More or less choices

When your story presents a choice do you think more choices or less choices increases excitement for the reader?

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It depends a lot on the event and the consequences of these choices. One thing I hate is choices that have no purpose and do not add necessary information to the story, except when it’s a trap (if you choose one, the others are unavailable)


I like having lots of choices for characterisation purposes, although it can complicate things if you have lots of non-flavour choices, that can lead to a heavier amount of work to make sure the choices aren’t just cosmetic.

I’m not against having less choices though, if amongst the few choices presented there’s at least one that’s consistent with how the character has been played when the choice is presented.

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depand on the choices…really .

More choices are good but only if they are really different . But if the choices all bring you to the same path…whats the point ?

I think this question carries the same idea with “how often do choices should show up?”

And for both, my answer: what do you want to imply to the reader/player?

You can’t really consider the aspects of design as an individual entity. The {number of choices} will give different feeling in combination with the {weight of the options}. And then, you also need to consider the {importance of the decision} made by the player (fake choice?).

My verdict, don’t look at how many options you want to put. Look at what you want the reader to experience.


See, I really like having choices like that.
No big decision, no stat change, just letting me decide how my character reacts to stuff.
It’s one of the thing that makes me feel like I’m roleplaying, not just reading an interactive story or strange picture-less visuel novel…


This is an interesting point, and one that I struggle with myself.

My conclusions so far (and note that these regard my own style, and I would like to hear what others think…) are that it depends on the type of choice you are offering. Let’s say you can classify choices into the following types:

A. Completely fake choices (No matter what you choose the text will not change what-so-ever, and no stats will change) Here, no matter how many choices you offer, readers will feel cheated/annoyed, etc. Maybe not in the first playthrough, but it will surely hit on the second. To be avoided, in my opinion!

B. Fake cosmetic choices. Nothing really changes in the story, but some small variable will be altered. For example, eye colour, or clothes. Here, the more choices you offer, the better! (you let the player express themselves!)

C. Fake dialogue choices, with minor personality consequences. Again, as per B. Nothing changes, but you let the character express their character. The more the better, allowing readers to roleplay different ways. However, for it to work something must change (relationship with another character, etc). I always suggest altering the text slightly (“Dr. Smith frowns after hearing your answer”)

D. Real choices, with consequences that alter the text. These are fun to implement, but as you put more of them in your game complexity starts to increase. Headaches multiply. Your willingness to work on a game decreases exponentially with the number of these choices that you introduce in the text.

E. Real choices that lead to minor path deviations (like side missions level). Now you start to get into trouble. The more of these you put in, the more work you get yourself into. I prefer to limit these to a handful during the game.

F. Real choices that modify the path of the game. And this is the big one really. Each choice then requires you to effectively write a new path, which can easily lead to a LOT of work. I tend to limit these to around 3 sets, towards the end of my game.


I really like these, too, so long as I can separate them from the major, stat-changing ones. I kind of wish there was a way to color-label choices. That way I could mark them as huge branch selection choices, stat-changing choices, and role-playing choices.

I also find that the “flavor” choices that don’t alter stats do surprisingly a lot for readers to mitigate the effect of feeling “railroaded” by the MC’s characterization. That’s pretty anecdotal, though.

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I said different path . Didn’t say 'big decisions ’ . Just different path .

Like picking a lock…busting a door or sneaking by the window…

well would be nice to have a different reaction to the path you choose .

And yes I know you said ‘no stat change’ . So imagine a story , where you choose a reaction like ‘Sit next to X…keep standing…walk away’ . :stuck_out_tongue: no stat there as far as I know .

my point…was that some of the dialogues often…are just there for flavores . And they lead to the same scene . I know , writing more scene…mean…more writing , more brances…more stuff .
But still…

I like when an action actually matter , when what you say actually matter . Even if the ‘reactions’ are small . Small stuff DO matters…