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Have I made my first chapter too difficult?

7 months ago

Without giving away too much detail...

The first three choices offered to the reader each have six options, which the reader can choose two of before being pushed farther into the story. Each option follows a linear path, but increases a variable. The minimum value for each of these six variables is 8 and the maximum variable value (at this point) is 11.

Before the second chapter, the reader is presented with a challenge. To pass this challenge, they must choose an action that correlates with a variable. If that variable doesn't equal 11, it's a fail and the story ends. There's a choice that correlates with each variable, but is it unrealistic for me to think the reader would choose the same variable in each of the three questions?

Is this too high a bar to set at the beginning? The variables relate to the choices but its not as if its obvious which choice increases which variable, or even obvious that the variables are being measured. Should I make a note to the reader to let them know that one variable or another is increasing as they make their beginning choices? Or leave it as is? Lower the bar?

Have I made my first chapter too difficult?

7 months ago
I'd advise against making the reader guess at this sort of thing just to read your storygame. Why not just go with whatever the highest variable is? Or any solution beyond just immediately ending the game, because a not insignificant number of your potential reviewers will just shrug and base their rating on only the part they've seen.

Have I made my first chapter too difficult?

7 months ago

The basic definition of Game Design is this: Tell people how they can play the game without them noticing you're doing it.

So, if you feel like you've given them "Fair Warning", or at least clues to figure it out, from a design/narrative perspective, then the beginning points shouldn't matter too much.