Should I make 80 branches?

Okay so I’ve been agonizing over this for some time but lets say the biggest choice in the game was really big. For example, if their were 80 “talking weapons” and each weapon was special with its own dialogue especially for who they’re paired with like say 80 people 79 of which are NPC’s. The weapons are all in a pot, a lotto so to speak, the sane choice would be to have a separate pot for the main character to draw from with probably less “weapons” but weapons which are all seperate from the rest so that every one elses dialogue is not tampered with. While this would be easiest way would it then also be the best way? I realize the writing for a rotating cast would be mind bottling but I just can’t help but feel like the player would get snubbed if they weren’t given the same treatment. What do you think?

Code growth for branching games is logarithmic. Two branches doubles the code, and three branches quadruples it, so guess how much more code you’d have to write with 80 branches.

As a programmer, I strongly recommend against it.


To be completely sincere, I’m not sure that choice is the boon you think it is, considering all the work you’d be putting into it.

By lotto, I assume you mean the weapon is granted at random? Meaning, if the player could choose each one by one, you’re still counting on them doing 80 playthroughs to experience each one, but if it’s randomized, the odds of them getting a repeat are higher, so well over 80 playthroughs for a chance to encounter every unique dialogue? Otherwise, if they DO pick their own, as a player, if I were given a choice of up to 10 weapons, I would not feel cheated. More than that could feel overwhelming.

Your enthusiasm for this project is evident, but you are making so much unnecessary work for yourself with perhaps not as much payoff for the reader as you think. Some players only do one playthrough, after all, and they will never see all the behind the scenes coding and extra work. I would find a way to whittle it down for your own sanity. If you’re really set on this idea, maybe assign a weapons dialogue/personality by class type instead of 80 different ones? Though really, taking that effort and putting it into the rest of the story and choices, instead of just one “big” choice, might feel more fully rounded. Good luck, whatever you decide.


Well developed and engaging branches are the key here. If you give 80 bland choices, the reader will not remember that there were 80 choices, only that the choices were bland.

Making each individual branch engaging, unique and interesting to the reader is very tough.

As @MizArtist33 lays out in detail above - start with a simpler classification: sword, mace, axe… once the reader chooses one of those, assign a personality: angelic, devilish, mixture of the two… then you can go deeper by allowing the reader to customize the weapon: Name, color of its magical glow, metal it is made of… etc. … then you tie it all together with one last major decision: type of curse the weapon has on it.

By approaching the subject matter the way that @MizArtist33 lays out, you get both depth and breadth … the reader will remember each path taken because each element works together and you allow them to express their preferences as well.

Don’t get me wrong, this is something every writer (IF or other) experiences and we all struggle to do it; some better than others.


Speaking as a player I think I would rather play a game with eighty different two or three option choices which all impact the ending rather than a single eighty option choice which would seem very overwhelming at the time. Both would likely be a lot of work though!


I like the idea of distinct and talking weapons. 80 weapons, however, sounds like unspeakably back-breaking work, and work that most readers won’t fully appreciate. I’d recommend maybe 3 weapons instead, and ones that the MC can consciously choose between.

Not to mention that judging by a lot of reviews on the markets, a ton of readers might get downright furious if they were presented with a choice that had dozens upon dozens of options to wade through.


Going to agree with everyone else here. It’s unlikely someone’s going to reread a game 80 times to get all the dialogue differences, so you’re making a heap of work for yourself without a lot of gain. Also it’s going to blow your total word count to playthrough ratio out the window, so you’d have to make it really long to avoid lots of too short complaints.

Honestly I think you’re asking to burn out on a first project starting that way. I’d start with just a few choices and make them notably different and see how you go. You might start with with say a staff, bow and sword, and then decide later to add more weapon options in once the game is getting closer to completion.


If the lotto is an important point in your story and can’t be altered significantly, I’d recommend to… use some trick to keep your workload low, here. Just a simple dev magic trick.

Make a pool of random response, and then roll them accordingly when the player receive the talking weapon.

The pool should be enough that no three playthroughs are the same while keeping it small so you don’t have to do 80 different responses.