Making a multiple-part story


#1

So I’m been thinking about making Swish have two games. What I’m wondering is how difficult is it to have a CYOA game as a series? Are stats easy to make transferable with a save state? How hard is it to balance the plot holes that be create by such mass amounts of different choices?

Mainly juat wondering if it’s a suggested path for a newbie loke me.


#2

I don’t think it’s ever the suggested path.

Some of us do end up taking it anyway.


#3

I would agree with @Havenstone. I think the answer to “how difficult” is “really difficult.” I would recommend a stand-alone project if you consider yourself a newbie.


#4

The Road Not Taken
by: Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

#5

I concur with “really difficult.” I’m in the middle of testing Part 2 of a series and it’s a lot more complicated than I thought. Not only do you have to make sure everything mechanically and plotwise works within the new installment, you have to consider everything that happens in the context of the larger story. You also have to figure out how variables carry over from Part 1, and what’s good/bad/okay in terms of variable scores, so you can keep going with reasonable stat checks. You also need to figure out what variables to just ignore moving forward, because you can’t keep up with “remembering” everything that’s happened through the code.

CoG frequently uses the arm/hand analogy when describing what an interactive novel might look like. The arm is like 75% of the story where things stay fairly linear, and then it branches all over the place in the last 25% or so, like the fingers of a hand.

With a two-part series, I think you have to consider Part 1 all arm. And with my trilogy, I have to consider Part 2 as all arm as well. If you start sprouting fingers in the middle of a series, I’m not sure how you ever manage to finish. For me, the fingers will all be in Part 3.


#6

Yay, here I am for all the advice I wish I had followed before we published our first game in a series and also to say “same!” Everyone here already nailed it. :laughing:

I will add, though, as far as the code itself for transferring the save files from one game to another, that is all done on CoG’s end. You just have to make sure you account for the same variables to carry over, if that makes sense/helps. Good luck!!! It can be done and I have elaborated on the pros of doing so before, but there are also cons, as you have read here.


#7

Adding to what @Eric_Moser was saying about mechanical structure - to avoid issues like stat inflation, retconning and re-inventing the same thing over and over, if you do write a series or serial, you will want to think about making your mechanics for the long term.

One of the traps that developers continually get into is that they design the perfect stats and mechanics for right now but ignore “what then.”

What I mean by this is, at the end of the first game, what happens next with everything. If you do not think about that now, it will bite you later.

This is part of the gaming development that is not really answered by the arm and fingers model of IF development. We are talking about the bones(mechanics) and not the muscles (writing) that power your series or serial.


#8

Thanks everyone for all the advice. After reading your reply’s I don’t know if I should attempt multiple games, with the lack of experience I currently have.

One of my worries was branching choices and the long term effects. Not sure I could keep track of everything with my current schedule. I’m glad I know that CoG helps with the transfer, for future stories.

Ill rework my outline till I can fit both stages of the story into one…which might make it quite long. Very helpful advice!