How many options are too many?

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awesomeautumn
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How many options are too many?

#1 Post by awesomeautumn » Sat Mar 03, 2012 7:06 pm

I have a lot of trouble with limiting myself, because I love customization and being able to react the way I would in real life. Especially in dialogue and reacting to other characters.
So, exactly what the topic says: How many options are too many?

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Re: How many options are too many?

#2 Post by LVUER » Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:37 pm

You may want to read this thread: Too many options
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Re: How many options are too many?

#3 Post by SpoilerDuck » Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:29 am

The moment you have an option that fails to impact the narrative in a meaningful way, you have too many options.

A VN with a hundred different branching points could seem like the right amount of options, so long as each was well designed and written.

A VN with just three options could have too many if they were detrimental to the narrative flow.

It all depends on:
1 - Your talent as a designer
2 - Your talent as a writer
3 - The needs of the story/stories you are trying to tell

Think carefully about what you want a reader/player to get from your VN, then judge whether choices are needed or not.

edit -
LVUER wrote:You may want to read this thread: Too many options
From that thread:
HigurashiKira wrote:If your flow chart looks something like this:
Image
Then you have too many choices. Otherwise, I don't think a few decisions here and there are bad.
See, I disagree with this. If each of those nodes on that flowchart genuinely brought something to the narrative in a meaningful way, that very well might not be "too many".

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Re: How many options are too many?

#4 Post by HigurashiKira » Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:33 pm

SpoilerDuck wrote:
HigurashiKira wrote:If your flow chart looks something like this:
Image
Then you have too many choices. Otherwise, I don't think a few decisions here and there are bad.
See, I disagree with this. If each of those nodes on that flowchart genuinely brought something to the narrative in a meaningful way, that very well might not be "too many".

I would like to bring up that the pink nodes are the only ones that bring anything to the narrative, everything else is just filler.
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Re: How many options are too many?

#5 Post by SpoilerDuck » Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:04 pm

HigurashiKira wrote:I would like to bring up that the pink nodes are the only ones that bring anything to the narrative, everything else is just filler.
Ouch. What game was that?

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Re: How many options are too many?

#6 Post by HigurashiKira » Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:13 pm

SpoilerDuck wrote:
HigurashiKira wrote:I would like to bring up that the pink nodes are the only ones that bring anything to the narrative, everything else is just filler.
Ouch. What game was that?

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Re: How many options are too many?

#7 Post by Gambit74 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:28 pm

I gotta agree with most of the posts I've seen in LVUER's link. If the choices don't impact the story and are just there as filler, then they are somewhat meaningless. Though one plus I can see to them is that it kind of gives us a look at the character's personality (Assuming the choices are lines that the character is thinking themselves), having several of them throughout the story would be too much.

I also think that choices should be spread apart evenly and at a good pace. It shouldn't take too long to get to the next choice after the first one, but the next choice also shouldn't come just around the corner right after the first one either, unless it was crucial to the situation.
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Re: How many options are too many?

#8 Post by PyTom » Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:06 am

To be fair, the timeloop game doesn't count. I'm guessing it's more of a gameplay based VN, where the goal is to find the pink nodes in the see of red herrings.

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Re: How many options are too many?

#9 Post by HigurashiKira » Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:32 am

PyTom wrote:To be fair, the timeloop game doesn't count. I'm guessing it's more of a gameplay based VN, where the goal is to find the pink nodes in the see of red herrings.

I only wish it was more gameplay based, but it isn't, there's long winded periods of exposition between each node, and a lot of them lead to the worst path. This is also only half the game, the other tree branch is much more linear but still suffers the filler the first half does.
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Re: How many options are too many?

#10 Post by awesomeautumn » Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:02 pm

Thank you for posting, everyone~
I think I'll have a fun time reading through the Too Many Options thread to get even more input, but I think the basics have been stated :)

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Re: How many options are too many?

#11 Post by Greeny » Tue Mar 06, 2012 5:55 am

My game currently has 193 menus.
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Re: How many options are too many?

#12 Post by HigurashiKira » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:03 pm

Greeny wrote:My game currently has 193 menus.

Dear lord, you cant be serious?! An average dating sim has like 40-60 menus. Most of that HAS to be filler (or at least pointless choices)
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Re: How many options are too many?

#13 Post by Anarchy » Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:02 pm

In the Persona games, for example, dialogue options have no effect on the plot but can be used to customize character development. I don't think you can call that pointless, especially in such a character-driven medium like VNs.

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Re: How many options are too many?

#14 Post by HigurashiKira » Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:23 pm

Anarchy wrote:In the Persona games, for example, dialogue options have no effect on the plot but can be used to customize character development. I don't think you can call that pointless, especially in such a character-driven medium like VNs.

May not affect plot, but it does affect how other characters react to you. Still, Im an advocate of "Storytelling over Gameplay" but I think I may be the only one
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Re: How many options are too many?

#15 Post by awesomeautumn » Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:10 pm

Anarchy wrote:In the Persona games, for example, dialogue options have no effect on the plot but can be used to customize character development. I don't think you can call that pointless, especially in such a character-driven medium like VNs.


This is sort of what I want to do. I want the player to have more control over the main character's personality and friendships, which might then impact the storyline of the game. Thank you for the input :D

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