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Branching story technique #8: Nest information and available actions

Branching stories are simple sims where players make a series of decisions to shape and advance a story. I have found ten surprisingly easy and effective "little" techniques to make them much richer. 

 Here is the seventh.

Make some information and actions only available if the player seeks them out.  This can either be for non-essential reasons, or critical.  The technique works best when non-essential and critical are used in the same sim.

For an example of non-essential information, consider this example:



This makes the sim easier for a player to go through a second time, so that they don't have to hear the same back-story over and over again.  However, it also sets a useful precedent that nested information is non-essential.

I might also include some trivial, no-consequence decisions using the same technique.  Then, when the real, high-stakes ethical/legal question emerges, it can be buried, as such (assuming the right answer is not to send the information at all.):



This can further add a game-like flow to an experience, all using very low-tech tools.


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