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Multiple POVs

4 months ago

Any advice on using multiple POVs in a storygame? I know that they complicate things, but multiple POVs will allow the reader to understand/explore more of the story and sides of the conflict. I plan on two sisters each having their own POVs at some point and an enemy having a POV as well—and not just a brief scene. Should the reader be able to control all of them at once, or should I have chapters determine whose POV the story is taking?

Multiple POVs

4 months ago
Commended by JJJ-thebanisher on 3/8/2017 11:18:45 PM

Writing with more than one point of view in a storygame is something that can be hard to accomplish, especially in a CYOA format. I imagine that with three different characters being used, it will create a wider variety of choices for each character because of the impact of one characters choice on the others. If you want an example of a work with multiple characters' point of views, I recommend checking out Rick Riordan's "Heroes of Olympus" series. It is told from around three or four characters' viewpoints, so it should helpful in aiding you with your storygame.

One question I have is whether or not a characters choice will have an affect on the choices given for a different character later on. For example, if Monty Solomon, a character from my storygame (work in progress) and his followers took over the western gate of the king's walls, would the king lose the option of receiving reinforcements from the western side once the story is in his view again? 

Using that method would lead to an increase in the amount of writing needed for the storygame, but would add a nice mix of complexity and structure  that makes up every great story. You would also most likely need to plan out the rest of the storygame, since a choice from one character affects the whole other side of the storyline. I apologize if I have confused you. Good luck.

Multiple POVs

4 months ago

Thanks! I will need luck. ;-; I typically have two switching POVs, but three of them (especially since their actions can directly impact the others and they can get separated) is very hard to manage, as I am finding out.

Multiple POVs

4 months ago

Hm...I've never had a commended post before. How exciting.

Multiple POVs

4 months ago

Nycto's already covered the increase in complexity this will cause. When you're running multiple protagonists, it becomes extremely important to ensure the characters stand out from one another (the chapters shouldn't feel like they're all the same). You could try having different fonts for that chapter, or a different background color, to make it easier to visually understand who's PoV you're looking through. Additionally, you may want to invest into a journal where each character's details are found (to help people returning to the story after a break).

Having two concurrent storylines is a major pain, consider having the second character more like a 'quest' character. You take a break from the main story, and switch to the second character's self-contained chapter, during which some decisions can be made that affect the main story. This can reduce complexity significantly.

Narrative wise, both characters have to be meaningfully different, a good cop and a bad cop for example, so that they can tease out different reactions from the same story element. Their differences through their actions should be visible.

There was one story, Sethaniel's Creature 2, where having three or more characters available at the same time had quiz-esque mechanics (one guy could hack a PC, while another just used the password). That was an interesting design framework, but beyond that, I'd be hesitant to offer the option to switch amongst PoVs during the same chapter, it just makes things waaaay to complex to be worth the payoff. remember, most of the alternate things you've coded won't be visible in one playthrough, and a player can breeze past never realizing how much they've unintentionally skipped. In that regard, CYoAs that are not full fledged Steam releases suffer from a lack of being replayed, and you just have to roll with it

Hope you found something useful in all this, all the best for your story.