Gamebook question

Only just realised that here would be a good place to ask a question that's been on my mind since before I ever heard of Quest. (If I already asked, please remind me. My mind gets increasingly jumbled with stress. My last 2 books have sold 1 copy each despite spending more than I could afford on ads, and I have 9 days left to do ~36 more hours of editing on the upcoming novel if I maintain my current pace)

I started writing a gamebook. Old-school, with numbered chapters. I was considering putting one out on Kindle.
Basically, I've got a Perl script that takes all my source files (a single manifest file, and then a text file for each chapter) and combines them into a single book, with hyperlinks to jump forward and back.

I don't know how easy it is to do on Kindle, but I started thinking about what happens if you flip pages forward/back instead of clicking on the links. And I started being rather silly with it. But I don't know if anyone would actually find my eccentricities. So I'm wondering, if you were reading a gamebook that compiled to a single HTML or Kindle file, with internal links, would you ever scroll past the links to see what's on the next page?

The way I built my engine, it's possible to define one link as [default]. This means that where possible, the compiler will put that chapter after this one when it's arranging the output file, so a reader can scroll past the links to go with my choice. Some pages might also have a "hidden option". Like you've encountered the monster, and there links for "fight", "flee", and "talk". But if you ignore the links and just turn to the next page, you find out what happens if you just ignore the monster.
I'm thinking that a list of options would be followed by a <hr /> before the page-break if there isn't a default.

If I did something like that but didn't document it anywhere, do you think anyone would be likely to find the default route or the hidden pages?
(I also considered putting silly bonus chapters that frame the content in between as a disjointed and confusing dream sequence. So if you read in order from page 1, you get a complete coherent story first. But instead of getting to the 'good end' the main character meets a friend who offers her some weird hallucinogens, followed by a few dozen out-of-context chapters, and then she's waking up with a splitting headache ready for the birthday party in one of the alternate branches)


My first thought is, 'Oh yeah, you better disable that scrolling option, because I'd surely peek ahead.' But the idea of making a disjointed story is rather intriguing. Perhaps you could build a hint as to the hidden story narrative into the scrolling feature?


Log in to post a reply.

Support

Forums