Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Gamebook Theory: Treasure Hunt gamebook mechanic



  1. Hi,
    I m developing a javascript gamebook style. The idea of a Diverging Diamond is awessome!

    My history is becomming too big, because my diamond doesnt' have a low point (wizard castle). What can i make to avoid the 124 (and counting...) ways of "ending" my adventure?

    Thks for the content and Sorry for bad english (Brazilian guy here)

    1. Hi there, Unknown! Thank you for the question! Keep in mind that English is not my first language either, so don't worry too much about how you write. The most important thing is to be able to express yourself to other people even if it is not in proper language.

      Back to your question... I believe that the alternative endings of the story should be not more than 3 (this number doesn't include the instant deaths, but you shouldn't have any of those in your story either). Some experts recommend that when writing a gamebook, authors must start at the end instead of the beginning of the book. That means that before you do anything, you should have 1, 2 or 3 possible endings written down. That would limit the crazy number of possible outcomes of the scenario.

      If by 'endings' you meant 'paragraphs', I have an answer to that question as well: Read my further article about Logical Conclusion Question. The mistake most authors make is to create countless meaningless branches of the story. There must be logic and therefore wright and wrong decisions in the story. Otherwise, you will run into the problem of just giving many choices to the reader without actually changing the final outcome of the game. Where is the challenge then? Well, you could just write a branching story instead of making a game, but that is something I am not interested in because of many reasons, but the main one is that providing many choices leads to writing many paragraphs nobody will ever get to read, which means that you wasted too much of your own time.

      I hope this answers your question. Let me know if you have any further ones ;-)