Nomenclature of choice-based interaction types

Hello all, I have a couple of questions.

Is there a name for that species of interaction whereby the player can click on a word in the text and it changes, perhaps settling on one or rotating through a number of options?

Does the player’s choice of word effect a change of state that alters the future course of the narrative, or is it purely cosmetic? Or does that vary from game to game?


Not sure about the first question, but the answer to the second is: it varies from game to game!

I suspected as much! It would be nice to know which it is in advance, because it affects the replay value of a game to know whether there are different paths to follow, or whether I’ve simply been allowed a choice of adjectives.

In the documentation for the upcoming Twine format called Chapbook, Chris Klimas calls it a “cycling link”.
In Twine2 Harlowe, there is a macro called click:replace that replaces a word once.

The cycling link effect has been used both ways - in some games, it’s merely cosmetic, but I have seen code where the cycling link is connected to a variable which also changes and can be referenced later. In that case, it functions almost like a one-dimensional radio button choice or a drop-down menu.

Ah, that’s interesting. I was thinking of using it in a branching story, instead of having a list of choices at the bottom of a page. The player would be able to choose between several versions of the final sentence before clicking on a button to advance to the next page.

From the point of view of reviewing IF Comp games, it’s always nice to know what the terminology is. I’m pretty familiar with the technical language of parser games, but not so much the choice-based ones.

There seem to be ways to use cycling links for any story format, but they work differently in Harlowe than in Sugarcube, etc. I’m most familiar with Sugarcube, for which you can find a bunch of ways to use the <> macro at Glorious Trainwrecks.

I’ve recently tried using several types of cycling links in one game – cosmetic links which can cycle endlessly, cycling links with an end point, and cycling links that determine actual variables and choices. The way links are differentiated isn’t automatically obvious unless you use some custom CSS to set a different class for each type of link and make them visually distinct. You can also change the animation they use to transition to make them dissolve or resemble a dial, among other things. Cycling links are a neat tool; you could definitely get some use out of them for the idea you’re describing.