Polls about COG, HG, and IF games

Give me an NPC POV all time all the time lol it’s an added bonus for me if I’m romancing that NPC. I also like when some of the infodumps is handled by the NPC instead of a narrative that I have to read in the prologue, but that’s just me :blush:


Just make it absolutely clear that you’re doing a POV switch. The SINGLE problem I have with the Golden WIP (besides there not being more of it just yet) is that there’s a POV switch to an NPC and I didn’t realise the MC was no longer in the scene until like two screens in. It signals the other POV switches well.

@CC_Hill You might want to check Golden - it does a lot of POV switches, including to the ROs.

Oh, I never even CONSIDERED you might not use the third person in an NPC’s POV. Definitely don’t do that. If it’s not the MC’s POV, 3rd person, always.

In the specific case that happens in Golden I mentioned, the scene does take place in the third person. It’s just that the scene preceding it involves the MC interacting with that exact NPC, and there’s no way of telling (or, perhaps, I couldn’t tell - I’m not a native speaker, so perhaps one would notice?) the MC is not involved in the scene until several paragraphs in.


Definitely negative for me. Even if written clearly, they break immersion, and if they’re written vaguely enough that it’s not a massive spoiler, it tends to be unclear that you aren’t present.

Though I will say prologues with the MC’s parents before you are born are generally more favorable to me, but even those can be rather unclear sometimes.


Personally, I enjoy the short scenes from other POV’s, as long as they are well written (of course) and used fairly sparingly.

@JBento & @geldar
Does it help to make the scenes distinct if they are written in third person, instead of first or second, like the PC’s POV?

Ah, those tend to annoy me, most of the time. I think it’s leftover from the period (some years ago) where every second new WIP seemed to start like that.

Oh, I wouldn’t, don’t worry. And I’d want to do more than that to make sure it’s clear what is going on.

Well, I haven’t seen a POV swap that wasn’t written in third person, except in games in which you actually do control multiple characters, so I can’t really compare. But I imagine a first or second person POV swap would be very confusing.


I love how there are done in the Fallen Hero series and I wish that there was more of them.

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For as much dukey as Doomsday on Demand, it does have redeeming qualities. Most relevantly the mostly unconnected short story is put throughout the story. It shows another side of the world. Which is by itself pretty interesting, even if it has the self-awareness of a rock with sociopathy. Which is a shame because it has some cool mutants that make no sense in this story, the story would probably be better if they caused it, but that is a discussion for another day. My point is that at least in that story it works. Not in every, or even half of all stories should have it, but it can occasionally be good.

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While I don’t necessarily hate point of view changes I feel like they can feed into my biggest pet peeve in choice games. Namely the interesting npc overshadowing the bland, blank slate mc.

I don’t need my character to fulfill some power fantasy but if I’m not invested in them I probably won’t stay interested in the story.

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Yes, these scenes work best when they reveal parts of what the bad guts are doing, or what NPCs think/feel about the PC. Not to show off how awesome the author’s favorite character is.

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I voted that they are a positive, but there is one caveat: authors need to remember that the MC doesn’t know what the NPC is thinking. Just because there’s a scene giving a certain NPC’s POV, don’t write it as though the MC magically knows this information, especially if it’s a RO.

For romances, I think somehow some authors believe a RO POV can pacify a MC after a scene that is upsetting to the MC or even just to give a hint as to how the RO feels in situations where the MC is receiving little to no encouragement at all. That is a huge mistake. If you want the MC to feel better, then let them overhear a conversation where the RO says the things they aren’t ready to say to the MC or don’t understand or whatever. Making me, the reader, aware of the NPCs feelings is all well and good, but if my MC keeps getting pushed without them receiving some sort of encouragement or sign that the RO actually gives a damn about them, they will give up and playing will become damned near impossible without completely breaking immersion.

If you self-insert, it’s probably a lot easier, but when you actually RP, using NPC POVs instead of actually informing the MC of what they need to know often makes things worse, not better.


I feel like it’s often used in slow-burn romance (something I am not a fan of) to pacify the reader more than the MC, and encourage them to keep reading, because ‘look! the romance is happening, even if it doesn’t seem like it’.


I didn’t exactly dislike Golden as a game, overall, but the POV shifts didn’t really help. They were too spoilery for me and just made me eager to get to the point where I could say “Ok yes I know” ASAP. And the game does get to that point eventually, but I felt obligated to pick that option even though there isn’t any reason the MC would be so nonchalant about it, even if they’re accepting.

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Exactly, and that just makes things worse, IMO. I am not a fan of slow-burn romances either because, most times, it’s just an excuse to drag things out for a ridiculous amount of time and torture the reader (or treat all the people who love misery and angst). But, personally, I find this lazy writing–if you have to pacify the reader by giving RO POVs to keep them interested so they don’t give up and stop playing your game, you’re doing something wrong.

I just hate it when things are drawn out past the point where things are believable. There can only be so many pull backs, interruptions, and LIs being too stupid to realize they care before I’m left rolling my eyes at how dumb it all is. The only exception is if it’s pre-teens, because… well, they made no sense to me even when I was a pre-teen.


If they’re reasonably well-written and they contribute something of value to the narrative, then I certainly enjoy them to the extent that they further the story or develop characters I’m invested in. If there’s a piece of information/aspect of character the author wants me to know and they think the best way to give it to me is through a perspective switch, fine: I’d rather get it that way than not get it at all. It’s not something I prefer, but it wouldn’t keep me from finishing the game, recommending it to others, or buying later volumes of the series.

No. They usually strike me as amateurish. Writers who have mastered the art of writing from a limited perspective almost never do them.


My suggestions for writers who might be considering this:

  1. Try not to. Is there any other way to convey what needs to be conveyed to the reader without breaking perspective? Could another character monologue a bit while the PC listens and reflects on what they’re saying (and maybe asks a question or forms an opinion every couple of pages to give the player something to do)? Could the PC read another character’s letter or journal, or eavesdrop on a conversation between other characters (or, depending on genre, become privy to it by supernatural or high-tech means)? If it’s important that the PC not be privy to whatever it is, are you absolutely certain the reader should?

  2. Although this poll treats prologues and interludes as equivalent, in fact the potential impact is very different. A prologue by definition can’t break immersion because the reader isn’t immersed in anything yet. If there’s a powerful scene you have in mind to open your story - by introducing an intriguing character, establishing a backstory, foreshadowing a conflict, etc. - go for it. Once the story has centered on the PC’s perspective and the reader has a personal stake in what’s happening, you better not break that without a darn good reason.

  3. If interludes from (an)other perspective(s) are really important to your authorial vision, don’t treat them like a jammed-in afterthought. If the first interlude comes, let’s say, in the middle of chapter 2, the next one comes near the end of chapter 4, then suddenly there are two interludes in chapter 7, and then one each in chapters nine and ten, that’s super jarring and feels like the author not knowing what to do next. If I know that there will always, between one chapter and the next, be a three-page scene exploring the perspectives of other characters, that feels more like the author being in command of the world and my experience in it.

  4. Anything outside the PC’s perspective, including a prologue or regularly scheduled series of interludes, needs to be very clearly indicated as such: different font, special headings, whatever it takes. And there should be consistency in style. For instance, your interludes can be written in third-person limited, third-person omniscient, or even first person, but whichever one you pick, stick to it.


@The_Lady_Luck : The following is my view:

For PoV prologues/interludes to work, there always should be a break of some nature to convey the reality to the reader. These “breaks” can be a time break, a character break, and even if written extremely well, a perspective break.

In 90%+ of the time, these scenes or interludes are not written this way, and it is this that leads to a failure.

A PoV change to a RO is not usually successful, because there is not enough of a break between them and the protagonist.

An example: The protagonist has a miscarriage and is suffering because of the many complications relating to this. In an attempt to explain things in a more “rational” and “non-attached” manner, the author writes a scene from the perspective of the father.

The trouble in this particular story is that the father is the ex of the protagonist, and there is a possibility that the ex and the protagonist get back together…

The break between the protagonist and the ex is not sufficient enough to achieve the author’s aims here; especially with the very real possibility that ex will pursue and reconnect with the protagonist.


Hi everyone,
Just need some suggestions for one of my games on things people fear, that would be suitable for an ancient times setting (with magic). Need to be able to be made into an incarnated type setting. So for example spiders would be fine, but heights wouldn’t work. (Hope that makes sense.) Couple of things I came up with, but looking to see whether these fit or if there’s other suggestions? (pick your top 1-3 or suggest away) Thanks for the help!

  • Spiders/Insects
  • Snakes
  • Disease
  • Death
  • Other

0 voters


I dunno what this means.

I’d need more info on this to be able to answer - how widespread is magic? What can magic do? For example, if it can cure diseases and it’s very widespread, your option of “disease” is probably not on the table.

And are we talking “normal” fears, or actual phobias?


Well, my biggest fear is darkness, so that should probably be added as well (it seems like a fairly common fear), but insects are terrifying too. :slight_smile:


Of the ones that are physical things, my biggest fear is needles/syringes.

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Mine is spiders. But I can suggest dolls, trypophobia :persevere: and clowns.