Aducan, The Contributor
Writing sounds fun.
Recent PostsIs a thousand words too many? on 9/8/2017 11:19:25 PM
Haha, clever! ;)
Seriously tho, I was considering just deleting everything and putting in "treat consistency of quality like grammar", but if someone asked "why" I would have to respond with what I've already written so I just left it anyway.
I do get your point tho, and I suppose there is a point to be made of sometimes needing to increase the word count just to get across a certain point. Ofcourse, I don't think forum posts and books are comparable in this sense, but the irony isn't lost on me.
Thanks for stopping by!
Is a thousand words too many? on 9/8/2017 11:15:50 PM
Ah of course! Can't believe I missed that.
Know of any examples where a text focus on quantity over quality and comes out better for it? I think I said that you can't compromise on consistency or quality without making your work worse off for it (not saying you couldn't do it, just that you shouldn't).
I'm interested to see an example in text of "quantity [having] a quality all of its own".
Glad to hear we're on the same page, and sorry for wasting your time!
Is a thousand words too many? on 9/8/2017 6:06:54 AM
I just think it's a good thing to keep the reading consistent, especially in storygames, for the same reason I don't really like it when one chapter is longer than others in novels; I want to get on with the story. If I see a huge jump in word number, I'm going to assume that you're either a) dumping lore or unnecessary details on my head, b) building to an immediate or very close climax, or c) (in the case of a storygame) taking control away from me (which could be avoided by just providing a thing to click halfway through), and fair enough, sometimes those are necessary/fine/good/great.
Admittedly I might have been overzealous in stressing consistency's importance. I think I forgot we were talking about page length and word count per page rather than consistency as a general principal in making creative work, which I still think is extremely important.
My bad, and sorry for my lack of focus. I was wrong.
Especially sorry to OP for unfocused advice.
So revised advice to OP:
The page can stay a 1000 words, even if it's bigger than normal. Just make sure there's a reason for this and it isn't because you forgot to add a choice or because you suddenly started describing a ton of things in detail you haven't done before/ don't need to.
If you want to start adding larger levels of detail/longer pages, always first consider why and if it's adding to the experience, or just padding.
That's it for OP.
Going back to your post again EbonVasilis, I get "intimidated" for the same reason I get "intimidated" when I see a powerpoint slide black with small text all over. Intimidated was a poor word, fatigued may have been better? I don't know, but when I see text dumps (relative to the rest of the work) I always just sight and do a "here we go" even in things I like. Idk, prubs just my own quirk. A dump of text after you've shown me you could do good work within a certain boundary sort of gives the impression that you're wasting time since you probs could have written out the page just as well with a shorter word count.
idk, just makes me sigh. ¯\_(?)_/¯
Edit: RANT INCOMING, FEEL FREE TO IGNORE, REALLY JUST ME EXPLAINIGN SOMETHING THAT WAS PROBS UNNECESSARY TO EXPLAIN.
Also, regarding " Consistency is important, but does it really take priority over everything else he would be giving up to be consistent?", I think if we're talking in regards to page length, which we are, then you're absolutely right. Bigger fish to fry and all that, but it would be a nice thing to look at during editing (and given he's not working on a deadline, I don't see why he couldn't meet most priorities). However, in the context of me saying consistency is super important, blah blah blah, I meant that in the context of consistency in one's work in general, like a "design principle"? Is that the right way to put it? (I'm not trying to imply you misinterpreted me, I'm saying that I didn't express what I was saying clearly, so I just want to clear that up)
Anyway, again, like I mentioned, I failed to properly grasp the question of the OP, and if we were talking about page length balancing, then yeah, it's not that important, but if we're talking about consistency as a whole (consistency of quality, if you will) then I do think it's super important and I don't think that he would need to "give up" anything to reach it. The way I see it, you don't have to sacrifice the quality of your work to be more consistent throughout, because being more consistent in of itself improves the quality of your work. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and so by raising up the standard of your whole story to meet a certain expectation by never skimping out on a part over-indulging in something, you only serve to improve the quality of your work.
Furthermore, consistency isn't a "component" of your work that you modify or chose to focus or forget about in order to focus on another mechanic. It's a principle and something that is... just done? Hmm, hard to explain... basically I would disagree with you saying "why consistency is more important than other important story mechanics[?]" on the basis that it's not more important than other story mechanics because it itself is not a mechanic/feature.
Think of it this way: In a book, you can choose to focus on dialogue or descriptive language. You can make the conscious choice of going "Yeah, you know what? I think I'll do less dialogue so I can really focus on detailing what's taking place." Similarly in a videogame, you can choose to focus on aesthetics or gameplay over the other. It's perfectly viable to think "I'd rather this be a test of the players mastery of my controls rather than something that's visually appealing." Likewise, you could do the opposite of those statements on focus on the other thing. It's perfectly viable to make either of those decisions on the basis of you wanting to engineer a specific experience or based on your goals, artistic merit, or what you're trying to accomplish, and focusing on some areas over others that better represent the philosophy of your work is perfectly viable, as focusing on other, less related parts of your work may take away from the core aspects of your work (ie, using the game examples, spending time on graphics in a mechanical shooter instead of spending it on the mechanics can prove pointless or even harmful to the overall experience you set out to achieve if it draws attention from developing the mechanical side of the game).
However, consistency makes no such trade offs. There is no instance in which you think "You know what? I think I'll focus less on making this work good all the way throughout to focus on something else" when it comes to consistency. It's not a part of the work, it is the work (lol that made no sense). It's the same with spelling, you wouldn't ever go "Oh I'll focus less on spelling properly so I can do more intricate storylines," because spelling is the work. If you don't spell properly, your work will only get worse and worse, and it's not something you should be actively choosing to ignore in favor of something else. Same with consistency, and punctuation. It's not something you priorities, it's something you must do or your work will be just be bad. It's not an artistic choice or an acceptable trade off to have bad grammar in your books, and neither is it an acceptable choice to have your work fluctuating in levels of quality throughout.
You can release a story with poor spelling and grammar and call it finished, but it will be a bad story. You can release a story with bad consistency of quality, but it will be a bad story.
So no, I don't think that consistency takes priority over everything else a writer would need to give up to achieve it simply on the premise that it's not something where you need to give up something else to do it. It's simply a necessity and something that should be done well if you want to write a good piece.
So yeah, I do think consistency isvery important, but I don't think it's something your prioritise over other things. It is something that is prioritized because without it you won't have a proper story, it's something that must be done.
Phew, just realized that this is way longer and defending an argument that didn't even start. For all I know you agree with me. Might put a disclaimer in. So yeah, if we're talking consistency as in page length, then yeah, I agree with you. It shouldn't take priority. But if we're talking consistency in quality of your work, then yeah, I strongly believe it's important and that it's not something where you're doing it at the expense of another thing as it's simply necessary. Felt like just clarifying that and had the time to kill.
Again, sorry for whole lot of nothing, and I hope I cleared up my mistake. Hopefully the bold advice is more suited to what OP is trying to do.
Frustrating moments in Video Games on 9/7/2017 6:59:58 AM
As a Total War player, that's fucking hilarious!
On a related note,
DANCE WATER, DANCE!
Is a thousand words too many? on 9/7/2017 6:56:52 AM
I'd say you split it up (even with a pointless link) just to keep everything consistent in terms of length. That's the important thing, consistency.
Often times I'm reading a really nice story and then BAM huge text dump. I tend to solider on and read them anyway but they still make me groan whenever I see them. My issue with them isn't so much that they're long but that they're so much longer than anything else that (relatively) it ends up feeling like it's taking waaaay longer to read.
So yeah, I'd say just split it, if only so the reader doesn't get intimidated by a drastic jump in words per page. You can still keep everything you have, just split it up naturally so it's all told over 2 pages.
"Meaningless" choices on 9/7/2017 6:50:07 AM
You could do choices for the purposes of role play, if you're making something more geared towards the game side of things.
The Shadowrun CRPGs by Harebrained schemes do this where they offer you dialogue that simply allows you to chose the personality of your character, even if it isn't referenced later on (and some actual choices, ofcourse: it can't all be smoke and mirrors).
I quite enjoyed being able to chose wether my character was stoic or jokey or something else, made role-playing tons of fun. Don't know how it would translate to story games thought, particularily if there aren't any 'gameplay' segments; constantly having to pick between 3 choices that don't change anything for the purposes of fluff probably would get annoying, but hey, you could add something minor like relationships or stats (think Choice of Games) to make even those minor choices have consenquences.
Best of luck,
Game Designing Help on 8/7/2017 5:50:29 AM
Before you make your game, I'd say plan it out and define your constraints.
I'd suggest using placeholders and making a working prototype first before you start commissioning artists, just so you know what you're capable of doing it and to figure out if you have the coding expertise to see through your project.
If you feel you're missing some key knowledge, go out there and watch tutorials and ask for help! I do believe that you CAN make a GOOD game. Hell, maybe a GREAT game! Other people have done it before and there's no reason you can't be one of them. It's all a matter of trying, learning your limits, and pushing yourself to improve those limits.
So yeah, tl;dr, I'd suggest making a prototype first with placeholder assets just to make sure you understand the technical side of everything and to learn where you could improve in order to make the most high quality product possible. Get your technical chops down first.
Furthermore, once you're ready to start making assets, maybe you could ask a relevant subreddit on reddit for where would be a good place to find pixel art volunteers. I don't think chooseyourstory has many qualified people, but hey, I might still be proven wrong. ;)
Best of luck,
Transition to Insanity on 8/6/2017 1:03:53 AM
How about intentionally goofy?
Like summoning your hallucinations Persona style to fight for you.
Wait, I like that! OC plz dunt steal, mkay??1?
Transition to Insanity on 8/6/2017 1:02:04 AM
As far as stories go, It's been a long while since I've read their works and the main ones that come to mind from Poe are "Nevermore" and "Telltale Heart" (I know, I'm a normie). The first features a man in grief over the death of his loved one, and is confronted about his grief by a talking Raven. Now Poe never establishes if this should be plausible in the scope of the story, but I think the idea is sound: Represent degradation of the mental state by showing outlandish things seriously. A talking bird is goofy, but the gravity with which the author treats it makes for a very interesting event. I can see it being implemented into a CYOA via introducing strange/outlandish concepts (talking animals being one example) but never explicitly saying whether these concepts follow the rules of the world you've created or are just a figment of the characters imagination. This can make the reader second guess themselves and their actions, forced to figure out what is real and what isn't, and make choices accordingly. You could go a step further and never even conclude if the MC was crazy or not, leaving it up to the reader.
Two other examples of media I can think of that involve mental problems are "A Beautiful Mind" and "Fight Club". Only watched the former, but I loved how the twist gives a whole new context to the entire movie. The movie is actually about Schizophrenia but I feel you could apply the same to insanity (hallucinations, assuming the world strange world around you is real). Something like that is probs your best bet, imo.
I've got the Necronomicon on my desk, but that thing is way to imposing and I don't feel like diving into it. Lovecraft does focus on existential horror, and the story generally ends with the character going insane, so probs not that great for a story focused around an insane MC.
On to the actual questions,
a) Finding a reason for character going insane
I feel everyone else has covered this in greater detail than I ever could. I would like to point out that you don't have to make it obvious to the reader that the MC has gone insane, instead just giving foreshadowing so they could pick out that they were insane in repeat playthroughs (it was so obvious all along/ how did I miss that/ect). Being Sci Fi, you can make up whatever reason you want. Just make sure to decide whether going insane is going to be your major selling point or a surprise to the reader. You can't have both (unless you use some tricky red herrings).
b) Depicting the transition to a state of insanity.
Either understate it and make it a shocking reveal later on or play it out for all its worth.
Regarding the latter, it could make for a fun game where the MC hallucinates constantly and has to use an understanding of the world around him and clues given to him to identify what is real and what is not. I don't know if it could make for a serious story, but if you do decide to go this way, you need to clearly state to the player that things are not as they seem. As in most cases of showing insanity, making the player see things that aren't there or have sudden outbursts at seemingly inconsequential things would probs be the best way to go about it. Might get annoying tho...
If you're going for the former, oh boy. So many ways.
You could pull the same stunt as "A Beautiful Mind" did, and have the character imaging the driving entities of the story (ie hallucinations that the player doesn't know are hallucinations), then have the stories shift gear into another arc once the MC is aware of their insanity, still fighting to come to grips with it.
You could go for a "Fight Club" or "Jekyll and Hyde" scenario, where the player controls (or the story focuses on) two MCs and it's later revealed that they were the same person all along or one was a figment of the other's imagination.
You could do a "There Will Be No Peace With The Furies"-like and literally have the player interact with their emotions, fist fighting them, making deals, and having conversations with their 'ghosts' (eg the MC, anger, rational, and empathy are all interrogating a suspect. The suspect only sees the MC, but the MC sees his emotions moving around the room and giving advice to him... and in the corner of the room anger is furiously chugging a protein shake).
Insanity is so broad a term in fiction, doubly so for sci fi, that you could tackle this whatever way you like. It really depends on the mood of the story you're trying to tell, how many protags you're using, style of writing (I think you mentioned 1st person?), and generally the themes you're trying to convey.
Maybe providing more details on the type of story you're writing would help people give you more appropriate feedback for the genre you're writing for/mood you're going with. I myself can't really offer up much more in the way of feedback, but I feel others could help you out more if they know whether this is going all grim-dark or is just good fun (sorry if you've already mentioned this in your original post, maybe I've forgotten about it).
If you'd like me to clarify something, let me know. I tend to rant and derail into unnecessary tangents.
Concealing secrets in a CYOA? on 8/5/2017 10:09:45 PM
Haha, ikr? :p