I have loved books with choices. I think it all started with goose bumps I read as kid. You could read a scary story then pick what you wanted to do by flipping to a certain page in the book, sometimes you were killed in the book. That’s fine, just go back and do another route.
I personally really liked the choice games both in books and when I play video games. I know some people will say, choices in books you’ll have great a separate story. I think many stories have proven it can be done like Fate Heaven, and Robot Book.
I like the feeling I’m somewhat in control, based on actions that I pick. I get a very different response. From there I played Bioware Dragon Age, then I was hooked like on a drug. What was your first real choice game where you got to pick a different outcome, can be a short story or long.
I started with the choose-your-own-adventure books when I was younger, mostly Goosebumps, though there was this one about a space adventure where you explore the solar system with a robot buddy and some other guy. The only part I can remember is sending my robot friend to negotiate with some weird aliens. He comes back two minutes later, says they have convinced him that humans are an inferior species, and murders me.
That really does suck. Some of the choice responses are really funny. Like how he murdered you. I like not knowing what may happen in a book. What’s not predictable. When I got this site. I ordered nearly every story at least once.
I think it helps the re-play value. If you have a story with one route you just pick simple things that don’t change anything. I think people read a book more often with choices. I just wanted point out I found that a little funny on your choice.
He-Man and the Memory Stone was my first ever choice book which I likely read when I was around 6 or something. I loved He-Man and I ended up loving choice books too.
When I was slightly older I’d get the Fighting Fantasy books out of the library, and the Choose Your Own Adventures (I didn’t like those as much), I owned the Hero Quest and Knightmare ones. I read Lone Wolf, and Sorcery, and Way of the Ninja and I’m sure there’s others I played.
I always had to play with my fingers bookmarking pages so I could turn back when I made a mistake. I’m oh glad that Choice of Games have done away with the blind choices, and death lurking around every corner.
Bladerunner was the first computer game I played where I remember being able to actually effect the outcome, where your choices matter, and also parts of the game are randomised so you experience different things each play through. It’s still one of my favourite games. I loved being able to choose who to side with and that my choices throughout the game change the ending.
Actually you might be able to make significant choices in the Infocom Text Adventures I owned, which I played before Bladerunner, but I only ever finished Moonmist.
i think it was a really old copy of journey under the sea i bought as a kid at this cool thrift shop that had all these really old gadgets and books being a kid i spent most of the time in the section with the cool gadgets and such were i found the misplaced book had a interesting name so i read it didn’t read my second choose your own adventure story till i was much older choice of broadsides off of the website when it was still freely putting some of them up on the website as a advertizement i learned about it from a German friend when talking to him on Skype
Oh my goodness I remember laying on the cold stone floor of my elementary school library and reading those CYOA books with their old book smells like they were candy. I was freezing down there but I had to hide otherwise I would be forced to watch a movie in after-care (Seriously we were not allowed to do anything but watch the movie and in retrospect this is probably why I can’t stand sitting for movies and love reading HA) and plus the books I wanted were right there. I would always dog-ear the choices that seemed important, like how I open new tabs for CoG now lol. That didn’t always work because like how the above posters mentioned the books could have some really trippy endings.
I can’t remember my exact first one but I think my favorite was this one about this kid that finds a spaceship and explores the universe looking for some kind of space-Eden.
My friend’s dad also had all these old text games (old? sorry im a teenager!) on his computer which we would spend hours playing. I would never figure out the right words to type so I got frustrated but my friend had it covered.
Hmmmmm… My FIRST game with Choices was probably Knights of the Old Republic, in fact its one of the first games I remember playing (good Lord I I sucked back then, but I was really young as an excuse for sucking so badly XD). From there I played the second game and Dragon Age Origins (not necessarily in that order and there were large gaps between those and KOTOR), eventually falling into a long spiral of games where me making choices greatly changes stuff (both Mount and Blade games come to mind…) And eventually into a love for Visual Novels and the IF games here (and other places)
I’ve played a lot of games where my choices change things XD, some I forget about and my memory sucks so I can’t keep the order straight all the time, but I know KOTOR was the first for me because star wars and it was legitimately fun.
I used to read the choose your own adventure books. Not 100% sure which was the first one, might have been secret of the pyramids
Speaking of- anyone’s first attempt at writing one? I tried to make an interactive computer game story with limited animation in early high school, I think it was using q-basic from memory. Choice script is easier I think
I think it had to be choice of vampire which was well written at the time and I expanded to the other cog books which were more varied but it’s really intriguing from what I can remember when this site started out if the company had plans to make more books. But look at it today and they are busy as ever with more WIPS as we speak. Can’t believe COG have come a long way from simple books to steam and other great authors.
My first playthrough involved being caught exploring the Forbidden Zone of my home planet Orca, with my trusty companion Og. As punishment, we were sent to Earth to help the Earthlings solve their problems. (I don’t think their exact problems were specified. I guess we were supposed to fix all of them.)
I remember having to choose whether we would land our spaceship in China or the United States. I chose the United States because I did not want to deal with the language barrier. Space aliens don’t speak Chinese, after all. They speak English.
As we descended from our ship in a beam of light over Washington, I heard an unfamiliar sound that a human would have recognized as gunfire. Og and I were knocked out of our beam of light, and the last thing I heard was a man saying, “I think my bullets got both of them,” or something to that effect. I wondered what bullets were, and then I died.
That ending seemed strange to me even when I was a kid. For one thing, no one says “I think my bullets got both of them.” And according to the book’s artwork, people from the planet Orca look like clean-cut, WASP-ish sixth graders. I found it hard to imagine someone shooting at a pair of children, even if he were an American.
That was how the Choose Your Own Adventure books were, though. They taught the same lesson as the classic PC adventure games of the 1980s: nearly every adventure, no matter how grand or small, ends in death.
I also remember reading the Give Yourself Goosebumps books and also the Choose Your Own Adventure original books by Edward Packard. I remember loving all of them until I discovered the Choiceof games website and am currently reading and learning computer coding all by myself.
I love customisation in games and it definitely shows here! My first choice book was “Give Yourself Goosebumps: Trapped in Batwing Hall”
The first ones I actually played were a couple of books from the lesser known Be an Interplanetary Spy series. The choice system was a little different in that you essentially had to figure out a visual puzzle and pick the right answer (picking wrong usually led to a delightfully gruesome death).
I played a few of the traditional CYOA books, but I never really got into those as much and was a much bigger fan of the Fighting Fantasy style books.
As far as the first time trying to write a CYOA, I think it was around 2003, but I don’t think I really wrote a proper one until 2004 and I just continued writing CYOAs from there mainly for my own enjoyment. Just wish I had the time like I used to!
Ah, so many Goosebumps fans. I wasn’t a big reader when I was a kid but they had me fixed. Like others here I would use my fingers to bookmark the choice pages in case I got a bad ending lol. I remember being excited to visit the thrift shops where I’d be able to find these books. Local bookstores never seemed to have them.
I got back into these when I discovered Choice of the Dragon back when the first Samsungs came out. I was looking for a free app and that was one of them. I was so overjoyed! I remember thinking some genius brought choose your own stories to the app stores.
If you mean Infocom (Zork, Wishbringer, etc) and good old Adventure - yup, those are old. But this style of interactive fiction is very much alive and kicking in a hobbyist space, and several titles are available commercially for iPad and Android. Of particular note, one has been greenlit for Steam, but hasn’t been released there yet (Andrew Plotkin’s Hadean Lands).
The current resurgence is possible because of Graham Nelson’s language Inform 7, which takes a natural language approach to IF.
(What do I mean by natural language approach?
“The kitchen is a room. The stove is in the kitchen. A pot is on the stove. Some oatmeal is in the pot.”
The quotation above is workable I7 source code that will compile and run.)
I ran a competition last winter to encourage people to write parser IF. There were 15 entries, and the top three are spectacularly well done. (You can find more info here at the IFDB.)
Not old! Dwarf Fortress is under active development, with 955 people supporting further work every month via Patreon (and a comparable number via PayPal, according to the creators.)
Trivia: it was included in New York’s Museum of Modern Art 2013 video games exhibit. I went and saw it and went yay.
You’re right about the pain, though. By far, Dwarf Fortress has the worst UI of any otherwise-solid game I’ve ever played. The fan-made third party packages make it significantly more playable, and wading through a fan tutorial is pretty much mandatory to comprehending the game.
I think the Lone Wolf RPG-style gamebooks targeted a young adult audience, rather than children. They (and other books like them) are the closest thing I’ve seen in print to the CoG standards, since they include variable tracking (by hand, on paper) as well as flipping among pages. Particularly enjoyed Grey Star, which I must have played I-don’t-know-how-many-times as a kid.