I hereby declare

Okay maybe the title wasn’t carefully thought out thoroughly…but hey it got your attention ^_^.

Anyway…so I noticed that choice script are normally made in second person, then came long those great minds that stand out such as @Lucid, @Sunbean, and others that I am too tired to think of/name that made their games in 3rd person choice. As if you were an immortal in the heavens looking down upon a particular person and writing their life-story. And if they so die, return them to life if you so choose. But that’s besides the point…

I call for a vote, which brings in the discussion title…to decide which is better, which is best, which do you prefer. First person Point of view (P.O.V.), Second p.o.v., or Third person p.o.v. Note this may be how you might see future games on c.o.g. Make Your Choice.

I thought choicescript games were generally written in second, not first person. With “you” instead of “I”. Yep, all the official choicescript games are written in second person.

I’m intending to use first person for my games.

I tried second and I really did not like it. It just feels so odd to tell people what they’re doing, what they’re thinking, what they’re feeling. I’d much rather write in first person, since I feel a greater freedom to do that.

I’m not that great at third either since I find it lends itself better to writers who’re more descriptive than I am, and I also find it a bit distant. It’s good if you have multiple view points.

Meaning normally choice games are written like…
~ represents choice

  • represents what happens once you make that choice.

~Blow up the capitol.
-You secretly infiltrate the capitol setting dynamite in key places and with one powerful push centuries of building and rebuilding crumbles to dust in ruin.
~Bomb the city from the sky.
-Your plane flies high over the city, you can see the citizens looking up at you as you release hold and let the bombs fall down on the city. Razing the city to the ground.

While newish choice games with 3rd person are more of…

~Billy Jean wants to kidnap the guard so she does.
-Billy jean sneaks up behind the guard and knocks him out and places him in the trunk.
~Billy Jean doesn’t want to anything so she leaves.
-Billy Jean changes her mind and sneaks away when no one is looking.

That’s second person.

First person is: “I want to kidnap the guard.”
Second person is: “You want to kidnap the guard.”
Third person is: “Billy Jean wants to kidnap the guard.”

i think 2nd person is the best because it makes it seem to the reader that the author is talking about them or asking them. so it is best for a interactive story but others can work too.

I find first-personal to be a well-meaning failure, in most cases. It tries to engage directly with the Player, to place them inside the mindset of their character by identifying them with the on-screen ‘I’, in the hope that one equates oneself fully with the PC… Only, I find that one then feels dictated to in a twofold manner: First, is that if you read “I am feeling happy”, then, what? Are you supposed to mentally parrot back “Yes, I am feeling happy”? - It’s a rather queer Game-User relationship. And secondly, by saying whatever enters one’s consciousness, one presumes far too much about how a Player is actually reacting to the situation.

Third-personal, likewise, is alien; for one is not playing as the character, but rather via an omniscient narrator, who stands aside saying “They do this, they do that! Haha! What a lark!” - The Player is no longer the PC, the Player is someone watching a Character, and issuing commandments.

Second-personal is the Golden Mean of the two.


Do you also feel that way about first person when used in non-interactive fiction?

@FairyGodfeather No, the interactive element does change things somewhat. To me, first-personal in interactive fiction reads dictatorially, whilst in non-interactive fiction it reads autobiographically. So, there I find it to be akin to thematically-nuanced third personal writing.

@Drazen lol I can see what you mean, although it is an interesting change with 3rd person it’s more like your in the distance like a puppeteer. It was alien at first, but it can be used well if it’s used right.

While first person your more of your talking to the narrator asking permission like stage.

Seeing it’s more of your in it, moving in it, and deciding what to do yourself.

So I must agree that second person is golden.

To me, first person CYOAs make them sound like its the writer actually experiencing everything rather than the reader.

In fact I’ve seen these sort of first person CYOAs written a few times and they usually are a form of author self insertion which is more than enough reason for me to stop reading. (Really dislike author self insertion)

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I never used 2nd person before trying a CoG, but as unwieldy as it is at first, I can’t see another PoV working in a CYOA story.

I find being told “you feel this” or “you do this” whatever as dictatorial. Especially if it’s a thing which I generally wouldn’t do. That said, you does become invisible after a while.

I think that while it does aid for self-insertion, and it’s particularly useful for a protagonist who is intended to be the player, or at least their stand in. It’s good if the main character doesn’t have much of a personality and you want to just insert your own.

I find it impossible to write in second person. I hate writing it. I hate telling people what they’re doing. I’ve never had to use second person before. I’ve never had to read any fiction written in second person before. So writing it always feels awkward and clumsy to me.

I’ve tried. I don’t like writing self-insertion protagonists, and I don’t like writing in second person. I’m more than happy to play games with these though.

@Endmaster Do you find that novels written in first person are a form of author self-insertion?

@FairyGodfeather If you’re told that the Character does something, and you weren’t intending for them to do it, then that’s simply a generic writing blunder, rather than one dependant upon the tense, surely?

:-? true true…

@ Fairy

No, due to the fact that a regular story is non-interactive, I already know that I’m not actually part of the story and if it’s done in first person it’s just the protagonist from the story. Author self insertion in regular stories usually takes more of the form of author surrogate which is a little different and something I can give a pass on. Usually its only crappy fan fiction where the author actually inserts themselves into the story. (Though I know there are more famous authors that have done it as well.)

In the case of a CYOA or other interactive fiction, its assumed that I’m (meaning me) supposed to be the protagonist.

If the writer is using first person perspective, with choices like “What did I do next?” or “Did I slay the dragon?” it makes it feel like I’m not actually involved and that I’m actually playing as the writer which at that point I would think “Why the hell would I want to play as you and not myself?” and stop reading.

As Drazen said, third person has similar problems, but I could still handle playing as completely fictitious character rather than as the writer.


I see from what you’re saying with the “What did you do next” does sound better than “What did I do next…”

I’m most interested in writing interactive stories with set protagonists, who are intended as neither an author or a player insert. An interactive novel, where you get to choose what the hero does, and which will influence the story, but that hero is never intended to be you.

I know there’s other games which cast you into the role of the hero, but that’s not the sort of stories that I want to tell.

Point and click adventure games used to be my favourite genre. They had stories, and set protagonists which were never me, but in the best ones I was always interested in finding out what happened next, rooting for the protagonist. I want that sort of storytelling but with more choice available, more of an option to impact on the story itself, and not just in minor ways.

So for me, second person just doesn’t work for writing those sorts of stories. I don’t think that necessarly means those sort of stories are writer inserts.

I wholeheartedly agree with @EndMaster and @Drazen. 1st person almost always is there to limit perspective and provide internal dialogue. That is great for non-int fiction, but I enjoy CYOA (especially from CoG) that does not provide as @FairyGodfeather said, “you feel this” or “you think this.” I have tried to eliminate any of that from ZE. I have no idea what you, the reader, is thinking.

I can appreciate IF that establishes a specific main character, but it generally is not something I gravitate towards. When I play IF, I want to be the MC with my personality and attitude.


@JimD hold on hold on, so what your saying is more third person perspective. Using character name in it. JimD then killed naruto with his rasengan. While if i’m seeing as @Drazen and @EndMaster are seeing then it’s more of a You then kill Naruto with a deadly blast from rasengan. Or am I simply misinterpreting here.

X_X Now wouldn’t that just be embarrassing…

My preference is 2nd-person perspectives without insertion of thoughts and emotions. I also don’t want to be told what is going on.

You walk to the door and place your hands against the surface. Intense heat radiates through the metal.

as opposed to…

You walk to the door and place your hands against the surface. Heat radiates through the metal, and you realize there is a fire raging on the other side. You feel sick at the thought of losing your belongings and vow to find the culprit who set the fire.

Mind you, early in ZE, I didn’t follow this as well as I’d like and hope to revise some of those sections later.