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CYOA - Problems and rarity

Discussion in 'Choose Your Own Adventure Land' started by Karwelas, Dec 14, 2015.

  1. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    Amusingly enough, SV has the exact same problem, though for different reasons. They have a flourishing community of fanfics with a few Original quests that rarely survive. Their problems come from overabundance of content stiffling some new and unique works that are struggling to build a readership.

    Their discussion thread is somewhat fascinating. Warning, WALLS UPON WALLS of text.

    I think Rihaku has managed to identify the problem:
    Obviously, not all of the points apply to us, but looking at how much discussion his quests generate, I tend to agree.
     
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  2. hello friend Arcane

    hello friend
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    I'm on an actual spaceship. No joke.
    Xenforo software with the alerts and shit go a long way toward mitigating most of those points. If the first post is good enough to make people post once, you just have to keep it not shit enough that they don't unwatch/ignore thread.
     
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  3. Karwelas Dwarf Taffer

    Karwelas
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    Oh shit Karwelas posted again.

    There we go again: I wanted to necromancer the thread, since I think it was actually useful for me.

    Another big problem I spotted recently with big quests is number of plots players tangle and are involved with. From fast and simple things, you get into large amount of plots that need to be solved, but their number is way too big to do that fast enough. Fangshi Myth suffered from this, a lot of older and bigger quests from SV like Hedge Maze are recently suffering from that too.

    Do you think it would be possible to reduce number of plots without harming the quest itself, either by plot or mechanics? I myself get an idea during Shattered (and actually yes, there is second attempt on writing it somewhere but... Ugh. I don't think it is good enough to even mention that) to shape plot that way to make it dangerous for players. They still have vast amount of freedom but getting everywhere can bring attention to them and PC can't exactly afford that.
     
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  4. Kipeci Magister

    Kipeci
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    I think treave handled that sort of thing very well. He has tremendous worlds with lots of characters and various balls in the air, but it was never quite overwhelming because he'd give moments to pick a direction for the character and then pare down the alternatives. For instance, starting with the end of Four Lion's Formation you have the choice to choose a number of destinations to visit all in pursuit of information about the powerful manuals on the loose. The destination selected was a big indicator of where we'd focus our attentions based on our knowledge of which characters we were likely to encounter, and the other options such as the nuns of Emei and the ladies of Yuhua Hall really faded into the background after we decided to focus on gathering information from the imperial constables at Chang'an. Once we got there, we got a bevy of options asking essentially what group we wanted to focus on with a meeting, so we could choose between talking to our old bro Qi Liuwu, rival Bai Jiutian, the head of the secret police equivalent and so on. We chose to select finding Qi Liuwu and furthermore invested the time to teach him martial arts to help him survive despite his armless state, and so we saw our ability to make closer ties with everyone else essentially fade away while it was later all but confirmed that Qi would have died off and not been able to reassert his position had we not focused our efforts on him.

    So the problem with much of the SV stuff may be more in that once you get something to investigate, it tends to linger and their massive vote lists swell ever longer. Maybe roll probabilities change over time or you get the occasional lockout if something more pressing comes up, but you don't tend to see the extent of the option pruning or the bringing of definite priorities to the fore that treave was doing to leave us with a relatively limited number of options deserving our immediate attention.
     
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  5. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
    Joined:
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    Codex 2012
    Easiest way is to let other NPCs handle it. If they aren't prioritized they can just play out in a natural manner without player interference, as they were meant to. Every plot should come from the basis of "what is this character's plan" and obviously, if the player doesn't prioritize or do anything about it, it can go however you like. Not every detail requires the player to get involved.

    The advantage of deciding things on the fly. Quite a bit of Legend's world wasn't set in stone until you guys made certain choices.

    There's also the good ol' "fuck shit up with a big catastrophe and reset" if you seem to be losing control of the plot. Bonus points if you manage to put the blame on the voters for that one. :M
     
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