when and where you go, so I would like to try and do something to rectify that. Plus I am a former History University Student (and a massive Doctor Who fan) so as you can imagine I love the past and the idea of exploring it. And sure, I’ll send you a message so we can discuss ideas! :slight_smile:

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