What won't you do in your writing because it's immersion breaking to you?

(I was certain there was a topic on this already, but I can’t find it. If the mods know, please merge)

What are things you avoid writing in your games? Mainly what things do you avoid cause you feel they break immersion.

I usually stay away from having characters tell each other stuff they would already know for the sake of customization choices, or choices for customization that would feel tacked on.

E.G.:
In my current project I ask the reader beforehand how tall their MC is, if the MC smokes and/or drinks. Because these three questions are impossible to weave into the story without them appearing out of place.

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A character acting differently because… “plot reason”, especially a clever one who takes a temporary level in dumbass.
Second a protagonist who is “the center of the universe” where morality, goals and characters orbit around him/her.
Third double standard between characters, even if I don’t know how much is immersion breaking as a lot of real life people are like that.

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I gave people the option to wait with showing achievements until the end (apart from Steam who has it’s own will), and to set genders at the start, OR when you meet the people (or randomize).

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ooooh

setting gender of npcs is a tricky one IMO. cause to me it feels weird that my MC can supposedly identify trans folks by looking at them? like errr…
edit: i mean I understand the reason author have for doing it this way, but, people, please…

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When she speaks to you, she ...

*fake_choice
  # Cranes her neck to look all the way up at you.
  # Stares you dead in the eyes.
  # Bends down a bit to match your short stature.
He offers you a cigarette.

*fake_choice
  # "Just what I needed."
  # "I'm trying to quit."
  # "I don't smoke."
"You drink?"

*fake_choice
  # "Yes."
  # "No."

I find characters with double standards to be really interesting. I’m writing a scene in my story right now where a character talks about moral philosophy and deontological rules, like ‘do not cheat on your wife’, and you can call them out for breaking those rules in their own life. You get to watch them struggle to justify the contradiction. And this is meant to be a relatively sympathetic character, too!

One thing I never do in my writing, specifically for IF, is use a snarky omniscient narrator to critique the player on the choices they’ve made. I found that really annoying in some earlier choice games. Takes me completely out of the story.

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I wish I could like this 85 more times. That is an immediate NOPE from me.

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Pushing thoughts on the MC or, even worse, morals.

You feel saddened by…

You can’t stand this [moral matter important for the author]

Considering it’s done in the second person is an aggravating circumstance.

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I really struggled to continue a dialogue for the MC. That’s why my game has so much dialogue choices because I feel bad reacting on behalf on the reader :sweat_smile:

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In a Kiss from Death the main character never has dialogue unless the player has selected it. I got real tired of that rule by the end, so my next project has a tonne of unprompted dialogue, sometimes full conversations. The intent is for the MC to feel like they already have a concrete place in the world independent of player action. They start out already in a romantic relationship, even! It’s a huge departure from my previous game and I’m really enjoying the change.

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These are good :slight_smile: but as said:
For my story it’s not possible to weave them into the flow. (check out ‘Devil’s Creek’ to see what I mean. there’s no way in the story flow for at least the drinking and size questions to appear without feeling a little off)

One way to ‘help’ with this can be using personality traits and multireplace

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I wouldn’t mind if it wasn’t that the 90% of the time this is never brought out neither by the characters or by the author.

Ex. In a story I read about vampires (bonus for who guess the name) there them and the vampire hunters. Now the formers had done things like: feeding from humans, and often killing them, turn some humans in vampires without their consense, rule nations from the shadows, slaughter innocent because the fun or because they were pissed of… and last but not least one of them with the God complex is trying to rule over both humans and vampires turning the formers in just enslaved food reserve. And despite all that the reader supposed sympathize with them because the vampire hunters are… genocide racist with a stormtrooper uniform. Their grey area is never brought up and are treated like unredimeble nazis.

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I really despise that as well. When the narrator has first-person pronouns – (and is belittling me) – while my character has second-person pronouns, I just find that it immediately tears me away from the narrative. It reminds me that some omniscient being has complete access to my story, and it makes me wonder: Are my choices actually doing anything? I would rather just avoid that altogether.

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I know what you mean. I try to keep my “narrator” rather in the shadows after the very beginning. I also try to make it feel like the PC is established in their world by talking to people they already know just like you say good morning etc. to your next door neighbor. The “whoops I don’t remember you” thing drives me up a wall. Now, toward the beginning of my story (depending on choices, of course!) you can run into at least one person the PC wouldn’t already know, so you do get something of a meet and greet there. To me getting the feeling that the character is established is important - and however the player chooses to play shouldn’t take any of the NPCs by surprise! Whatever actions the PC takes should be taken in stride by the NPCs, no “oh really, wow that’s not what I thought you’d do” from anyone. You want to steal the crown of Negengba while wearing a purple chicken suit and only answer to “Admiral Hamster”? Yeah, sounds about right, maybe with a hint of “Wow PC, I thought you wanted a pink chicken suit, but purple totally rocks!”

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Personally, I HATE telling the player how they feel.
Sure as a writer I can allude to discomfort and instinct, but painting the players emotion is kinda presumptuous. I can lead a reader in a certain direction but find it rude to say “You’re sad.” Especially if there was no choice prompting the protagonist to specifically be sad.

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I avoid using a repetitive word or phrase, especially in the same paragraph. That’s including ‘you’ used several times. As a reader seeing these things, I start focusing on that rather than the story, and begin to think about what words I would use to replace it, or how I would restructure the sentence. I think that’s only because I write a lot and critique myself when proofreading for the same things.

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Also, selecting my characters gender, sexuality preference, pronouns, features, height, and weight (etc) all at once before the story even begins throws me off, and I won’t do that myself. I understand that a lot of authors do this though; it just isn’t for me, I guess.

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A character who has a good progress in development on the story and then devolve it for a plot reason, or a similar whiplash situation that throw you off, in a series type… Something that can really kill a character is having a co-protagonic role/important secondary role and in the sequel(s) has been reduce to almost a filler character, another infamous one for choice type of game is basically being obligated to pick a specific choice, this one is kinda tricky and usually depends of the reader/player perspective and moral, but also if does ruin the whole story for them or not.

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Eek. I’ve played a couple of otome games with this premise, and… well, I’ll just say that I’m hoping you’ll handle it better than they did.

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Give the player a bunch of stats but only 1-2 of them maxed out leads to a good ending

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Thank you for saying that, I was curious, but will give it a pass now since that is the single most immersion breaking thing for me. It reminds me that this is an artificial game that I somehow is supposed to control every detail of.

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