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  •   Looking for feedback on branching narratives – Trapped in a Box

    17/05/12 - 22:11

    My quite random afternoon spent making Trapped in a Box has resulted in me spending quite a lot of time thinking about the game. I want to add a branching narrative to it – the overall story will remain the same, but as you spend time dodging slime, I want to enable the player to explore different aspects of the story. I want the core gameplay to remain the same, trying to read while dodging slime. The question is: how best to do this.

    My first thought was too keep it completely hidden from the player – basing it upon the length of time they spent on either side of the platform ( or amount of time they have been in the air or close calls or some other metric … ), the branches in the story would be triggered by this metric. Also, after adding time dilation I debated rewarding the player for not using it by giving them positive aspects of the story. Alas, the story that I have so far for the box doesn’t really have good and bad parts, so feel this would be pointless – I’m also trying to avoid getting to Lovecraft about it – but not sure I can πŸ™‚

    So I put together three mock-ups of the game, which would allow the player to choose a branch based upon a key phrase. The first two are simply putting the decision above the platform, meaning the player has to jump to activate it. The third way is to use the Q and E keys to decide.

    Option 1 : fairly simple, just the words appearing

    Option 2 : very similar to option 1, but with boxes around the words

    Option 3 : Using the Q and E keys to decide

    Option 4 : Keep the choices the player makes hidden

    I think the primary goal with the multiple branch technique is so that the game play isn’t so repetitive – I’m not very good at it and tend to die a lot πŸ™‚ It would be interesting to explore other parts of the story by picking a different way to go through it every time I die. Also remembering the paths I have taken already to view bits of the story adds to the game itself. So anyway, feel free to aid me with my quest or add any suggestions your have πŸ™‚



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