Greetings! New User and, hopefully, future author here


#1

Hey all, I’ve just recently discovered Choice of Games and their choicescript. Marvelous stuff and reading some of their work and some of the work of the users has inspired me to start taking a crack at it.

I have a quick question to the CoG users and authors however. I noticed that the Hosted Games are all public submissions and there aren’t a whole lot despite the forums and userbase seemingly being pretty active. Is that because it’s very difficult to become a Hosted Game for CoG or is it because it’s just very difficult to complete a choicescript project? Or both?

Also would anyone have any advice for a writer trying to create a choicescript game? How long do text adventure players typically expect from these kinds of things?

Thanks!


#2

Peace be upon you. Hello and welcome to Choice of Games. This is a ‘mythical’ land that has many games, people, dot/void and poison assassins, nyan cats, etc.

About the Hosted Games, anyone can make those games and ChoiceScript (the code language used) is fairly easy. However authors tend work on them a lot, e.g. Zombie Exodus has about 500,000 words, but it is not just quantity but quality as well. So it takes some time to write such a great game.

Here are some websites to help you make a game if you want to:



http://countersongscloset.webs.com/tutorial

Have fun. I grant you the title of “New Choice of Gamer”. You are one of us now. And for $0.99, I will also give you an Owl Wisdom Blessing. Have Fun. Peace.


#3

Hi Lizardfolk and welcome to the forums.

It’s not difficult to become a Hosted game. They accept anything, within reason. It’s the getting the project finished that’s the challenge.

There’s a whole lot of games that are works in progress. You’ll find in any game-making community though that there’s more of us to brim with ideas and who start games than those who actually get anything finished enough to submit. Often real life hits, or we end up drifting away and taking up another hobby. It’s the same in writing communities, more people start their epic novel than will ever finish it.

Also most people here are hobbyists, many with full time jobs, or who go to school. They don’t make their living out of writing and making a choice of game is just a fun sideline which may bring in some pocket money if it does ever get finished.

Choice of Games is still relatively new. We’re starting to see epic projects like Sabres of Infinity, and Zombies Exodus finishing. Those are epics, 200,000 words, 500,000 words, that takes a while to write.

As for how long, if you’re going for a hosted game length doesn’t matter. You could make it a short game, you could make it a longer one. That choice is yours. Create a bush (a short game with multiple pathways and a pile of choices that matter) or a tree (a longer, mostly linear game with just a few branches). That’s up to you.

My advice is start small. Don’t try and do too much at once. Focus on getting it finished. You can do it!


#4

@Lizardfolk Welcome to the forum my friend need anything dont be afraid to ask anyone or PM me, and I feel the hardest thing about Choicescript that messes everyone up(myself included), they get too eager and ambitious and they usually bite off more than they can chew, writing a CYOA is very appealing premise to a wide margin of people but I feel when it comes to putting in the work people get really discouraged easily, people’s works get erased, people no longer have time to write stories, people lose interest in their project, ect. But there is no real expected limit of the stories, just write til you feel it’s done.

And the only advice I can give would be stuff given to me when I started, like dont take criticism to the heart and dont be afraid of it, everyone here only wants to see you succeed, Dont be afraid to ask for help, and most of all… dont ever give up!


#5

Thanks you all for the warm reception! I’ve actually started working on a small little story but unfortunately I’ve run into a logical snag and was hoping if someone could help.

So just some quick background about me before i talk about my problem… I have some very minor coding experience and was able to understand the tutorial fairly well. I’ve come to choicescript already understanding some stuff like Boolean and string means. I also hold a degree in screen fiction and I’ve worked as a story editor and script coverage writer for a production company in LA… So (I believe anyway) I’m set to start writing stories on a practical and theoretical basis…

But writing in text adventure proves to be… Really logically difficult… And that’s my problem. I constantly find myself lost and overwhelmed by the fact that my story has choices that I’m now starting to lose track of it all THIS early in writing…

How do you guys keep track?.. Especially since how it’s written is so linear in the code. Do you guys basically just write “stat” setting choices and mostly avoid actual story branches? Or would you recommend the story branching out occasionally and coming together?

How do you typically deal with the branches? I’m having sort of a hard time wrapping my head around it since having just another choice available blows the story execution possibilities outward by a lot


#6

@Lizardfolk Wow. If you’ve that sort of writing experience you should be able to apply to get your game as a Hosted game.

Firstly, I use Notepad++ I find that helps.

Secondly, I write in an episodic format. I try to have each Episode end at a similar point and I aim for all my various branches to converge onto that point. So regardless of the choices made, you end up at the same(ish) place with just a few differences.

So for my game, Julia Caesar and the Great Fire of Rome, I had a vast array of choices that could be made within the adventure on how you dealt with things. However regardless of which choices were made the fire would always be extinguished by the end of the episode (fires do always burn out even if you’re being an arsonist and helping it spread) and the Emperor would always be dead. Things like who killed the Emperor, if you knew he was dead, how much of the city the fire destroyed, if you rescued some people, were subject to change and I kept track of that using variables. But the ending point being roughly the same kept everything manageable and means when I do get to writing Episode 2 I have only one point I need to start with, which will then branch out again and then converge at the same point again.

That’s how I do it. I try and keep things under control and I do that by just thinking Episodes. Those old choose your own adventure games would do it by having you die if you ended up doing something too wildly off plot.

Now, how I keep track is that I use Twine (http://gimcrackd.com/etc/src/) to create a story-map. I find that it really helps me to see the story branches visually. I just use it for a rough outline but when I start getting overwhelmed by the branches I take a breather and I map them out in Twine so I can work out how to untangle things.

Which of the Choice games have you played on the site? Which are your favourites? I could try using one of those as an example of how they manage to keep track of things. Most of the games are fairly linear in regards to the main story.


#7

There’s an old post about this (keeping track of choices)


#8

@Lizardfolk I’ve recently had some similar difficulties with figuring out how to properly branch the game I’m creating. The articles in the Game Design category of the CoG blog ( http://www.choiceofgames.com/category/blog/game-design/ ) were helpful, especially this one --> ( http://www.choiceofgames.com/2010/01/vignette-structure-as-a-means-of-controlling-branching/ ) Best of luck to you. :wink:


#9

@Lizardfolk - How long do text adventure players typically expect from these kinds of things?

It varies, there has been debates on here about it and I submitted a topic on that subject when I started on my own game. Generally, the upper-limit of one and a half pages in word per ‘page’ is about bearable for most. But you should write for your own story, don’t feel the need to add exposition where it’s not needed and vice versa.

My writing ‘flowchart’ style is similar to @FairyGodfeather - most choices branch off, some into ‘new’ stories others (the majority) taper back in to align with the main plot. Generally a core story that runs through the entire chapters are easier to manage than writing unique paths for each and every choice.

Have a go, take it slow, maybe do a few small test runs before you launch into a massive project and most of all enjoy it.


#10

Thanks for the quick and great responses guys! I’ll take a few days to ponder all this through. Cheers!