Friday, July 29, 2011

How to write a gamebook part 1b - the flow diagram method

Doc Brown took research
for his flow diagrams to new levels.
If you have not yet read the introduction, it will help you if you do.  You can find it here.

The flow diagram method is good for you to draw in consequences to decisions.  You can write the decision
 on a flow diagram along with its consequence.

Here are the answers to who I spoke to today:

Who did you speak to?  I spoke to my wife.
What did you say to them?  I said that I was feeling lazy and that I wanted a pizza for dinner as it was easy to cook.
How did they respond?  She said that she was thinking the same thing.

Who did you speak to?  I spoke to my wife.
What did you say to them? I said that I wanted roast lamb with roast potatoes and other vegetables.
How did they respond?  She said that there was not enough time to cook the lamb as she will be home in an hour.  She will buy something from the supermarket on teh way home.  

Here is the flow diagram for my decisions (I made it using text boxes, arrows and lines in powerpoint and then copying the images onto Paint)::

The decisions are in red boxes and the actions (either mine or my wife's) are in black boxes.  I can expand this to have more decisions.

I can also have a situation where different decisions lead to the same results:

Flow diagrams are good for situations like conversations or deciding how to deal with a particular incident.  When we make a bigger gamebook, we can see that it can be broken down into groups of flow diagrams.  You can try several different ways of drawing a flow diagram.  You can draw one 'timeline' at a time.  You also need to think about points in the flow diagram where the decisions converge.  

We can also include deciding to go to different places in the flow diagram (like mixing them with maps) for when you want to make a more ambitious gamebook.  You can find examples of such diagrams for existing gamebooks here (however, you will need a copy of the gamebooks mentioned as these diagrams only contain paragraph numbers.)

For those of you who are familiar with fantasy settings, etc, here is a picture of an early flow diagram I made for Sharkbait's Revenge (some of these situations did not make it into the book).  It is for the part where you explore the island you are trapped on.  I split the book into several 'chapters', made a flow diagram for each chapter and then linked them together (I made a flow diagram of flow diagrams if you like)

And here it is written in word because my work is very messy.  

The Get of island box does not mean that you get off the island when you get there - it means that you go onto the next flow diagram where you have to make decisions to get off the island.  The 'decisions' are in red (I put the word decisions in quoatation marks because with some of them, you do not make decisions.  Instead, you have to roll a die.)   Notice how this flow diagram incorporates both going to different locations and decisions about how to act.

Once you have tried all three methods, we will write them up in gamebook format next week. 


For the main page, go here.

For the map method of planning, go here.

For the just write it!  method, go here.

For a list of ideas for your gamebook, go here.

1 comment:

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