Do you have any advice on managing lots of branching paths in a choose your own adventure game? Even things like remembering what has happened (using tags) and making use of those is really cumbersome!
There’s a lot of things you can do here to help keep things straight. Primarily, you need to keep everything as organized as possible, and that means taking a big problem and breaking it down until it is in pieces small enough to handle. How I would start is by creating an outline for each individual storyline from beginning to end by breaking it up into a flow chart of story beats. Each beat should contain relevant information like:
A list of characters involved in the scene
The scene location and relevant environment details (What does this area look like?)
All branching conditions and where the branches lead
How this scene handles the different branches that lead to this scene
A brief description of what happens during this scene
Any sort of other requirements for this scene (props, character models, voiced lines, environments, animations, etc.)
Then, based on how the separate plot lines interact with each other, I would tag the branches with unique tags so that I can see where they intersect from scene to scene. If the flowchart of connecting scenes starts looking too complicated, it’s a good sign that the story could probably use some cutting or simplifying.
Let’s go with an example. We’ll create a quest that has a dialogue, a choice, two mutually exclusive scenes that result from the choice (an optional quest branch), and then some results. Here’s a sample quest summary:
The player character meets an archer named Neelo who wishes the player to recover her bow from a nearby cave. The player goes to the cave entrance only to discover another character, a shifty bard named Desmal, already at the cave entrance. Desmal offers the player a sackful of gold for the bow, but only if the player kills Neelo as well since she doesn’t want to deal with Neelo trying to take revenge.
So let’s build a quest outline for this, shall we?
Here is an example of a simple breakdown of the quest progression. You can see how scene progresses to scene, showing all of the different possible paths by which the player arrives at the next scene from its predecessor. You could (in theory) add notes to each of these scenes for the important information for those scenes, and dress them up visually however you like. As an example, I differentiated the action and dialogue scenes with the different shapes of bubbles, and used different colored arrows to indicate mandatory transitions as opposed to those driven by player choices. Notice how the quest converges after the player makes the choice to speak with Desmal or not and, if so, whether the player chooses to accept the subquest. Let’s continue with the second half of the quest.
Then we can finish the quest up through these scenes. Fighting Neelo is an optional part of the quest, but only if the player has accepted Desmal’s quest back up above. As you can see, there are two clear paths that the player can take to the end of the quest. If we wanted to do so, we could expand the quest to allow the player to keep the bow, attack Desmal, or any number of other things. We could track the results of the quest at the end and use those values in another quest later on.
The benefits to breaking up story beats in this way should be pretty clear. Each scene, be it an action or a conversation or whatever, is essentially a single self-contained block that has a finite number of ways of entering, a finite set of results, and one major thing that happens inside it.
While there’s no limit to the complexity one can pile into a single scene, resist the urge. Keep scenes simple and straightforward. Maintain the purpose of the scene, or it won’t have the right effect.
I can then add all of the relevant details to that specific scene and know exactly what is needed to build this scene without needing to keep the entire storyline straight in my head. All I need to remember is what variables are important entering the scene, the scene details itself, and how the scene will determine where to direct the player next. Because it’s self-contained, I have a discrete chunk of work that I can do by myself or hand off to another designer. Once it is complete, I can connect it to the other completed scenes to form a whole quest.
By keeping the storylines as self-contained flowcharts of interconnected scenes, I can easily determine each storyline’s relative complexity and size at a glance. The more the storyline looks like a spider web, the more complicated it becomes. Furthermore, with some practice breaking scenes down and creating them like this, I can also start estimating how long a specific scene will take to complete. This means that I can take a look at an entire storyline and estimate, based on the number of scenes in it, how long the entire storyline will take to craft. I can put in scene budgets for storylines to keep them sane - a large or critical storyline might have a top end of 25 scenes, while a one-off throwaway quest would have to be done in under 10. Since I can presumably tell what my schedule looks like, I can then make some decisions like “I can make this bigger” or “This won’t fit, I need to cut something”. I can then determine which parts that can safely be cut, and where I can reference smaller self-contained storylines into larger ones for more engagement without adding too much complexity.
in ptsdee during the stripper scene at the end, when Dennis stops Charlie from taking his clothes off, I think it's because he remembers how Charlies 2nd worst fear used to be getting booed or laughed at onstage, and he already got booed offstage with Dennis once. that plus the not-wanting-to-take-his-clothes-off thing would mess Charlie up quite a bit more. and that's why he says "don't take your clothes off if they're laughing! make sure you have the power"
oh my god……… i love being dead and dying thank you for this ask
umm that new chapter killed me but during the scene where viktor grabs yuuri's wrist and leaves like indentions where it was gripped, in my angst-loving brain i wanted viktor to reach out for yuuri again (not in an accusing way) and yuuri to jerk backwards like viktor was gonna hurt him and for viktor's heart to just SHATTER but anyway that was a freaking cryfest for me and i loooved it thank you
When Viktor grabbed Yuuri it was absolutely not a violent angry thing but a ‘I’ve got to stop him before he can swallow those pills’ thing and he’s always been very careful and considerate of Yuuri’s consent and autonomy so as soon as Yuuri tells him to let got he does straight away.
what are some details most people dont notice at first in cars?
I have… at least 10 million of these stored in my brain. Let’s see how many of them I can remember now that you’ve asked me lol
(this one is very obvious) but the uneducated audience wouldn’t catch the “For the Birds” reference during the Life is a Highway scene
also during that scene there’s a wide shot of Mack on the highway and the cloud formation behind him is in the shape of a hood ornament (I believe a 30′s/40′s Buick?)
I think this one is obvious but one of Lightning’s head animators just realized LAST MONTH that the “Top Down truck stop” is an innuendo to a topless bar. It’s been 10 years.
Lizzie was dozing off in the BG of the court room scene
The (now closed ) Clentrio Motel across from the Cozy Cone was based off of Coral Courts. (do not get me or @radiationstinks talking about Coral Courts we WILL cry.)
Flo and Ramone are the only RS residents that live in a house. Everyone else lives at their place of business.
Sally’s lisence plate is a reference to her make and model. (301PCE is 301 Porsche)
evERY TIME LIGHTNING RACES FOR THE NEXT SCENE AFTERWARDS HE IS COATED IN A THIN LAYER OF DUST/PIECES OF TAR AND AS AN ANIMATOR THIS LITTLE DETAIL GIVES ME LIFE. DO YOU KNOW HOW FUCKING HARD IT WAS FOR THEM TO ADD THAT TINY DETAIL??!!
The plants around the cozy cones are 1963/1964 Ford Galaxie taillights.
Sally’s headlights are basically a lie. Her make and model have never had melted headlights, but the concept artists liked them better than the standard headlights that were on her make/model so they put melted headlights on her.
Cars was the first Pixar movie to have environment mapping. And damn did they use it well.
I THINK (don’t hold me to it) Filmore has a bumper sticker that says “Save 2D animation??
Doc’s tires are a little flat throughout the whole fucking movie. Ask me if it bothers me.
The shovel talk scene. I remember someone talking about it, but I can't remember who (I'm sorry!) stating how it shouldn't happen. What is your view of it? (Because of racism and/or homophobia) Thanks for your time!
Okay, so I found the post you were most likely referring to. I think it’s this one where Maia explained what the ‘shovel talk’ is to an anon, and the problems she had with it. Link here.
I will be honest anon, I cringed a little during the scene. Not because I don’t think brothers or sisters or even fathers shouldn’t give that talk (my father has had many a shovel talk with people I was dating at the time, and I will admit, even then it pissed me off) , but because there was so many other things going on in that scene. I wouldn’t say Jace was homophobic, but he did bring in some slutshaming when he automatically assumed that it was a ‘fling’ for Magnus whilst Alec is the innocent, who is extra sensitive and would be the one hurt easily hurt, and it irks me because we’ve seen time and again that Alec has just as much power to hurt Magnus. In fact, it is the people who are more often than not slutshamed that are the most sensitive. Why? Because they already have to deal with society’s criticism of who they love and who they choose to have sex with and they build up walls, walls to protect themselves, walls to keep that center of them from being bruised some more. So yeah, just because Magnus is the more experienced of the two of them, doesn’t automatically mean that he’s the one who would do the hurting. Alec could as easily do the hurting as well. The number of lovers you’ve had has no bearing on the amount of pain you can inflict on the person you love. So yeah, I had huge problems with the slutshaming, especially coming from a man who in the previous episode was having sex with a seelie in the house of his host. A very gracious host mind you because if that had been me, his ass would have been out the door faster than he can say dark seelie.
As for the racist connotation to the talk, yes I had a problem with it as well. Because Jace is a white male, a white SHADOWHUNTER, giving the “Do not hurt my brother or else speech” to an Asian DOWNWORLDER. Now, I’m not Asian, so for an Asian’s perspective of the talk, I will once again refer you to Maia’s post, but I do recognize the imbalance of power in that situation. Plus, he was speaking from a place of superiority that still comes back to me wondering why he had to go there. Especially after he admitted that he felt how happy Alec was through their parabatai bond. I know to himself, he thinks he’s coming from a place of being the protective younger brother, but newsflash, Alec Lightwood is 100% capable of looking after himself. He is 100% capable of fighting his own battles (as we’ve seen him do several times over). He doesn’t need Jace showing up to protect his virtue from the big bad Asian ‘Downworlder lothario’. And as much as you might have a problem with me repeating it, there’s no way anyone can hide from this fact: Jace was a white man, giving ‘the talk’ to an Asian man. That act, has racial connotations, especially considering the history of white people not wanting other races to ‘taint’ their virginal offsprings.
So yeah, I didn’t like the scene. I also didn’t like that it further reinforced the fact that although Malec got intimate for their first time, they were not given the treatment the straight couples got, and instead we got a fade out and Jace telling us about how happy Alec was during their first time (like seriously though. Why not just bloody show us a happy Alec after the fact, snuggling with his boyfriend?). But I liked how they both smiled at the fact that Magnus wouldn’t tolerate Maryse being in his house for anyone else but Alec, and how they both agreed on the open bar.
During the rooftop scene Alec didn’t just hear Clary call him a murderer but also her calling him weak and a disappointment and that nobody would miss him if he jumped and this says a lot about how Alec really sees himself and his self worth and my heart is literally broken cleanly in half!
Amazingly, I think this ep got a lot of non-shippers on board. My husband never saw it until last night. He told me after the ep that Daryl's scene with Richard was telling and he was emotionally moved during the caryl scenes because they were very intimate/vulnerable with each other. He told me, " I finally get why you ship it." Yeah!!
a lot of reviews mentioned the romantic undertones too hell yeah 💃💃💃
In a general positive post, my wife was super cute tonight. She worked a 16+ hour shift as a nurse last night, so she was in and out of it during tonights supergirl ep. During the sanvers scene she tapped lightly on my back and I asked her when she was doing. She said she was keyboard smashing with me because there were cute lesbians and promptly fell back asleep.
my acesona is marie isabelle and she loves ya dystopic novels about white people. she relates deeply to these tales of marginalization and oppression. she used to say XD all the time
but now she prefers to go for the quiet sophistication of a good “yikes lol”. It’s really efficient to show these dirty allos a piece of her mind!! because if there’s one thing marie isabelle hates, it’s injustice. she also loves to go on ace positivity blogs and steal the best jokes so that she can tell them over and over again
to her family and friends at parties or
during sex scenes in movies. she feels it’s important to normalize her queerness in the family setting by casually reminding everyone that she’s lithromantic heterosexual and heteroaesthetic. otherwise, she fears they’d erase a part of her identity, which she took such a long time to craft. her boyfriend richard is cupiosexual heteromantic lesbian aesthetic because he thinks two girls together is very “pleasing to see”. he told her all that on their first date, bluntly and she thought it was very queer of him. she’s proud of being in an ala (ace loving ace) relationship and advocates for it loudly on her tumblr. she likes to think of herself as a full time activist and a model for ace youth and will block all REG on sight!! so don’t try her!!
i hope they let her learn and become a better mother, as well be more accepting of alec and magnus, because i feel like there’s potential there
i actually noticed during that scene when magnus gives a gift to max, that maryse looks at alec a few times when magnus is with max in such a….. i dont know if caring would be a good world, but nicola did a wonderful job there with those looks because i really felt there that she could learn and use her potential as a supportive mother. i hope they dont forget her storyline because i really want to see her grow especially from the situation, and become a better version of herself because god theres so much potential and i love nicola so much