Overused tropes in CYOA/Hypertext fiction?

I’m starting to work on a short Twine game, mostly to get experience in working with Twine and game-writing, and I’m wondering what everyone’s sick and tired of seeing in CYOA/Hypertext fiction. Overused tropes or plot devices, weird programming bugs, or less-than-ideal uses for hypertext - or anything else you can think of.

I would say bad imitations of good authors. Porpentine is a great writer, but when other people try to copy her style it doesn’t work as well. The same is true of Michael Lutz. I feel like people do best when they write original work.

So specific plot devices would be mutilation, body fluids, a slice of life that slowly devolves into nameless and ambiguous terror, or metaphors about video game culture.

Pet peeve but I absolutely can’t stand when hypertext games don’t have a capital letter at the start of each sentence. I won the book “Videogames for Humans” in the last Comp and several of the Twine games there didn’t capitalize properly. that’s just not right.

Also, games that try to bring light to some social issue by being excessively whiney and full of self pity. I’m not a huge fan of social themes in games in general, but if you’re going to go there the “oh woe is me” approach is all kinds of played out by now.

Authors that really should just have written a linear short-story rather than dump walls of text into Twine and have me read two screen-fulls between making choices.

Having me go through a series of linear questions that are SO obvious that they only exist to adjust some internal variables to be able to shape the rest of the adventure, like the first few sections in a few choice-of-games I tried. I get that you want to know if I grew up on a farm so that later I will only have the option to ride a cow if I answered yes, but it just is so transparent and immersion-breaking, please just ask give me a list of skills to choose from instead of trying to “hide” it in the text. Most old paper gamebooks did this right instead of wasting pages on awkwardly customizing my character in-story.

But, to be clear, in the ChoiceOfGames market this is a feature. It’s only “overused” in the sense that spaceships are overused on Star Trek.

I personally think that kind of thing can be woven into the story a bit more seamlessly, the way static fiction writers portion out characterization throughout a text rather than frontloading it all into an info-dump.

That is not a really fair comparison. It is more like one of those many things that Star Trek did at some point, but then stopped doing and moved on because it got boring.
Not that I know Star Trek enough to mention something, but I bet there are many things that used to happen a lot that they later got rid of. Not star ships though. I do not think this frontloading is essential to ChoiceOfGames the way starships are to Star Trek.

I do not think it is a terribly bad idea. Not something I like, but not worst thing ever. But the question was overused tropes, and to me it definitely seems overused now, and I saw it outside of ChoiceOfGames as well.

Spreading it out and hiding it better in the story sounds like a much better idea, because something well hidden is not easy to grow tired. Or just ask up front what the player wants instead of having them/us guess what the answers really mean.

The point he’s trying to make is that a huge part of the audience is coming to those games (which, bear in mind, are probably the most profitable brand in IF right now) because they like making lots and lots of choices. It’s in the name! I seriously doubt that most people find the up-front questions overused or overweighted if they’re still selling half a million copies per major release.

There’s two types of CRPGs: the sort that hide all the numbers and pseudo-dice throws, and the sort that show the player every single number, who relish on it. It’s possible to love or detest each sort, and even if one sort is selling amazingly that doesn’t mean some people wouldn’t rather have the other one. As long as we can have both, everyone’s right.

Just saying. Anyway, I’m not sure it’s an overused trope, either. Possibly a much-used technique.