Polls about COG, HG, and IF games

I should clarify that “OTT to me” was not intended as a slight on (the many, obviously) completionist players who enjoy delving down every rabbit hole in a gameworld to understand it better, maximize enjoyment, etc. Apologies to anyone who felt slighted or shut down! Neither poll option reflects my preferences, which was the thought behind my comment.

I do plenty of things that others would describe as OTT, as XoR bears witness. I’m unoffended by anyone who describes it in those terms, which leads me perhaps to be too blase in using that language.

And I just found the Dark B quests to be tediously grim, and thus unfun. YMMV, of course.


This is a topic that’s been on my mind for a considerable time now. There are some discussions that almost breach it, but none of them really address what I consider the spirit of the matter. So: how important is character depth and character development to you in interactive fiction?

The title might seem like I’m demanding more character depth because of a perceived lack, but no, I’m referring to supply and demand. Specifically, is there a demand for games that heavily emphasise character depth/development/interaction in ChoiceScript games? I know inclusive romance options are essentially the major attractant for players (if I’m mistaken, please, do correct me!), but is their presence nevertheless secondary to the plot of the game? I’d love to get to spend more time with them in games, but what’s more important is how many of you share that view.

I would love to hear everyone’s input on this! I’ll mostly be listening, since my goal here is to learn from the discussion rather than to participate in it myself. Here’s a poll for posterity!

On a scale of one to five, how much would you like to see more games that emphasise character interaction and development?

  • 5 — I’d love to see more games like this!
  • 4 — I’d like to see more games like this!
  • 3 — It would be good to see more games like this, but I’m impartial myself.
  • 2 — I don’t particularly care whether I see more games like this.
  • 1 — I’m not interested in seeing more games like this.

0 voters

PS: I realised it might be useful to have some sort of control poll to gauge interest in character depth/development/interaction vs plot, so here’s a poll for that too! (Feel free to make suggestions below if you think the options are too limiting. I used a rating system again purely for uniformity.) Just note that the poll assumes good writing for all aspects of the story.

On a scale of one to five, how much more important do you consider characterisation than the plot of a game?

  • 5 — Characterisation is more important than plot.
  • 4 — Characterisation and plot are equally important, but I personally enjoy the characterisation more.
  • 3 — Characterisation and plot are equally important.
  • 2 — Characterisation and plot are equally important, but I personally enjoy the plot more.
  • 1 — Plot is more important than characterisation.

0 voters

1 Like

Is anyone really going to vote that they don’t want character development?


The problem with that question is that you shouldn’t be able to separate plot and characterisation. The plot helps reveal character - what do these people do when faced with X circumstance - and characters cause and drive the plot. How would you even have one without the other?


I take it you mean the question of the second poll? I believe you’re confusing the actual purpose of the question with a personal view you hold. While I agree that characters should ideally help drive the plot and that the plot should ideally develop the characters, neither of these are necessary. The two aspects aren’t as integrated as you’re suggesting, since they are, after all, distinct components of writing.

I don’t want to spend too much time going into this, but it’s very easy to separate characters and plot in most stories. Choice of Dragons is beloved, yet the COG staff itself admits characterisation didn’t play a significant role. There you go! There’s your answer: the characters aren’t as important in terms of individuals with identity as they are in terms of devices for advancing the plot. Psy High, another beloved game, have characters that are greatly affected by the plot, but the interaction with them is honestly minimal, and they don’t contribute much to advancing it either, as it’s the player alone who determines the outcome.

The purpose of my comment and the two polls isn’t to ask whether people like well-developed characters or whether plot and characterisation is important. The answers to these respective questions would be “everyone does” and “it depends”, neither of which are helpful; that’s because the answers are rather obvious. No, what I asked is whether people want to see more games that emphasise characterisation — that is to say, the plot isn’t as important in terms of providing a thrilling narrative as it is in terms of developing the characters.

I hope this helps to clarify things.

PS: This post was originally a topic that was then merged into this one, so if my post seems confusing with me referring to a “title” and such, that would be why.


Because this does not merit its own thread, and I am nowhere near ready for a WIP just yet:

Which name sounds better for a stat that measures your drive, your willingness to play through the pain? Keep in mind this is for a somewhat comedic but action-heavy game.

  • Determination!
  • Gumption!
  • Stubbornness!
  • Pie!

0 voters

1 Like

I like the word ‘Gumption!’ that gonna be added to my list of stuff to say when I’m 80 years old Maybe earlier…we shall see lol :sweat_smile:


I’m not at all sure what happened to my poll above. It shows Gumption in second yet it has more profile pics beside that option? Tres bizarre.

Also, @E_RedMark has the right of it, it’s a right proper old fogey sort of word.

Another one, to scratch a data-gathering itch: what sort of dialogue options do y’all prefer? Only having your character say word-for-word what you pick, choosing an option like You tell him off or You beg for forgiveness and having the dialogue reflect this general tone, or where your character does a lot of talking on their own without you picking what is said?

  • Literal dialogue: I want to only say things I specifically chose!
  • Similar dialogue: I like choosing the nature of what my character says but it doesn’t have to be the exact wording!
  • Automatic dialogue: I like my character having the option to respond without me making a direct choice, based on their stats!
  • Pie dialogue: Pie!

0 voters


I like both having the choice to speak directly or have a option with the same nature as the dialogue. I think the automatic choices are the only ones that have ever bothered me.

People are defined by more than one or two personality traits and I feel like automatic responses run the risk of over simplifying the version of the character the player has formed in their head and breaking immersion or even, if it gets extremely bad, kinda railroading the player.


Say I have a super laid back or humorous character that doesn’t take a lot of things seriously. That doesn’t mean they should never take anything seriously, especially if a given topic is important to them. It can be really strange to have a character joke about a topic that holds enough significance to them for it to not be the time or place for jokes. The same can also be said for the reverse.


I’m not picky.

Mass Effect & Dragon Age introduced me to the conversation wheel. However, I liked the variety of dialogue options in DA:O versus compared to Paragon vs Renegade or Diplomatic vs Snarky vs Aggressive.

Guess my preference for dialogue in a game depends on how the game markets itself. If it’s a self-insert than I probably will lean more towards a 60% literal dialogue to 40% similar dialogue make up.

If the game markets itself as you’re playing as a pre-set character (however the author defines that pre-set) then I expect something along the lines of 70% similar dialogue, 20% automatic dialogue, and 10% literal dialogue.


I can see more pics besides determination (which would be my pic also after pie! Can’t beat the promise of a good pie with your choice of filling for giving you the strength to continue on can you? :stuck_out_tongue:)

Every time I hear that word it makes me think of someone grumpily soldiering on.


First, kudos for the following:

Technology often mystifies the elderly – soldier on good sir, you’ll overcome those gremlins yet!

Now to the matter at hand: Pie …

There can be no write answer (what?) here. Why? Because it really depends on the developmental choices you make in writing the game, that is why. (Grumbling in the background is NOT allowed mister).

What do I mean by “developmental choices?” I mean, as the developer, you’ll need to pick an approach and to be successful, you are going to need consistency in that approach. Your audience will, in general, accept whichever approach you take with the dialogue unless you keep breaking the fourth wall and jar them from accepting your story-game.

If you chose option three as your general approach, you are tailoring your development towards the meta gaming crowd, just as option one caters to the role players… the second option usually either satisfies everyone or no one … depending on everything from writing skill of the author to editing skills of the editor.

Yet, the truth of the matter is simple: You determine the nature of your game from the get go and then you develop it with that pillar of dialogue throughout your development plan as your guide. @The_Black_Reaper is really insightful in saying:

Yet, it is not only marketing but consistency … recent Bioware games show a lack of consistency (hello ME: Andromeda, glad you were summoned). If Bioware stuck with what they were masters at, not only would they have received more passes by their audience for tech issues such as poor character animations, but they would not be experiencing the disconnect that many loyal fans experienced.

So, man-up and design your game; make the choice based on what your goal is for the protagonist.

If you crowd-source the design decision, you are rolling the dice, a loaded pair of dice that will be unpredictable and may not align with the rest of your design pillars for your developmental plan. (You do have a developmental plan in place, right) :wink:

Everyone who celebrates American Thanksgiving … have a wonderful day.


You’re my kind of smarmy, my friend. Don’t ever change.

And for the record, I was at work, and the page only partially loaded, probably due to the firewall. So that’s what all that was. Now stop calling me old and out of touch and leave me to surf MySpace in peace!


4 posts were merged into an existing topic: Interest Check Thread

I was wondering due to a poll on legend of the nunnehi wip what kind skill do most of yall assumingly gorgeous readers slash players slash prissy yet loveable people like to use for your pc if available.

Sorry(not) if this was done before.

  • Pure talker(Charisma)
  • It’s ALIVE!(intelligence)
  • Float like a butterfly(Grace/Agility)
  • Sting like rhino on steroids(Strength)
  • Do what I say, not what I do(Tactician)
  • One more turn and-BANG!(Crafter)
  • MAX EDGE(Stealth)
  • Something else(plz comment)

0 voters

Made the min and max two, as that seems to be the standard in alot of choose your stengths segments. Baring the exceptions, obviously.

Link to mentioned wip


Legend of the Nûñnë'hï (WIP)

I will be the first to say i messed up that last choice on the poll
Edit: fixed

If you had to choose between the MC having a set backstory that’s impactful to the story. Or getting the option to pick the MC’s backstory, but it having less impact, which would you prefer?

  • I’d rather have a set backstory for the MC, and have it be more important to the story.
  • I’d prefer being able to choose the MC’s backstory, even if that means it’s less important to the story.

0 voters

You know, I don’t think I can pick an option there because I think it would heavily depend on the context of the story. And probably even more on the author’s interest and what the author would be good at. Both methods have been done very well in different games.


Thanks for drawing up these polls! It’s pretty fun to participate in it.

  • Same character, swapped gender - changes with orientation choice
  • Character genders don’t change based on your sexuality - individual personalities and preferences

0 voters