Hidden or Greyed out?


I’m curious do people prefer having choices they can’t pick greyed out or completely hidden?


Greyed out choices annoy me, I just keep going “WHY?” all the time whenever I cannot do it. However it points out different oppurtunities within the story.

Hidden choices however can create an illusion of not having any choice, which is strange in a choice game, but can actually work if you’re clever about it.


I use hidden ones throughout my game, but then use greyed out options within the Reflection feature to point out to the player that there has been many choices that they’ve not found or discovered. I believe it works.

As for other games, I really don’t mind. I think it depends on the game really. Greyed out options suite some games, but can feel out of place in others.


Depends of situation. Most of time i prefer grey out , to watch possible replay value or just think if i really have correct stats. Hidden are from keep me away of spoilers My charscter couldnt know. A example i made a no brains character that cant figure out a complot about poison the king. If i say greyed out a Advert king his drink is poisoned. I get mad you spoil all the scene! and the replay value of choose a smart one .


It depends on the situation and the meaning of choice.

  1. If there is a possibility that a choice might be left on only one option being available based on the player’s previous actions, then greying out is preferred because having only one option in a choice looks kinda silly to me. Hiding some, but not all options is okey if there is a lot of possibilities and they would clutter the screen.

  2. Graying out is also preferred when wanting to hint the players they could have done something earlier to be able to solve the current situation in a different manner. This goes only if the current choice is big or the thing the players could have done is big. Low-meaning stuff is preferred hidden.

  3. Hiding options is preferred when the main character’s personality comes into play because greyed out options would break immersion for being too much out of place.

  4. Hiding is also good for dialogue options because greyed out ones would clutter the page. That is, if there is a lot of dialogue options. If there are only a few options and some are unavailable for some reason or another, then graying them out is fine.

  5. An exception to hiding dialogue options. Options that are about items carried by the player are preferred grayed out even when there are a lot of dialogue options.

All in all, my stance is similar to BlazedStorm’s. That’s what I am doing in my game. When I am playing other people’s games, I don’t mind any of the two options in any case. Even a choice with seemingly only one option is fine.


I prefer greyed out. Hidden options can give you the impression that you’re given far less choices than you actually are. Also, greyed out give the reader hints as to what he can do had he made different choices.


I’d say greying out should be used when you have a choice that isn’t plot spoilery.

Use the hidden option if simply graying it out would spoil a side plot leading up to that point.

BTW: how do you gray something out?


@Yamamato *selectable_if


*selectable_if (variable)

Something along those lines? Seems simple enough.




IME, players consistently under appreciate hidden options, because they don’t know that their experience is customized to their personality; they just think the author didn’t bother to provide additional options, and so they complain about it. For this reason, I tend to avoid hidden options.

When using unselectable options, it’s sometimes nice to tell the player about the requirements to access them by putting a hint in the option text. It can be as simple as:

*selectable_if (Charm > 50) # Convince them to let us go. (Charm > 50%)

It’s annoying but possible to put up that hint only if the option is not selectable:

*temp hint
*set hint ""
*if Charm <= 50
    *set hint "(Charm > 50%)"
    *selectable_if (Charm > 50) # Convince them to let us go. ${hint}

I should probably add a feature to ChoiceScript to make that easier.


If it’s something related to stats, I think greyed out works better, so the player can see that their stat choices were actually meaningful, and in a story context, the player character might actually be thinking “Damn if I only were stronger I could break open the door.”

For choices that have to do with story points (like, betray the king with the help of your allies in court) I vastly prefer hidden ones, because again, some players might never have wanted to betray the king previously, so why would their character even think about it? Plus, it can be good to avoid spoiling things.


Unless there’s some reason for the PC to consider the option, I’d rather have it hidden. The greyed out options are annoying to me when they constantly pop up.

More specifically, I’d prefer that options not be greyed out and limited by stats, but have consequences for choosing to take the option without having the sufficient stats to pull it off. That’s a lot of extra work for writers, though. :frowning:


As another thing to add, I would much prefer to have stat based choices available if you meet the demands or not and then have different responses from the game. Example:

You have the choice to kick the door down. Why grey it out if the player doesn’t have, lets say, 50 strength? Realistically, you’re not going to think: ‘I want to kick this door down but my strength isn’t high enough.’
Instead, I prefer being able to select the option regardless of the stat, but as a result achieve different responses. If your strength is high enough then success! If not you hurt your foot.

Okay it’s a pretty bad example, but yeah…


@BlazedStorm: In a case like that, I like it when the game changes the wording of the choice.

if your stat is high enough: “I kick the door down.”
if your stat isn’t high enough: “I think I can kick the door down” or “I’ll try to kick the door down.” And then you break your toe.

On the theory that even the weakest person can try to kick the door down. And fail humiliatingly.


That makes a lot of sense. But in a lot of cases, not having the right stat would make the choice impossible. What if there was an option to pick a lock with your lock pick, but you didn’t have one?


@Samuel_H_Young: If it’s a ye olde Infocom game it would tell you “I see no lock pick here” :slight_smile:


And then you’d have to pick a different choice xD


@Samuel_H_Young Wouldn’t a choice like that be based off your inventory rather than your stats? In a situation like that I would display different choices.

If you had no lock picks, you could have a choice saying search around for a suitable alternative.

If you had one left, have a choice saying use your final lock pick.

And if you had more than one just gave the normal choice saying pick the lock.

Then I would have different responses based off your lock pick skill.


Yeah that’s true.