Friday, 13 November 2009

choose your own adventure

This has been making the rounds lately - some interesting data on branching and multiple endings from the old Choose Your Own Adventure novels.

When I was young, I loved CYOAs. Not surprisingly, I wanted to write them, too. However, I found the process painfully confusing. I couldn't think of a good way to keep track of all the branches as I went along, and I had no idea at all how I was supposed to go about assigning numbers to the different bits when I hadn't written them yet and didn't know how they would go together!

But my school computer lab, even on the basic Apple 2 whatevers they had at the time, had turned up software for producing branching path stories. Not to be produced as books, but as simple games. And it was so much easier. They even had features for player-determined-choice and random-choice (Which VN writers will tell you is probably a bad idea, but the point is, it was something you couldn't easily do in a book.)


David said...

I can't seem to follow your link.

I loved CYOA stories too when I was young, and I tried writing a few too. I think I got around the numbering problem by just making numbers up and making sure I didn't use the same number twice. It probably would have made sense if I was writing pages on loose leaf so I could reorder them by number, but I think I was using exercise books. Must have been crazy to try and read!

Whiner said...

Heh, I wonder if the post got so overlinked (it was on gamesetwatch and multiple people who know me forwarded it to me) that it was pulled to save bandwidth.