Branch Design

You can do a lot of different things with one StoryNexus branch, in terms of qualities. The basics of required qualities and quality changes can be combined in many ways. Here are some examples:

No Quality Changes
The branch doesn’t change any qualities. You shouldn’t really do this. StoryNexus games work on quality changes, and it should be a rare branch that doesn’t change qualities at all.

Resource Build
The event gives has a Quality +1 (or more) on a useful quality such as Money, Clues, Affection, which can be spent in other storylets.

Success Resource Build
There is a difficulty challenge. The character only gets the resource quality change on a success.

Burn After Reading
The branch has a Max 0 Quality entry requirement, and a Quality +1 effect. This means that the branch disappears after you play it, so you only see it once. We call a quality used to do this a Mark of Cain. The character is permanently marked by the quality once they’ve done the content.

Burn After Succeeding
The same as Burn After Reading, but there is a challenge and the Quality +1 effect is only on a success event. So the player can keep attempting the branch until they succeed.

The branch has a Quality Min 1 (or more) entry requirement and a Quality -1 (or more) effect. You can keep doing the branch, but it costs you something every time.

Uneven Toll
Like a Toll, but there's a difficulty challenge and you lose different amounts of the toll quality if you win than if you lose. The success toll might be greater or less than the loss toll. One of them might be zero.

Burn after Reading with Toll
Combining the previous. One quality is the Mark of Cain, another is used as the toll. You’ll pay the toll once, and not see it again.

Heavy Toll
The toll is steep in terms of how many actions worth of other qualities you need to spend. So it’s something to work up to. These make good long term goals, and are a good match with important story events.

Like a Toll, but you get a point or points in a different quality. So, five Map Fragments for a Treasure Map, or three Clues for a Lead. The basis of economy storylets and useful everywhere.

Cherry Exchange
The quality you’re spending is very difficult or impossible to regain. So the player will need to make a hard decision about what to spend it on.

Content Gate
This branch gives you a quality that unlocks a chunk of other content. But it has a requirement based on previous content. So, the player must have either completed a previous story to start this one.

Resources Gate
This also gives you a quality that unlocks a chunk of other content. But it has a requirement based on resources gathered by the character (e.g. requires a particularly expensive hat or membership of a club). It doesn’t remove the required resource – it’s more ‘you must be this rich to play’.

Losing the Mark
Get rid of a Mark of Cain quality, so that other content can be replayed. This can be combined with a Toll if you want the player to pay something for the privilege. The nice thing about this is it allows the player to decide whether they're bothered by repeating content, or if they'd rather have a second go.

These branch design can be combined in different Content Design Patterns

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