Most hated thing or mechanic in choice games (and other games)

No, I knew what you meant. Relationship stats track the small decisions you make over the course of the game so they can mean something bad later.

It’s a good thing to track small variations in how people respond to you agreeing and disagreeing with them. And it can reflect personalities. Perhaps some people don’t care if you agree with them. Perhaps some people like to be challenged and will like you better if you disagree with them. Perhaps some people significantly react to it. And perhaps some people swing wildly, relationship-stat-wise. Only stats can do this unless you are willing to write hundreds of branches.


This would be the author playing God. For instance, protagonist runs a race for like ten pages, a very thrilling and exciting race, the current leader of which is determined by the choices you make, plus stat modifications. At the end of it you are almost about to win, then someone trips you. And you fall and everyone passes you - no stat check allowed.

You can easily see here that the entire race seems rigged… no matter what the actual outcome is, you will trip and fall and lose. Isn’t it a ridiculous waste of effort then? why did you spend ages consulting the stats and considering the possibilities, and then finally choosing the right ones and coming out ahead, only for the author to say “doesn’t matter, you lose anyway” ?

If you’re going to railroad it, why write a game at all? a railroaded game isn’t a game, it’s a story. Why make someone make a choice that affects nothing? why does the choice exist then? I mean if you want to tell a story, tell a story. If you want to make a game, make a game. Why would you write a game, that is actually a story, and fill it full of fake choices that mean nothing? you’re just going to make the reader feel like he’s wasted his time and all his effort counted for nothing :slight_smile:


Are you arguing that there’s no overlap between “game” and “story?” You seem to treat them as different creatures. The reason I like HGs and CoGs so much as that many of them blend both “game” AND “story” together so well.

Unless you’re designing a pure sandbox type of game where characters can just run around at their leisure (nothing against those!), you need a narrative. You need a plot.

Plots usually have specific events like exposition/inciting incident, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution. Plots, especially in stories like thrillers, adventures, action, generally have a series of “yes, but” scenes where even if the protagonist does well, it’s only temporary, as the stakes continue to rise.

So yes, if an author is focusing on writing an engaging plot, the author will likely include some scenes that occur no matter what, just to act as tent poles for the narrative structure. And yes, that might include some “forced fails.” In your example, let’s suppose the race scene introduces the antagonist to the MC/reader. Maybe it’s vital that the antagonist win the race, and maybe it creates even stronger emotions from the reader if the reader feels “they were screwed.” Perhaps that would explain a scene being written that way.


True enough but if I that was the case I’d rather have him being tripped in a hallway or something (and even then there should be a check) - there doesn’t necessarily need to be a fail, I think the bad blood is established whether the act fails or not. There was a lot of bad blood going on already, so it wasn’t an introduction.

But yeah, maybe the author was trying to make you feel screwed. I guess some people might enjoy that, but personally I don’t enjoy feeling screwed so I’d rather not have that in a game.

Even a 10 pages story about you racing to the end only to get tripped would feel cheap, no matter if it’s in a book or a game.


Totally agree. IMO this brand of storytelling heavily relies on the reader being immersed. As soon as the author or narrator— or whoever talks to me, commenting on something I just did like they phased through the 5th demension just to boo at me, immersion dead, I almost immediately want to stop reading lolol (I remember this happened once in Psy High when I tried doing something nice for my mom and the mysterious 3rd voice that wasn’t me or my mom said something like “well that’s very nice of you isn’t it?” :face_with_raised_eyebrow: thanks?)

Unless it’s done for the purpose of comedy (that involves the characters rather than the author) or is in some way relevant to the plot, I think breaking the 4th wall would then be appropriate

I feel it’s dependent. I don’t think a finished release should have the author making on comments on decisions themselves in finished releases.

However, in W.I.P.'s there are reasons to why an author might want to point something out. If I’m making an incredibly branching game, with a multitude of options that do different things, then I feel it’s justified to give players some indication which routes aren’t fleshed out. That way they know in current versions which options work and if they see a particular one that isn’t completely fleshed out, they know not to waste their time on it. Ideally, you WOULD wait until you have everything as mapped out as you can, yet, sometimes it’s possible that authors just get excited at what they’ve worked on and want to show off to the audience(I have a bad habit of this myself.) It just seems like it would be more bothersome as far as WIP’s go to let players take routes that end much more abruptly than others.

In the sense of finished projects, there are probably times where it works, though I’m not totally sure of good examples.

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Of course, but in the context of an author having to give information to the reader outside the main body of the story (in a WIP or otherwise) it’s not really 4th wall breaking and acts more as an authors note(?). Honestly, I find no issue with the author needing to tell the reader how their stat system works or that some parts are still under construction nor do I find it immersion breaking. It’s a necessary thing and I appreciate it. It’s just when the author or an unestablished voice passes judgment on something I just said or did for no particular purpose.

As for finished releases, If I remember correctly, Choice of the Deathless and Fatehaven both used 4th wall breaking as a (brief) plot device. I didn’t find that immersion breaking and I enjoyed it but hey that’s just me.

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The miss click is a big one on larger stories. A miss click at the end of taley ho is very frustrating. A miss click at the end of part one of ZE:SH is despair worthy.


As someone who tends to get really obssessive with their stats, I dont mind a little “x has increased/decreased” like how Samurai of Hyuga does it, it keeps me from having to check my stat page every time i make a choice and i dont find it immersion breaking, rather the opposite. It gives you more detail on the action you just took.


Most hated thing in CoG’s?
Playing as a pre-established/non-customizable character.
Detective/police/military stories. Really sick of seeing these everywhere.
Management games, chose your own adventure games really aren’t the medium for those. If I wanted to play them I would just play Civilization or Stelaris.


I found myself that speed reading is prone for misclicking. While this rarely happens, it’s likely to be the case when it comes to the typical “choice hub.”

Swiping gesture is actually works great for me when it comes to “are you sure you pick this?”, since the option would be highlighted in dark blue.

Regrettably I’m a frequently relied upon person in my household, and often find myself interrupted to complete some benign task. This leads to some impatience on my part upon returning.

I’ve also been something of a speed reader from the age of 12 and the hecticness of adult life has only encouraged my frenzied reading.

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