Process of Creating Good Paths

Hello everyone ^^ I just recently joined and I’m now getting back into teaching myself coding for choice games.

My questions are:
How do you guys create and organize paths in your games? Does each for example,RO in your story have their own path? If that’s the case are you pretty much creating a new sub story for each of those characters?
I’ve been thinking about this for awhile in regards of most likely having to make long drawn out paths for each RO and I’m just not thinking of maybe there could be an easier or less time consuming way of going about it. I’m afraid that the word count and the pacing is going to get messed up but if making long paths personalized for each RO is the common consensus then so be it :laughing:!!

Thank you so much for answering my potentially loaded questions. If this has been answered previously please point me to the thread! I would love you read it ^^.

You guys rock, thanks ^^


In general, I think most of us branch with a “what if,” and gets approved with “why not.” You can also start writing from the end, all the way back to the start. It might also help to get a mind-map thing to plot out your plot unless you have a strong brain to do that in your mind (yes, pun intended).

For ROs, I just originally planned some path/arcs for these guys, so they’ll get quality writing since the start. Keep in mind that I’m approaching them as a character first rather RO first.

Just keep in mind that whatever branching you add, it shouldn’t take away or bog down your main plot. If you’re writing SoL/lighthearted path of a side character just so you can slap it alongside the main plot, don’t. Write it as the lull before the chaos, eye of the storm, tranquility before the climax.

Unless you’re writing a purely chill story, ofc.


Thank you for answering!

Would you make different folders for each prevolent character path?

For example if your options lead you to romancing character Z would Z have his own folder so in the future if you choose say something Z doesn’t like only his dialogue will pop up. I might be getting into coding here which I’m not trying to I’m just trying to get an idea of organizing these paths!

Haha also what do you mean by,

Was a little confused about that.

I think @Szaal means that if you have an idea for a branch (what if?) and there’s nothing keeping you from doing it (why not?) then you have a pretty good reason to add it.

I think most of us who write these games don’t do this. That would be like writing a different game for every single character–way too much.

Generally my branches look like this

You are in part A.  Do you want to go to part B or part C?
  #Part B
    *goto partB
  #Part C
   *goto partC

*label partB
Text for part B
*goto partD

*label partC
Text for part C
*goto partD

*label partD
This is the section where the story converges, so even though you can only see B or C, you always begin at part A and end at part D

In this kind of branching, the main story is generally the same (though your choices along the way should affect it). So if you’re talking about ROs/friends, your choice might be

You are at the diner with Bob and Sally.  Both of them invite you to hang out.  Do you want to hang out with Bob or Sally?
   *goto hangout_bob
   *goto hangout_sally

*label hangout_bob
You and Bob hang out
*goto return_home

*label hangout_sally
You and Sally hang out
*goto return_home

*label return_home
You are home from hanging out with your friend

This is really crude, but it demonstrates the concept. MC starts in the diner, makes a choice (and hangs out with a character), and then returns home. This is basically what a lot of branches come down to–do you want to go here or there? Talk with him or her? Do this or do that? But the in between parts are still mostly the same.

I’m not sure what you mean by folder, so I don’t know how to answer your question. One piece of advice though, you should probably code your story as you go, or at least keep the code in mind. You may not realize that something is difficult or impossible to do in the code if you wait until the end to convert.

I find that little dialogue or other flavor text changes like that come up as I’m writing but not as I’m planning. If you know that you want to add something based on a condition (romance_Z = true), then by all means write it down somewhere. I think most of us have notes on our characters, world building, etc.


Thank you so much for answering and showing coding examples! I see what I have to do now ^^~.

I was playing around in choicescript and found out u can make .txt folders for chapters and scenes so I assumed u can do that for separate characters~

Not in the way that I think you mean. You would use *if statements to show unique dialogue. Creating a file for every character and recalling it when needed would be unreadable and probably pretty buggy (even if it’s theoretically possible)

You can potentially make individual .txt files, even on their own folder, but this is highly inadvisable. You’ll get lost easily from your main plot.

I’d recommend to flesh out your main plot first before going into branch. Flesh it out in a way so people can describe your story in a sentence: “A dating sim that takes place in hell”, “a tribal cyberpunk RPG”, “a game that lets you become a god,” etc.


Thanks everyone ^^!

I get slight anxiety when things aren’t in order and in its own place but if that causes more problems than it helps then I will not be doing that.

Will do, thanks!!

Think of it this way–your .txt files are “chapters” in your “book.” Imagine if you went to the store and bought a book, but instead of reading it from the first page to the last page, every time one of the characters spoke, you had to flip to a random other page in the middle of the book and then flip back again to continue the story. That’s what you would be doing by giving characters their own files.

It’s not about being out of order–and it seems to me like that’s more out of order anyway–it’s about how the code works.


Make sense~ thanks ^^

1 Like

My key for writing paths is to always have the exposition and the climax the same every time. Admittedly, this may not be ideal for every story, but this allows me to shape the story around a common background and a key dramatic moment that can cause world changes in various different ways.

For me, branching paths usually only occur at the end. I try to keep a vague narrative throughout that the player can operate differently within. So, if the vague narrative of Voltaic is “MC is spending a night at the summer camp with their friends and shit goes awry,” the choices within are, “bring everyone together for a good time,” “stick to yourself for most of the night,” or “fuck everything up and then some.” Then the endings are major variations based on the choices - “oh fuck everyone died,” “everything is saved!” “everything is saved but also uncomfortably different,” etc.

Even when I do a branch in the main narrative, it usually isn’t something that would take the entire story in a completely different direction. For example, in Voltaic the MC has the choice to send either Madison or Adrian away, send them both away, or keep both of them with the main group, all at the beginning of the game. This changes the main narrative only slightly (certain people take dialogue that those two would have original spoke, and some dialogue/conversations/choices are only accessible if both characters are still there) and then they rejoin later. There are different outcomes for each scenario (Madison leave/Adrian stay, Madison stay/Adrian leave, both leave, both stay) but they don’t send the main narrative in a completely different direction, which allows me to maintain the structure of the story without essentially writing two different games.


Thank you!!