Monday, October 8, 2007

Midterm Project [CYOA] Basic Overview

Note: This is not my formal rough draft. This is just so I can get some feedback. I will post the complete outline for my CYOA (a binary tree) later.

Well, I've decided to make my midterm Choose Your Own Adventure on the idea I had about the businessman and the railroad company (see my previous blog). The company will start in the city of Chicago, where all of the big time railroad companies (Union Pacific, Pennsy, Santa Fe, etc.) met.

Just for fun, what would you guys like the company to be called (it's not going to affect the story in any way)? I already have a few names in mind, but feel free to suggest others. Now, if no one cares, I'll just pick one.

Here's what I have:

Chicago & Southern Railroad (CSRR or C & S)
Illinois Union Railroad (IURR)
Lake Michigan & Western (LMW)
Southern Illinois Railroad (SIRR)

*At the time, most railroad companies were named by the region/state/city they provided service to when they were founded.

Now, what I have in mind is that right at the very beginning the reader has to make a choice. The company already has some property, but now it is time to purchase a locomotive. There will be four engines to choose from and I will provide a brief description of the engines, paying attention to their strengths and weaknesses. Based on the information, the reader will pick the engine they think is best. Two of those engines are the correct choice, though each will provide a different result. The third will give you a hard time, but the company will manage. The fourth will flat out bankrupt you, at which point the story will end.

There will be some loops in this story. In some situations I will provide the option of either forging ahead or go back and correct your decision (if you purchased something for the company but it did not return the desired result, you can sell it and purchase the "alternative").

I will be posting my CYOA in my deviantART account and then link it back here. Now, dA has changed and it no longer allows "anonymous" comments (you have to register to comment, sorry guys), so just leave me comments here. All of the pages will be numbered so you can reference them if needed. I also plan on including illustrations - more like screenshots - just for fun (Microsoft Train Simulator + The Sims 2 + PhotoShop).

I should say that you will make a lot of choices in this story, because it is during the early 20th Century that there were huge advancements in railroad technology. New signaling systems, improvements in communcations between trains, new braking systems, and new train designs affected the railroads. The introduction of the diesel locomotive alone in the 1930s (the streamliner era) made things really interesting. Like most CYOA, making the right decisions is important, because making the wrong decision could kill you in more ways than one. If you are killed or if the company falls into bankruptcy, the story ends.

Best possible scenario:
The company thrives and becomes one of the biggest railroads in the United States, you die of old age, and your heir inherits the company.

Worst case scenario(s) - story ends:
Purchase the wrong engine which bankrupts the company.
Make wrong decisions, the company is bankrupted or sold, you are forced to resign as CEO.
Make wrong decisions which result in a train accident in which you are killed.

1 comment:

Adam Johns said...

I'm looking forward to this thoroughly - it deals with representing technology and also (through the CYOA format) with technologies of representation. Plus, I like railroads too, although not to the extent that you or my father or my grandfather do...

I like Illinois Union Railroad (IURR) best, but that's just a mild preference.