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TheGouldenWay's avatar

BEFORE THE STORM | It's a Sign

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The Chin has returned, ladies and gentlemen.  Oh, how I've missed it and its sharp, chiseled, superheroic proportions.  Speaking of superheroes, it even has its own origin story... but that's a tale for another day.

Also, let me know if this cartoon is too dark on your screens.  It looks alright on mine, but I know that color appears differently depending on the kind of screen you have.

PUNOGRAPHY:
In the last panel, Chloe is asking if the sign on the fence finds her defiance offensive, but she inserts the word "fence" into the middle of "offensive", hence, "offenceive".
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© 2017 - 2021 TheGouldenWay
Comments24
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lopa-knight's avatar
WHAT IS THE CHIN™™™'S BACKSTORY
framgena's avatar
Nice game of words!
RedRacoon09's avatar
Fence: No one's around to bear witness to my shame, your massive chin, or to appreciate that sick pun. I win.
PegasisterTheBrony's avatar
Sometimes I wonder if you're capable of making a feelsy comic with puns.
Because I need puns.
And I need feels.
Shimazun's avatar
Please I need the last panel as a seperate pic xD
Snakespur's avatar
I think it's kind of funny how the shape of Chloe's face in the last panel looks like the type of camera Max uses lol.
Shimazun's avatar
Driiinkk's avatar
Shes back. The face is back.
TayzeJacksonBell's avatar
And then I assume he's mauled by a dog.
shorewall's avatar
I'm having a rough day at work, and it made me happy to see this.  Thanks.  :)
TheGouldenWay's avatar
I had a rough day, too, but hearing that this was able to partially brighten up your day has brightened up my day!  Oh, how the tables have turned!
shorewall's avatar
Touche!  En Garde!  :)
Spartan30000's avatar
God F*cking Dammit Chloe! >XD
JaiyaPapaya's avatar
I really wish you wrote the dialogue for some of the scenes. I like BTS more than the original, but your puns would escalate to P5 level.
TheGouldenWay's avatar
Getting to write for something I like this much would be the single coolest thing on the planet.  Maybe one day...
JaiyaPapaya's avatar
I was going to ask you (if you don't mind) what would you add/change in the LiS series? I'm creating a game with similar mechanics so I would like to hear your opinion.
TheGouldenWay's avatar
Off the top of my head, here are my biggest suggestions:

1. Give the player a healthy helping of little choices that matter aesthetically.  You'd be surprised how giddy it can make a player when something as small as a compliment they paid to a character in the first episode is mentioned by said character several episodes later.  Little things like that basically remind the player that, yes, the game is tracking even a few of the little things you do.  Be careful about making small choices matter too much, because that can be irritating if the effects are negative.  The player might feel like they were tricked because the choice wasn't telegraphed as particularly important when it came up, and now instead of feeling like the outcome was based on their choices, the player feels like the outcome was a trap, which understandably breaks their immersion.  Try your best not to trick players.

2. Give the player a few BIG choices that actually have an impact on the broad story.  The thing that most people find frustrating in these games is when big choices have small consequences.  While small choices can get away with feeling like they haven't changed much about the story, big choices (in the player's mind) should almost always feel like they change the main story or its progression in some way.  Some big choices may lead only to a single branching scene and then tie right back into the main plot seamlessly (like a lot of Telltale's "The Walking Dead: Season One", for example).  The trap that a lot of game writer's fall into with these games is making EVERY big choice result in just a simple branching scene, or just a change in dialogue.  You need to understand going into the project that choose-your-own-adventure-type stories are VERY demanding in terms of writing, especially during branching sequences.  Your instinct might be to guide the players safely along your super-well-thought-out plot and not let them deviate too much from the story you mean to tell (I fell into this trap when I was writing my own CYOA stories), but remember that it isn't a book; it's a game.  In a game, players NEED interaction, and they need to feel like that interaction means something.  As goofy as it might sound, it's your job to make them feel like they changed something in another world.  That can be a lot to handle, and it can get boring trying to make sure that each branching story works well with the whole, but it's the most exhilarating feeling in the world when you get it right.

3. Avoid win/lose or good/bad decisions. Telltale's most effective philosophy is murdering their best franchises with horrible decision-making.  Their most successful philosophy is that every choice should have about a 50-50 split from the audience (assuming the choice is binary).  No choice should be too easy or too one-sided (murder innocent one-year-old, or save kitten from tree? Hmm...).  Instead, making choices that "have no right answer" forces the player to think about the characters involved, consider the possible outcomes, and even define some of the less explored nuances of their own principles, all of which makes the decision more engaging.  An easy example is "killing the few to save the many".  One group must die, so why not the few?  What if the few are a bunch of begging children?  What if it's YOUR begging child?  Morally ambiguous choices are great.  Don't be like the "InFAMOUS" series with obvious good and evil choices.  That just leads to people choosing to either play the good or bad playthrough and to stick with it to the end no matter what choices they're presented with.  Also, don't have too many win/lose conditions, like a choice that either saves a beloved character or lets them die without any more depth added to the scenario.  If there is no good that comes from the failure, then it will only break the immersion of the player.  I'm not saying to coddle the player and let nothing bad happen in the story (what fun would THAT be?), but bad things in the plot are different than bad things from failure.  Failure makes the player sit back in their chair and start thinking of the game as a game that he needs to beat.  That mentality is (I find) often incompatible with genuine immersion in the game's world.  Remember that as a story game, immersion is second only to functionality.  A regular game like Mario or Sonic breaks immersion all the time when the player dies, but the player isn't playing those games for immersion.  They're usually playing those for the challenge or something like that.  But the CYOA's selling point is not challenge or competition; it's immersion in a different world with different characters and different situations that all need to feel real and personal for the duration of the playthrough.  Immersion breaks when the player feels like they've straight up failed something that they think they were supposed to succeed at.  That's how we've been conditioned by every other game we've ever played, so it's important to frame failures not as failures, but as part of the story and part of their choices, each with good and bad consequences.

4. Multiple endings are underrated.  Even with how many people demand them of CYOA games, they're still underrated.  How much more of an impact can you have on a story than on how it ENDS?  That's an amazing feeling, especially when your ending feels like a true culmination of your choices during the whole game.  "Heavy Rain" comes to mind to illustrate this point.  While some games have multiple endings that are determined only by the final choice (like "Life is Strange" or "The Walking Dead: Season Two"), that kind of simplification can make all other choices effectively meaningless (not that I hate either of those games).  "Heavy Rain", on the other hand, considered certain factors and choices throughout the game (like which characters lived, where they were during certain events, whether or not they solved certain puzzles, etc.) and then those small outcomes would determine which endings were possible.  Then the player's actions during the final scene solidified which ending you actually got.  Despite its flaws, "Heavy Rain" had a remarkably sound philosophy for its storytelling.

5. Humor is the secret to drama.  No matter how dramatic your story is supposed to be, it should have a little humor.  Nothing over the top, but just a few sprinklings of humanity and happiness in the bleakness of disaster and sadness.  Don't inject it needlessly into the really sad scenes by having the main character dance on a corpse or anything, but remember that people need a break from the mindless depression of dramas.  They need the character to catch a break and laugh a little between each tragedy, or else the story feels like just one big tragic sludge.  Think of it like the quiet between action sequences.  Most movies can't get away with just two hours of adrenaline.  They usually need to take a breather.  They need pacing and arcs and such.  Same goes for drama.  Anyway, that's all I can think of for now.

---

Congrats on making it through all of that (if you actually DID).  If this was confusing at all, you can message me, and I'll be happy to explain, restate, or elaborate on any of these points, or to answer any other questions you might have.  I've got a lot of information swirling around in my head, and stream-of-consciousness writing just barfs it all out without very good organization, so hopefully some of this is clear enough.  I'm pretty passionate about writing CYOA's.  I even wrote a few myself some time ago.  I think I learned a lot from my mistakes along the way, and if I can help someone else to learn from MY mistakes rather than THEIRS, that'd be worth it.

Oh, and if you want, I'd love it if you'd link me to your game when it's done.  I'd be happy to play it, or test it, if you need people for that!
JaiyaPapaya's avatar
I did make it through! And I'm so sorry for putting you through that, like wow. This means so much...
I am a junior, high school junior, so it might be a while but when I get it finished, I'm shipping a direct copy to you for this. :)
MaskofGamer's avatar
  Ohhhh.

  I'm someone not even a bit related to this conversation, but is nice to see a future game designer here :D
 
  Good luck on your game :)
JaiyaPapaya's avatar
Potixhe's avatar
Honestly, Nice pun! I wouldn’t have done better 😂👌
MaskofGamer's avatar
AHHHHHHHHHHHH! I was fucking MISSING this FUCKING chin!!!!!
NotsoMagicalMike's avatar
The iconic pun-chin is always great to see
RubySilverEye's avatar
XD oh god nice one 
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