Constructing a CYOA and the User Experience

When my partners and I initially sat down to plan out our “Choose Your Own Adventure” game, “Escape from Spooky Manor,” we began pretty scatterbrained to say the least. We bounced several ideas off of one another, all of which contained a comedic/fantastical thread that we knew we wanted to employ in our game. What’s funny about this initial process of almost random brainstorming is that we didn’t really deviate from that mode of thought; Nick and I took what our partner James laid out for us a week ago and spent hours just continuing his great work while also employing our interpretation of the narrative arc piece by piece.

So many branches, so little stability.
So many branches, so little stability.

As the tangled web of our collaborative diegetic world grew, our game began to almost leap from its singular modality through its reflection of three completely distinct creative minds. Soon enough, our group simply took turns adding our ideas to the many nodes of the game and passing our progress on to the next member. Yet, despite this semi-disjunction between creators, our narrative remained complete with a singular beginning, a massive amount of middles, and numerous endings (not all of which ended with certain death). Overall, this collaboration allowed me to really think about how the construction of non-linear narrative can both spin away from its intended trajectory and give life to organic avenues of plot and set pieces that reflects the user experience of the completed project. Hopefully, the players of our game will attempt to find every one of our endings and ultimately enjoy the adventure!

0 thoughts on “Constructing a CYOA and the User Experience

  1. Wow! That web looks ridiculously complicated! That must have been difficult to figure out after a certain point. How did you keep all sections separate and understandable during the creation, while it looks so complicated to follow a single web to completion? I want to read your story now, and find out how the web lends itself to a narrative structure. I found that the one I worked on resulted in a very different structure overall, so it’ll be interesting to see just how different they are from each other.

Leave a Reply