Why is there a "Next" button?

I’m curious about the design decision to make users click on a choice radio button, and then click on a “Next” button. Why not just click on the choice as a link to advance directly to the next section? It works for the Stats page. Surely this isn’t a Javascript limitation?

Is this a safeguard against accidental choices? An “Is that your final answer?” for dramatic purposes? I know, some of the games occasionally allowed you to pick from two sets of radio buttons before hitting “Next,” but it’s pretty rare for that to be needed, and in the meantime, my hand is about to fall off from running the mouse/trackpad twice as much as necessary (not a joke for those susceptible to carpal tunnel/RSI).

Any chance that for a future version of ChoiceScript, the “Next” button could be made optional if a designer wanted, and the choices appear as links instead of radio buttons?

Yes, it’s to protect against accidental choices.

We’ve considered incorporating an Undo (or Back) button instead, but we found that users would spoil their game, by clicking on every option one at a time and clicking Back, until they found a result they liked the best. It removed all of the dramatic tension; one user described this as a “chore!”

It’s tempting to say “well, if it’s a chore, and it ruins the game, then why are you pushing the Back button so much? Just play the game without testing every option first!” But I think people just can’t help themselves; it’s just too hard to resist pressing the Back button when we’ve made the “wrong” choice. And even if we never use the Back button, it undermines tension just knowing that “if I ever get in trouble, I can always Undo…”

Also, when people accidentally pick the wrong option by a misclick, they’re often confused by what follows. The player has to stop and realize: “Wait, didn’t I choose to flee? Why am I fighting? Oh, I must have clicked the wrong thing.” When we use radio buttons, it’s easier to immediately see a misclick: the wrong radio button lights up. This gives players a chance to fix mistakes in a less confusing way.

(We’ve separately considered making a back button available only to players who have beaten the game at least once; this is probably a good idea, but it requires work; we haven’t found time to do it yet.)

Oh, I forgot to answer your question: I suppose it’s possible that we’d replace the radio buttons with links or regular buttons, but it’s not currently planned.

I love the fact we have to click “Next” as I use my phone to play a lot of these games and it can be a pain trying to scroll down with your finger and accidently hitting buttons :stuck_out_tongue:

^^ Same :smiley:

also the idea to introduce the back button after having played through once already is a good one.

on a smaller note, is there currently or will there ever be the ability for users of choicescript to customise the text displayed on the “Next” button, in the same way you can change the “View Stats” button?

Well, I suppose if testing showed a lot of misclicks, then a Next button is the way to go, unless you just need more space between selections (probably not the case, and would introduce its own problems).

A Back button for those who have completed a certain % of the game’s content would be cool.

Although I agree the ‘Next’ button is more or less… hmm… cumbersome? (For lack of a better word, and I’m using it loosely at the moment.) I prefer the button to be there. Too many times have I made an accidental choice.
Also, it’s better than a pop-up saying “Are you sure you want to pick this choice?” click yes “you SUURE?” etc…

on a smaller note, is there currently or will there ever be the ability for users of choicescript to customise the text displayed on the “Next” button, in the same way you can change the “View Stats” button?

You can already do this. It’s in the Advanced Techniques section of the documentation.

Labeled buttons: By default, *finish buttons say “Next Chapter” and *page_break buttons say “Next”. You can make the button say something else, instead:

*page_break On with the show!
*finish The show is over!

The problem, though, is that it’s impossible to display more than a dozen characters on the buttons on iPhones and Android.