5 Rules for Writing Interesting Choices

A place to discuss things that aren't specific to any one creator or game.
Forum rules
Ren'Py specific questions should be posted in the Ren'Py Questions and Annoucements forum, not here.
Message
Author
User avatar
OokamiKasumi
Eileen-Class Veteran
Posts: 1777
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 3:53 am
Completed: 14 games released -- and Counting.
Organization: DarkErotica Games
Deviantart: OokamiKasumi
Location: NC, USA
Contact:

Re: 5 Rules for Writing Interesting Choices

#16 Post by OokamiKasumi » Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:53 pm

SusanTheCat wrote:I liked the article 7 Rules for Designing Great Stats. It brings up some interesting ideas about what stats to choose for your game.
Have you looked at: By the Numbers: How to Write a Long Interactive Novel That Doesn’t Suck? Truthfully, I hadn't even considered the idea of using stats as a way to branch story-lines or change results until I read this blog.
SusanTheCat wrote:Once again, these aren't that complicated or earth shattering, but does give a little food for thought. -- Susan
It certainly got my brain humming.
Ookami Kasumi ~ Purveyor of fine Smut.
Most recent Games Completed: For ALL my completed games visit: DarkErotica Games

"No amount of great animation will save a bad story." -- John Lasseter of Pixar

User avatar
OokamiKasumi
Eileen-Class Veteran
Posts: 1777
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 3:53 am
Completed: 14 games released -- and Counting.
Organization: DarkErotica Games
Deviantart: OokamiKasumi
Location: NC, USA
Contact:

Re: 5 Rules for Writing Interesting Choices

#17 Post by OokamiKasumi » Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:56 pm

bunny-gypsy wrote:Thank you for the good articles, OokamiKasumi and SusanTheCat! =D
I'm glad you liked it!
bunny-gypsy wrote:I am thinking of doing a "raising" Simulation/Visual Novel kind of thing with multiple choices like a CYOA (though it might be ambitious for a first-timer, but I really want to do it!), so these tips can help me think about how I would approach the game. =)
Excellent! I love being inspirational. Good luck on your game!
Ookami Kasumi ~ Purveyor of fine Smut.
Most recent Games Completed: For ALL my completed games visit: DarkErotica Games

"No amount of great animation will save a bad story." -- John Lasseter of Pixar

User avatar
LVUER
King of Lolies
Posts: 4538
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:57 pm
Completed: R.S.P
Location: Bandung, West Java, Indonesia
Contact:

Re: 5 Rules for Writing Interesting Choices

#18 Post by LVUER » Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:57 pm

I don't know if I already know them all naturally or not, but it never hurt to review your basic. And also your article is nice/easy to be read. Thanks for posting them here ^_^
"Double the princesses, quadruple the fun!" - Haken Browning (SRW-OG Endless Frontier)

DeviantArt Account
MoeToMecha Blog (under construction)
Lolicondria Blog (under construction) <- NSFW

User avatar
babyfish
Veteran
Posts: 203
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:57 pm
Projects: Maid of Midsummer (LifeSim)
Location: (' )< Swimming in your fishbowl, nomming on flakes.
Contact:

Re: 5 Rules for Writing Interesting Choices

#19 Post by babyfish » Tue Aug 02, 2011 10:24 pm

Wow... septuple post.
Image
(Work in progress)

(' )< -babyfish

User avatar
LVUER
King of Lolies
Posts: 4538
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:57 pm
Completed: R.S.P
Location: Bandung, West Java, Indonesia
Contact:

Re: 5 Rules for Writing Interesting Choices

#20 Post by LVUER » Tue Aug 02, 2011 11:29 pm

What is septuple post?
"Double the princesses, quadruple the fun!" - Haken Browning (SRW-OG Endless Frontier)

DeviantArt Account
MoeToMecha Blog (under construction)
Lolicondria Blog (under construction) <- NSFW

User avatar
Anima
Veteran
Posts: 448
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:17 am
Completed: Loren
Projects: PS2
Location: Germany
Contact:

Re: 5 Rules for Writing Interesting Choices

#21 Post by Anima » Tue Aug 02, 2011 11:40 pm

LVUER wrote:What is septuple post?
Seven posts in a row. Aka spamming.

The article was interesting, even if the author used the same player classification as the threefold model from RPG "theory"
Avatar created with this deviation by Crysa
Currently working on:
  • Winterwolves "Planet Stronghold 2" - RPG Framework: Phase III

User avatar
OokamiKasumi
Eileen-Class Veteran
Posts: 1777
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 3:53 am
Completed: 14 games released -- and Counting.
Organization: DarkErotica Games
Deviantart: OokamiKasumi
Location: NC, USA
Contact:

Re: 5 Rules for Writing Interesting Choices

#22 Post by OokamiKasumi » Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:58 am

babyfish wrote:Wow... septuple post.
Hazards of waiting too long to post replies.
-- Good thing they don't mind that sort of thing here, ne?
Anima wrote:But it is frowned upon here.
Please give it some thought, reading trough a flood of posts that all have very little content is simply no fun.
Whoops... I missed that. My apologies.
Anima wrote:The article was interesting, even if the author used the same player classification as the threefold model from RPG "theory".
I haven't actually run across the threefold model from RPG "theory" so this article was actually new to me. My games aren't what I would consider RPG (though I suppose others might,) so it wasn't something I'd looked into. Ahem... I figured that if it was new to me, it might be new to others too.
Last edited by OokamiKasumi on Wed Aug 03, 2011 6:25 am, edited 4 times in total.
Ookami Kasumi ~ Purveyor of fine Smut.
Most recent Games Completed: For ALL my completed games visit: DarkErotica Games

"No amount of great animation will save a bad story." -- John Lasseter of Pixar

User avatar
Anima
Veteran
Posts: 448
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:17 am
Completed: Loren
Projects: PS2
Location: Germany
Contact:

Re: 5 Rules for Writing Interesting Choices

#23 Post by Anima » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:05 am

But it is frowned upon here.
Please give it some thought, reading trough a flood of posts that all have very little content is simply no fun.
Avatar created with this deviation by Crysa
Currently working on:
  • Winterwolves "Planet Stronghold 2" - RPG Framework: Phase III

User avatar
OokamiKasumi
Eileen-Class Veteran
Posts: 1777
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 3:53 am
Completed: 14 games released -- and Counting.
Organization: DarkErotica Games
Deviantart: OokamiKasumi
Location: NC, USA
Contact:

Re: 5 Rules for Writing Interesting Choices

#24 Post by OokamiKasumi » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:05 am

LVUER wrote:I don't know if I already know them all naturally or not, but it never hurts to review your basics. And also your article is nice/easy to read. Thanks for posting them here ^_^
You're welcome!
-- I'm a big supporter of the basics and I like sharing the interesting things I find, especially when they're tutorials.
Ookami Kasumi ~ Purveyor of fine Smut.
Most recent Games Completed: For ALL my completed games visit: DarkErotica Games

"No amount of great animation will save a bad story." -- John Lasseter of Pixar

User avatar
babyfish
Veteran
Posts: 203
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:57 pm
Projects: Maid of Midsummer (LifeSim)
Location: (' )< Swimming in your fishbowl, nomming on flakes.
Contact:

Re: 5 Rules for Writing Interesting Choices

#25 Post by babyfish » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:12 am

OokamiKasumi wrote:
babyfish wrote:Wow... septuple post.
Hazards of waiting too long to post replies.
-- Good thing they don't mind that sort of thing here, ne?
Actually, as Anima mentioned, people do mind.

Using the edit post function is generally accepted as good forum courtesy. Double or septuple posting, on the other hand, is not.
Image
(Work in progress)

(' )< -babyfish

User avatar
OokamiKasumi
Eileen-Class Veteran
Posts: 1777
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 3:53 am
Completed: 14 games released -- and Counting.
Organization: DarkErotica Games
Deviantart: OokamiKasumi
Location: NC, USA
Contact:

Re: 5 Rules for Writing Interesting Choices

#26 Post by OokamiKasumi » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:35 am

babyfish wrote:
OokamiKasumi wrote:Hazards of waiting too long to post replies.
-- Good thing they don't mind that sort of thing here, ne?
Actually, as Anima mentioned, people do mind. Using the edit post function is generally accepted as good forum courtesy. Double or septuple posting, on the other hand, is not.
Playing nice by not rubbing salt into people's wounds is also good forum courtesy, so is staying on topic -- which happens to be techniques for story branching.

Do you have a preferred technique, since your focus is on romance and character interaction?
Ookami Kasumi ~ Purveyor of fine Smut.
Most recent Games Completed: For ALL my completed games visit: DarkErotica Games

"No amount of great animation will save a bad story." -- John Lasseter of Pixar

User avatar
babyfish
Veteran
Posts: 203
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:57 pm
Projects: Maid of Midsummer (LifeSim)
Location: (' )< Swimming in your fishbowl, nomming on flakes.
Contact:

Re: 5 Rules for Writing Interesting Choices

#27 Post by babyfish » Wed Aug 03, 2011 6:42 am

OokamiKasumi wrote: Playing nice by not rubbing salt into people's wounds is also good forum courtesy, so is staying on topic -- which happens to be techniques for story branching.

Do you have a preferred technique, since your focus is on romance games?
... Okay, before we get back on topic, there's one thing I'd like to clarify.

I wasn't doing any 'salt-rubbing'. You didn't respond to Anima's post immediately, so I assumed you ignored it or otherwise missed it (which you did for a moment before editing). The way I see it, I was helping you out by letting you know that multiple posting tends to invite negative reception. The alternative would be to keep quiet and let the other people give you flack, which wouldn't exactly be nice of me either.

Regardless, I appreciate the fact that you're editing your posts now. I'm not trying to perpetuate an argument, I just think it's a little unfair that you're calling it 'salt-rubbing' when really I was trying to help you out.

*deep breath* With all that said, I think we can move back to the topic now. :) And yes, you could sort of say I have my own technique for creating choices. I wouldn't say that it's as 'rules-based' as the framework the article describes. Basically, in romance games, by making a choice, the player is making a statement about themselves to the in-game characters. Likewise, by reacting to that choice, characters are revealing something about themselves.

Overall, I think that RPGs use choices more as an avenue for exploration. Romance games use choices more as an avenue for communication. Both types, however, use decision-making as a means of self-growth for the player.
Image
(Work in progress)

(' )< -babyfish

User avatar
OokamiKasumi
Eileen-Class Veteran
Posts: 1777
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 3:53 am
Completed: 14 games released -- and Counting.
Organization: DarkErotica Games
Deviantart: OokamiKasumi
Location: NC, USA
Contact:

Re: 5 Rules for Writing Interesting Choices

#28 Post by OokamiKasumi » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:12 am

babyfish wrote:I wasn't doing any 'salt-rubbing'. You didn't respond to Anima's post immediately, so I assumed you ignored it or otherwise missed it (which you did for a moment before editing). The way I see it, I was helping you out by letting you know that multiple posting tends to invite negative reception. The alternative would be to keep quiet and let the other people give you flack, which wouldn't exactly be nice of me either. ... I just think it's a little unfair that you're calling it 'salt-rubbing' when really I was trying to help you out.
My apologies for my far too quick temper. Repeating Anima's quote triggered something of a flashback to other boards where repeating disciplinary quotes was done for more...negative reasons.
babyfish wrote:*deep breath* With all that said, I think we can move back to the topic now. :)
Excellent!
babyfish wrote:And yes, you could sort of say I have my own technique for creating choices. I wouldn't say that it's as 'rules-based' as the framework the article describes. Basically, in romance games, by making a choice, the player is making a statement about themselves to the in-game characters. Likewise, by reacting to that choice, characters are revealing something about themselves.
Do you prefer to use a point system to record/award these statements, or do you prefer to branch from there? A little of both, or something completely different? (I don't need specifics, I don't want to pry into what might be your personal gaming secrets.)
babyfish wrote:Overall, I think that RPGs use choices more as an avenue for exploration.
I agree with you there. My last game, Faery Tale, was more of an RPG where exploration was encouraged.
babyfish wrote:Romance games use choices more as an avenue for communication. Both types, however, use decision-making as a means of self-growth for the player.
Oh! Do you use 'character growth' to forward the game, to progress from one segment/encounter to the next? Do decisions (choices) actually change the characters in-game? Having the characters change in-game is a fascinating idea and one I admit I haven't explored yet.
Ookami Kasumi ~ Purveyor of fine Smut.
Most recent Games Completed: For ALL my completed games visit: DarkErotica Games

"No amount of great animation will save a bad story." -- John Lasseter of Pixar

User avatar
Efreet
Regular
Posts: 145
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2008 5:21 pm
Projects: Denial, Guilt [On Hold]
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: 5 Rules for Writing Interesting Choices

#29 Post by Efreet » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:32 am

Excellent articles that were previously posted, some of the things I'm sure some of us knew but it's never a bad thing to clarify them. (Hope I'm not parroting =p)

One book that's good on story writing is Robert McKee's Story, and though you might see it as screenwriting book I think it carries plenty of universal pointers and advice. Just that VNs are more your interactive film letting you choose what happens next. Importantly, it does have a large, healthy section on character arc creation, allowing your character to grow and with a bit of thought, put the choices down that would affect their growth.

One way I'd like to try and write is a mixture between Situationalist and Plotter, there's some misconceived idea that if you plot down your story and choices you can't change them. The Situation writer doesn't fully understand his or her characters and so sets up a situation to let the characters think for themselves, usually taking them places and actions the writer might not have thought of initially. The problem with this is that the writer needs to have some internal consistency, which follows onto Rule 4's Simulationist Player.

User avatar
OokamiKasumi
Eileen-Class Veteran
Posts: 1777
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 3:53 am
Completed: 14 games released -- and Counting.
Organization: DarkErotica Games
Deviantart: OokamiKasumi
Location: NC, USA
Contact:

Re: 5 Rules for Writing Interesting Choices

#30 Post by OokamiKasumi » Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:46 am

Efreet wrote:Excellent articles that were previously posted, some of the things I'm sure some of us knew but it's never a bad thing to clarify them. (Hope I'm not parroting =p)
I'm glad you liked them! The point system (in RenPy) was something I knew about but didn't have any idea on what to do with it or how to use it to forward the game, so the articles were pretty eye-opening for me.
Efreet wrote:One book that's good on story writing is Robert McKee's Story, and though you might see it as screenwriting book I think it carries plenty of universal pointers and advice. ... Importantly, it does have a large, healthy section on character arc creation, allowing your character to grow and with a bit of thought, put the choices down that would affect their growth.
Oh! New book to buy!
Efreet wrote:One way I'd like to try and write is a mixture between Situationalist and Plotter... The Situation writer doesn't fully understand his or her characters and so sets up a situation to let the characters think for themselves... The problem with this is that the writer needs to have some internal consistency, which follows onto Rule 4's Simulationist Player.
I am very much a hard-core plotter. I plan out everything from beginning to end, though I do change things when I come up with better ideas. Writing multiple path stories has been Quite a challenge for me. I've been using FreeMind program to map out the branches, however it's not exactly intuitive towards making multiple paths converge together.
Ookami Kasumi ~ Purveyor of fine Smut.
Most recent Games Completed: For ALL my completed games visit: DarkErotica Games

"No amount of great animation will save a bad story." -- John Lasseter of Pixar

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users