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Your Opinions Please

3 years ago

“I wrote some stuff. Please do my editing for me.” Actually, I’ll instead be doing something a little different. I need you all to answer a few questions I have for my current WIP. I’ve seen many different opinions on these before, and I’d like to know the raters' opinions your opinions on some storygames' aspects. (Again, this all has to do with how I’ll craft my storygame which is why I’m putting it in the WW. I may eventually put in actual parts of the story in as well.)

Also, don’t reply to this post, so I can change the OP if needed. Thanks.

Your Opinions Please

3 years ago

Please answer these questions:

  1. How many times can you click on single (choice-less) links before you become annoyed?
  2. What is your favorite length of each storygame page?
  3. Do you honestly rate storygames higher if they are longer?
  4. What is your preferred storygame type? (Such as: Kiel Ferret’s AGOLAD, Steve’s style, EM’s branching, Killa’s Through Time, et al.)
  5. Do you prefer items or no items?
  6. What is your preferred method of failing/making a wrong choice? (Dying, restarting, being taken back to a specific point, mini-endings, et al.)

Thank you

Your Opinions Please

3 years ago
Commended by JJJ-thebanisher on 3/8/2017 11:16:49 PM
"Also, don’t reply to this post, so I can change the OP if needed. Thanks."

Uh, you know that YOU already replied to it, right? :)

Anyway, on to the questions: Note: All answers are my own personal opinion and worth exactly what you paid for them.

1. It depends. If there is an entire chapter of text and there is a natural break point, suspense-point, or a logical reason to separate into separate sections, I don't mind at all. If there are two sentences on a page, then "click to continue," just one gets annoying and pointless to me.

2. It depends on what's going on. If there is a good scene going on, or dialog that continues, a longer page makes perfect sense. If I am going to have to make a choice and there's extra fluff there just to make the page longer, that doesn't make sense. I usually like stories that have more to them than a few sentences on every page and then "pick a door" or the like.

3. It depends. Yes, very short stories with no choices get low ratings. Does a story get a high rating because it's long? No, some of those stink, too. Does a longer story automatically get out of the 1-2 range? Probably because if someone has the ability to write a longer story, they probably have the ability to write more effectively. That said, it does seem to me that longer stories do, in general, get better ratings just for being long.

4. It depends. Some days I like story games that have some fun in them. Some days I like the card and dice storygames. Some days I like stories in sci-fi and some days I like stories in fantasy.

5. It depends (do you see a trend here yet?). Some stories work perfectly well without items. Some stories work with items without actually having them visible (variables tracking them). For some stories, the items ARE the story, so they really need them. I would say you can certainly have too many items in a story. I don't really like it when the inventory is half the page long.

6. It... well, I'm not a big fan of the "you're dead, the end" pages, despite having written many of them myself. I also tend to avoid the "restart" options because I just click the "go back" anyway. I guess I like it better when I can't make a "wrong" choice, but instead just make a different choice that has other effects.

Hope that helps.

Your Opinions Please

3 years ago

1. Three to four times. Typically, the longer the pages, the more times I can accept consecutive one-link pages.

2. (The above answer is based on this:) My favorite length of a storygame page would be about 1.5 pages in a word document (800-900 words, I guess).

3. Typically, longer storygames have more time for character development and all that, but I don't rate a storygame just because it's very long. I think that there's this one storygame that was 8/8 in length and was just awful and terrible and took forever to get to the end of, and I hated it so much.

4.Ferret? Kiel's AGOLAD (whatever that is—if that's the way TOW had been) and End's branching.

5. I know opinions may differ for this one, but I like no items OR moderate amount of items—I don't like storygames with just two or so items, but I don't like storygames with twenty different items.

6. I typically dislike returning to what I've already gone through, whether that be the beginning or somewhere in the middle. I prefer dying and mini-endings.

(Really, it just depends.)

Your Opinions Please

3 years ago
Commended by JJJ-thebanisher on 3/8/2017 11:17:06 PM
1.) Three. That's what I limit myself to in my own writing and I try to do it sparingly.

If for whatever reason I find myself needing more than three pages, I break it up with a small choice that doesn't change events. Letting the player choose a conversation option or the character's thoughts on the situation, etc.

2.) Anything over 900-1K words is probably a bit much, anything less than 200 is hard to justify. The specific depends on the content. 500 words of nothing happening is 500 too many.

3.) No. A longer storygame has the odds in its favorite add far as more words = more effort go, but that's not always indicative of quality or entertainment value.

4.) Out of the list, End's for the sheer amount of branching. Though it's hard to consider any of those author's works representing a 'type'.

5.) No items. Well, ones that serve a greater purpose than just 'here is an object in your inventory' are fine, such as a guidebook or stats lost or journal, or even a backpack object to access a list of supplies the character is carrying--something the player might conceivably need or want to access at any time. But I hate to see clutter when a yes/no variable would have served the same purpose.

6.) Restarting is a big no, but being taken back to a specific point would be all right if left optional. The type of ending otherwise depends on what's a good fit for the plot.

Your Opinions Please

3 years ago

500-1000 words is usually what I'd prefer to read on a page. 

Your Opinions Please

3 years ago

Dang, I apprently screwed my own ability to edit my OP.

I highly appreciate everybody's comments so far. (Feel free to comment if you haven't already.) Your feedback is very helpful, for I am trying to ensure that this storygame is well-functioning. I probably will be posting more questions eventually, and I'll be reading all of your comments. Thank you.

Your Opinions Please

3 years ago

1. That depends on the stage of the plot that I'm at and the situation at hand. If I'm at the beginning of the story where the setting and characters are being introduced and no conflict or reason to act in a way that would severely change the plot or setting, then I would be fine with about 2-3 choice-less links in sequence, though I would appreciate choices that change the plot on a minor level, choices that don't change anything but display different information, or choices that don't have immediate consequences or effects, but show up later in the story.

2. Generally I prefer 200-750 on each page. I'd much rather prefer the author splitting up the text between pages via single choice links than a single huge page.

3. Yes, since more length means more time and effort being put into the storygame, and more content in the storygame. However, quality is still of upmost importance and long does not mean good (though this is usually the case, since an author willing to write an above 6 length storygame is generally also willing to write a quality storygame).

4. I’d have to say a storygame style similar in branching style to End’s stories, choices that determine the outcome in a substantially different way than the other choice. A storygame that bends and molds to my preferred choice, and it happens often and doesn’t stagnate when it could easily offer a choice that shakes off the stagnation in a specific situation or plot point. That is a CYOA.

5. I absolutely despise items in storygames. They could easily be substituted and kept track of via variables, such as Berka’s DMA.

6. An undesirable outcome/unsatisfactory ending where the protagonist essentially fails at what they’ve set out to accomplish or they end up with a pitiful existence that they are unhappy in, cutting the storygame short, basically making it a mini-ending. This way, the storygame does not go far down a failing route and it concludes the story better than a simple death can, but it still retains an unsatisfactory feeling that makes me want to go back and try for a better ending.

Your Opinions Please

3 years ago

1. Three seems right.

2. Depends how long it needs to be. If the writing's good I'll read a fair bit.

3. Usually the longer ones have more work put into them and give me more time to get attached to characters, so I'd say usually I'd rate them higher, but there's been many, many long ones I've found shit that are tedious, so kinda, I guess.

4. I have a style now? Sweet, let's go with that one, that's the best.

5. I hate items with a passion.

6. Restarting is cancer, never do it. If I die, I should be let leave. But really, whatever works, mini, unsatisfying endings work just as well as death, but both are pretty fine.

Your Opinions Please

3 years ago

1. Only about once of twice at a severe stretch with long pages, with really quick paragraphs I can go up to six times.

2. I prefer enough to give detail about what's happening in full but short enough I don't have to read about what every wrinkle, tile or blade of grass looks like. Like marketing, give us everything we need but don't dilute it.

3. If the storygame is good and interesting with serious choices, I'll enjoy it all the more if it goes on for longer.

4. I don't know about what AGOLADs are or whatnot, but I like stories to have as many endings and also some varied victory scenarios. NOTHING makes me angrier than arbitrary single-path plot pushing which forces you to either go along the conveyor belt to a single win or literally kill me (my character that is) for not being of an identical mind to the author.

5. I like items, hidden and obvious numerical values to use, or nothing at all. Either way, I want my decisions to clearly affect what happens in the world.

6. I like whatever is most believable. Opening the left door instead of the right door shouldn't lead to another pointless death and should maybe lead to a harder path with more rewards, conversely I don't think choosing something I haven't prepared for should lead to a slapped wrist (e.g. take the frontal castle assault when I didn't put armour on, so I should have instead snuck in the secret entrance).


To put this into context, I seriously disliked how in a Telltale game (I won't say which one in case of spoilers) you can save either person A or person B, I found out that later it doesn't bloody matter because your saved character will die unceremoniously anyway. Good story quality overall but the painfully obvious linearity which had your new bestest fwend living on spare time was a serious letdown.

Your Opinions Please

3 years ago

Depends on the content between the links. However, long stretches with no choices in between are often boring. Exposition early on is more forgivable than later on though.

Variable based on story type and presence of images or not. However more than two scroll downs becomes a very slight nuisance

Not at all. Storygames are like vacations, short ones can be fantastic, but longer ones have more things to work with to create more lasting memories. In general longer stories with higher quality are better than shorter ones, but shorter games with better quality are preferable to long ones that are low quality.

Never played Kiel's work, and I most likely won't now. I prefer End and Killas styles amongst the given options. The key point is that actions need to have weight and consequence, the way in which you do it is up to you. IMO don't expect to take much from the answers to this one.

No items please, exception for a codex or journal

No preferred method a priori, entirely dependent on the game type. Just no non-standard game overs that don't allow the game to end there.

And now to catch my flight

Your Opinions Please

3 years ago

Thank you for everybody else for their feedback.

So, I have another question for all of you and some exposition before the question(s). The first few pages are, in my mind, the most important. It provides the best opportunity for the writer to enrapture the reader enough to actually have him/her read the other pages. I write in a straightforward fashion starting with the first pages before moving on. Even though I’m already in a branch of the storyline, I’m wondering if my first page should be scrapped, for it is, in a certain sense, optional. However, I am rather fond of it.

Thus, I would very much appreciate your opinion on the following text. Specifically, I’d want to know how you think of this piece. (For example but not necessarily to be followed: Do you want to know more? Do you think wibn became a  lazy arsed writer? Does it make you think the other pages will be of a similar length? Is it bad or good? Any other suggestions/pointers/mocking for me?)

Here it is:
This isn’t me talking. I don’t speak this language. Thank you for your consideration.

Yes, I know that's bloody little to work off from.

Your Opinions Please

3 years ago
It would leave me uh, confused. I mean I'll still click to the next page because that's exactly as much effort as closing the window, but it does seem a little pointless to have only a single line that doesn't establish anything about what the story's even about.

The first page is absolutely the most important, no argument from me there. Have you considered making that your opening line, then having some more text afterwards (after a few line breaks) giving more context?

I mean the single line thing CAN be made to work, but it needs to be a hell of a line with a hell of a lot of impact, and I'm not quite seeing that here.

Your Opinions Please

3 years ago

?I'm confused. But okay. Um. For some reason, I think making those separate paragraphs and italicizing them would make a greater impact on the reader, but otherwise, sure. I like it. :3

Your Opinions Please

3 years ago
Assuming you aren't involving pictures, that sole line seems like an unnaturally slow opening. It causes curiousity, but there's nothing to fuel that curiousity within that line itself. Since it's effortless to click to the next page, people will, however if the entire story is full of lines that brief it would be a major pain.

Your Opinions Please

3 years ago

This'll be the only page that's even remotely short. All the others I've written are approximately 600-800 (except for a 300 word one). I find it entirely annoying for me when storygames are full of short pages, so I’ve limited myself to this one.

Question and Update

3 years ago

As for the update, it's slowly moving forward. I'm hoping it'll be an 8/8, and I think it will be in Everything Else. I'm not quite sure. Also, I know that many of you don't give two hoots over progress reports, but I'm trying to hold my lazy-arse self publicly accountable.

Anyhow, my question this time is how do view accents? After being annoyed at the homogeneity of my story's dialects, I'm trying to have differentiable ones though I'd prefer not to annoy you if you don't like it. For example, I have one character who speaks in the following manner (though my example starts mid-paragraph and it is not italicized in my story):
"The tub? Yes, it works real fine. Oh, you want to know why it’s there, right?”
I nod.
“Well, those things aren’t ‘round here. You ever see one before?”
I hold out nine of my fingers.
“Oh, then you might like the story behind it. My boss, you’ve met her. Her late husband shipped it to her as a courting gift. It worked, but he was a mighty bad fellow. He died. Now, she doesn't take care of that tub. I s’pose it’s retribution if you get what I’m sayin’.”

Fun Fact: that's closer to how I talk than how I speak when typing.

Question and Update

3 years ago
8/8 in Length, I presume?

Accents are fine, required even, in a longer work. The thing is that they most often differ through pronunciation (which is easily noticed by the listener), more so than by their sentence structuring. Adding apostrophes or colloquialisms can work, and I'd say is an important way of diversifying the cast, but it's tricky (and you have to be consistent).

One thing to keep in mind is that even though a character can prefer colloquialisms and abbreviations in 'regular' conversations, it's highly likely they'll talk differently in formal settings (in my story Andrew used abbreviations in 'casual' scenes, but dropped them when talking to the council).