Sequel or World building/exploration


#1

Pretty stright forward.
In terms of COG stories which is more satisfying.
Continuing with your old character or seeing a whole new perspective of the same world?

Personally I think seeing one massive world from as many pairs of eyes possible would be wonderful. Say I write one of my massive fantasy ideas but divide the stories into different races and continents. Or even Freak for that matter. Would you rather continue on the journey of a single character instead?


#2

For me that depends on if I feel satisfied with the first character’s end. If I feel there’s still a lot more for that character to do and explore, then I would prefer a continuation with the character, but only if you can flesh it out well enough.

Seeing the same world from a different set of eyes is also good as well. It can be refreshing, and it’s already set in a pre-built world so that helps speed up the process by limiting the need for creating a new world.

So basically, both are equally satisfying, depending on the circumstances.


#3

^ I, normally, prefer to see worlds from many different perspectives. It gives me a better feel of the world and I often find that it makes me more excited about stories if I can see it from the perspectives of many rather than one. But, I don’t think I’d be happy with this if I felt like the original story hadn’t been properly wrapped up. Like there was still more that had to be done.

Like stated above, really both can be really fun it really just depends on if the original story feels like it has ended properly or not.


#4

As long as there is continuity between perspectives, I enjoy both the parallel perspective and the continuations.

My biggest hang-up on multi-perspectives is the amount of ret-conning many authors do to fit the new perspectives. I’m not talking about shifting perceptions of the world but outright re-writing of its history (No, Captain America is not a patriot, he’s a Nazi) … the Enterprise didn’t go back to save Spock, they went back to save the whales.

Each way to proceed forward with your story has its pitfalls.


#5

I’m leaning more on seeing the same world but in different viewpoints. Like other characters will comment on what your previous character has done.

And it’s really cool to see them either reacting with praise or disgust. It makes the world/lore more alive.

Though I would not rule out continuing with your old character, though only if there is still room left for the character to ‘grow.’ For example, maybe after the character has manage to win his/her throne, he/she realises that it’s a difficult task. That winning a war and ruling a kingdom and people are two different things.

I really like it when idealistic/optimistic characters are suddenly faced with the harshness of reality. Will they waver or stand true to their beliefs?


#6

I will be honest that I can get quite attached to the characters I play, but I also can accept if their story is over. Of course given that ending was satisfying.

When changing to a new character in the same world I think it’s important to not retcon too much (In the best case you won’t need any retconning), but most important is that I don’t feel like the decisions my first character made get retconned, because that really would mither me. That’s probably the reason why I prefer to not hear much about the old MC or only one mention or so of them as an easter egg. Seeing the character I played sudenly as NPC puts me somewhat off…eh, can I just say don’t do it like the new heroes rise? Because that sums up pretty much everything that annoys me about having the original/other MC as NPC in the new story.

Anyway general I don’t think I’m against exploring the game world with a new character and a new perspective. It just should avoid some of the pitfalls and, well, be indeed pretty different from the perspective other MCs set in that world have. It should make sense to tell the story through someone else as the “original” MC.


#7

I’m strongly leaning towards a new perspective. As other have said it can give more depth to the world by showing us sides of it we haven’t seen before. Before continuing a story that already had a satisfactory ending, I think you should think very carefully about whether the installment adds to the story or detracts from it. Not knowing when to let a finished story stay finished is how sequelitis happens.

In general, I’m quite skeptical when it comes to doing sequels to interactive stories. Unless the story was planned out in advance to have multiple installments, what usually happens is one of two things: Either the sequel picks one ending of the original to be the “canon” ending and thereby invalidates the playthroughs of anyone who didn’t pick that path. Alternatively they somehow try to obfuscate the ending of the original, coming up with a series of events that would plausibly set the stage for the sequel regardless of which ending the player got in the original, thereby running the risk of invalidating the playthroughs of all players regardless of which ending they got.

The greatest feature, in my opinion, of interactive fiction over traditional fiction is the feeling of agency, the feeling that the player is part of the story and can affect things around them. Nothing kills that feeling like a sequel that shows that none of the decisions you made previously actually made a difference at all.

Having a previous PC return as an NPC is tricky for a similar, but more intimate reason. When playing the player will tend to come up with an idea about who their character is and why they are doing what they do. If their old character then shows up as an NPC, especially if you let them interact with them, you run the risk of going against the player’s own interpretation of that character. As the author you are free to tell a player that their interpretation of one of your characters is wrong (well, some people disagree on that, but that’s a separate debate). The player however usually perceives the PC as more of their character than yours, and telling them that their interpretation of their own character is wrong doesn’t sit well. “My MC would not have done that.”

In conclusion, I’m not saying you shouldn’t write a sequel to an interactive story, I’m just saying you should be careful so that you don’t end up making the players feel as if they are just an observer watching through a character’s eyes instead of an actual part of the story with the ability to affect the world around them. In general I think that’s easier when you make potential “sequels” rely as little as possible on the events of the original story.


#8

Well it seems the consensus is once the main charas story is over people want to experience other perspectives which is really helpful to know since I’ve always wanted to write a fantasy story from the perspectives of the many races/characters I’ve created over the years.

It just feels constraining to continue on looking through one pair of eyes. Oddly enough that’s why I live COG and other games. A chance for new perspectives and adventure.


#9

You trying to start another game? You’ll wind up with lots of WIP’s and no sales at this rate :stuck_out_tongue:


#10

Oh no definitely not.

I was sating curiosity and thinking sequels lol


#11

Well finish and sell your current wip’s and let sales/fun levels determine if sequels are worth your time :slight_smile:


#12

I feel that it would be easier for the writer if the story continues with a new character. They wouldn’t have to worry about all of the different endings, isolating the players who did not get the true end that leads to the sequel , or all the relationships (seriously, why does your spouse fall off the earth after you get married and never talk to you in a lot of games?). It’s also good if someone wants to play the 2nd game without playing the first.

I enjoy creating my character’s personality, likes, dislikes, and beliefs and I pretty much play the same handful of characters in each game. If by new character, you mean just not focusing on the previous character’s life and having new NPCs then I’m ok with that. But, if you mean a character that already has defined name, personality, and beliefs then I wouldn’t like that. It would be more interesting to see how my monotheistic, pacifist magician got along with orc culture compared to elf culture rather than forcing the MC to agree with everything in that culture.


#13

In my day dreaming (which I do alot during work) I wander a bit. So I’m constantly thinking about the paths to take in current works and imagining what else is going on in the world.

Like in Freak I have an image of a superhuman prison colony built by Freaks and for Freaks. And also I think about a family group a right group led by a well known villain their father.

Or in my little fantasy world the different races.
The Lomolum giants with thick grey skin, masons, builders and blacksmiths living on a volcanic island.
The Roe-Lian hunters gatherers warriors, built for speed among thick forests and tall trees. Spotted like felines but move like deer.
And many many more.


#14

I think what you’re asking about is very possible. Take for example two of my favorite games:The Orpheus Ruse and Metahuman Inc… You wouldn’t think it at first glance,but they actually take place in the same universe. This actually said by the creator themselves.