Storytelling decks and the structure of IF

In the past there have been a few connections made between the structural similarities of IF and comics. Tonight I found this page which made me think of it again:

That page reshuffles a ‘deck of comics structures’ – for example, you can end up with a series like this:

While many of these are easily applicable across mediums (reveal #9, say) there are others more specific to comics like reveal #7. I think IF has its own structures (or building blocks of structure if you will) like this, but I’m not sure what they all might be. Some examples might be:

  • Clear the screen

  • Use a quotebox

  • Switch player PCs

I think it’s OK to be fairly loose in the definition of what a structure is.

Of course, there is an important difference here too – IMO the author shouldn’t rely on specifying a linear sequence of structures. However that isn’t a reason not to enumerate the structures available, since the author certainly can create situations and processes that lead to planned sequences of structures.

Anyway, can anyone help to think of more of these little things?

Something like that does seem like an interesting way to brainstorm.

Here’s some suggestions for an IF “storytelling deck”:

*Block access to a part of the map that the player can see.

*Let the player find a portable container with a very large capacity.

*Imply that the PC knows something the player doesn’t.

*Create an association between a class of static objects and transitions between scenes.
(slight spoiler for a famous game)The shadows in So Far, for instance.

*Create multiple uses in solving puzzles for one of the portable objects introduced early in the game, causing the player to value it highly.

*Insert a flashback or a premonition, perhaps using a different tense (for instance, a flashback in a game written in the typical present tense might be in past tense).

*Create an alternate, faster route for the player to get to an important room or area where she has been before.

Most of those probably came to mind from “The Craft of Adventure” by Graham Nelson.

Re: your spoiler. For a long time I thought that game was about watching a play, wandering around backstage, and then going home.

Well, not really, but I sure needed the hints to do anything else.