Tips for a Noob

I’m writing a story about a Roman who works his way up the chain of command in the Roman army in the times of the First Punic War. I’m 17 and have aspirations of becoming a prolific writer of game scripts, and am hoping to start here.

Because of this, I’m wanting my first game(go to my other discussions for a demo link if interested) to be the best it can possibly be, so if anyone has any tips I’m all ears for the advice of more experienced writers.

Also, I’m a derp at writing in choice script, so if you find anything off that you think is an error in the coding, please mention it.

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More of a general tip than a specific one: Do not fear revisions.

Start small. Tackle something you can definitely finish. Don’t try and be too ambitious. Push on, push on, hit the end and then ask for feedback. Once you’ve finished the game you can always go back and change things but getting to that end is the difficult bit.

Start simple with the choicescript. You don’t need to have a really fancy system. The very popular CYOA gamebooks just used the equivalent of the *goto and *label commands. You can easily tell a story just with those.

The Fighting Fantasy books, which I preferred, were a small step up on the matter of complexity, in that you had stats and dicerolls and sometimes equipment, but again it’s relatively simple. You don’t need complexities to tell a good story, but trying to begin with complicated coding can derail you and lose your flow.

Mostly, have fun, enjoy the writing and good luck.

@Drazen I know what you mean, I actually scrapped the first attempt after I was done with setting up Ch. 1 the first time and looking back, the newer chapter one is much better than the original.

if you think its good put it forth to the community take what they say under advisement and adapt accordingly

I’ve already made a discussion with a link to the demo.

Hello. I just joined today and had a few questions I’d like to ask.

1: Do taglines like *goto contribute to word count?

2: I noticed that there are a lot of writers in this community, yet there seem to be very few pieces of interactive fiction- why is that?

3: As to finances, about how much does the average author here get paid in royalties (as in dollar amount, like one-hundred dollars) and how often do they get paid?

4: As a first time IF writer, what kind of story would you suggest I start out with (lengthwise and in regards to detail)?

5: Finally, are there any IF scripts you could point me to that would give me an idea of how to begin?

@Yamamato Hi there, and welcome to the forum. Feel free to start your own thread.

  1. I’ve no idea.

  2. There’s a lot of works in progress. Most people on the forums are amateurs with day jobs, or students, or even still in school. Writing interactive fiction simply isn’t the top of their priorities, even if they are working on a project. You’ll find things similar on any site, most WIPs, be they novels, or webcomics, or games, just never get finished. We do it for fun, and people often stop if it stops being fun for them, or if they find something more fun instead.

  3. You get roughly 17.5% of the total price of the game in royalties. Games can cost between $1-$3 depending on length. The Choice of Games sell more copies than the Hosted Games do, and have more exposure.

I’ll take public sales figures as listed on facebook pages.

Heroes Rise, is one of the best selling games, and it sold 20,000 games in a year. That would have made the author $10,500 if he’d been on the hosted deal. You’ll make a lot less than that. Also keep in mind that there was a period where Heroes Rise was on sale for $1 which will have inflated the sales figures.

Life of a Wizard (the stats are at had sold 4000 games in two months. At $3 a game that’s 52.5 cents a game to the author, and roughly $2,100.

I would guess that sales figures tend to peak in the first few months before dipping down to far lower figures.

Of course your sales figures will also depend on how much advertising you’re willing to do, the content of your game, etc. And the price will vary depending on its length, and whether or not you have pictures, and quite likely the quality too.

I’ll say you probably shouldn’t expect to make as much as Life of a Wizard, since it is a huge game.

  1. Start short. Start simple. Write about what you love, what interests you and you’re passionate about. The most important thing is to write a completed project. Get it finished. If you have something finished you’re already ahead of most of us.

  2. There’s a wiki The guide on is good too. If you own any of the games on google chrome you can read the code there. Or on the main site just browse to the scenes folder. So will show you the code. (Read the txt files and ignore the rest.)

Thanks, I’ll be looking at those links for a while.

@Yamamato If you wanna see why most stories dont take off look at my first one, Rome: The Punic Chronicles.

It started off good but I eventually got bogged down with real life and had to stop. I don’t consider it dead though, just on hold while I pursue a simpler first IF game which I have labeled Aftermath.

Just don’t let other people get you down. I, for example, am really sensitive to criticism by nature even though I know the people on the forums just wanna help me.

Just know that as long as you like the things you write, it doesn’t matter what anyone else says. Unless you’re in it for the money, then our opinion kinda matters :stuck_out_tongue:

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