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Interactive Story

Everyone who does any sort of scripting has to try to write the obligatory choose-your-own-adventure-and-add-your-own-new-episode-to-the-end program at some point. Who am I to argue with fate? :-) So here's mine. You know the drill; just click on the links at the bottom of each page to choose your path through the story.

However, this program does include one feature that's at least moderately unusual. In most of these types of programs, the writer of a page chooses all the options that will be available from that page. So, if I write a page where the main character turns into a wolf, I also have to choose the options that will be available from there; I might choose "head for the forest", "search for a cure", and "just sit there and howl." Those three options would then appear in the new page; and when someone clicked on an option that hadn't actually been written yet, they would get a message saying that that part of the story hadn't been written yet, and offering them to let them write it. This has its benefits; but it can also make actually reading the story into a hit-or-miss game--it's disappointing when half the links you follow turn out not to actually exist. And if you see a great page that you'd like to add onto, but all the options for that page have already been written, well, you just lose.

So this program takes a more unconventional approach. When you write a new page of the story, you don't supply any options at all. Instead, every page includes a link that lets you add a new option to that page. If I write that turn-into-a-wolf page, it will appear with no options at all... just the "add a new page" link. So if I want to add that "head for the forest" option, I can certainly do so... but I have to actually write what happens next as well. That means that every link you see is "live"; if that "head for the forest" link is there, it will actually lead to another page of the story, not just a "please write me!" page. And if you come up with some clever idea that no one else has thought of... if you want that wolf to head for Hollywood and sell its story to the tabloids... then just add that option in!

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