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372 No. 372
Getting this board back to its original purpose:

What kinds of things would you like to see in stories more often?

No. 373
faster updates like it used to be last year.
No. 374
more discussion of the contents of a story in something other than UN Owens or Taisa's stories.
No. 375
>>374

>UN Owens or Taisa's stories.

The reason behind those is obviously known.

>>373

That was before the reason behind >>374's
issue became popular.
No. 376
>>375
>The reason behind those is obviously known.

I'm not sure I understand.
No. 381
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381
>>376
/sdm/ was always a guarantee for success.

Still, i wonder where Owen is. After his little adventure in text, where he told people basically that his skill and he himself was just way too good for writing here, it was never heard of him again.

After reading the story and looking at the comments, discussion and write ins, i came to the conclusion that it was actually the write ins and comments that made the story so good. Owen had a general path, good parts and ideas, but those were nothing without the creativity and ideas of the readers. I dare to say that if those things would not have been, the story would have been only half as good and only half as successfully.


Every story stands and falls with the input of the people, if there is none, it just rests on the shoulder of the writer. I am not saying that EVERY story is like that, there are many good writers here that create great stories even without input and only votes. Lion for example. He hasn't got some kind of discussion for ages and still manages to create something gripping with a bit of twists and good characters that makes you want to read more. Now imagine if he had the same kind of input, discussion and write ins like Owen's story had. Frightening, you just have to shudder if you think what kind of monster story he would create.

Still, let us think about what kind of stories are a success and which are not. And why some are and why some are not.
Let us take Taisa for example. Why does he get what most other writers here don't get: Discussion and votes. Most of it is probably that he choose some setting that dates way back to MiG and it's spin off: Gensokyo Academy School Days. Most people really liked it and were pissed off that Kira dropped it. Now we have someone to remind us of what was long ago and something that is more familiar with us: a kind of school setting in Gensokyo. Plus, most of us play VN here, that is something that we can relate to the most. If you look at the discussion, it is much about which girl to go for. So, pick a girl + Touhou + school = success?
Not quite. There are many factors, but first of all it is the skills of the writer. If the writer is shit, the story is shit and no one wants it.
IRC. It plays a big part of it too, #THP is the lifeline, even more than the board itself. krisslanza for example.
Which crew, not everyone likes /eientei/ or /shrine/.
And now more than ever, what kind of setting you go with. The people are fewer now and they seem to be picky about what they read.
And much more. Beside having that school setting with the get your favorite girl route, Taisa is just a good writer, funny and pretty allround that lives off what people comment and write in to a certain degree. He just uses whatever the people talk about too often, just like that in the story without changing it a bit at least for my taste. But you cannot say that he is totaly like Owen, who lives off the commenter and write ins. He is probably somewhere in the middle with everything. So, to sum it up: School setting like GA, VN style get that route of the girl you want, sdm cast, good allround in everything, very loveable and different character (Bro Rumia is just awesome, Sakuya not a bitch, Patchy), much to explore (you want to to get to know every girl), funny (and very funny sometimes), IRC popularity as a bonus boost and no real goal. Mainstream.

But whatever, i did not want to go in that direction.
No idea why big and always good running stories suddenly get deserted even if the people are here.

It will probably always be a mystery what motivates people now to vote and not vote and comment and not comment. My guess would be the whole site downtime hurt badly, a new and sudden influx of non /jp/ people, the right people just leaving and some form of stagnation and apathy coupled with "i voted for this story always, so i just vote." routine. THP is in a serious crisis.
Or maybe the Touhou CYOA prime that GM started is about to end.

Sorry about the probably poor grammar, it took me an hour to type down my thoughts.
No. 382
>implying this board had a purpose
No. 383
>>381

It helps that Lion isn't a terribly insecure writer unlike some demanding discussion. And he has a clear enough thought process to write without voter input. I heard something refer to him as a "Demigod writefag", and I can't really disagree now that I think about it.

But a major factor of things would be all the dropped stories around here. And most anon start reading them on archive sites like sentrygun and it's a hard blow when they come here to find the stories they started reading, most of them never finished, and the writers who wrote the ones that finished aren't writing anymore.

I discuss the story where it's relevant (some stories like Kriss are straightforward most of the time and that 99% of the options sound good, so there isn't much to talk about.)

>>382

you're right there was no real point to the new boards, it's just that some folks gave them points.
No. 384
>>381
Is having no real goal actually a good thing?
No. 385
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385
>>384
I dunno; having no goal actually works sometimes. We've been banging away at GH for 17 threads and it only just came out that there's some inkling of a plot to be addressed in the future. Call me crazy, but if we never got that far, I reckon most people wouldn't mind.

>>381
Formulas for success? Things that I've noticed in stories that really get people fired up: romantic prospects right off the bat, nameless protagonist, updates at least every other day that are medium to large (or short updates multiple times a day), and the author communicates with the voters. A lot of stories have interesting characters and intriguing plots written by people with a strong command of the written word, but that doesn't seem to cut it when you compare them to the authors that can consistently bang out some light hearted adventures about romancing Touhous.

Of course, there are a handful of exceptions that were popular despite flaunting some of these, but they've never ended well (if they ended at all).

Something I wonder about is whether there's a divide in interest between stories that use nameless protagonists and those that use distinct characters. I think anon really gets behind the nameless protagonists because you can really get behind the decision making: it's your avatar living out something awesome. People get really invested in seeing them do well. Stories with distinct characters, the Davids, Sigurds, Shirous, Mikios, Kazukis, etc., are a little different. People still get attached, but because they want to see how the character will respond and act. Thing is, if the character doesn't 'click' with some anon, no matter how good the story is, they probably won't read it. I think some stories just wouldn't work without a particular character in the leading role, but by making that decision for their story, they run the risk of alienating a fair portion of anon.
No. 386
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386
>>385
>A lot of stories have interesting characters and intriguing plots written by people with a strong command of the written word, but that doesn't seem to cut it when you compare them to the authors that can consistently bang out some light hearted adventures about romancing Touhous.

The funny thing is that while I often hear criticism of VNs because of this trait, namely that the heroes are invariably self inserts without the faintest hint of personality or attractive qualities. And when you look at some of the best VNs in English like Saya, Ever17, Umineko, Tsukihime or FSN, all of them manage to have a strong plot and a hero with clearly defined personality and thought processes. You might be able to empathize with them, but you aren't them.

>I think anon really gets behind the nameless protagonists because you can really get behind the decision making: it's your avatar living out something awesome.

There's nothing wrong with wanting to submerge yourself in the experience, but it means that no matter how talented a writer, your 'story' won't be much more than pretending you're in Gensokyo and that the Touhous inexplicably find you attractive instead of eating you. I see nothing wrong with that, but there are real limitations on what writers can accomplish using a character without a name and devoid of personality or motivations. What happens when you want to write an inspiring scene? Or an emotionally moving scene? Or a scene that makes people think about something that the characters have said or done? You either have to leave all of those out of your story or rely on cliches.
No. 387
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387
Dio Brando.

MoaV might be heading in that direction, but the plot moves so slowly TH-P's server will get crushed by a glacier before we get that far.

Dio makes everything better.
No. 388
>>385
>Things that I've noticed in stories that really get people fired up: romantic prospects right off the bat, nameless protagonist, updates at least every other day that are medium to large

Exactly. The audience has changed much. People have become spoiled and picky with what they read thanks to the increasing quality of the stories on here. IPF and sdm la that HY wrote are things that will always get enough readers and voters. Or what Grue wrote. The trend is going strong in that direction, like you said, romancing Touhous and lighter setting with fast updates daily.

A good thought up story, with a great plot and long updates is not a sure way to get many readers and commenters.
No. 389
>>388
>People have become spoiled and picky with what they read thanks to the increasing quality of the stories on here.

>A good thought up story, with a great plot and long updates is not a sure way to get many readers and commenters.
No. 390
>>388
You're either an idiot, really tired, or just spouting things off randomly.

Trend of light plot? Trend? That's what this site started with! This isn't a change!
No. 391
>>389
But that is how the people really are. On one side picky with what they want to read, on the other not caring for when something is good, instead liking something more lighter.

It would actually be extremely interesting to make a survey here to find out more about the likings and dislikings of Anon. Analyse it and post the results.
No. 392
>>391
>>388

No offense intended bro, but your grammar being what it is, I'm not particularly confident that your idea of what's good is necessarily representative.
No. 393
>>387
Good god, this reads like utter faggotry.

Why does everything I post on /blue/ sound so much dumber than normal
No. 394
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394
>>386
>I see nothing wrong with that, but there are real limitations on what writers can accomplish using a character without a name and devoid of personality or motivations.

I don't think not having a name is the same as not having a personality. At the start, they really are quite boring characters whose personality is composed of, as you noted, cliches (and considering the audience, usually a handful of memes). But, through choices and dialogue, anon molds these faceless husks into real characters with personalities and motivations. What's more, these aren't traits arbitrarily assigned for the sake of the story; they're deliberately chosen by the voting population. I think a lot of the heated discussions in some of the more popular threads are so enormous because people have a real emotional stake in the result of a particular choice. Likewise, I think anon can get pretty cool to a story that has a little too much "rail roading" since it removes anon from the fun of playing with Touhous.
It's different when you're making the decisions for a character with a predefined personality and set of goals right from the first word. You have to get in their head to try and understand how they see the world, what they would do or say in certain situations, etc. Like you said, it's easier to compose a more dramatic, thought provoking, or generally more interesting scene with a character well developed and understood by the author. I won't deny that, and I doubt anyone really could. But those same stories aren't the ones flying at mach speed to autosage because anon can't stop debating every single choice.

This isn't commentary directed at any stories running or since dead; just some observations on what seems to get anon excited.
No. 395
>>394
>anon molds these faceless husks into real characters with personalities and motivations

I agree with most everything else you said except this. The differences between virtually all of the reader standins is superficial at best and there's hardly anything so consistent in their actions that could be interpreted as personality or motivation thanks to the way anon votes. I reiterate that there's not a problem with that, but by any definition, they can barely even be called characters, much less real characters that portray the human condition.

Can you point to a single instance in which a nameless hero acknowledges that he's making a certain decision in light of something that happened to him before? (not just because anon decided they wanted him to do something completely different)

Can you point to an instance where a nameless hero emerges from the story changed (in the sense of the way he views the world, not physical transformation, hax powers or getting laid) by his experiences?

Because both of these are a staple of characters in stories, even if those stories are fanfiction.
No. 396
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396
>>395

How about the farmboy from ASSM? I don't really know what you're looking for with that first issue, but Owen did his best to cater farmboy's actions around anon's decisions and discussion, and farmboy was a very different person by the end of the story (for better or for worse).
No. 397
>>392
Even if it is bad, i try my best to voice my opinion. Now that others are gone, i need to say it myself.
No. 398
I think, in terms of (for lack of a better term) player characters, you have to find a happy medium between the Tabula Rasa and the Hero.

To me, it becomes tiring having to define and redefine a Tabula Rasa's personality, and it becomes too easy to say "Well, I don't want him to be this way! Why did you write it like that, Writer? I don't think of this character that way at all!" when the readers can't come to a good consensus on how to act in a given situation.

The Hero, meanwhile, possibly puts more stress on the writer. His character traits are defined, so - while it may be a trifle more difficult to empathize at times - there's less confusion about what the Hero would do in a given situation. It's clear what things are "in character" for him, at least to some extent.
However, if you take it too far toward his side of the spectrum, it ceases to be a CYOA and becomes a straight work of fiction. That's fine, too, but this site is more geared toward CYOAs.

The happy medium is, I think, providing enough structure of character that the readers have a clue about what to do and aren't confused, while still maintaining enough flexibility that the readers still feel they have control over the situation.
A good way to do that might be to encourage write-ins, but ignore or twist the parts that are just obviously out-of-character.

Now, on a different tack.
With Taisa's story, I think the main draw - especially early on - is the charm with which he writes the characters. Sakuya's not a bitch nor a dunce, Rumia's more than just a retarded little girl or horrible man-eating monster, Flandre isn't just some cookie-cutter yandere. Patchouli is what I expected, but in a good way: she's 4/5 serious on the outside, and 1/5 caring on the inside. Maybe I'd like Remilia to be a bit less silly, and neither Mokou nor Kaguya are pleasant to be around, but those are the only character-related complaints I have about the story that can't be explained with "haven't interacted with them enough yet."

These presentations of character aren't new, per se, but they are presented with the right style to make them appreciable.

It was the same with HY's SDMLA. Remilia charmed the audience quickly with her wit and sense of humor, and kept us with her other attitudes. And she's just one of the cast of great characters we saw there.

...It's late and I'm too tired to keep track of where I'm going with this. Sorry. But if you get what I meant, then... yeah.
No. 406
Just dropping in my 2 cents.

>/sdm/ was always a guarantee for success.

Really? I never go there anymore. After ASSM, the place seems to have slowly fizzled down into nothing. It's so bad that I completely skip over the board, much like /Eientei/ and /Shrine/, and /Others/. Only checking once in a blue moon to see if some new gem happens to pop up.

The way I see it is. The location of the story is also a big deciding factor. EVERYONE goes to /th/, but something like /eientei/ is a doomed board. Add that onto writer skill, and subject matter that interests anon and you may have a successful story.

It saddens me though, A story like Fragmentation of Memories would probably have a much better rate of discussion in /th/ than in /youkai/

Of course there are just some writers that soldier away at their stories without anon. Restorer in Gensokyo's thread are usually massive and the update to discussion ratio is almost completely in the favor of updates. While a story like Gensokyo High has an atrocious update to discussion ratio. The most recent thread has 220+ posts and only 2 of those posts are story updates. GH is going to take FOREVER at this rate. I guess It isn't Taisa's fault that anon is whining/arguing/raging in his threads though.
No. 408
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408
>>406
I wonder if /sdm/ suffers because of its early success. I'm no writer, but when I think about what it might mean to start a new story there, I run up against the following: what premise for introducing the main character hasn't been done before, and what characterization can you use for the /sdm/ cast that hasn't already been done? There have been a lot of good stories in /sdm/ and even though most of them never got finished, they've effectively "covered all the bases." How much creativity can one bring to the table now?

This probably isn't a real issue, since people seem to be enthusiastic over all three fairy stories, but there has to be a reason that what used to be the best board on the site just died, and that's my best guess

Still, there's something about /shrine/ and /eientei/ that keeps those boards from thriving, aside from the 'HURF DERF writefag X ruined it." They both have a ton of potential that hasn't really been tapped. Only thing I can come up with is that it's hard to come up with a good reason for a main character to be in the titular locations: Eientei is in the middle of nowhere and fairly self-sufficient (never seemed to stop people from writing a ton of /sdm/ stories, though), and coming up with a scenario where Reimu doesn't tell you to go away or has Yukari gap us back outside can be tough. Doesn't help that Reimu has been characterized as the bitchiest bitch to ever bitch the bitch in just about every story. Poor girl just needs some love.
No. 409
>>408

So true, she gets more senseless hate than Aya (who has GiG that gives her lots of love)

/sdm/ seems to suffer from having the most dead stories it seems and the high standards of past stories. That and slow writers. Really I think if we had more ambitious folks, we might finally get the other completed routes we wanted.

/Eientei/ seems mostly to suffer from the fall out of DoLF, but Serial ATA's story is going nicely.

Archetype of Self is bringing some life back to /shrine/, perhaps after it finishes, some folks might be inspired.

But the main problem is there isn't much in the way of ambitious AND talented folks.

Those that have the drive to write aren't so talented, and those that do have better things to do with their time.

But /youkai/ suffered the worse of the move, with many of its writers dropping off. That and Gekko rushed his story due to the slow period (I do wish he'd do the full version in the future), but on the bright side Lion's Fragment of memories is updating more than it has in the past.

the problem is a lack of drive among anon to write, and most of ones that do prefer /th/ as their stomping grounds.
No. 410
>>409
>Really I think if we had more ambitious folks, we might finally get the other completed routes we wanted.

Ambition is actually a really problematic thing. The worst thing a writer can do is try and write something outside of their ability. This is what happened when I was writing SotUY. Parsee was a really difficult character to write, and ended up being too difficult for me. One of the reasons I dropped it is because I didn't want to dumb down her character just so I'd be able to keep writing.
No. 411
>Reimu needs more love
I agree.

That's what I'd like to see in stories more often: Reimu love.
No. 412
What bothers me most about how the Wonderful Shrine Maiden of Paradise is depicted is that it's never given a reason why she's unpleasant. It's just assumed that she is, everyone knows it and nobody ever calls her out on it.
No. 413
>>412

Some people assume that due to the games, which aren't an accurate showing of how she is during peaceful times.

That and let's face it, I can easily see most of her friends easily getting on her nerves (Yukari, Aya, Marisa, Suika,etc)

But I'd think she'd be laid back otherwise, and her reaction to an outsider would be she'd try to warn them. Anything after that isn't her fault.

>>410
True but the flip side is no drive to write any new stories.

perhaps the bar on both talent and ambition might have gotten set too high. (Considering how a mere slice of life story might result in folks complaining about a lack of plot)
No. 414
>>413
>Some people [...]
Others recall when she mugged a youkai for reading.
No. 415
>>414
This. It not so much that she's a bitch as it is that she's a crazy racist (speciesist?) surrounded by members of the group she hates. ZUN agreed in UFO, don't bother him about it.
No. 416
She beat up Orange for no reason other than her being there, and her first thought upon seeing Mayohiga was to loot it for valuables.
No. 417
>>415
>a crazy racist (speciesist?) surrounded by members of the group she hates.
I think it's more along the lines of Youkai extermination being her job and not wanting to appear lazy
No. 418
>>417

She beat up a random youkai for reading, stole her books after kicking the shit out of her, and then sold them to Rinnosuke for a profit. That doesn't sound so much like youkai extermination as it does bullying to me.
No. 419
>>416
>She beat up Orange for no reason other than her being there, and her first thought upon seeing Mayohiga was to loot it for valuables.
>>414
>Others recall when she mugged a youkai for reading.

This is an example of precisely what I mean about the way Reimu's always written. People point to these things as proof that they're justified in writing her as being a nasty, borderline sociopath and that they can eschew giving this quality of hers any kind of motivation or explanation of purpose because 'it happens in canon.' (That she’s very often justified even in the story for acting that was is always ignored.) While it naturally depends on the sort of story you're writing, this sort of Reimu can hardly be anything other than a very shallow character.

The reason this is a shame is because more than nearly anyone else, I think you could turn her into a deep, well written tragic heroine (as differentiated from a heroine that only exists for tragedy) if you’re good enough.


Character sketch:
She’s brilliantly talented but ‘lazy.’ Why does she spend countless hours in a kind of malaise, sweeping, drinking tea and staring at the sky? It’s not just because she’s ‘bored,’ it’s because she has no dreams and no future, nor does she even have the concept of dreams or a future, never having been allowed to live her life according to her own choice.

Left alone with no family from a very young age, she’s been forced to save the world countless times solely because of that same lineage from which she’s always suffered and never benefitted. Worse still, all the people she’s saved have neither knowledge nor appreciation of everything she’s done and she barely survives in abject poverty. The only actual human who visits her is an amoral witch that sees her as someone to surpass, with the rest of her infrequent company all being former enemies and literal monsters who would kill her in a heartbeat if it didn’t mean the end of the world. Is it a surprise that she comes off as being misanthropic?

But in her heart, beneath the melancholy and estrangement is a heroic, beautiful spirit. Even when she’s done everything to convince herself that the situation is hopeless so as to never meet with any more disappointments, there’s a faint wish in her heart that one day, the future will be different. That one day, the sun will rise upon a better tomorrow. And it’s because of this and her own sense of duty that she’s never once considered death as a means of escape, continuing to fight on for her dead family and all the unknowing, uncaring denizens of her world, neither of whom will ever give her a single word of thanks or praise.


That was just an example. It would be difficult to write convincingly in a way that preserves nuance and it’s obviously not going to work for many stories, but I just interpreted her in a way that’s grounded in canon and gives a new spin to the most common presentation of her.
And let me say, while I’ve been attacking the nasty Reimu, I think that the opposite is even worse. I’m not familiar with any stories that try it, but if she were depicted as 'a misunderstood nice girl that just wants to be a bride,' that would be even worse than Reimu the sociopath, being not only cliched but also completely at odds with canon. And no less shallow.
No. 420
Nothing but Lies and slander in this Thread. Here is the Truth:

Touhou 1: Reimu defends her privacy.
Touhou 2: Reimu executes a counterinsurengcy operation.
Touhou 3: Reimu halts unethical experiments done on non-consenting subjects.
Touhou 4: Reimu punishes people who occupy land under false pretenses to build giant McMansions.
Touhou 5: Reimu stops a corporate madwoman from expanding her financial empire, exposing the self-destructive slant of her philosophy in the process.
Touhou 6: Reimu teaches a decadent Meritocratic Plutocrat who believes it's fine to blot out the sky with pollutants, as long as it doesn't affect HER negatively, the error of her ways.
Touhou 7: Reimu beats some sense into an Intellectually Elitist Premillenial Dispensationalist who hides her sinister agenda through fake bonhomie.
Touhou 7.5: Reimu teaches sobriety to a disenfranchised youth.
Touhou 8: Reimu puts the Kibosh on a ridiculous "Star Wars" shield that only wastes ressources.
Touhou 9: Reimu unleashes her liberal "compassion" on a heartless "Hangin' Judge" and the unefficient bureaucracy backing her up.
Touhou 9.5: Reimu tolerates freedom of the Press, even the so-called "Fair and balanced" kind.
Touhou 10: Reimu deals with Religious intolerance
Touhou 10.5 : Reimu tries to punish an over-priviledged youth slumming it up as a terrorist, but when the beating starts turning her on...
Touhou 11: Reimu promotes nuclear non-proliferation.
Touhou 12: Reimu exposes a scam designed to defraud all the hard-working people hit hard by the bad financial situation (caused by 10.5's events).
No. 421
THE GAMES are not a totally accurate protrayal of Reimu.

That and wasn't that thing with Tokiko one of the earlier stories, so that trait might have been retconned. That's excluding character growth that might occur (Shiki's lecture in PoFV) after that incident.

And Orange? It was during an incident resolution, she is admittedly sloppy in that regard, but outside of incidents I don't think Reimu'd pay things much mind.

But I think the whole tragic heroine might be overdone in the vein of angsty loner Alice or such.

Though it seems while Reimu doesn't have a lot of visitors, she as far as we've seen hasn't done alot to reach out to the village's humans. (Suggesting that she's a bit on the anti-social/lazy side) and considering how Byakuren has reached out to both youkai and humans, that resulted in her being very popular.

I do think there are times where Reimu wants to be a normal girl, and not the Hakurei Shrine maiden. (Since I can imagine some higher up families offering proposals to her just to get the boost of status of marrying her)
No. 422
>>420
Touhou 1: Reimu goes on a genocidal rampage.
Touhou 2: Reimu seeks revenge for Mima's revenge for Reimu's previous rampage.
Touhou 3: Reimu interferes with academia and scientific progress.
Touhou 4: Reimu kills a youkai who tried to help her.
Touhou 5: Reimu orphans Alice and destroys an entire world for its creator's belief in free enterprise.
Touhou 6: Reimu places a little girl under house arrest.
Touhou 7: Reimu prevents an innocent girl from being revived.
Touhou 7.5: Reimu breaks up parties.
Touhou 8: Reimu strips away Gensokyo's defenses against a Lunar invasion.
Touhou 9: Reimu attacks people for no good reason.
Touhou 10: Reimu oppresses other religions.
Touhou 10.5: Reimu endorses slave labor.
Touhou 11: Reimu cuts back funding for alternative energy sources.
Touhou 12: Reimu persecutes Youkai Jesus.
No. 423
I think the point was made by someone else a while ago, but consider the company Reimu keeps on a regular basis: demons, vampires, monsters, faeries, witches, ghosts, etc... almost all of whom have raised hell on her watch at least once . Even still, she pays no mind to their visits and still offers them tea. If that isn't the epitome of being 'chill,' I dunno what is.

Still, reconciling "I'm always lazy" with "I never lose" leads to a couple of conclusions. I think Chado has thoroughly explored sociopathic bitch rendition; I think it would be pretty fun to explore the 'normal girl saddled with enormous responsibilities and boundless power' a la >>419
No. 424
>>419
>That entire spiel
I threw up in my mouth a little, please don't ever write a story.

>>421
>THE GAMES are not a totally accurate protrayal of Reimu.
>The number one source of canonical information is inaccurate.
>Capitalization for emphasis
>protrayal
>I am a gigantic faggot, please rape my face
No. 426
The game is not an accurate portrayal of Reimu.
No. 427
>>424
I never said it was completely inaccurate, but you can't judge a person just on the battles they've fought, but how they were in peace time. So the games alone do not paint Reimu's complete picture, just parts of it.

And in the games, many characters are guilty of being bitchy yet they do not get the same amount of hate that Reimu does. Especially Sakuya who if you went just by the games is always an icy cold woman (when in reality she does have a softer kinda ditzy side that's shown in the various ZUN written side materials)
No. 428
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428
>>424
>Greentext
Forgot your reaction image, bro troll
No. 429
>>427

Battles fought with the magic equivalent of paintball at that.
No. 430
>>421
>But I think the whole tragic heroine might be overdone in the vein of angsty loner Alice or such.

I'm not quite certain from where you're getting your definition of a tragic hero/ine, but emo Alice is pretty much the farthest thing from one.

A tragic hero/ine isn't at all the sort of 'hurrdurr look I'm sad, why no one like me T_T,' pathetic character (ie emo Alice).

It's someone like Orestes or Hector: a good person with noble dreams who's caught in a bad situation because of irreconcilable flaws in his/her personality (usually pride, but it can be other things. In the case of Orestes, determination to achieve justice, no matter the cost) that lead to his/her downfall.

If you want another example that most of you should have heard of, think Kiritsugu.
No. 431
ALICE IS TSUNDERE HURR DURR
No. 432
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432
>>421
>>427
Before you hurt yourself.
No. 433
>>427
>Sakuya by the games is an icy cold woman
May I recommend some nine millimeter aspirin?

It's pretty damn clear you have no clue what the hell you're talking about and are a tremendous faggot that enjoys shitting up the boards.
No. 434
>>433
Sikieiki: Yes, you're too cold to other humans.

Sakuya: That would be because the only thing I touch humans with would be my cold steel.
No. 435
>>434

And I believe it's been stated that since PoFV that she has started to lighten up some. This is reflected in the Vs. mode lines for SWR/12.3. (In fact I'd think the Vs Mode lines are closer to a character's normal personality than the story mode ones)

>>430
The point wasn't that they're the same just that Tragic Heroine Reimu would only be found in a sub-par doujin, same with emo Alice. It's just so outside their canon personality.

>>423
Yeah, if she was really as much of a bitch as most writers make her out to be, she'd be shoot first if they tried to drop by. Instead she's on friendly terms with them, even if they're annoying at times.
No. 436
>It's just so outside their canon personality.

So is virtually every good interpretation on this site. So is nearly every other interesting and provocative characterization in written fiction, for that matter. Look what Goethe did with Marlowe's Dr. Faustus and the whole Book of Job. Or for one closer to home, look at RaAN.

You should write something rooted in canon, but should you be a slave to it? No. Especially when Reimu just as she is in canon could hardly be used if you wanted to write a more serious story. How do you write engaging romance, character development or drama when the heroine's uncompromising canon portrayal is frank indifference to everything except the chance to make money or disasters?

>>435
>The point wasn't that they're the same just that Tragic Heroine Reimu would only be found in a sub-par doujin, same with emo Alice.

I've never seen any doujins try it at all, much less try it badly. They key to such a character isn't to have cheap tragedy, drama or angst, it's to inspire the audience, to move them. To make them think by showing them qualities in a character that are qualities in themselves too. And if it's well written, then it won't come off as DEEP or heavyhanded either.


>(In fact I'd think the Vs Mode lines are closer to a character's normal personality than the story mode ones)

I'm not sure on what grounds you believe this, especially since most of the work on the fighting games isn't even done by ZUN
No. 437
I'd like to see more elaboration on the Spell Card System.

I don't mean the how or why of its creation, or the use of danmaku and creation of spell cards or whatever. What I want to see is people to go into how everyone in Gensokyo gets introduced to the system in the first place.

I mean, EVERYONE in the place seems to know about it, whether they've only just arrived in Gensokyo recently, have been there a while but were hiding away, or were sealed away and completely disconnected from it all until being released at the very moment the heroines discover them.

Do the heroines stop to explain how shit is going to go down to every single newcomer they encounter? Is there some sort of "Neighborhood Association"-like committee whose sole purpose is to go around and explain to any newcomers the rules and such, perhaps bringing with them gifts of fruit baskets and pamphlets? Is there some fast-response task force of Tengu ninja commandos, utilizing a combination of classic tengu speed with the latest in kappa stealth technology, who track down these people and give them quick briefings on how things work, just moments before the main characters appear before them? Is Lily White's job in the off-season to go around dispensing leaflets and live-fire demonstrations?
No. 438
>>437
>Do the heroines stop to explain how shit is going to go down to every single newcomer they encounter?

The rules would spread by themselves after people started being introduced to them and they were used to mediate disputes, but in extreme cases, we can assume that the above happens like it did in SSiB. Just offscreen.
No. 439
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439
>>434
She's been much nicer since then. She even pointed Reimu toward Tenshi in her SWR ending.
No. 440
>>438
Ah yes, I had forgotten about that bit.

Then again, that raises more questions, like what happens if they don't exactly explain things very well.

You're probably not doing too good of a job at it if, for example, your opponent starts eating your projectiles.
No. 441
>>439
Sakuya is a good girl.
No. 442
I'd like to see more stories use Youkai Jesus and co.
No. 443
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443
>>442
Agreed, but what board would it go on?
No. 444
>>443
Why not underground? The entirety of UFO is basically "I told you that story so I could tell you this one" in regards to SA.
No. 445
>>444
But they live in the human village, not in the underground.
No. 446
>>444
Since Grue quit, /underground/ got quiet.
No. 447
>>446
I'm sure if someone wrote a good story in /underground/ that updated regularly, then people would read it. Especially because Youkai Jesus is love.

>What kinds of things would you like to see in stories more often?

A willingness to step outside conventions. CYOAs are styled after VNs, but there's not a need to blindly copy some of the things that are seen in VNs if they're just the product of expediency.

Examples:
- Routes and routelocks. That VNs have routes is because a.) of the limitations of the choice system in game and b.) there is an expectation that the reader will make more than one playthrough.

In the case of an actively running story, there's no reason (save one which I'll detail below) to have routes at all because the readers interact directly with the author to write the story and because with only a few exceptions, there is never a second playthrough. So why then, apart from a decision to copy the VN format would the idea of a routelock be necessary?

-The plot is written AROUND the romance. This is a proven strategy and often a good one, but it's also led to some serious problems. If the plot's centered around the romance and not the other way around, then the following things can happen:

I.) The readers focus on a character for whom the author's not as interested. I'm sure that more than a few of the countless indefinite hiatuses we've seen were a result of this.

II.) Related to the above, the author wants to write a certain kind of story over the opinions of the readers and routelocks his favorite character in at his first opportunity. (Hi DoLF1).

III.) Dissension among the readers in the event that there's more than one character who they wish to explore. If the romance is the plot, then there's limitations on possible interaction with anyone who isn't the main heroine or in her immediate retinue (because advancement of the story will almost always be tied to said heroine) and as an unfortunate result, interesting characters might be relegated to supporting roles.

This can all be solved by making the romance central to the story, rather than the story itself. VNs do this because of the expectation of replays, not because making the romance the story itself is an inherently better strategy.

As far as I can see, you don't lose anything from writing a CYOA in the manner I've suggested and I think it would create a more harmonious reader - reader and reader - writer relationship.

- 'Safe' choices. Anonymous has been conditioned to only pick choices which he thinks won't get him killed. The problem with this is that heroic, interesting and dramatic choices are very often the more risky and trying to punish Anonymous with bad ends to get him to fix this kind of thinking (ala the SHARK) may backfire and only make him more unnecessarily cautious and suspicious.

To reverse such a deeply entrenched collective mindset as this is difficult and it really depends on the author's communication with the readers and the tone he sets for his story. A heroic character like Sigurd will inspire the readers to be heroic in turn, while a pitiful person like Ebolanon will achieve only the opposite.

To summarize, I think that authors and readers shouldn't overlook that because we're on an imageboard. By our format alone, we can actually surpass VNs as interactive fiction if there's a willingness to explore ways of doing things while nevertheless maintaining a healthy respect for the old.
No. 448
>while a pitiful person like Ebolanon will achieve only the opposite.

Didn't we at one point attempt to kill and eat some monster Yuuka had to kill, or some equally retarded bullshit? Not that your points aren't valid and I don't agree with you, but I think ebolanon is a bad example.
No. 449
>>448

Which makes me wonder, how evil is Anonymous willing to be?
No. 450
>I'm sure if someone wrote a good story in /underground/ that updated regularly, then people would read it. Especially because Youkai Jesus is love.

I agree with the last part, only the first part will be hard to come by. We would need someone else like Grue and because i myself can't write for shit and no other writer is in sight it will stay like that.
/underground/ is new ground, not much is already covered, it just has so much potential.
The site just needs new writers, things are slowing down.

I am putting all my hope into HY, like always, to seriously write again. He has to slave away once again for the greater good.
No. 451
>>450

Thing is it seems people who have the talent often have better things to do willinging or unwillingly than to make stories starring magicial girls.

Those who have the drive and time don't have the talent for it.

Perhaps what is needed is writing teams, one to perhaps do the raw ideas and some folks to help hammer them out and do the actual writing. But this might not be the only solution to the problem.

/underground/ was affected badly by people going on unofficial hiatuses all of a sudden. (And what few folks that are still working take a while to update)
No. 452
>>447

The Anicent Gensokyo/Monkanon story in /th/ doesn't follow VN lines at all (in fact thinking along those lines has actually resulted in a mess they're trying to fix)

>II.) Related to the above, the author wants to write a certain kind of story over the opinions of the readers and routelocks his favorite character in at his first opportunity. (Hi DoLF1).

Problem with that was that there was no such routelock at all, and Anon could not settle on a target for the life of them. If there was a routelock, I think the story wouldn't have suffered as much as it did.

But Romance is one of the draws for readers to CYOAs (barring those like I,youkai)

>I.) The readers focus on a character for whom the author's not as interested. I'm sure that more than a few of the countless indefinite hiatuses we've seen were a result of this.

Or one of many other things, such as school (College to be exact), bad girlfriends, life in general. That and as a CYOA writer, one should be aware of what routes are available in your story and the possibility that while you might favor certain routes, Anon might choose differently.

This might be much more of a problem in /th/ stories due to the wide range of characters.

>To reverse such a deeply entrenched collective mindset as this is difficult and it really depends on the author's communication with the readers and the tone he sets for his story. A heroic character like Sigurd will inspire the readers to be heroic in turn, while a pitiful person like Ebolanon will achieve only the opposite.

a major point considering how most leads are basically meek weaklings. If one gives a character a background of bravery and strength, then anon will vote accordingly.

With "outsider" leads, the reader has to know that they're strong enough to try something with before they vote boldly. (Leaps of faith will not do it)

Though Tsukihime (where the Land Shark bad end comes from), the lead while merely human, wasn't a helpless weakling.
No. 453
>>447
>Dissension among the readers in the event that there's more than one character who they wish to explore.
This, I suspect, is far and away the primary reason that writers use routelocks. As things stand, it is expected that stories will end with the main character romantically involved with someone, and barring the elusive (and often unsatisfying) harem end, the choice of who this will be is therefore one of the larger ones Anon has to make. You can argue quite convincingly that this expectation is a poor one, but the fact remains that in the absence of a very compelling plot (I'm talking RaAN- or Ancient Gensokyo-level here), Anon's primary metric for choosing votes is 'which Touhou do I want to bang?'. I'm not really sure of a solution, either, other than 'write better, writefags'.

I'm also interested in where you think stories like SDMLA fit into "[writing the plot] AROUND the romance". We never got a second run (;_;), but I seem to recall that HY made it pretty clear that the overarching goal of the story ("kill the thing in the attic") would be completely different depending on which girl we decided to pursue romantically. Most everyone agrees that SDMLA was quite good, but would infighting among Anon during a second run have made the implementation of an actual plot more difficult (as seems to be happening in Gensokyo High bless Taisa's heart, and HLA's second run to an extent)?
No. 454
>>447
>trying to punish Anonymous with bad ends to get him to fix this kind of thinking (ala the SHARK) may backfire and only make him more unnecessarily cautious and suspicious.
Why do so many people miss the real issue here? Anon isn't afraid of getting bad ended, they're afraid of not getting bad ended. A bad end is a chance to rewind past some bad choices that otherwise doesn't exist in this format. If we knew we'd get that instead of permanently fucking up the story somehow (and I don't just mean SNOW END here), we'd be more willing to take risks. The writers here seem reluctant to hand out bad ends, and that just makes every choice seem too important to screw up, since we're only going to get one shot at it.
No. 455
>>454
>A bad end is a chance to rewind past some bad choices that otherwise doesn't exist in this format.

http://www.touhou-project.com/gensokyo/res/172.html#2782

Have you read this before? It's an excellent satire about why most bad ends aren't the fault of anon. Maybe back in the days of YWUiG, there was a problem with stupid decisions and votespam, but these days, it's almost solely the fault of the author for not appropriately plotting his story or actually writing the story so that it intentionally leads to failure.

Writing a bad end that's 'you walk into a dark room and get eaten by a grue' is a waste of time that contributes nothing narratively and writing an involved bad end that DOES contribute something narratively is still a waste of time because it's a sign that you can only learn important things in the story by failing.

>If we knew we'd get that instead of permanently fucking up the story somehow (and I don't just mean SNOW END here), we'd be more willing to take risks.

A better solution would be to ensure that kind of situation never happens to begin with. If the author gives his readers ample information with which to make their choices, appropriate foreshadowing, only offers choices which WON'T result in permanently destroying the story and most importantly, communicates with the readers rather than being intentionally vague, then what you've described isn't even an issue.

>The writers here seem reluctant to hand out bad ends, and that just makes every choice seem too important to screw up, since we're only going to get one shot at it.

If you have a firm knowledge of what's happening in the story and you still feel this way, then there's a lack of trust between you and the author. Which shouldn't be the case if he's/she's doing the above. In the rare event that the readers make a mistake in the arrangement I've described, then the author should give the readers a chance to redeem themselves and incorporate it into the story. It makes for a more meaningful experience when the readers correct their mistakes with their own hands than just picking the other option after seeing 'lol u died. 10 choices back??', don't you agree?
No. 456
>>455
>these days
When's the last time you saw a bad end ANYWHERE here, besides the one that just happened in kriss's story?

>writing an involved bad end that DOES contribute something narratively is still a waste of time because it's a sign that you can only learn important things in the story by failing.
I don't agree with that at all. You can learn from your mistakes, that doesn't mean you go intentionally making mistakes in order to learn. Why would you assume there's information you can only get through bad ends?

>If the author gives his readers ample information with which to make their choices, appropriate foreshadowing, only offers choices which WON'T result in permanently destroying the story and most importantly, communicates with the readers rather than being intentionally vague, then what you've described isn't even an issue.
So you're saying in a perfect story, Anon will never be in a situation where they would make a fatal mistake? I don't think every story has to be handled that way, and I'm sure that not every writer is up to it.

>It makes for a more meaningful experience when the readers correct their mistakes with their own hands than just picking the other option after seeing 'lol u died. 10 choices back??', don't you agree?
Not if it would take too long and disrupt the flow of events too much to correct it. I'm not saying to bad end every mistake, but in severe cases it should be used to keep things on track.
No. 457
>>453

Not really, since I think had SDM LA continued its second run after a certain point Anon would settle on a target.

And shitstorms (like in HLA and GH) happen because of the knowledge there's not enough runs to cover all the characters.

And before you say "read another story", what if said other story has an inferior version of a character?

And I think a popular thing among the ambitious sort is plot around a character (VN style), of course it's due to some of successful LAs that some folks have such aspirations and due to the holes left by certain writefags not writing.

And the main reason shitstorms are happening in GH is because some folks are horrifically offended at the notion of perusing Flandre Scarlet as a romantic interest. (Despite the assurances from Taisa that she's older in mind and body. The mental aspects mroe apparent as of late) That and the whole matter of runs (even on a second run, no one wants to retread the SDM cluster)

I think the second run should be more peaceful since out of possible targets known, none are as mold breaking as Flandre.

>>454
I think it's also the delaying of the story flow before the likelyhood of the writer giving up on the story. (Sure it's an absurd belief but look at how many unfinished stories are lying around this site)

That and some folks (like in that confession topic) have a real despair fetish. (In GH due to one of the main females being Flandre, such fears are kinda justified)

>>455
There's the matter of some folks having a sadistic love of writing bad ends. (Writefags are rarely the most mentally sound of people, perhaps save for the AGLA guy. He actually seems to have his head on straight)

Hence sometimes options that no doubt result in a bad end just due to "VN Tradition" Rather than something the character would do that isn't so bright.

There's the matter of Anon's stupidity and misplaced boldness. (That's on top of a lack of information).

But very rarely has a writefag up until recently communicated with the readers, for whatever reasons (laziness, a misguided sense of preserving 'mystery', etc) the AGLA Anon is someone who goes through great lengths to comminicate and in his own way inform them good hints on where they screwed up.

Author trust? Depends, since due to some writer's flaws (and a history of decisions backfiring horrifically), that can end up rather shot in some cases. And those despair nuts should realize: such ways do not create voter trust.

>barring the elusive (and often unsatisfying) harem end

So it's believed, there hasn't been one really in this site's history, and A threesome scene in YAF's story hardly counts as a harem end. How to say such a end would be that bad if no one's really tried, especially with some of so-called top notch writers here.

Such a taboo is a result of "Plot around the romance" ideology, since a typical harem end would interfere with that.

I think we shouldn't be clinging so hard to the old ways since let's face it: Many of these classics have flaws.

SDM LA: Said Monster in the attic was mainly there for the sole sake of a final boss fight.

FoM LA: Scorn was doing it by the seat of his pants.

LAE/DoLF1: If this was written today and the writer didn't have "Old Writefag" status, this would have certainly ended up on /blue/'s chopping block.

MiG: Merely a case of a tale that started out akin to WUiG and ended up with a plot unexpectedly (even to the writer). This combined with Anon's mindset back then resulted in what we call the Snow End. (The only reason Kira was forgiven for that was the fact he showed remorse and the fact he didn't intend on it, unlike some modern despair nuts)

While we shouldn't forget the lessons of the past, but we mustn't live in it. This is no longer the old age, and we're lucky if some of the older writers are still hard at work.

Perhaps this is the time where the next generation of CYOAs begins, though I doubt the leap will be as big as the last generation. (Stories with plot). But it'd be more of a refinement and perhaps departing from the VN conventions and cliches that seem present in many stories today.
No. 458
>>456
Taisa's story where Jin had his eyes and neck torn out.

But at the same time Anon is generally smarter (there's still stupid moments)

>I don't agree with that at all. You can learn from your mistakes, that doesn't mean you go intentionally making mistakes in order to learn. Why would you assume there's information you can only get through bad ends?

I don't think he means information accessible only by that, just that a bad end should teach you why you shouldn't have done that in the first place, mainly information that in a good story, some readers would know already.

What happened in Kriss' story was reckless optimism, and figuring "It can't go wrong if it's a listed choice" Anon learned its lesson well (it may be while before they want to try their luck solo in it)

>So you're saying in a perfect story, Anon will never be in a situation where they would make a fatal mistake? I don't think every story has to be handled that way, and I'm sure that not every writer is up to it.

I think he means if a Bad End must happen, it'd be more a "Valiant effort" type than a "what the hell were you thinking if you even thought at all" type or "Rocks fall you die" type bad end. Which in that case you'd learn why that wasn't a good idea.

>Not if it would take too long and disrupt the flow of events too much to correct it. I'm not saying to bad end every mistake, but in severe cases it should be used to keep things on track.

Decent point there, though that brought about the [x] Lake Meme, since it's said that once in WUiG, anon screwed up badly with Meiling, and as opposed to dealing with it, they choose to do suicide by lake. And ever since then, water has often been the bane of CYOA leads.

Though some folks I suspect like to have things build up to a 'glorious' bad/sad end like the snow end. (Unaware of the fact that everyone would run them out of the site)
No. 459
>>456
I don't agree with that at all. You can learn from your mistakes, that doesn't mean you go intentionally making mistakes in order to learn.

I didn't mean to imply that the readers would intentionally make mistakes in order to learn and it's better to have the readers learn their mistakes without dying or in some other way that doesn't directly advance the story.

>Why would you assume there's information you can only get through bad ends?

If you had the necessary information in the first place, you wouldn't have died unless people are purposely being stupid.

>So you're saying in a perfect story, Anon will never be in a situation where they would make a fatal mistake?

No, I'm saying that they would a have a chance to correct 'fatal mistakes' rather than being forced into picking a choice with no knowledge of the consequences and dying.

>I don't think every story has to be handled that way, and I'm sure that not every writer is up to it.

Of course, it depends on the tone being set by the author.

>Not if it would take too long and disrupt the flow of events too much to correct it.

As I envisioned it, this should be a non-issue if the authors only offer choices that don't lead to disruption of the story in the first place so that way, even failures can be expectedly incorporated into the grander picture without much difficulty. How this happens in practice depends on the author, I guess.

>I'm not saying to bad end every mistake, but in severe cases it should be used to keep things on track.

I agree with this.
No. 460
>>458
>Taisa's story where Jin had his eyes and neck torn out.

glasnost got us ripped to shreds by an mob of angry youkai; all things considered, that was actually fairly recent.

When you average out the active stories with the ones on life support, the median update frequency is about once every other week. If the only update you're going to see for a month is one that ends you, what incentive is there to vote boldly?

Look at the Yuka story in /coriander/; it's a collection of the most boring, pathetic, milquetoast, and non-committal series of votes ever. Unless something changes, that's the future right there.
No. 461
>>460

It's still in its beginning stages, that and 'Sunny' hasn't even started his lessons yet. I don't think it's even meant to be a particularly action packed story.

In contrast in AGLA, one of the recent battles was our lead tapping into himself to discover something akin to a 'stand', one with 6 arms,various weapons, and much like our lead, has something of a sense of humor.
No. 462
>>459
>If you had the necessary information in the first place, you wouldn't have died unless people are purposely being stupid.
Let's imagine a simple choice that might occur in a CYOA: 'Fight' vs. 'Flee', where 'Fight' results in a bad end. If the protagonist is obviously weaker than the enemy, choosing 'Fight' probably counts as "people purposefully being stupid" or something like it, so a bad end is okay. If the protagonist is obviously stronger than the enemy, but dies due to some unanticipated fluke, this falls under the "you walk into a dark room and get eaten by a grue" category and is a lame cop-out. But what if the protagonist and the enemy are apparently evenly matched, and the writer wants the readers to do some reasoning based on hints hidden earlier in the story, or, hell, just wants to see how they react to the pressure? Under your model as you've stated it, the writer shouldn't chance it unless they're 100% sure that they've made the correct choice obvious.

To rephrase a bit more succinctly, your 'no bad ends' policy seems to rely on Anon having all the information, but 'making choices without having all the information' is one of the oldest and most effective dramatic techniques. Reader-writer communication is a good idea, but having the writer tell people the right vote isn't the solution, and neither is writing around such choices; I think bad ends do have their place.
No. 463
>>462
> But what if the protagonist and the enemy are apparently evenly matched, and the writer wants the readers to do some reasoning based on hints hidden earlier in the story, or, hell, just wants to see how they react to the pressure?

Then the author tries it and if Anonymous screws up and picks 'Fight,' rather than flee, then the author writes an update in which the main character starts to lose and drops something to help point readers in the direction of the hints he had in mind without telling them outright. Then he offers them another chance to run away.

You've achieved exactly the same thing as the bad end and in the same amount of text without the jarring need to kill the protagonist and break the continuity of the story. You've also given the protagonist something on which to reflect in the story itself.
No. 464
>>453
>I'm also interested in where you think stories like SDMLA fit into "[writing the plot] AROUND the romance".

The plot was decided by the romance taken, but once decided, it became something other than just the romance. While winning Remi's love was central to the plot, it wasn't the plot itself. That was killing the monster and bringing her together with her sister. The fact that HY made these two goals coincide is why the story worked as well as it did.

>Though Tsukihime (where the Land Shark bad end comes from), the lead while merely human, wasn't a helpless weakling.

About this, Ciel herself says that the reason you die in that bad end is because you DON'T act heroic when you should. A lot of people decry that Shark moment as being stupid, but I think Nasu raises a good point when he says that fiction is enhanced by the hero acting with bold panache.
No. 465
>>464

The shark moment was stupid because staying in the room was actually a valid strategy if you hadn't already read through the scenario to know what would happen, and there is never any explanation for why he didn't get shark'ed later on in the confrontation.

Seriously, why does the super powerful villain, who in that ending showed he could easily dispatch our plucky hero in an instant, never try the shark again? Or am I forgetting something?

Basically, its stupid because its horribly inconsistent, and pointless. The "player" has so little actual control over the protagonist's actions that "teaching" them anything is an utterly pointless endeavor. The choice really shouldn't have been there at all.

This applies to CYOAs as well. Often, we voters have very little control over the story. We're not actually saying what we try and do, we're just choosing base for you to continue writing on. So in reality, us learning anything is pretty irrelevant, because often the times we would excersize anything we learn are during moments when the writer is "auto-piloting" the protagonist.

Breaking up an update into stages to give us a chance to back out actually gives us the tools we need to put the "lessons" we've learned to good use.

If a writer resolves a fight in a single update, there's often simply not enough information for us to go on to make a good decision. Even if an opponent is "stronger", that's STILL not enough justification for a bad end, unless you have made it clear that we don't stand a chance.

Unless of course you have a fetish for bad ends, in which case, go for it. Just don't be surprised when your readers start picking boring choices. Even if you give us infinite continues, we'll be so terrified of wasting an update that we'll end up boring you to death.
No. 466
>>465
>Seriously, why does the super powerful villain, who in that ending showed he could easily dispatch our plucky hero in an instant, never try the shark again? Or am I forgetting something?
I don't remember the shark being any kind of super weapon of Nero's. It was just one of his creatures. The only thing special about it was how absolutely absurd it is to be eaten by a damn shark in the middle of a hotel. I think the news report mentions shark cartilledge when mentioning how strange the "zoo" in the hotel was, so the shark was still there, just in a different area of the hotel.

Even if it was a valid strategy, you're missing the point.
>Ciel herself says that the reason you die in that bad end is because you DON'T act heroic when you should.
You're allowed to be somewhat heroic and reckless in fiction. It's just more interesting that way. I'm sure that most people if dropped into a situation like Shiki's (hax powers and all) would end up running away from Arc after she fell asleep, simply because being faced with the idea of being killed by the monster that employed those wolves Arc killed in the alley would just be so damn terrifying. But that wouldn't make as good a story, so Shiki gets eaten if he tries that.
No. 467
>>Seriously, why does the super powerful villain, who in that ending showed he could easily dispatch our plucky hero in an instant, never try the shark again? Or am I forgetting something?

Well, for starters, the fact that the guy's name is Nero Chaos, and he's called that for a reason. The guy's a swirling mass of hundreds of entities that he does not have complete conscious control of. Why would you expect logic, reason, or consistency in the actions of someone whose very nature goes against those concepts, especially during what is basically completely random slaughter?
No. 468
File 125917614029.jpg - (48.64KB , 399x326 , Marisatoremilia.jpg ) [iqdb]
468
>Seriously, why does the super powerful villain, who in that ending showed he could easily dispatch our plucky hero in an instant, never try the shark again?

See picture.
No. 469
>>468
>Marisatoremilia.jpg
No. 470
>>466

I think you're missing my point. My point was that there was no need for that choice in the first place. There are so few choices in the game that teaching the player how to behave is completely pointless.

Not only that, but like most CYOAs here, the option is non-specific enough that the player might see it leading somewhere else than the writer does. This is the problem we have with CYOAs. The voters might have an idea of where an option will lead, but the writer will end up "autopiloting" the protagonist through a series of actions the voters would never have gone through with if they had known that was how they would be interpreted.

You can hardly blame voters for that.

Not only that, but if we really get down to it, its really difficult for voters to know how they can succeed at anything. Oftentimes (pretty much always) success or failure is completely arbitrary. Voters literally have no idea when its okay to act heroic, and when they're supposed to run. And no, dropping subtle clues that they're in a dangerous situation isn't enough to let them know its bad-end material.

This leads to the voters taking less risks and giving you, the writer, less material to work with when trying to write heroic or dramatic scenes.

So the thought of the writer "punishing" bad decisions is ludicrous in the first place, because its not the voters directing the protagonist to act so retardedly, its the writer arbitrarily deciding that the vague choice the voters made is going to succeed or fail.

This is particularly bad in fight scenes where the author gives us an option for a strategy to go by, because oftentimes there is absolutely no reason why any of the strategies given would be better than the other. It ends up being being the equivalent of flipping a coin.

I think what this all gets down to is the piss-poor attitude that writers have toward voters sometimes. "You're stupid for voting like that, ima gonna punish you". This isn't a pen and paper RPG, or something like that. We aren't actually in control of the protagonist. YOU are. You're the one writing out all of their actions, oftentimes FAR outside of the scope of what our votes indicate. So please stop treating it as if we are the protagonist. Remember that if dumb things are happening, YOU are the one writing the story and making them actually happen. We're just choosing from a list of scenes that you write.

Of course as a caveat of that, sometimes the writer does make it very obvious that a choice is bad, and the readers still go with it for whatever retarded reason. In this case, go ahead and bad end the shit out of them, preferably in a humiliating manner. But we're talking VERY obvious clues. Not just "choosing this option is very risky". You WANT voters to be voting for risky things occasionally, its whats going to breathe life into your story.

A recent example is the bad-end in kriss's story. I thought it was handled rather well, with multiple "back out" choices. However, all of those choices were so vague that anon couldn't have known which would get them to safety (though the hole was pretty obviously a deathtrap).

But the problem is that the bad end only serves to make anon completely avoid even the slightest risk. Going into the forest during the day wasn't actually that risky of an option. Reina just got lost. So in the short term, the writer has prevented the readers from ruining the story (something which could have been accomplished by Reina outright refusing to enter the forest), but in the long term, they are going to see the voters hesitant to go along with riskier things the writer DOES want. A very difficult balance to strike.

--

I apologize for how long and convoluted this got. There is really a lot to say on the matter, and I don't have time to gather my thoughts better than that.
No. 471
>>470
>I think you're missing my point. My point was that there was no need for that choice in the first place. There are so few choices in the game that teaching the player how to behave is completely pointless.
Maybe it's not about teaching the player to act Heroic. Maybe it's something simpler. Maybe Nasu just wanted to write a scene where a guy gets eaten by a shark while in the top floor of a large hotel.
Please do not try to extend that to CYOA writing. This post shall only be about VNs.

The problem with your line of thought is that if you follow it, you have to ask "Why are there bad ends at all?". Teaching the player may be useless, but really, so are the bad ends. Hell, get rid of the bad ends and there's definitely nothing to teach. It's certainly something that could work, as any non-branching novel/VN/anything obviously wouldn't have bad ends in the same sense as something like Tsukihime. The bad ends are really just extras; they can be removed without majorly affecting the script and if the player isn't making mistakes (on purpose or not) then he'll never encounter a bad end and not really miss all that much.

>>469
>>Marisatoremilia.jpg
A better name would be Remiliatomarisa, since Remilia speaks Dio's line but Marisa doesn't ask about sucking blood anything like how Zeppeli does.
No. 472
>The problem with your line of thought is that if you follow it, you have to ask "Why are there bad ends at all?".

That's not the problem with my line of thought, that was actually where I would like it to go. If a writer is actually responsible enough to keep their readers informed, then there isn't any need for bad ends at all. This means you give voters chances to alter their course of action when shit goes down, and make sure to steer anon away from retarded situations. If you find yourself needing to resort to a bad end, the fault is probably on you.

Of course, if you want to throw in a bad end just for kicks, that's okay too. Just make sure anon knows ahead of time you're sadistic, and they'll probably be cool with it.

In the end, remember this: You are the mother-fucking writer! If anon is trying to fuck up your story with a stupid choice, write around it. You don't NEED to bad end them and waste time you could be using to write a scene you want to.
If anon tried to do something utterly retarded, you either tell anon their choice wasn't legitimate, and pick the next highest vote, or you just write the scene so it doesn't happen as anon planned. I highly recommend the former if it becomes a real problem, as anon tends to take messages directly from the author at least somewhat seriously. Sometimes you just have to punch anon in the snout to establish dominance.

I think the main thing writers need to remember is that even though the voters are choosing the path the story takes, it is still the writer's story. The voters are just there to provide a framework, and there is no reason to stick with that if it is going to ruin the story.

This is, of course, unless you really really want everything to be in anon's hands, in which case you have no right to complain when it all comes crashing down. There's a reason they have childproof caps on medications, you know.

tl;dr - Writers need to know when to give anon the middle finger and take matters into their own hands, if it means saving the story.
No. 473
>>472
I was talking about VN bad ends. In there, the writer doesn't even have to worry about write ins, and there are frequently the equivalent of "snow ends" (for another Tsukihime example, Ciel kills you if you don't have enough affection points in her route) without taking any kind of flak for it. The point I was making was that bad ends are in no way necessary in a VN and yet they still have them. So bad ends are in no way necessary in a CYOA, but I don't consider that to be a valid reason for them to be excluded. It's a different medium, yes (bad end in a VN means you "lose" 5 minutes. Bad end on here means you can lose a week) but I don't see anything wrong with bad ends. I just think of them as part of the story. I really don't give a damn if the author feels the need to teach anon a lesson or anything like that.
No. 474
>>470

>But the problem is that the bad end only serves to make anon completely avoid even the slightest risk. Going into the forest during the day wasn't actually that risky of an option. Reina just got lost. So in the short term, the writer has prevented the readers from ruining the story (something which could have been accomplished by Reina outright refusing to enter the forest), but in the long term, they are going to see the voters hesitant to go along with riskier things the writer DOES want. A very difficult balance to strike.

Actually it was explained that going into the forest unguided and lacking experience in it is a risky thing. And Reina did go into the forest during the day and got lost still.

And RiG isn't a story of insane risk, just that our decision to go into the forest was foolishly chosen assuming that we'd get through it okay despite the warnings.

And for Reina, she's just taking up Danmaku as a side thing, not exactly her day job.

>>472

Good point, since writers should be aware of their right to ignore stupid writeins.

Though if a writer has shown a sadistic streak, then chances are Anon would be wary of choices.

Still the typical bad end is manly a carryover from VNs and the fact that a decent number of touhous will kill someone if angered badly enough. (That or you catch them on a bad day)
No. 475
File 125919696836.jpg - (59.99KB , 646x507 , Not quite.jpg ) [iqdb]
475
>>470
>The voters might have an idea of where an option will lead, but the writer will end up "autopiloting" the protagonist through a series of actions the voters would never have gone through with if they had known that was how they would be interpreted.

There's so many things wrong with this statement that I'm not sure where to begin. First, you're making the assumption that the actions of the protagonist aren't going to be intelligible and predictable to the reader along reasonable consistent lines, even if the story is written with appropriate depth of characterization. Given that the entire body of written fiction depends on the veracity of what I've said and actively rebutts you by its very existence, I can't accept this claim. Second, what you've said here about superfluous action isn't even an acceptable excuse in light that most writers accept and encourage writeins. If you make your own writein sufficiently detailed and in line with the character's behavior, then you'll know almost exactly how events will play out. But that's a rare occurence. Why? Because that which you dismiss as 'autopiloting' is the act of writing itself and the actual train of thought that drives the narrative. It's fundamental for the story to be an actual, good story and not just a series of loosely connected descriptions.

>Not only that, but if we really get down to it, its really difficult for voters to know how they can succeed at anything.

This is a really negative and little more than a very cynical assumption.

>Oftentimes (pretty much always) success or failure is completely arbitrary.

Same as the above, another assumption. How do you know that the author isn't operating according to a set of rules?

>Voters literally have no idea when its okay to act heroic, and when they're supposed to run. And no, dropping subtle clues that they're in a dangerous situation isn't enough to let them know its bad-end material.

This is operating on the assumption that the voters are too stupid to be able to comprehend the story on even the most basic of levels. For what reason would they be reading and making decisions then, if they had neither investment nor rudimentary understanding of the story?

>This leads to the voters taking less risks and giving you, the writer, less material to work with when trying to write heroic or dramatic scenes.

Lots of problems are the faults of the author, but everything above is also the responsibility of the reader. If you're going to baselessly assume that nothing you do matters and that thinking about choices or doing writeins doesn't make any kind of difference, then we're no longer talking about only the failings of the writers but also of the apathy of anonymous.

>So the thought of the writer "punishing" bad decisions is ludicrous in the first place, because its not the voters directing the protagonist to act so retardedly its the writer arbitrarily deciding that the vague choice the voters made is going to succeed or fail.

See above about writeins. If you're really so worried, then you can dictate every one of the protagonist's important actions if the author truly isn't determining success or failure in advance of votes.

>I think what this all gets down to is the piss-poor attitude that writers have toward voters sometimes. "You're stupid for voting like that, ima gonna punish you". This isn't a pen and paper RPG, or something like that. We aren't actually in control of the protagonist. YOU are. You're the one writing out all of their actions, oftentimes FAR outside of the scope of what our votes indicate. So please stop treating it as if we are the protagonist. Remember that if dumb things are happening, YOU are the one writing the story and making them actually happen. We're just choosing from a list of scenes that you write.

I agree with most of this, but try to look at it from the other side. If someone takes 2 - 4 hours, maybe longer, making an update and putting a lot of thought into making it provocative and well written only to have the readers not pay attention to details and approach it with an apathetic attitude of 'casually choosing the list of scenes that you write' because rather than becoming really engaged with the story, that some authors would end up adopting this kind of punitive mentality isn't surprising. (I don't think it's justified, but I empathize with them enough to understand why it might happen.)

>>471
See pic.
No. 476
>>475
Huh, I'll be damned. I thought Marisa's line was more like "So, how many times have you done it? You know". Well, even with that screenshot I can't imagine her sounding terribly upset at Remilia for it. EoSD's dialogue is just too jocular; not that I'm complaining.
No. 477
>>475

Good points but the older writers seemed to have expected Anon to make 'leaps of faith' when it comes down to being bold. (not much of a word if the lead could handle it or not) And half the time they find something cool out the lead, and the other half? Bad End or worse (a problem that lingers over a decent part of the story)

This isn't such a problem in newer stories though.
No. 478
File 12592055278.jpg - (65.83KB , 824x365 , hint.jpg ) [iqdb]
478
No. 479
>>475
The fuck?

That screenshot looks nothing like the EoSD on my computer. Why are the graphics crisp and new, and why is Remilia's sprite so short?
No. 480
>>479
High-res pack
No. 482
> First, you're making the assumption that the actions of the protagonist aren't going to be intelligible and predictable to the reader along reasonable consistent lines, even if the story is written with appropriate depth of characterization.

If that were completely the case, then anon wouldn't be controlling their actions in the first place, and the writer would be making all the decisions since there's only one way a character will respond to an exact situation.
But that isn't the case, as we have voters. And sometimes the voters are "out of character" with their choices. You also fail to take into account situations which crop up after the vote has been made. Situations we would have no idea might crop up, and situations which our initial vote might not have been well suited to handle. This creates a dissonance between our votes and the actions the protagonist actually performs.

> Given that the entire body of written fiction depends on the veracity of what I've said and actively rebutts you by its very existence, I can't accept this claim.

How does that rebutt anything by it's existence? CYOAs aren't normal fiction. They are stories wherein the audience tries to interpret a choice based on given information, and the author tried to interpret their decisions into their story.

Voter choices don't always match a character's given personality up until that point. And sometimes the author might misinterpret what the readers actually were aiming for with their vote/write-in. And even more commonly, the readers will either misinterpret the situation in the first place, or simply not have enough information to work with. This is a very common situation that you only need look in the archives to see yourself, as it pops up quite a bit.

> Second, what you've said here about superfluous action isn't even an acceptable excuse in light that most writers accept and encourage writeins. If you make your own writein sufficiently detailed and in line with the character's behavior, then you'll know almost exactly how events will play out.

Writins only work in situations where we are well informed. If we are not well informed, or the situation changes mid-update, then the writein becomes a liability, because its hand-crafted to the situation we WERE in, not the situation our protagonist now finds them self in. There is only so much you can plan out ahead of time, especially if you're poorly informed.

> But that's a rare occurence. Why? Because that which you dismiss as 'autopiloting' is the act of writing itself and the actual train of thought that drives the narrative. It's fundamental for the story to be an actual, good story and not just a series of loosely connected descriptions.

I don't 'dismiss' it as anything. Decisions are automatically being made for us. Hense 'autopiloting'. I'm not a retard, I know that its a given because of the CYOA format. However, it begs the question: What choices should the writer make for anon? And at what point should the writer give anon control back?

The answer in most cases should probably be: Anytime the character's current actions fall well outside of the initial vote, the proposed action starts to fail, and/or when the situation changes dramatically enough that the protagonist finds themselves needing to make a decision. Which is almost always going to be the case in a fight or action scene, since they have lots of surprises that crop up.

> This is a really negative and little more than a very cynical assumption.

And you're being dismissive because you don't know how to actually respond to people's problems. It IS difficult for voters to know how they can succeed at anything. Afterall, what exactly do we have to guage by? We often aren't told how the writer intends to resolve conflict. All we know is that for 'some reason' one choice might lead to death, and one might lead to victory. And we are never told why. This is a VERY common occurrence with "strategy" choices.

Which in themselves are rather useless because often the strategies outlined are all completely valid, but so vauge that there's no way for us to tell how they'll actually apply in the fight. Conflict in general is handled poorly all around. This, again, isn't the fault of the writers. Its one of the limitations of the CYOA format. Unless of course you implement a combat system, but then that just gets convoluted, while ultimately not solving all that much (might combat systems come down to a %chance of success anyway, basically a glorified coin-flip), unless you want to get super detailed beyond the point most (any?) any pen and paper rpgs do.

Even if it isn't completely anyone's fault, it is still an issue that needs addressing because, who knows, we might be able to think of a good workaround if we put our minds to it.

> Same as the above, another assumption. How do you know that the author isn't operating according to a set of rules?

Exactly my point, actually. We don't know if the author is operating according to a set of rules, and we most certainly don't know what those rules are. So from the reader's perspective, certain options result in success without any actual indication as to why. In the end, it really is pretty arbitrary. Look through most the action-oriented votes on this site. Go on, take a few minutes and look. You'll notice that nearly all of them could have been written out several different ways with different outcomes, and done so completely believably. This is the problem we face. We simply don't know how the writer is going to go about it. To us it ends up being the equivilant of flipping a coin and praying that this time the writer wanted us to do well. The proverbial leap of faith.

> This is operating on the assumption that the voters are too stupid to be able to comprehend the story on even the most basic of levels. For what reason would they be reading and making decisions then, if they had neither investment nor rudimentary understanding of the story?


No, this operates on the assumption that the voters can't read the author's fucking mind! How are we supposed to know at what points in the story the author means to be "dramatically dangerous", where we are meant to GAR through it and be heroes, or just plain "dangerous" where we should probably just turn and run. In the end, there is really no distinction between the two from the reader's point of view, as both just read as "dangerous" to us. Remember that we don't know what the author has planned for the story. That big action scene you just had planned where anon gets to be the hero? Yeah, that just went up in smoke because you bad-ended us for being ever slightly rude to a youkai that seemed to be weaker than us. You really expect anon to wanna be heroic after that?

> Lots of problems are the faults of the author, but everything above is also the responsibility of the reader. If you're going to baselessly assume that nothing you do matters and that thinking about choices or doing writeins doesn't make any kind of difference, then we're no longer talking about only the failings of the writers but also of the apathy of anonymous.

The reader doesn't determine what actions the protagonist takes mid-update. The reader doesn't determine which rooms are deathtraps and which contain treasure. The reader doesn't determine anything other than the general gist of what the protagonist should try to do. All of the problems that have been discussed are the writer's issues and theirs alone. There ARE of course issues the readers need to handle, but remember: It is the writer's fucking story. If they want it to thrive, they need to write it so that it is going to. There is no magical elf that comes along and makes anon do well in one story, but bad in another. It is usually the writer themselves that sets their story up for a fall. Writers simply need to learn how to control anon better, and if need be, overturn their decisions, or smack them around a little. This sounds harsh toward writers, but its the truth. Anon is pretty jaded by all the bad ends, abandoned stories, and so forth. So we're going to be a bit distrustful. As long as you herd us properly, though, you'll often see great results.

Bad ends, though, are not a very good way of accomplishing this because anon suffers, you suffer, and the story suffers. No one wins, so why do it? Unless of course (as stated earlier) you have a fetish for bad ends, in which case, go for it.

> See above about writeins. If you're really so worried, then you can dictate every one of the protagonist's important actions if the author truly isn't determining success or failure in advance of votes.

Except, as stated above, we actually don't have any real control over the protagonist in action or conflict segments (which is where nearly all bad ends occur). Conflicts tend to anything but static, and unless the author chooses to do very small updates for the action to give us enough control, there isn't much we can realistically do other than give the vauge idea that we want to win. Like I said before, I think in action segments, writins are a real liability, because they tend to focus too much on a requisite task succeeding, which there is no guarantee of. I'm not sure what else you expect. Do you think you anon should make a 2 page long write-in outlining as many different possible outcomes and how they would counter them? Besides the near impossibility of anon actually coming to a consensus, at that point the readers might as well be the ones writing the story.

> If someone takes 2 - 4 hours, maybe longer, making an update and putting a lot of thought into making it provocative and well written only to have the readers not pay attention to details and approach it with an apathetic attitude of 'casually choosing the list of scenes that you write' because rather than becoming really engaged with the story, that some authors would end up adopting this kind of punitive mentality isn't surprising. (I don't think it's justified, but I empathize with them enough to understand why it might happen.)

You're assuming that just because anon chooses to go with a vague option that they didn't pay attention to details, or are apathetic. Sometimes there simply isn't much to say for a vote other than going with an option you think will do well. You can't expect more than that from anon, considering that its not one person, but a group of people trying to find a consensus.


In the end, I think you have to try to remember what CYOAs truly are, and what they aren't. CYOAs are writing exercises, short stories that keep building on themselves by using a decision engine (the voters) to determine where the story is going to go next. Any more than that is going outside the limits of the format. while this does work time to time, and sometimes writins can take on a life of their own, that isn't always the case, and a writer should not expect that to necessarily happen. Just as readers can't expect a writer to write all the time and when they want them to, writers can't expect voters to come up with good writins all the time and right when the writer wants.

One thing to keep in mind: A lot of the problems on the site seem to do with the length of updates. In general, the larger you make a wall, the less effective a write-in will be, and the less the readers will feel like they are actually in control of the story. This isn't a bad thing, unless the author expects a lot of audience participation, which is less likely to happen if the voters simply don't know have a way of making a write-in that will cover the unknown elements that will likely come up in the next update.

If I could give a you a visual, it might go something like this:

Pretend you are playing a game. In this case, lets say something everyone knows, like mario. Picture trying to play mario, but instead of playing in realtime, you pause the game and input your commands (write-in), with the game executing them when you resume. This might work fine for small two or three second pauses (small updates), but the longer you have to predict, the more likely your input is to result in something much different than you anticipated.

Oh shit, one of bowser's fireballs got you, how were you supposed to know that 10 seconds in he'd do one high, and that jumping at that point was a bad idea? Well, you obviously couldn't have known, as its an unknown and completely unpredictable element.

This is an extreme example, but it still displays the concept. The longer the update, the less effective writeins will be.

With that, I think I'm done for now, unless you have a major problem with my points. The purpose of talking about all of this is to find a solution, rather than tearing eachother new ones, and right now I feel like we aren't working toward that.

So instead of venting or tossing blame, lets hear some solutions.

(40+ minutes is far, far too long to spend carefully writing a response that in all likelyhood is just going to end up largely ignored or dismissed. Why the hell do I do this?)
No. 483
Less danmaku. No offense, but it kinda seems silly to write about spell cards and shit in text form.

I would like to actually get some goddamn confidence and inspiration to write as opposed to treating it like an obligation, it's frustrating and it fucks with both how quickly I post and the quality.
No. 484
On the topic of 'autopiloting', the problem I see is if you have to halt an update because something very 'important' comes up, the author might struggle to find enough in the update to warrent posting it.

That is say you picked an option that would BAD END the anon, and you decide to 'freeze' the update during the event to try to avoid it but anon votes in a way that still leads to it.

Well now you can either post an extremely tiny paragraph of trying to avoid it AGAIN or just BAD END anon.

Maybe I'm not good at putting my thoughts into words, but I just think if you have to keep stopping a CYOA update to try to stop making anon mess up something is wrong. While Bad Ends might make anon paranoid, I still think they're perfectly fine in a CYOA.

I mean not everyone plays a video game without seeing the Game Over screen a few times right?
No. 485
I think the main problem here is that people aren't making a clear distinction between CYOA as game vs. CYOA as collaborative fiction. Is the author taking the role of game master, judging votes to be successful or unsuccessful and rewarding or punishing the "players" accordingly? Or is the author taking suggestions in order to write the story that their audience desires, or at least will find interesting? Note that even in the latter case, a well-written and interesting bad end can be used as a "what if" scenario, rather than a punishment, although this should be made clear to the readers.

>>470
>Going into the forest during the day wasn't actually that risky of an option. Reina just got lost.
She had no way of knowing what direction to go, and she'd gotten about a dozen warnings by then about the forest being dangerous. The vote was just "Marisa's house", I think a lot of people either forgot we'd have to go through the forest to get there, or thought we'd ask someone for a ride (which we did after the bad end anyway). In that case I think the latter should have been done by the author in the first place, instead of having Reina do something so stupid and out-of-character. If she got it in her head that she wanted to go to Marisa's, she'd be smart enough to find a better way there.

>>473
>In there, the writer doesn't even have to worry about write ins, and there are frequently the equivalent of "snow ends" (for another Tsukihime example, Ciel kills you if you don't have enough affection points in her route) without taking any kind of flak for it. The point I was making was that bad ends are in no way necessary in a VN and yet they still have them.
Because in a VN, you can always reload from any point and take a different path. When you got the Ciel low affection points end, did you restart the game, try to take a "far side" (Akiha/Hisui/Kohaku) route, and get a few scenes in before the game suddenly stopped working? Of course not, you took the same route, made a couple choices differently, watched the alternate scenes for those choices and skipped all the rest of the story that you'd already seen. That's why endings like that are acceptable in a VN, it's guaranteed that you'll be able to see the outcome of every possible choice, follow every alternate plotline, and see them all through to every possible ending. Here, you're lucky to see a story reach any ending.

I'm not sure all the writers realize how disheartening that is. You want people to get really involved in your story and have lots of discussion? Convince them that your story's going somewhere and will actually get there before you abandon it. I used to get really excited over seeing where stories would go next. I used to get really emotionally involved in what happened to the characters. I haven't been able to do that for...probably about a year now. There's only so many times you can get burned before you start keeping your distance.
No. 486
>>484

Good points, though one thing to keep in mind:

CYOAs are not video games. Writers should not be treating them as if they are.
No. 487
http://andrewhussie.blogspot.com/2009/11/interrogative-remarks-followed-by.html

Interesting points which can, theoretically, apply here as well.
No. 488
File 125929186065.jpg - (33.45KB , 267x308 , 3-DQTCRa.jpg ) [iqdb]
488
>>480
What the shit
No. 489
>>482

>Which in themselves are rather useless because often the strategies outlined are all completely valid, but so vauge that there's no way for us to tell how they'll actually apply in the fight. Conflict in general is handled poorly all around. This, again, isn't the fault of the writers. Its one of the limitations of the CYOA format. Unless of course you implement a combat system, but then that just gets convoluted, while ultimately not solving all that much (might combat systems come down to a %chance of success anyway, basically a glorified coin-flip), unless you want to get super detailed beyond the point most (any?) any pen and paper rpgs do.

I've actually considered cooking up a light combat system for the Touhou in Space idea I had I posted in my idea thread, something to mark clear differences between machines and let you know what you have a chance at winning and what is likely to completely end you. Basically, it would be Endurance, Speed, Attack and Defense, with END representing HP, Speed determining attack order and ATK and DEF being the damage modifiers. An attack of 5 against a defense of 2 deals 3 damage, as an example. It would make battles less of an unpredictable affair, and give a clear reason to seek out any upgrades, gear or mods you can get for yourself.

Of course, I still need to work out a few small details, but I think something basic like this could work as a general system applied to anything.
No. 490
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490
>>489
>Touhou
>Space
>upgrades
I see.
No. 491
Why does no one ever say anything about how stories are written apart from "this is ok" or "this sucks?"

I don't even mean in the sense of strict grammatical correctness, but just things like conveying the right tones in dialogue, good sentence structure vs. bad and paragraphing. Everyone might have his or her own style, but that doesn't mean there's no room for improvement.
No. 492
>>491
THIS

THIS THIS THIS

A THOUSAND TIMES THIIIIS
No. 493
>>491
I think there are plenty of reasons genuine critique is fairly rare. Some anon are lazy and just come here to be amused and can't be assed to give something more than votes (if that). Some probably think that they're in no position to offer any kind of technical feedback. Some might be operating under the assumption that whatever the author is doing is intentional and anon is just 'reading it wrong,' especially in very stylized stories. Having the author tell anon they're reading it wrong doesn't help, either. Some writefags don't seem to want it; they've never solicited anon for feedback or they ignore any given. Some are probably jaded, having gone through the critiquing process only to have the story die. Furthermore, stories are far more likely to die off than finish here. Some anon are happy enough to get an update a month; the last thing on their mind is telling the writefag what they did poorly or what needs to be changed.

Not that these reasons excuse the lack of commentary on what an author can do to make their stories better, but I think they're why it's so uncommon to get anything beyond "shit sucks" and "this is good."
No. 494
>>493

This.

Check the stories listing sometime. Notice how 90% of them are either on "hiatus" or abandoned? Readers are very jaded at this point.

Its going to take a decent number of stories with regular updates actually completing runs before things get better. And by regular updates, I mean more than once or twice a week.
No. 495
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495
>>Some anon are lazy and just come here to be amused and can't be assed to give something more than votes (if that).

I have to disagree with you on this particular point. Is it lazy for someone to go to a concert and not point out to the musician where he was playing off-key? Is it lazy to go to a comedy club and not give the comedian suggestions of how to fix his timing or improve a punchline?

There's nothing wrong with people wanting nothing more than to be entertained by something, just as there's nothing wrong with people who want nothing more from their food than for it to be delicious and filling.

For some people, they just don't care how "good" or "bad" something is. To them, all that matters is that someone is making an effort to entertain them, and as long as they actually are entertained, it's good enough for them.

Not that I think people shouldn't offer advice or critique, here. With the way the writer and audience interact directly here, this place is perfect for that sort of thing. However, I think that sort of thing should be viewed more as a bonus when it does happen, rather than as something that's expected of everyone. After all, this isn't high art we're dealing with here, it's entertainment. You can critique all you want about sentence structure or use of paragraphs, but at the end of the day what really matters is that the readers are enjoying the story that's being told, regardless of what flaws there may be in the way it's told.
No. 496
>>495
Could it kill them to at least try to vote if the votes are lacking? I mean, I'd love some critique once in a while, but I'm sure some CYOAs would just love to get more then a handful of votes
No. 497
>>496

Reader Jadedness is as such that stories don't take off until after the first thread barring if they're really great. (Look at RiG, at first it got 1-2 votes; look at it now)

Also on the feed back manner, most Anons aren't writing wizzes and such, so we don't have much advice, and if we like something enough, we end up looking over whatever flaws it has.

And when some writefags ask for feed back in the stories they get it, though most of it is nitpicking than actual advice. But some good pointers arise.
No. 498
>>495
>However, I think that sort of thing should be viewed more as a bonus when it does happen, rather than as something that's expected of everyone.

You know what happens if the readers are apathetic like this? The writers become apathetic because they realize that there's no point in putting forth anything other than a passable effort for people who don't care enough to do anything other than vote. No one is ever going to make something as exemplary as RaAN if it's going to get the same kind of response as that Yuka story in /green. If you want the writers to respond with their best efforts, then you should do the same. All of them have lives and none of them are being paid for using their free time like this. That they like writing is obvious, but that kind of self motivation only goes so far.

And viewed from the reader side, this can only mark an improvement for the site as a whole. Whether you like lighthearted fluff or serious business dramatic epics, if the readers expect nothing less than the best then the writers will rise to that level and become better and more enjoyable for it. Everyone wins in this situation, unless they're talentless idiots like J to the E, in which case they get driven out.

The other thing you could try is to say something like "stop being attention whores and do your best for yourselves," to body of writers as a whole, but good luck with that. You'd sooner see world peace or an end to hunger.

http://www.touhou-project.com/blue/res/74.html#113

>Elitism is one of those words like "puritan" that's gained a strongly negative implication, despite the concept itself being sound. We should be elitist, in the same way that, say, professional sports leagues should be elitist: there's plenty of Internet out there for poor and mediocre writers, but we want better than that for our little corner.

>The only solution that comes to mind is playing >>84's game and giving them what they claim to want: criticism. Go through every update and explain to them where they've gone horribly, horribly wrong. Either they'll get butthurt and leave, their readers will come to realize that they're shit, or they'll defy the odds and actually bring their writing up past the threshold of mediocrity.

Also, whoever this guy was, he had the right idea. It's just a shame that the only time there was every any kind of real criticism of writing quality was for the purposes of character assassination.
No. 499
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499
>>You know what happens if the readers are apathetic like this? The writers become apathetic because they realize that there's no point in putting forth anything other than a passable effort for people who don't care enough to do anything other than vote.

All I've said is that critique, while something to be appreciated when it's offered, should not be absolutely expected from the readership, here. Considering that there are other forms of feedback that can be given that don't entail things like picking apart the writer's use of syntax, I don't see how how you can make the jump from "not expecting criticism" to "not expecting anything other than just votes".

I can certainly see how a writer might become apathetic towards their work if they get nothing at all from their audience beyond votes, but that's not at all the same thing as them not getting any critque. It means they're not getting any discussion, debate, or any sort of reaction or response that isn't preceded by a set of square brackets with an "X" between them. As it's even been said, some writers don't even seem to want critique to begin with. Granted, they might need it (some more desperately than others), but they don't want it. So, why would they become apathetic towards their story because they're not getting enough of something they didn't want in the first place?


Don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with criticism here, I'm certainly not saying it isn't needed. However, as it relates the the larger issue of not enough feedback from the readers, it's only a part of that particular problem, and not even the biggest or most significant part.

The way I see it, reader responses in a CYOA dfall into three categories: votes, comments/discussion, and critique. Of the three, I consider critique to be the least important, if only relative to the importance of the other two. Critique is for the good of the quality of the story and the person writing it, and by extension for the good of the readers and the site as a whole. It is not, however, needed to simply keep the story going, nor is it necessarily needed by the writer to keep him motivated, especially if he's the type who doesn't particularly want critique in the first place. (I should note, though, that it's often the case where the ones who want critique the least are the ones who need it the most, but I digress...)

Compare that to simple comments and discussion, which can help to motivate the writer. Where critique is good for the good of the story and writer's quality, comments and discussion are for the good of the writer's motivation. It lets them know that people are enjoying their work, and give enough of a damn about it to actually talk about it. Of course, it can go too far, and wind up having something of the opposite effect, but that's true for many things.

That brings me to votes, which I would think is the single most important thing to these stories. If a writer gets no criticism, he can keep writing, even if his quality suffers as a result. If a writer gets no discussion from his writing, he can keep writing, even if his motivation suffers as a result. But if a writer gets no votes for his writing, when the whole point of the writing is for those votes to determine where the writing goes, then things simply won't go anywhere. They can't.

In short, votes drive the writing, comments and discussion drive the writer, and critiques are what helps the both of them perform better.

If stories are cars and writers are drivers, then critiques are the tune-ups and assorted maintenance that is done to keep things working, improve performance, and keep everything from breaking down, or at least delay it. It's a good idea, and for the best if it's done regularly, but a lack of it isn't going to hurt things right away.

Besides, there's a perfectly valid reason for there being little in the way of good criticism if there aren't enough people even capable of giving it. Sure, there are some mistakes a writer can make that just about anyone could pick out, or certain suggestions that pretty much anybody could make that would improve things, but after a certain point you kind of have to actually know more than the average person to be able to give any advice that's actually worth a damn. For every mistake a writer might make that needs to be corrected, just imagine how many non-writers there are among the readers who would probably make that exact same mistake, if not worse ones.

There might be some types of advice that just about anyone can give, but not everyone is going to be able to give the really good stuff that will help push that story and the site as a whole in the direction most people here would like to see it go.

Compared to that, lack of votes is by far a much greater problem. Especially since, unlike critique, you don't have to know shit to be able to cast a vote here. Hell, you don't even have to actually read the story to do it. If you can highlight a line of text, copy it, paste it, and then put a letter or some other mark between those square brackets (or not even that much, if you're feeling particularly lazy), and hit the "Reply" button, and BAM. You just voted. Not that hard, not the complicated, and that makes it all the more puzzling why more people don't do it. Unless it's a "write-in only" thing , I see no reason NOT to vote, and so I'm really not sure what (if anything) can be done to encourage more of it.
No. 500
>>499
>Critique is for the good of the quality of the story and the person writing it, and by extension for the good of the readers and the site as a whole.

I disagree on this point. While I agree that good critique betters the story for everyone, I think you're seriously underestimating the motivational value of quality criticism. A vote is a vote, and discussion can just as easily be about nothing/flaming/trolling as it is about something relevant to the story. But, if I were a writer, and someone managed to concisely point out what I've done well, what (and how I) need to change something, and some advice based on how I wrote/the type of story I'm writing, I'd be really enthused. It means that somewhere, someone was interested enough in my story to sit down and really think about everything good and bad about, because they want me and my story to be that much better. More than the people plopping commentless votes or shitstorming threads, that dude actually cares about the story. Maybe some writers could weigh in on this, but I've seen a couple of the very good writers here ask for criticism and receive it enthusiastically.
No. 501
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501
>>500
That's a very good point, but that particular effect somewhat hinges on the individual writer, doesn't it?

For the most part, I would say you're probably right, and such good critique as you mention would be an excellent motivator for a writer, more so than any amount of gushing praise.
But what if the writer doesn't want praise, or at least isn't particularly receptive to it, for whatever reason?

I've once seen someone who basically said they would not listen to any advice or criticism that did not come from someone they considered to be as good as or better than they were. No matter how good the advice was, or how valid the criticism, if he didn't think it was coming from someone he viewed as more of an authority than he was, he didn't want to hear it.
The thing is, it wasn't purely hubris on his part, as he had shown himself to actually be competent at what he did, and really did do better work than some of the people who were offering him advice.

Personally, I could never stand that attitude, as I believe you should be able to learn something from anyone if you knew what lesson to take from them, regardless of how good or bad they were. Everyone is an example you can use to improve yourself, be it by doing what they do to make yourself better, or not doing what they do to stop yourself from getting worse.

The point is, the motivational effect of good critique is only as good as the person receiving it. If the writer in question doesn't want critique, doesn't care about critique, and isn't going to listen to you anyway, you may as well be offering your advice to a brick wall.

Sure, at least you tried to be helpful, and no one could fault you for that, but eventually you'd have to realize you're wasting your time and effort, especially if there is someone else you could be devoting it to who would be far more receptive and appreciative of what you offer them.
No. 502
>>501

I agree with some of the ideas you've presented, but I also believe that criticism is an important thing that's overlooked. Sure, not every writer might appreciate it and it isn't anon's job to point out every single thing that's wrong or that needs improvement. After all, these stories are here for entertainment first and foremost and they shouldn't become a chore for either reader or writer. It's easy to take an absolute position and blame either writer or reader for failing to live up to some arbitrary standard.

I think that criticism shows that the reader is attentive and at the very least cares enough to point things out. I personally would enjoy it in my threads, and I've stated as such. In the case of others, I believe that everyone on the site is mature enough to state whether they appreciate criticism or not. It's not like it's got to be something constant akin to nagging, but it can be something appropriately interwoven with votes and discussion. I don't see how anyone would not want to improve.

Discussion is important in any story, even when it's just shallow one line comments. It shows that the readers are at least somewhat engaged in the story. Anyone can vote, even without reading, so comments are a reassurance that there is a tangible interest in a story. Sure, it's always a bonus when someone figures out something in the narrative or points out something equally gratifying. But sometimes just an affirmation that a particular scene was good/bad/made the reader smile is enough.

I'm afraid that I've gotten a bit preachy as this post has gone on, it wasn't my original intention. I merely wanted to point out that the dynamic between the reader and the writer is something that works best when both parties are actively engaged and supportive of each other.
No. 503
I just took a stroll through all the boards for the first time in a long while. I didn't read any new stories, but saw many I knew right off the bat would be shit.

I don't feel like doing anything about it. I could read them and know that they're shit, but that would be unpleasant. I could scream and yell, but don't want to risk being wrong.

Instead, I do nothing, and will continue to do nothing. What's the point? I'm not enough to drive them off, and I don't have anyone rallied around me.
No. 504
>>498

People loved the Yuuka story, it was a nice simple story, though the fact that Spring/Storyteller/Gunhammer was writing it should have warned us it was not to last.

>>499

Discussion? That happens if the story leaves some tantalizing bits that might get picked up eventfully. One a month or worse updates are not inductive to that. And some stories are quite clear and simple, there's no need for speculation or discussion. That and people aren't going to talk about something if the tip of the ice burg is buried 50ft deep in some random spot. And you can't expect anon these days to some out be inspired to get digging at that spot.

if a Writer needs discussion to write then his plan isn't that complete. A writer in my opinion should be able to write without discussion, but be able to pick up on nice bits.

I suspect people don't vote because a mix of a story's lasting power being suspect and thinking they'd have all the time in the world to think due to slow updates.

>>501
Some writers are thickheaded about taking criticism, perhaps that's why some people don't bother giving it to some people.

>>502
True, too bad the bridge between the two groups is damaged by various things, some of which by the ever beloved old guard, and all the 'backfires', snow ends, and dead stories laying around.

>>503
Sounds as if you're judging some stories too soon. That and I've come to realize that some of the beloved classics have some glaring flaws. (For one if Teruyo began writing DoLF1 today, it might have gone better, or he might have been hung out to dry)

Though despite the outcries after certain events, Ancient Gensokyo LA is among the most promising, and a story that isn't restrained by VN cliches, tropes, and elements. (the sooner you realize that, the better your votes will do)
No. 535
>>504
You mean the story that doesn't have female characters, only cocksheaths?

Definitely breaking the tropes there.
No. 536
>>535
Ok, I'm behind on that story. I know Myouren slept with Yuyuko, but what the fuck is with all of the trolling I've been seeing lately? And is it just one upset person or is it actually multiple people?
No. 538
>>504
>Sounds as if[...]
I would have had the exact same reaction to DoLF if Teruyo didn't mock us and show he knew what we are. When I first saw it, I wasn't terribly impressed by it, but I didn't want to see it removed from the site and the author torn a new asshole. I've always been a jaded cynic, but have never had so much loathing for the stories on this site.

Speaking of which, whatever happened to Teruyo? Did he die of starvation?
No. 540
>>539
Judging from your post, the story is terrible and appeals primarily to idiots.

If it's not clear, I'm calling you an idiot. You're an egotistical immature fuckface that's relatively new to imageboards, and likely underage. Get the fuck out.
No. 541
>>540

Disregard Wiseman. You really should read the story and decide for yourself if it's good or not.
No. 542
>>538

I put up with its flaws because he made an interesting world, and perhaps our only real view of Eientei for a time. But some folks would just love to tear apart 'bad' stories. I think a few stories got torpedoed not be cause their quality was bad, but because the author pissed off so many people (Reiji and perhaps Ran) JtoE and Wiseman, on the other hand it was more the former or both.

My point was despite talk of Anon being less forgiving back then, it wasn't quite true.

As far as the guy himself? I think he's still running #Eientei in IRC, dunno if he'd ever resume DoLF2. I'd suspect if you dropped in and asked him why he wasn't update, he'd remark on lack of motivation and lack of discussion/votes. (Maybe if he didn't make an all time classic case of what NOT TO do the first time, more would read it. Sure they didn't rip it a new one while it was going, but it left a nasty taste in many readers' mouths) Real shame since it has improved vastly. But it seems Serial ATA is the only writer in /eientei/ that updates more than once 1-3 months. And to think he has perhaps among the best Kaguyas seen in that section.

Heck, when a vote or such horrifically backfires in manner so severe it's almost funny, DoLF1 comes to mind.

>>536
I would not know, but just that some anon are terribly set in their ways. And people ponder why new things aren't tried.
No. 543
>>536
It's mainly two very vocal and upset people from IRC.
No. 544
>>542
>I would not know[...]

The fact that the only positive thing I've seen said if it is that it avoids cliches is about all I need to know, actually. The only other relevant information is that the people who read it are posturing as elite and enlightened, which pretty much proves that it has only one redeeming value and that the readers are goddamn idiots.

I may be missing out, but the fans and that I couldn't continue past the first three posts without risking my eyes rolling out of my fucking skull damns it to something I'm probably not going to read.

>>539
Deleting your post proves me right, fuckhead. If deleted posts still have a stored IP, /r/ing a ban on >>539

sage for irrelevant post.
No. 548
>>544
Well, I think the appeal of the monk story extends beyond avoiding the typical CYOA bullshit, but if the writefags style of writing doesn't strike your fancy, then there's nothing to be done. Still, good on ya for keeping it out of the official threads.
No. 550
>>543
Goddammit, no one is "from" IRC. The people in IRC are from here.

>>544
It's just Wiseman again. You can tell by the way he writes more than he needs to and only says obvious or dumb things.
No. 565
>>548
>Still, good on ya for keeping it out of the official threads.

You are congratulating me for not being a gigantic faggot.

This shouldn't be something that's pleasant to find, it should be something expected of people.
No. 566
>>565
I'm not that anon, but unfortunately something as common sense as that isn't exactly the norm on the internet. As you can plainly see from reading some of the comments on this site.
No. 567
>>566
>You're an egotistical immature fuckface that's relatively new to imageboards, and likely underage. Get the fuck out.
No. 568
>>542
Goddamn, i miss Teruyo. Even if he only got 4 votes, he should fucking write.
No. 570
>>503

Look at FLA. Go look at the first thread. The first posts. It was fucking terrible.
Then consider how good a story it became.
Not all good stories start off good.