I’ve played a few Choice of Games titles recently and really enjoyed them, so figured I’d try my hand at choiceScript, their proprietary scripting language for creating games. I don’t have much to write about the language itself, as it was fairly easy and has a lot of similarities to ren’py. I’m much more interested in the design philosophy of the company, which I’ll cover when talking about their style guide.
To test it out, I made a wee intro about a high school paranormal investigation club which, since I enjoyed making it, I intend to develop at least one chapter of.
The choice of games style guide is here.
I particularly like how there is an emphasis on mechanics mattering and being story appropriate, diversity and player expression. All things I love!
Conventions in Choice of Games
I had a look through the Choice of Games I’d previously played to get a feel for the writing style and how choices are presented.
Generally, it seems that they are written in second person, present tense, with the choices in first person present tense. It’s as if a narrator is talking and the player is replying. Past tense is used in flashback scenes that determine character traits.
Different games present their choices in different ways. Choice of romance uses a lot of questions, sometimes without diegetic context, such as:
‘Are you a daughter or a son?’
Creme de la Creme doesn’t really ask questions – you just pick the next thing that happens.
“Your father straightens the collar of your coat. “
“Remember you’ll always be our son”
This lets the player choose what other characters do and say in addition to their own actions.
Vampire the masqurade presents some choices as incomplete sentences with ellipses.
“drove from city to city learning to do what you loved, which was…”