Many Choices or Fewer Choices and A Lot of Story


#1

Hi, I’m new here as you can see. I’ve read/played several of the games. The ones I’ve read are very high quality and very enjoyable. I’ve downloaded both the free versions and bought several games. Slightly off subject: I like paying for quality internet “stuff” (games, books, programs, info, etc. I value the stuff I pay for.)
I am a writer, mostly news.
When I played ‘Choice of the Dragon’ I felt like I was making choices on each page.
When I played ‘Way Walkers: University’ I felt like I was reading a novel/book with many pages of text and a few choices.
IMHO both of these games were 4.5 stars (out of 5). They are very well done and I enjoyed both.
I did Google my question on the CoG website. I heartily agree with the people who wrote that, to be compelling the reader must feel that their choices really make a difference. Credit to, Vendeta: Choices vs story

My Question: Of those two types of presentation, i.e. Choices on almost every page or A Lot of text/story with fewer choices, Which of those two types of game gets downloaded more and hence is more popular?


#2

It all depends on the writing and if the choices actually make a difference. There are actually a couple titles where you both almost never get choices and almost never get to change the story. I think striking a balance is good. I try to give choices a decent amount of effect, and give them around every 1.5 pages or so.


#3

Great question. I’m looking forward to hearing other people’s thoughs as well.

I consider myself a writer first, gamer/coder second. Most of the projects I am working on are ones that I had done a lot of work on already as “regular” fiction, so I feel like my work is more like a novel with choices than a game…and that’s the way I want it to be.

That said, I don’t like the wall-o-text you get in some games. Maybe I have the attention span of a gnat, but I read about four paragraphs and then click next, so when I write I try to have lots of short pages of text and choices, rather than long pages of text.


#4

I don’t think it matters so long the choices matter and have an impact on the story. The worst thing you can do, in my opinion, is to make a story too linear. Personally, I aim for a meaningful choice every 2-3 pages or so, as that fits my story and writing style the best.


#5

2-3 pages sounds like a lot of text, but I wouldn’t even care as long as I was given 3+ choices each time, and a decent portion of all that text was changed because of my previous choice(s).


#6

It’s probably a bad idea to compare Waywalkers to Choice of the Dragon. Waywalkers is a hosted game. Choice of the Dragon was the first choice game and is also free.

You can’t really compare the popularity of the Hosted and Choice Of Games either, since Choice Of games get more exposure and so tend to sell better. And Choice of Games have certain guidelines they need to follow, whereas people are free to implement choices however they like in Hosted games.

I’m out of the loop in regards to sales figures now so I couldn’t tell you which of the Hosted Games are the most popular, and if the amount of choice allowed has any impact on this.

Comparing the official games to each other, and discounting the free ones, I believe Heroes Rise is the most successful. Have a look at it and how it implements choices. There’s a fair amount of choices offered even if not all of them have an impact.


#7

Well, I believe Heroes Rise is an exception to every rule, so perhaps it’s not best to base anything off of that series. :slight_smile:

EDIT:
For example:

Don’t charge $4 for 100k words! …unless it’s Heroes Rise.
Don’t make most of the choices fake! …unless it’s Heroes Rise.
Etc xD


#8

@Samuel_H_Young You’re being unfairly critical of Heroes Rise. I think there’s many lessons that can be learned from it. It is the biggest success after all. Maybe it’s the genre, maybe it’s the writing, the plot, maybe it is the length, or the use of choices, or anything else. Probably it’s a factor of all of these.

There’s no rule that says don’t make most of the choices fake, and it’s not true that most of those in Heroes Rise are.

Let me grab a quote from Jason on my thread discussing games solely made of fake choices.

I don’t believe there’s a rule about the charges either. I know that originally Heroes Rise had a sale for $1 though. Its prices have fluctuated. Besides it’s quality that counts, not word count.


#9

I actually didn’t mean it in a bad way. HeroFall is one of my favorite CoGs, actually. I just don’t think this would work for anyone but Zachary, nor have I seen it happen yet.


#10

I don’t know what sells best, but in my opinion giving the reader/player significant choices is more important than how frequently they get choices.


#11

A long story seems to be an absolute must in most cases. Shorter stories really get people angry xD but yeah, significant choices are the best.