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How do people feel about dying on the first page?

18 days ago

Let's say you have four or five options, and one of them causes you to die. However, given the information on the first page, the choice leading to you dying makes some sense.

Is this still an instant 1 rating?

Take the following scenario, for example:

Your companion is a prophetess, and she informed you on page 1 that she had a dream where you died being ran over. Later that evening, you find yourself getting brutally beaten in a large parking lot. Your options include (1) fighting back with your hands and feet, (2) screaming, (3) rolling away and running toward a police car parked at the light on the other side of the street, or (4) curling up in a ball and hoping someone comes to help you.

If you choose options 1, 2, or 4, you find a unique way to escape the situation. But if you choose option 3, when you run toward the police car, another vehicle spins out of control and runs you over, killing you.

If that happened in a game, would you consider it a justified action, since you were forewarned about being ran over, and you ran into a street? Or would it still set off rage inside you?

Of course, it's possible to just have your character end up in the hospital, but the idea being considered is if a justified page one death would still result in massive aneurysms among readers.

How do people feel about dying on the first page?

18 days ago

I'm open to it, provided the appropriate context was present. It could also be useful if you're trying to set the tone of the game.  Would not give a 1 if it seemed legit and not a gotcha. 

How do people feel about dying on the first page?

18 days ago

I don't feel that a first-choice death means an automatic 1/8 in most cases.
Then again, after reading a handful of stories here, I can safely say that plenty of the ones with first-choice deaths are of low enough quality that such a rating is justified regardless.

How do people feel about dying on the first page?

18 days ago

You mean hundreds, right? 

How do people feel about dying on the first page?

18 days ago
There's only like two people I'm aware of that have hard rules about the first choice death thing, and one of them is around so infrequently he might as well also be dead.

I will *usually* give a 1/8 to stories that do this, but that's because coincidentally everything else about them usually sucks as well.

How do people feel about dying on the first page?

18 days ago
You could also ask what purpose can a first page death legitimately serve?

I think you you should only reach bad endings as a result of bad choices.

But before the player can make informed choices he must first learn to know the world. On the first pages I actually expect to be guided by the lead character before gradually taking more control.

So if you want to tell a story (i.e. not a quiz or so) then early death are bad style.

How do people feel about dying on the first page?

18 days ago


There's also the question of whether first page deaths and first page endings are viewed the same way.

There's how it was handled in this story, which if anything added some suspense to the rest of it: http://chooseyourstory.com/story/Land_of_the_Setting_Sun.aspx

How do people feel about dying on the first page?

17 days ago
I would not mind a first page death, if you then play the rest of the game as a ghost or as a vampire :)

How do people feel about dying on the first page?

17 days ago

As someone who has been known to give 1/8 ratings for choices on the first page that lead straight to an end game link...

I also gave "Father Leofwine Is Dead" an 8/8 rating, and every choice in that story had one option leading to an end-game link. So I guess if the quality of the writing is good, I'm willing to stay with the story and keep clicking through it. If the first page doesn't hook me, and instead gives me an early out, I may just take it.

What you're describing, though (and if I'm reading your post correctly), is using a "quick death" option to make the other 3 choices seem more high-stakes; if choosing poorly can get you killed, then it adds tension to the scene. Well, OK, that wouldn't necessarily upset me, but it seems that you could accomplish the same goal just in the way the scene is described. To me, the opening of a story is where you're trying to hook the reader, so there is a tactical risk in putting an "exit" that early in the storygame. What you're hoping is that the reader will just go back and try one of the other links, but you are literally giving them the option to end the story after the first click. Doing so doesn't make you "evil," but it is risky in my opinion.

How do people feel about dying on the first page?

17 days ago
I wholeheartedly approve of first page death links for games that suck so bad, I just want the free point.

For good games though, it's a bad idea, because there's no character development/investment in the first couple of pages in a story, even with the best writers.