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CYOA/IF hybrids: suggestions needed

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CYOA/IF hybrids: suggestions needed

Postby Lumin » Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:03 am

I've accepted I'll probably never be able to clear up my CYOA infection now that I've contracted it, but I WOULD still like to finish an actually good ADRIFT game at some point in my life (emphasis on 'actually good', my two previous efforts hardly count... >.>) so while I wrap up a story I'm working on over the weekend I'll try to also be brainstorming ways to combine a CYOA style game with classic IF style exploration.

Pros: an IF engine is more flexible than any CYOA tool and adds a level of interactivity and immersion with a scene that blah blah we all already know this. Inventories and stat tracking are a thing in CYOAs, but handled much more smoothly in ADRIFT.
Cons: most IF players don't appreciate being slapped in the face with what amount to massive cut scenes, and a transition back and forth might be jarring in other ways.



Any suggestions in this area? Or any recommendations for games that already attempt this? I know David has done a few CYOAs, but I'm not sure about hybrids.
Currently working on: Nada. Zip. Zilch. [Check this space later.]
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Re: CYOA/IF hybrids: suggestions needed

Postby saabie » Sat Nov 18, 2017 4:13 am

I'll probably never be able to clear up my CYOA infection
Have you tried antibiotics injected directly into the brain? :whistle:

A lot of parser games use CYOA style input for conversations with NPCs.
You could extend this by giving the player a companion that automatically asks the player a question when you get to a complex decision point, forcing them into conversation mode so they can discus their options.
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Re: CYOA/IF hybrids: suggestions needed

Postby Lumin » Sat Nov 18, 2017 5:43 pm

saabie wrote:
I'll probably never be able to clear up my CYOA infection
Have you tried antibiotics injected directly into the brain? :whistle:

A lot of parser games use CYOA style input for conversations with NPCs.
You could extend this by giving the player a companion that automatically asks the player a question when you get to a complex decision point, forcing them into conversation mode so they can discus their options.


I could think of a few ideas in that direction, but I really hate trying to implement complex NPCs, especially over multiple rooms. Never can interact with even the most complicated NPC without getting the feeling they're just a vending machine standing stiffly in the corner, waiting for the right coins to dispense [PLOT], no matter how many hours put in trying to make them react to things believably. Giving characters actual life is one of the situations where I think a regular story passage/cut scene/flashback/whatever still works the best.

I've done some very tentative plotting so far (all in the head at this point) taking a short story and revising it so that the locations scenes take place in are isolated rooms you do your IF thing in until you hit upon the plot trigger and get a choice to advance things in one way or another from there, at which point you may get a CYOA style choice or two, and then are whisked to the next major set piece and allowed to poke around. Not sure how it will all pan out in practice, but with it being based on 2000 word story it's easy enough to disassemble and reassemble the parts as needed till I find some configuration that works.
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