1. Have the onscreen character be friend or coach, not just the adversary
The most common branching story is probably the one-on-one conversation, where the player is trying to sell to or otherwise influence the onscreen avatar. This means that the onscreen avatar is the adversary – who must be, for lack of a more politically correct word, overcome.
However using the exact same genre (a one-on-one conversation), the avatar can be a coach, even a friend, who is both setting up any situations, and even playing the role of the adversary if need be.
Here is one way I have created sims to introduce this alternative role. Even the language, "I am your helper" sets a critical tone.
This approach can still enable the one-on-one influence scenario, and perhaps even a bit more richly. In this example, the coach is temporarily stepping into the role of the adversary, while still adding commentary.
A bit of care has to be taken to use a consistent “grammar” to effortlessly lead the player. In this situation, I use quotation marks if the coach is speaking for the adversary, and I also use quotes in the response if the player is speaking directly to the adversary. The screen shot above is an example.
When using the Branchtrack tool, in a branching story in which the coach is going to play a role, I use the neutral emotion for the coach as him or herself, and the various emotions if the coach is playing the role of the adversary.
This general approach allows a branching story to be significantly more enjoyable and educational. The player has an onscreen companion, who can explain what is going on and make implicit things explicit.