Where Should the Choices Go?

Heya guys! I’m DreadingCuteness2xD and I’ve been a lurker here for years, also I’m bad at socializing and English isn’t my first language.

So I’ve been thinking for quite some time now about writing my own game, but despite knowing how to write and how to code I can’t seem to start, though I realized why and its because I don’t know when or where to put the choices, so I hope that you guys can help me and give me some tips.

Also, these are some of the stories with little summaries that I want to write, fixed by genres:

Superpowers:

The Invisible Rouge: a story about a hero with invisibility powers (working title).

A Villain’s Perspective: where you play as a sidekick turned villain.

The GateKeeper: where you are an ordinary teenager that learned they can open different dimension. (This will be part of a marvel like series)

Horror/Thriller:

The Lullaby: a story about a strange town that sleeps in the day and awake at night because of a mysterious lulling lullaby (based on true experience)

Truth or Dare: A supposedly normal Truth or Dare game gone wrong.

Xian’s Death: where you play as a sibling of a man who was killed by his lover, sent by your parents to the town where he lives, to retrieve a special book.

I’m a maladaptive daydreamer, so all the stories above are already done, I just need to write and code them in players’ perspective and freedom to pick choices. So again, I hope you guys can help me. Thank you!

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Put a choice when it makes sense to have one in the passage. To break a long read, to give players interaction, to enforce theme, unveil character or story development, et cetera.

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I tried doing that but it didn’t work for me, my stories are from my perspectives visually or you know in my mind and in there I choose how my story proceeds by my own choices, like every move is a choice and when I wrote one for the first time it just ended up having a choice at every passage. Sorry if I’m being dumb🙇.

I have changed the title so that the thread is more clearly about the question asked.

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I’m not an experienced writer by any means, but I am penning a WIP of my own too. Here’s an advice I was given, which I find very helpful:

Give choices to let the MC react to the story events as they unfold. This helps readers shape their character more, which is always welcome!

Let’s take an ordinary situation as an example: MC’s mother wants them to get eggs from the grocery.

#You don’t really mind. You like eggs.
#You hate going grocery shopping but you didn’t want to argue with her.
#Actually, you appreciate being out of the house. It clears your mind.

So while it doesn’t drive the story forward per se, it does help in immersion because we get to shape our character’s personality and emotions.

I hope this helps! “A Villain’s Perspective” and “Truth or Dare” sound awesome by the way.

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It’s probably about balance, you don’t want too many choices, so many that they become mundane. And you don’t want too few that it’s more a regular story than interactive fiction. If you’re struggling to figure out where choices should go, add some flavour choices in that won’t affect the story save for what the main character chooses to wear for example, towards the beginning mostly and dispersed throughout the story during lulls in the main story perhaps.

Adding in more important choices, maybe think about how this could affect the story in a significant or semi-significant way, if you can’t think of anything in particular it might be best to leave it without a choice option.

There can definitely be too much of a good thing, and It’s probably best to figure it out first rather than come back to it later, if only to save you your sanity. The reason for that being going back to add or remove a choice in later could mean having to change more of the story than you’d like and has to the potential to be time consuming.

Hope I managed to stay on topic and I hope this helps. :slightly_smiling_face:

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What I noticed was that most players would like to have a choice about their feelings. So generally speaking if you have scenes where someone might have lots of different emotions and ways to react, that’s where ypu should give the player a choice.

Sometimes you want to break long scenes, so you give the reader “fake” choices that don’t have an impact on the story, but still gives the players an option. Like drinking tea instead of coffee (as simple as that sounds, there are many who’d like to make that decision themselves)

And of course there are huge choices which define the path a player takes or their relationships with other characters. So replies in dialogues are good places for choices too.

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Thanks! You’re advice helped a lot, also that’s good to hear! Because those two are inspired by my favorite movie and game (AVP was inspired by Fallen Hero and Truth or Dare was inspired by Jumanji) Thank you again!:pray:

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The Choice of Games Style Guide recommends adding a choice after around 100–200 words in the narrative, and discourages 400 words or more between choices. I’m fairly sure the document is dated, since it refers to Choice of Broadsides and that game was released in 2010, but it’s a pretty useful rule of thumb for me when I have the same issue.

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I definitely agree with everything that’s been said on here, but I do want to talk a bit on the threat of also having too many choices.

Choices break down into a few things: how the character feels, what the character’s opinions are and what the character does. However, in general, unless it’s a romance or combat scene, the first two seem to matter the most to players when it comes to choices. This is because you can usually accurately determine what a player wants to physically do if you know their motives.

In general, you just need one choice that sets the tone of the character in the scene. For ex. if the character attempts to do something and fails they might get angry, might get sad, might get more inspired to do something. Moments like this are when you allow there to be a choice for the player.

However, operating off of this choice, you can then figure out what the character wants to do in that scene. If a character chooses to feel angry about something, you know the character will act aggressively in that scene. If something occurs in that scene that might make them less angry (for example, a character tells them new information) then you might add a choice for them to feel something else.

Because of that, emotions and opinions tend to be the most driving choices in a game, and if you feel like there’s room for more choices, you can tailor behavior specific choices within those scenes in regard of physical actions. (ex. an angry character might want to punch something, break something, try to calm themselves down where as a more upset character might cry, try to keep it together, etc.)

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