I wrote a game for LordIrish’s competition that had a number of rooms (I think the number I finished before submitting was ten.) I used a random number generator to select which room people ended up in, then let them leave and try again if they wanted a different room, but you could just as easily have a list of ten options for where to go.
Basically, each room is largely self-contained. There’s a variable for each room that tells whether it was visited. (You could add one to say how many times the room has been visited, if you want there to be more scenes in the same location if you go back.) Most of the interaction between rooms was by means of stats (if you discovered more of the mystery, your “Awareness” went up, which would let you ask more specific questions in a later room.) But I could also use “if (room visited)” (text referring back to what you saw there) to link them in the story.
So, the easiest thing to do is have a sort of hub that players can return to between visiting different areas, then choose again where to go. Don’t allow them to return to the hub until they’ve finished the scene there, then if they return to that area, it will be the next section of the story there rather than having to remember exactly where they left off.
We’re trying to code something like that for @fantom’s collaborative game idea, and are figuring out how complicated to make it in terms of how often you can leave, how often you can return, and how many items/skills/discoveries in one area will be necessary to solve something in another.
To keep it simple, keep your scenes in that area self-contained as much as possible. Having been to the garden doesn’t have too many other variables affecting it, all that really matters is once you rejoin the main plotline, do you have a flower or don’t you?
You’re fine! You’ve been giving a lot of helpful advice lately, keep it up.