Narrative/text adventure prototype

Writing a Create Your Own Adventure Story
http://blog.karenwoodward.org/2014/06/how-to-write-choose-your-own-adventure.html
chimneyrock-small

https://simplemind.eu/
https://www.inklestudios.com/inklewriter/
(good tools for mind mapping your story)

Steps:

  • sketch out the story as a zero draft
  • Go back through it and break it into blocks These blocks are linked together to form a narrative chain
  • most branching stories have a minimum of around 10 levels and a maximum of around 20
  • a block of text could be either a scene, a sequel, or some kind of transition

https://web.archive.org/web/20140227043251/http://www.humanities360.com/index.php/writing-tips-how-to-write-a-choose-your-own-adventure-story-4-62671 Writing Tips how to Write a Choose your own Adventure Story

suggests, for each block, trying to answer the following questions:

  • “Who has your hero met? Does your hero have any traveling companions? What is their relationship? (Friends, enemies, peripheral characters, pets?)
  • “What is your hero’s inventory? Has your hero lost/gained an item? Is it needed to achieve the goal? (Food, clothing, money, weapons, climbing gear, a holy relic?)
  • “What special abilities or knowledge does your hero have? For how long? (Where is the hidden letter, who was in bed with whom, how to avoid a fight or pick a lock?)
  • “Has your hero actually achieved the goal? (Reached a destination, killed the enemy, won over the love interest, found the special item, rescued the prisoner?)”

Morse mentions that there are five basic kinds of templates for endings:

  • The protagonist is captured.
  • The protagonist is killed.
  • The protagonist acquires treasure.
  • The protagonist finds love.
  • The protagonist fails in his/her quest.

There should be a handful of endings somewhere in the middle that cut the story short. The protagonist might die or just fail to achieve his/her goal.

characters_for_an_epic_tale03

https://gamedesignconcepts.wordpress.com/2009/07/30/level-10-nonlinear-storytelling/

Dynamic Object-Oriented Narrative

This last structure is Bateman’s term that, as far as I can tell, he invented to describe the game Façade (which you should absolutely download and play if you have not yet seen it). The idea is that there are several mini-stories, each with potentially several entry points and exit points. A single mini-story’s exit point may lead to a final ending, or to another mini-story. The mini-stories may be thought of as “chapters” in a book or “acts” in a play (except that you may not “read” all of the chapters or may read them in a different order, depending on the choices you make and how you exit each chapter).

This kind of story has the advantages of parallel paths, but without a linear story arc. Each mini-story has its own choices, and the overall collection of mini-stories itself acts like a larger branching or parallel path story. Each individual mini-story is self-contained, which reduces the required time to write the complete story.

This kind of story has two disadvantages. The first is that there’s still the forced-replay problem: a player must play many times to see all of the story paths (which is perhaps why Façade needs to last about ten or twenty minutes, and not ten or twenty hours). It is also a highly experimental structure, so we do not yet have enough games to really analyze what does and doesn’t work in this form. Façade itself took a couple of guys with PhDs in Computer Science to develop, so this is not the kind of story structure that is easily accessible to a traditional story writer.