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"Choose-Your-Own-Adventure" books?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by WogglebugLove Productions, Feb 16, 2017.

  1. Who here enjoys "Choose-Your-Own-Adventure" books? Especially in the fantasy and sci-fi genres. And what are the best of them that can be recommended? And if you were wanting to create your own in what sort of direction would you like for it to go in?
  2. Queshire

    Queshire Auror

    I don't really read them myself, but I think that there's interesting potential by combining them with the web original genre. You could probably do a lot of interesting stuff with that like hiding a link in the text or maybe using a cookie to track how many times someone goes to a specific page and have something special happen if they end up starting over too many times. (I don't know if cookies can actually do that.)
  3. TheCatholicCrow

    TheCatholicCrow Inkling

    I haven't read any since Goosebumps.

    That being said, I would agree ... ebooks and virtual books would offer all sorts of interesting options that print cannot.

    I don't think I'd ever have the patience to write one ... though I guess it would simplify the issue of - should I have the character do X or Y? ...

    What age/ demographic are you hoping to write for?

    If that's something you're into, you might find this useful : Choose Your Own Adventure Templates.
  4. Ban

    Ban Sir Laserface Article Team

    Check out this site: Storygames > ChooseYourStory.com

    These are written by both amateur and experienced users of the website, so the quality will not always be superb. However there is a handy rating feature next to each story, so I'd start with the stories that have a 7 or 6.5 and see if you like it.
  5. Michael K. Eidson

    Michael K. Eidson Archmage

    Note that digital CYOA-style books that include interactivity other than hyperlinks might not be allowed to be sold through the Kindle Store as an ebook, but might have to be sold as an app. This was something I heard in a Facebook group I belong to. Iirc, someone had tried to include custom-coded interactivity in their ebook, and was told they could not sell it through the Kindle Store.

    Examples of a CYOA-style of ebook that can be sold through the Kindle Store are the Click Your Poison (CYP) books by James Schannep. These books use hyperlinks and no other special coding (e.g., no JavaScript). The disadvantage with these books is that you can't prevent the reader from reading any or all of the text out of sequence.

    To enforce the sequence of paragraphs, you'd have to create an app. The disadvantage here is that there are so many different types of devices that can run apps, and you have to make a different app for each device type you want to support. The company Choice of Games (Choice of Games LLC) provides a language that can be used to create games that they can package and sell for multiple mobile devices. You have to go through them to sell any work that uses their language.

    Edit: Another alternative is to set up your own web site and publish text-based games there, which would allow you to use custom coding (e.g., JavaScript). Then you just have to worry about how you would make money from your games, if that is a concern.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
  6. Creed

    Creed Sage

    Choose-Your-Own stories have kind of faded away these last few decades, but they've definitely found new life online. If you're looking to play choose-your-owns, interactive fiction, or games like Zork I'd highly recommend checking out what people are crafting with Text Adventures and Twine, they're really quite amazing.

    For a class last semester I made an experimental story in Text Adventures and I'd recommend it as a platform, it was very simple. I used it for a playable story, however, not for a Zork-like RPG game with rooms and items. If you want to check out my (uber cool) story, I'll insert a link here: Cityscape.

    You can't see the mechanics behind it, but it's essentially just hyperlinking text to simulate movement through a fantasy cityscape. I haven't used Twine yet, but my understanding is that it's great at doing this, and can be visually customized further than Text Adventures.

    Some interesting examples are howling dogs, All Hail the Spider God, the RPG Portcullis, and the genuinely horrifying my father's long, long legs.

    These are extraordinary ways to shape narratives, and any writer worth their salt should get a thousand new ideas just trying them out. I urge everyone to experiment. :)
  7. K.S. Crooks

    K.S. Crooks Inkling

    This type of story always gave me a greater feel for being part of the story, since it clearly states -Indy (whomever the hero is) tells you- or - you do such and such-. And of course you get to make decisions about where to go and what to do. When I was around 8 or 9 I wrote a story or two...which are now off in the great ether of the universe.

    I think the trick to writing one is to create three to five story paths that lead to some type of successful result. Put in key moments when a decision must be made. The result could be the same in some or none of the paths. Then create failing paths that stem from the key points. It's the same sort of thing you do when writing a regular story, but instead of discarding the possibilities that you don't want to use, you keep them and let the reader choose which way the story will go.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2017
  8. kdl121

    kdl121 Dreamer

    I read a couple when I was little, not my thing. I think part of that was the adventure though ... if there were anime-themed ones (and maybe there are now and I just don't know), like Pokemon and Naruto, I would totally read those. Also, if the creator of Pokemon wanted to hire me to create a Pokemon-themed choose-your-own-adventure book, I would so be on board for that!
  9. Ban

    Ban Sir Laserface Article Team

    Here's another suggestion. A company called CHoice of Games (Choice of Games LLC) makes high quality choose-your-own-adventure books. The first chapters of their books are available for free on their website. I personally bought the Choice of Robots book and I highly recommend it.
  10. Michael K. Eidson

    Michael K. Eidson Archmage

    Note, these are apps, not print books or e-books. To write one of these for CoG, you'll need some degree of programming chops.
  11. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    Oh, man, these were some of my favorite books back in the day! My dad used to get me the D&D ones. :D
  12. Ban

    Ban Sir Laserface Article Team

    Yes but they have a guide on their website. From what I've seen it should be basic enough to learn in a day or two. They also have a competition going at the moment, but you sadly have to be North American or British to participate. Maybe it's something to consider for someone around here.
  13. Michael K. Eidson

    Michael K. Eidson Archmage

    I wrote some test games using ChoiceScript, their proprietary language. Writing a basic game would be simple enough. But some aspects might not feel so basic to an English major who's never done any programming. That's my point. If a person has next to no exposure to programming, they'd have a steeper learning curve than someone who did.

    There were several things I was interested in doing in my test games that ChoiceScript did not support, so I gave up on it for my own use. But, yeah, as long as you are fine with the functionality it provides, ChoiceScript is a good way to go, for those who aren't put off by the need to do some programming.
    Ban likes this.
  14. Thing that happened the other day: My brother was reading a book in this vein about World War II when he suddenly threw the book to the floor in disgust.

    "I died AGAIN!"

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