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On using text: Is More less?

Hello everyone. I'm new and I'm really glad to be on here. I've been lurking for a while and you guys do some great work.

I've been working on a number of stories on Twine 2, and recently due to a lap top crash I've been hyper focused on two new stories I've really experimented with even as a person new to Twine and IF. So I have finished one of them, and am currently editing, but I just can't help but wonder if I should do more.

I typically put detailed information in a side link. For example in the first passage "sigils" leads to a short explanation of what "Your sigils" look like vaguely, and I do it about several more times in differing ways, but I'm wondering if that should be more common. I've played some stories that only have choice links at the end of passages, and then I've played stories with high interactivity where you can click through options and have a ton of text. So part of me is really wondering what works better: having a lot of links to click and interact with or less.

So I'm not sure what's a good level of interactivity or, perhaps more so, exploration. I don't expect every person to be interested in every link, but the point of my story is that every passage should add to your final choices? In this story every choice matters and yet how it matters is randomly selected (Three passages each with three random endings). I am not skilled enough yet to more efficiently do the "If" statements for whether or not players/readers see the text, but each link you choose to click or not impacts your knowledge and interpretation of certain knowledge. But is that good? Is there such a thing as having useless passage links or is just having those not enough?

Further do you think images and music can contribute to feeling like a IF is meaty enough to be interesting?


  • What ever you're comfortable with.

    Not a terribly helpful answer but there are going to be folks who want a hyperlinked wikipedia hiding under every word on the page and folks who know how to use a dictionary and just want some action links at the end. Can't please 'em all, so write how you're comfortable writing.

    That said it also depends a bit on your target audience. If you're writing to educate, then probably more side links rather than fewer. If you're writing for the easily distracted, then fewer links to keep them on story.

    Random stuff I try and stay away from - it can take away from the players feeling that they are in control.

    Music and graphics can add a lot - but they've got to be well done. Done badly they'll turn even a decent story into something truly cringe worthy. They need to enhance the story, not obscure or distract from it.
  • It's still a helpful answer, thank you for responding.
    There's so many ways to do an IF, and I can't even decide what I like myself. On one level I love pictures, but on the other they can just be there and add nothing, which is what I'm afraid of besides ruining the story.

    It's such a weird balancing act when your used to straight writing novellas
  • The solution to the picture question - much like footnotes or other story details - is to have them, IF they add to the story. There's certainly no rule that you have to include pictures consistently.
    I'm definitely considering the use of the links to introduce Terry Pratchett-style silly footnotes throughout my text.
  • When I tend to use links they're like exanpasions of information. Things you don't have to read if you play through again for instances. I guess people appreciate it...well I hope they will lol.
  • edited December 2015
    Hmmm. Lets see if this works:

    <abbr title="Frederick Bloggs, 1903-1975">Fred</abbr>

    Double hmmm. Forum site won't process the HTML.

    Wadda you know. Worked with Twine 1.4.2 and Sugarcane. YMMV with other combinations.

    The text in the title string becomes a hover tooltip for the words within the abbr tag. Good for footnotes without adding reams of extra passages.
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