What is the actual best platform for interactives?

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What is the actual best platform for interactives?

Postby justconfusedaboutit » Tue Mar 24, 2020 10:01 pm

There's so many of these, and they all range in quality so much, and all have some problems. Off the top of my head we have....

Aryion interactives - Always just works, good overall, though no room for things besides just clicking options and going down a path.

Writing.com - Tons of content, but generally isn't very good. Doesn't even allow non-members to go past the first 4 choices.

Quest - Just great overall. A bit buggy on the web client, with the desktop client being a windows exclusive, but other than that, actually has tons of room for content like minigames, inventory management, and the like.

Is there any ones I missed that are actually good? :-D
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Re: What is the actual best platform for interactives?

Postby CuddleSlut » Wed Mar 25, 2020 12:30 am

Worth mentioning that Aryon.com's on-site interactives are, imo, the most user-friendly to create. I also tend to prefer the simple, Choose Your Own Adventure structure over Quest's format, which is more complex.

Writing.com is generally agreed to be totally unusable at this point.
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Re: What is the actual best platform for interactives?

Postby Datstrudel » Wed Mar 25, 2020 2:18 am

There are a few quest ones that are complex enough to be engaging, but simple enough to not get frustrated. A good grey area is great for quest games. Ariyon interactive as are easy to make but usually tend to be more unfinished. I'm guilty of this as well. Although there are quite a few gems in there as well. It all really comes down to preference.
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Re: What is the actual best platform for interactives?

Postby TheVoreEngineer » Wed Mar 25, 2020 3:31 am

Honestly, thoughts on those different systems are as follows. This comes from someone who has used each of the systems at least internally for testing stuff and has at least attempted to properly use the Aryion system.

Writing.com - No. This system is basically untenable for presenting a story to users due to the sheer amount of restrictions that are put on interactives there. If you have no other option (which you do) then I'd say it kinda works for the needs, but otherwise, just avoid this entirely.

Aryion interactives - If you're interested in creating a simple CYOA adventure then this is the option for you. Aryion has the advantages of being on-site, as well as having access to letting people edit alongside you, making it a good choice when you also want to include community content in your work. The drawback simply is that outside of page progression, you cannot really do much.

Quest - Simply put, Quest is probably a touch too much for something that can be considered an "Interactive". Quest is a very competent program, but it's much more adept at making text adventure games, for something along the lines of a CYOA its decision making systems are probably a little too much. For sure the most in-depth out of the three though.

And then there's the one I would recommend.
Twine - Twine has its problems, mainly the lack of dedicated hosting meaning you'll need to make a website to host the results or offer the finished product as a download, but I believe the options and layout it provides are the best of the group, still allowing for simple CYOA stuff, but with the addition of variables you can make prior choices have meaning without making multiple additional pages, but it allows for a much more in-depth final product while still allowing for simplicity for the user.

As long as you don't use writing.com you'll be fine.
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Re: What is the actual best platform for interactives?

Postby dreamweevil » Wed Mar 25, 2020 5:14 am

I'll have to take a look at Quest. I considered putting together my own interactive on Aryion, as it is indeed quite simple, but... with no mechanism for feedback or comments, it feels like it would be a black hole for both time and creativity; no way to know if anybody's reading it, much less liking any of it.

Besides lack of a feedback channel, Aryion's interactive story system shares all of the problems with the basic Addventure-style system. Specifically: everything is permanent. It's easy for anyone to add "content" and impossible to remove anything or improve upon any of it. Thus an interactive here quickly fills up with pointless dead ends, and "choices" that feel more like a combination lock to get to the more interesting story ideas than anything truly interactive. Even the story catalog itself is littered with unfinished "stories" with like 3 meaningless chapters that haven't been touched for many years.

And, of course, the CYOA combinatorics problem. Just 8 nodes deep with 2 links each leads to 511 chapters that one has to write, and while that seems vaguely plausible, how many writers seem to start off with a plethora of wishful-thinking options, only one or two of which will ever have substantial content? I cringe whenever I see a page like:

You encounter an:
* Girl
* Human
* Orc
* Elephant
* Tiger
* Person
* Elf
* Elf, but with white hair and glasses
* Late-model Sport Utility Vehicle
* Nothing
* Water
* Female
* Vinyl record album but it appears to be broken
* Nothing
* You're not quite sure what
* Some other choice

No. Just... no.

Here's three possible improvements that I think, together, would work wonders:
  • Add voting buttons to the bottom of each page (and perhaps a link to add comments). Nobody has to vote, but you can vote a given chapter up or down.
  • The ability to improve upon a given chapter by creating an alternate version of the same page (with the same links) if someone's so inclined. After some time, the more-upvoted version of that chapter "wins".
  • Most important: Auto-pruning. Unpopulated (broken) links should expire after a time. If a chapter is a "leaf" node and it falls below an algorithmic threshold of upvotes (or at least "views") over time, it's gone. Eventually, an entire story could expire if nobody finds it worthwhile: this would keep the story catalog from filling up with junk.
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Re: What is the actual best platform for interactives?

Postby justconfusedaboutit » Wed Mar 25, 2020 12:55 pm

Yea this does remain a huge problem. I've never actually made me own interactive, but i do play them quite alot. Stuff like that one pokemon interactive that had like, 50 choices on the first page and only 2 of them actually lead anywhere substantial is pretty bad. Could definitely use some reworks.
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Re: What is the actual best platform for interactives?

Postby Throku » Wed Mar 25, 2020 3:48 pm

Might have to take a look at quest, but it sounds like chyoa.com is still the best option.
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Re: What is the actual best platform for interactives?

Postby night22 » Fri Mar 27, 2020 7:44 am

Quest and Renpy are great. TFGamessite has a great selection of games by engine so you can try them out to get a feel. I've found myself playing games I don't have a fetish for just because of how well made some are.

https://tfgames.site/?module=browse&by=engine
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Re: What is the actual best platform for interactives?

Postby Jayezox » Wed Apr 01, 2020 4:27 am

Eka's Portal is currently hands down the best vore interactive website in my opinion. Writing.com used to be better when it had more users and was usable. What would get the Eka's Portal interactives going is something like a Discord channel or at the very least some advertisements on vore channels themed around similar interests to the interactives.
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Re: What is the actual best platform for interactives?

Postby Fimbulvinter » Wed Apr 01, 2020 5:45 am

I use TWINE on the occasion I want to create an interactive. Depending on how deep you want to dig into the coding, you can program in inventory, trigger gated events, add sound effects/music, images, etc.

But as said above, its drawback is the lack of dedicated hosting options. You either need to make a webpage for it yourself, or offer up the .html file itself as a download. You'd also need somewhere to host any images you want to link to or music you want to play, unless you offer it all up as part of a .zip or similar.
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Re: What is the actual best platform for interactives?

Postby CuddleSlut » Fri Apr 03, 2020 12:14 am

dreamweevil wrote:I'll have to take a look at Quest. I considered putting together my own interactive on Aryion, as it is indeed quite simple, but... with no mechanism for feedback or comments, it feels like it would be a black hole for both time and creativity; no way to know if anybody's reading it, much less liking any of it.

Besides lack of a feedback channel, Aryion's interactive story system shares all of the problems with the basic Addventure-style system. Specifically: everything is permanent. It's easy for anyone to add "content" and impossible to remove anything or improve upon any of it. Thus an interactive here quickly fills up with pointless dead ends, and "choices" that feel more like a combination lock to get to the more interesting story ideas than anything truly interactive. Even the story catalog itself is littered with unfinished "stories" with like 3 meaningless chapters that haven't been touched for many years.

And, of course, the CYOA combinatorics problem. Just 8 nodes deep with 2 links each leads to 511 chapters that one has to write, and while that seems vaguely plausible, how many writers seem to start off with a plethora of wishful-thinking options, only one or two of which will ever have substantial content? I cringe whenever I see a page like:

You encounter an:
* Girl
* Human
* Orc
* Elephant
* Tiger
* Person
* Elf
* Elf, but with white hair and glasses
* Late-model Sport Utility Vehicle
* Nothing
* Water
* Female
* Vinyl record album but it appears to be broken
* Nothing
* You're not quite sure what
* Some other choice

No. Just... no.

Here's three possible improvements that I think, together, would work wonders:
  • Add voting buttons to the bottom of each page (and perhaps a link to add comments). Nobody has to vote, but you can vote a given chapter up or down.
  • The ability to improve upon a given chapter by creating an alternate version of the same page (with the same links) if someone's so inclined. After some time, the more-upvoted version of that chapter "wins".
  • Most important: Auto-pruning. Unpopulated (broken) links should expire after a time. If a chapter is a "leaf" node and it falls below an algorithmic threshold of upvotes (or at least "views") over time, it's gone. Eventually, an entire story could expire if nobody finds it worthwhile: this would keep the story catalog from filling up with junk.


I heavily agree. I gives each of my stories an accompanying forum thread with a link on the first page, which at least gives some outlet for feedback, but an actual comments or likes system would be great.

And perpetually unfinished stories with plethoras of red links and empty pages definitely make browsing the interactives here a bit of a pain. Would be nice if interactive writers made a modest outline in advance and stuck to it.
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Re: What is the actual best platform for interactives?

Postby Brismy » Fri Apr 03, 2020 6:07 am

I've fiddled with some of them, and only released twine content. It's at the same time easy to produce, intuitive, and offers many possibilities while not putting too much in its layout.

The quest ones too easily end up looking like one another imo, which is caused by a too elaborate base layout which all stories use. Twine, due to simply being html, seems a bit less unnerving on that area.

The way the triggers and tags work is also very useful to create persistence in a story you'd want to write, while also offering an easy way to customize it according to your player's needs.

Eka's system is both simplistic and impractical to use imo. And I don't even want to hear about writing.com considering their policy.
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