What stops you from having fun with an interactive novel?


What kills the fun for you? Too much description? Shallow characters? Too much focus on stats? My annoying questions here on the forum? ;p
I’m asking this mostly because I’m curious.

Things that may lower your esteem for a COG or HG game
Things that may lower your esteem for a COG or HG game

My biggest issues are:

  • No choices that fit the character I’m playing as
  • Forcing attraction onto the MC

But there are many other smaller, more nitpick-y issues that can get me to stop playing. :sweat_smile:


Any reason I might drop a non-interactive novel, plus any time I feel like it’s basically a non-interactive novel where I have to press buttons to advance.


if we are talking about the ones I purchased ? very few…like 1-2…

and one was because I brough it by mistake , remembered the wrong title lol and the 2nd one…was because of too much micromanaging? is that what you call it ? that get boring so fast…for me .

as for WIP…it can be setting…turn me off fast…

like say…heist…be a robber…far west…pew pew…urgh…

the good ones ? I play them from time to time . The best ones ? I obsesse over them and keep playing them whenever I can…and if I see someone talking about them in this forum ? I go back and scratch that itch :stuck_out_tongue:

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I don’t have a universal thing that makes me disengaged. Sometimes the teaser seems good, then I purchase, and then the plot just unfolds into something that doesn’t particularly interest me.

Also, if I feel too lost within a world, I don’t value the npcs and choices I’m offered because I don’t know if they really matter. That one’s a little harder to explain, so I’ll use a recent example. I’ve got a group and we’re being attacked. I have an option (with high difficulty) to save an attacker that I put into lethal danger. I succeed, yay! I hope to interrogate or turn the attacker. Oops… uncontrollable circumstances remove my rescue from the scene. Um… why did I bother? Whatever, the plot keeps going the same way as if I hadn’t made a choice.


There are lots of things that can bring a game down for me, but here are some of the things that are most glaring for me

  1. Small and uncommon: I hate it when I can’t choose my character’s name
  2. Don’t like being forced into rivalries/not being able to decide my MC doesn’t give a shit
  3. Not being able to decide what my MC thinks of things/other characters in general
  4. Resource heavy games (if I wanted to track money I’d open my bank account)
  5. Stat heavy games, especially stats with unclear implications for playthrough
  6. Walls of text/too many scenes without choices
  7. Awkward English (like all the time not just occasionally)
  8. “Correct” personalities/play styles

I’m not really very picky. But the biggest issue I ever have with anything is usually the inability to pick my gender.

I don’t really care about setting, what time period it is or anything. Let me pick my gender and we’re pretty much golden.


A linear plotline where there is nothing that I can change. Basically, too many fake options.

The second thing I hate is being forced to feel a certain way.


This is not a mark on quality just preference, but definently stat-y games. I am a person who much prefers the story to the gaming aspects of IF, so having to constantly dictate a reaction or background story tidbit or personality response based on what will get this stat up to pass this check and get a ‘good’ playthrough vs because that fits the character I wanted to play and sounded interesting takes all the fun away. It kind of disconnects the choices from the story if that makes sense?

Similarly, as also mentioned, shallow characters. One dimensional personalities, cheap flaws/development, obviously written or changed for the players. I mean I could play a game about going to the DMV if it had characters I’m attached to, so that’s pretty important to me. :upside_down_face:


For completed games? Usually it’s because I can’t choose things I want to or feel like I’m being punished or the stats are wonky.

For instance, if I want to play a shy or diplomatic character, but the only real personality I can play is sarcastic, it’s disheartening. I know it’s the author’s right to tell the story they want to, but unless the personality is integral to the story, there should be no reason why I can’t roleplay different personalities. The more varied I can play as the MC, the more I will replay the game. The only time this gets a pass is when the creator clearly states that the MC you will play is somewhat pre-defined, like Geralt from The Witcher; with that series, you had a choice in how things got done, but you were still Geralt nevertheless. There were particular things he felt a certain way about, and as the player, you could not change that.

I also am not fond of genderlocking unless it ties into the story or the inability to pick my own name. When you are playing a CYOA game, I feel like that’s one of the perks of the genre. There should be less restriction on the MC as there’s no graphics or voice acting to take into account, and it’s easy enough to let people input their own name (even if it’s not in keeping with the autthor’s naming style).

I hate stat heavy games where they have it so loaded that any answer you give is trying to figure out what will come of it. For example, I don’t like it when a character’s appearance has stats tied to it. How is my hair or eye color going to make me athletic/intelligent/charismatic/stubborn, etc.? I don’t get it. I also don’t like it when stats are assigned to every choice (like name or food or music selection), and by golly, you better pick the right responses or your stats gets screwed or you get negative points with people. I don’t mind getting some lowered stats because characters might not like my response, but when every option seems to have a “right” answer, it gets infuriating (especially when you pick a neutral answer to find out what’s going on and see that everyone gets negative points for it even though you’re trying to be reasonable).

Also, I’m not a fan of having lots of fake choices. And I’m not talking about the option in choicescript. :wink: I’m talking about the appearance of giving the player a choice when in essence, it doesn’t really matter or change things. I know not every choice I make will have the intended consequence I hope for, but if I’m just going to be railroaded and have basically no real input into how anything plays out, I’m going to quit the game.

For WIPs? When people post too early or put a half-assed demo out with promises to make it more. I get that people get excited to create a game, but oftentimes I feel like they release these demos way too early. I don’t want an outline of a game with a few playable pages that really deliver nothing. Demos shouldn’t really go out until they have something substantial to review, not when there is part of a prologue or half of a thought strung together.

Wow. And this ended up being bigger than I thought. :smile:


For me, it’s probably when people use uncommon words to make “smart” sentences. The use of “big” words becomes distracting.

Another one, that seems to be common with the previous posts, is walls of text without any choices.

Lastly, when a choice like “oh, she’s cute” turns into a linear romance story as opposed to a romance integrated into the story.


When the game tries to imply that I made the wrong choice. I don’t mean when I make a dumb decision, or attempt to use a stat that’s really low. I mean when I make, say, a moral decision, based on my character’s personality.

For instance, I remember one game I played, there was a character who bullied the MC for no reason and made their life a living hell. At some point later in the game, you get the option to befriend the bully and help them study for school. I chose not to, because the guy was a dickhead. Later in the game, when the characters get their test results, it says something along the lines of, “It seems that the bully got really bad grades. Maybe you should’ve helped him study.” And I’m thinking… “But I wanted him to get bad grades! I don’t like him!” :yum:


It’s kind of boring when most of the choices are about how you feel of something. I don’t feel like I’m roleplaying when my fake choices only change one sentence and a personality stat/attribute.

Then there’s grammar and spelling errors.

Another point is badly written prose in “text walls”. I think it’s ok to go for a while without choices (in books, there are no choices at all), but the literary quality must be good enough to make the story remain interesting.

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I also find the opposite annoying. For example, you’ve just met a character for the first time. The game asks what you think of them and your options are:
*Actually, I don’t like them at all.
*They seem pretty cool. I hope we can be friends.
*OMG, they’re so dreamy! I’m mentally planning our wedding right now!

And if you choose anything other than drooling over a stranger the first time you meet them, then that character can’t become a romance option later on. :yum:


Yuuup. Too many CYOAs are like “You literally just met this person. Do you want to marr-- I mean kiss them.”


Then people want that some people have commented why they can’t choose being super attracted for a character they literally have know five seconds ago… I have let you a flirty I would like know more about you… What more do you want asking for marriage ? :roll_eyes: Another thing is when character is already part of character past but with a person i just have met today i hate when forces me to go full in love and want have babies with him or her.

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A set of selected choices in a linear plot.


For me, it’s having too short of a game, or a game that is completely unbalanced. My biggest pet peeve is shallow characters. I know that the MC is the most important, but you dont interact with the MC; you interact with the other characters. I could play a game with a boring MC. I cant do a boring cast.

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-Awkward romance scenes
-Too overwhelming or too underwhelming stats
-Authors confusing “mc finds this person good looking/attractive” with “I’m attracted to this character”
-when half the choices literally mean nothing, and the story is way more plot focused than actual choices
-When the writer gets too colorful with their vocabulary and puts a bunch of these words in that has me pulling up a dictionary every chapter.
-When most the choices are more fit to a certain mc play through
-Introducing way to much characters, like there shouldn’t be 20 side characters that all matter to the plot and have stats with you’re relationship with them.
-Making you pick your ro in very beginning and then being glued down to them when you didn’t agree.


I don’t have a lot of nitpicking but sometimes it can be frustrating when an if uses stats to tell it’s story. Where stats should be in the background of a story giving you an overview of the mc ,they sometimes become part of the story. Limiting certain choses