I have a really weird “fetish” in which I like to code very specific hidden paths in my games. An option or a sequence of choices that at first might not seem to be connected or have any evident repercussion might snowball things into a spiral of unpredictable madness that eventually makes sense in the end.
The trouble I have is that sometimes it gets too specific. For those who find that hidden paths it can become a very unique and surprising experience, but for the most part people aren’t even aware that those things exist. Still, I do it that way in an attempt to project onto players the feelings of amazement and discovery I had while playing a few games where such things happened. Those surprising consequences of my actions were among the most memorable experiences I had with gaming.
Of course, I also try to make sure that the “vanilla” experience is a satisfying one, but I often spend too much time on things only a small percentage of players will see. It’s a bit paradoxical because I think advertising the existence of such paths might undermine the amazement of finding them on your own.
Still, I find it more “fun” to it that way.
Now, as a player, I think getting the game to acknowledge my decisions and getting “control” of what character does is by far the most important part of an interactive fiction. I love reading stories, but the more input I have on their development and the more my actions cause repercussions or ripple effects on the narrative, the better.