What's the difference between a scene and a vignette?


Which is longer? Is there any source code I can view to see how they’re broken down?


A scene is a file type. In terms of literature, think chapter. If I’m not mistaken (feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, anyone!), a vignette is smaller. It’s a complete sequence–like “MC goes to the library,” and it fits within a larger sequence (the scene).

Length depends on the writer, and it can vary from scene to scene or vignette to vignette.


This blog post from CoG talks about vignettes; it doesn’t give a solid definition, but it does give lists of examples and discusses CS game structure generally. It’s followed by this article, and then this one, which discusses some methods for writing vignettes.

They’re oldish posts, 2010, so not everything may be current, but hopefully some of it will be helpful.

You can view the code of any of the free CoG games (or any games which you own), depending on which platform you are using; detailed instructions are here.


Thanks, I had read those blog posts but still found it a bit unclear.

In the case where I’ve played a COG game that had clearly marked chapters (e.g The Martian Job), would each chapter be a scene?

And is it generally accepted (as per the first article you linked to) that choices and branches typically take place within a scene, rather than between them?


Here’s a post on branching if you want to read it. There are a few ways to understand branching. Sometimes, as you say, within a scene you may choose to go down one path instead of another. A lot of times though, the big branches wait until the end, and they depend on choices you made earlier (often tracked via stats). There’s also flavor text which changes the game in small ways but doesn’t really constitute a branch.

Edit: yes, each “chapter” is generally considered a scene. You can tell if you’re at the end of the scene by the button. If it says “next” then it’s just the end of the page, but if it says “next chapter,” it’s the end the scene.


But It doesn’t have to be that way I have chapters that are divided in various scenes due practical reasons Or if x chapters are short could be in same scene.