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How do I make complex story progression work?

6 months ago

Now that I've learned how to display the on-page script text, what i really need is for variables and page links to respond to that text. If it says, 'your guy just died, bummer", then that has to be reflected in the rest of the game, and makes new routes.
For example, If a character is mean consistently throughout the game to the other, it causes the scripted text to appear. Then they're in a life-or-death situation later, and relies on the person they were rude to to survive. What I need is for one link to appear versus another, depending on your actions, and then have both of those link to the next chapter. BOTH events would have major effects on dialogue, scenes, etc., throughout the rest of the game, and I need the text to reflect that without making a bazillion pages for all the different routes - but also create different choices later on, which ARE different and lead to different places.

How do I make complex story progression work?

6 months ago
Try to keep it to one thread, it helps avoid confusion and prevents clogging.

I don't script, but from my limited knowledge both the things you detailed are completely doable. The pagetext section of this article shows how to manipulate what text shows up depending on what variables (each character has var that corresponds to their state). The next section of the same article details how you can set a destination page based on var value for a link, which you can apply by hitting the edit script button on a link.

How do I make complex story progression work?

6 months ago
Use the system variable $DEST to check for whatever the "if this character dead" variable is, and move them to a different page depending on the result.

So like, inserted into a link,
IF %BOBDEAD = 1 THEN
$DEST := @P47 (or whatever the page number is) will hijack the player to the more appropriate page regardless of where the link actually points. Or if you want to change the links out entirely, you can play with link restrictions. That will let you grey out options, or hide them entirely unless they're relevant.

$DEST is the easiest way to create delayed path splitting that reflects earlier decisions, but honestly I'd only bother if it led to significant changes in the plot. Keep in mind that while the editor is flexible enough that it CAN do many things, and some of those things in multiple ways, it's still designed for digital gamebooks, not elaborate RPGs or whatever. So certain ideas may work out to be more trouble than they're worth and at the end of the day, you could just write paths that are significantly different enough and you might find that less trouble than messing with a load of scripting, especially for your first game. These can get unwieldy enough just in their own without taking on an extra difficulty level.

How do I make complex story progression work?

6 months ago

Thanks, that's super helpful! I guess I can't help but make it more complicated than it needs to be, and I just want my end result to be good. 

How do I make complex story progression work?

6 months ago

Just remember, really big and ambitious projects are less likely to get finished, and more likely to have little errors strewn without if they do get published.

It doesn't have to be magnificent. It just has to get done, and done well.

But good luck! I truly hope you succeed in your endeavor.