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Make Them Feel: Important

The desire to feel important is the most subtle desire entertainment can address—it’s the one most taken for granted and overlooked. But its absence is the single greatest source of misery in modern man. Feeling stupid or undesirable is terrible, but feeling unimportant strikes an even deeper chord. It ties in with our very will to live! Below, I’ll delve into what it means to feel important and why we crave it desperately without...

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Drama Isn’t Optional

Us interactive fiction writers have a unique enemy. A foe capable of tearing apart our stories at the seams, like a vampire that drains all of our carefully-crafted tension and drama. What’s worse, that emotion-sucking monster is inside you and me. The desire to avoid conflict is very human, and when given the choice—even in fiction—we have a tendency to avoid clashing with others. Talk about boring! This article is going to detail what...

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Make Them Feel: Desired

This post is the second in my series of addressing major desires. I’m going to explore what it means to be desirable, why many readers are ashamed of it, and why this particular desire sells so many books and invokes so much enthusiasm. I will also try to make note of the differences between the masculine and feminine audience, what their general expectations and preferences are, and how the interactive fiction writer has the...

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The “Talk It Out” Technique

If there was a secret to finding your tone as a writer, that made your sentences smoother and easier to read—this is it. It’s as simple as speaking what you’ve written down, out loud. I’ve been making use of it for years during the editing process, for sentence length and comma placements. But recently I’ve taken it a step further: I’ve gotten into the habit of “talking it out” while I write. I haven’t...

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Make Them Feel: Clever

Wish fulfillment and interactive fiction go hand-in-hand. The correlation is so powerful that if your player does not feel like they are strong (or getting stronger), or if they don’t feel as (or more) attractive and intelligent than the other characters in your story, there will be a serious problem. Player desires shouldn’t just be acknowledged, they should be planned for in advance and part of your story structure. Because satisfying your player is...

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SoH 2 Achievement Guide

Another game, another achievement guide! Like in Book 1, it’s impossible to get them all during a single play-through, so there’s no need to stress over them too much. I made many of these achievements to motivate players to pick less popular choices, as well as rewarding them for paying attention. Warning: spoilers ahead! Here We Go Again At the start of the game, load in a character from Book 1. No Pets Allowed...

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Your first ronin in SoH, is he/she Impulsive or Calculated?

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