What games inspired you?


Even in its most coherent form, inspiration is a pretty vague business. Discussing it is easiest when you throw down some rules and definitions. So, a question for those of you who play a lot of videogames, interactive fiction and suchlike: when developing your stories and your writing, especially your interactive writing, what games have inspired you the most?

To keep this topic from being a general “what are your favorite videogames” discussion, I include both excellent game experiences and poor game experiences. After all, even a negative experience can inspire you.

For example, I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve played Mass Effect and thought, “Garsh, are these my only options? If I were writing this, I’d have offered so-and-so option instead,” etc.

I’m sure there are plenty of people who didn’t have much game experience before getting into ChoiceScript, so I should extend the parameters of the question a bit further – if you had no game experiences coming into this, what prompted you to write interactive fiction?


I guess I’ll stick to the no game experiences category.

I’ve been trying to write stories since highschool because in my opinion there were too few books in genres I liked. I’ve never managed to finish one though.
The main thing bugging me with writing more traditional stories was that I couldn’t put in all the ideas I had because I needed to stick to one of those possibilities.
Then I got some classes in basic programming (in C) and thought ‘Hey, why not try to make a multiple options text based video game of sorts?’
I’m no programmer and was working in one file the entire time.
In no time it became completely impossible to figure out where I was and what I was working on, so I gave up.

A while after that I stumbled upon ‘Choice of the Dragon’.
I really liked it and started reading other CoG stories as well.
Then I found the little ‘We’re looking for Writers’ bit at the bottom of the page and since ChoiceScript didn’t seem to be too difficult to go with I decided to give it a go.


Yooooo this is a great topic.

(Positive) inspirations for me have been basically all the Bioware games, at least in terms of character and stuff. So many characters in other games are basically interchangable, but in Bioware games they feel necessary and integral to the plot, which i guess challenged me to want to do the same thing.

Another would be the new wave of Telltale games (like The Walking Dead) that did so many things with a surprising few choices. Even though those games have about 25~ choices, only a few of which actually alter the plot in any way, they all still felt extremely vital and challenging, which again, inspired me to try and do that in my own writing.

Oh and the last one is definitely Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines. That game is like my bible in terms of developing a truly unique experience for each player.

(Negative) inspirations are rare but I suppose (if we include gaming as a whole instead of just games) the only one I can think of is developers and writers saying they won’t do something because it’s “too hard” or would “take forever”. Part of the fun for me is adding new things, even if only a select few people would appreciate or ever even find it, so that negativity always inspires me to add EVEN MORE. (Which unfortunately means my games take forever to write).


There were so many games that inspired me to write. Some stories are just so well written that they can have you go through so many emotions with the characters. Those are the ones I love.

A couple of examples are: The Telltale Walking Dead game, The Last of Us, and a couple of Final Fantasy games. If a game can make me feel some type of emotion, they’re doing something right in my book.


Mass effect, star wars kotor, star wars tor, im trying to think of more i actually played but cant really think of any


I’ve played video games since I was tiny, but I think it was playing Baldur’s Gate as a middle-schooler that first got me interested in games-as-stories. The story seems minimal compared to BioWare’s later games, but at the time it was pretty amazing.

I got into interactive fiction specifically around the same time, when I was poking around the CNET site looking for free Mac games and stumbled across “Sunset in Savannah” and “Spider and Web” - as good an introduction to parser IF as you could ask for. Been interested in IF ever since and that’s what eventually led me to get into ChoiceScript.


For the game I’m working on now, I’m basing it off the Fallout games. I’ve always enjoyed the idea and setting around the series. ( was a bit upset when they didn’t reveal FO4 at e3)

Also, the walking dead game by telltale is easily in my top 5. The emotion and connection the developers made between the characters actually made it so you wanted them all to live, which is the effect I want when my game is finished


@SpaceLesbian, Bioware did SWKotOR, Didn’t they?


My game was at first inspired by Alan Wake, but as it developed, it became more and more original with some slightly Lovecraftian influences.


I feel like Shenmue had a bit of an influence on me, because I was young and I hadn’t really played anything besides Mario, Sonic, and Mortal Kombat(Yah, weird combination of games for a 7 year old) but I feel Shenmue & GTA kinda introduced me to story driven games, and opened doors for me.

But I feel like Bioware changed my life with Jade Empire, My cousin and I played it for days straight(Along with Blinx 2). That game had a really significant impact on how I looked at games. You felt really important, and like you were really saving the world.

I feel like all those games above sort of molded who I am today.


@Doctor, They did indeed. That was actually the first ever game I played to completion!