Is your adventure one that you hard on but gets a one-star or two-star rating?
It's time to unlock the adventure and touch it up. Do your touch-ups it well,
and the ratings will soar! But if you're not sure what to do to improve your
adventure, this article is a great place to start.
Tip #1: Give your adventure a good name. The more interesting or gripping
your title is, the more likely people are going to play it. Here are some examples:
Disaster at the Rainbow Pool, Missing: Jhudora, or Attack of the Mutant Grundos
(I've never seen these exact titles; I just made them up based on a few I've
seen myself). Such titles will probably grip many users to play it. Don't forget
that the title isn't everything; the content is even more important. The title
is important if you want people to play your haven't been able to remember them
at all. People won't remember your adventure's title if it's as long as supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
Tip #2: Make your adventure long, but don't get carried away. Adventures
of different sizes can be seen in the adventure lists. Some have six pages,
some have eighteen, some have thirty, and some have a quadrillion-okay, I'm
exaggerating that last number. However, the six-page ones tend to have very
low ratings, and the long ones… well, it depends on the adventure. One of the
top adventures had 106 pages! But overall, it was a good one (I've played it
myself). Most of the best adventures tend to have fifteen to thirty pages. But
don't make your adventure "loop" too much. Some adventures will take you back
to a certain page to try again. There's noting wrong with that, and there are
good adventures that do that, but you should put some dead ends in there, too.
Tip #3: Tell what your exit choices are. Out there, there are one-star
adventures with exits that aren't even labeled. All they have is "Turn to page
2" and stuff like that. Not a good idea! Always tell your reader what their
choices are so they know what they're clicking. But even if you do label them,
that doesn't mean you're done. If you are going to tell someone to choose a
weapon, give the reader weapon information. Give reasons why or why not to choose
a weapon. Try to avoid random adventures.
Poor: Choose a weapon: Sword of the Air Faerie, Ice Sword, Sword of Domar, Fire
and Ice Blade
Even worse: You get stuck in a battle. This is what happened: Turn to page 2,
Turn to page 3, Turn to page 4, Turn to page 5
Far better: You need to choose a weapon. The Sword of the Air Faerie is lightweight
and swift, but rather blunt. The Ice Sword is sharp, but it might break. The
Sword of Domar is cheap, but its quality isn't good. The Fire and Ice Blade
is powerful, but it's a bit awkward to hold.
See what I mean? If you used the first line and the Ice Sword led to a dead
end, the reader wouldn't be happy because they don't know why they ended up
there, particularly if you just said, "The sword broke and you lost," and they
might think, "Well, I didn't know it was going to break!" On the other hand,
if you stated why the Ice Sword isn't a good idea, the reader might reflect
after clicking and think, "I guess that sword was too fragile. I'll try again."
Also, if you used the second line, you'd definitely get a poor rating!
Most people like to know what they're clicking on and what choices they have.
Use very little randomness.
Tip #4: Give two or more choices. Make the reader think a little before
they click on a choice. Making them have to use common sense isn't a bad idea,
but don't make them too predictable. Take a look below:
Not so good: You can continue through the house, or you can run home (Too obvious;
running home will most likely lead to a dead end. There are a lot of adventures
with that, so go off the beaten road and be creative).
Better: You have two choices: you can head up the clean stairway on your left,
which looks unstable, or you can head up the cobwebby but stable staircase on
your right (Better, but still predictable).
Terrific: You can do three things: Run below deck for safety, keep an eye on
the pirate ship from the crow's nest or alert the captain (You give three not-so-obvious
choices: running for safety is a good idea in many cases, keeping an eye on
things isn't a bad idea, and alerting someone is usually a good idea, too).
Get the readers thinking! An adventure isn't fun if there are no choices. The
worst thing you could do is just give links to the next page all of the time.
That's a story, not an adventure.
Tip #5: Always finish your exits. Too obvious? It is, but I've found
great adventures where the author accidentally forgot to finish the exit. Oops!
Don't let that happen to you. Before you lock your adventure, proofread it.
Use the "preview" button, and play your adventure, taking every possible path
to make sure no exits are missing. Check your Master List. See the red question
marks? That means the page has no exits but isn't a dead end or finish line.
Tip #6: Make sure the text is understandable. Correct your spelling
and make sure your grammar is satisfactory. If your spelling is dreadful, the
people playing your adventure might get confused. If you notice spelling or
grammar errors after you lock it, don't bother to unlock it if the spelling/grammar
errors don't make the adventure confusing. The only person who won't be happy
is your English teacher.
Example: Mixing up "good" and "fine" or the nonexistent word "funner" and the
proper words "more fun" won't affect your adventure too much. Just don't do
that for your term paper! However, homonyms/homophones will give a reader trouble.
If your character needs to get on a boat, make sure you say, "Time to get on
the ferry" and not "Time to get on the Faerie". Where'd the Faerie come from
if he/she is at the docks?!?
Tip #7: Plan ahead. Brainstorm your ideas. Make sure you have enough
ideas to create an adventure, or you'll find your adventure rather short. But
feel free to edit, remove and add to your ideas as you go along.
Tip #8: Do a content check. Does your adventure have an interesting plot? Would
you want to play your own adventure? If the answer is no, get rid of the boring
bits and revise! Always preview your adventure before you lock it! Make sure
you are satisfied with your adventure before it gets locked. If you really want
to make sure it's good, test it on a friend at home.
Tip #9: Use a subject that most users would be interested in. Popular
topics include which-Faerie-are-you quizzes (We have many of those, but don't
let that discourage you from using that idea), Faerie queen quests, conflicts
between Illusen and Jhudora, escaping the Snowager and Neositting (Though Neositting
doesn't really exist). It's usually a good idea to do Neopets-related stuff.
But be original. Think outside the box. If you're stumped, try one of the topics
Tip #10: Use dead ends and finish lines correctly. What's the difference?
If you didn't figure it out, this is it: dead ends are wrong answers, and finish
lines are correct endings. When you come to a dead end, state why that exit
led to one (see #3). Try to use only one finish line to make things more challenging.
Throw in as many dead ends as you wish, but don't go overboard. I actually have
come across an adventure where I couldn't tell whether the page was a dead end
Tip #11: Get rid of those page numbers! Did you just hit the dead end
on page 12 and start again? If those page numbers are there, and the dead end
on page 12 will appear twice, your reader will know not to click there. Spring
a surprise on them! So get rid of the page numbers. They aren't really necessary
Tip #12: Remember, there are exceptions to general rules. Just like
bringing out the queen too early in chess, there are exceptions to general rules.
One or two loops should be fine every so often. A little bit of randomness won't
hurt. Putting in page numbers is okay as long as you don't have loops or repetitive
dead ends (see #11). Make sure you know what you're doing, however. If you're
a chess master like Paul Morphy, you'll know when to take out the queen early
(He did that and checkmated his opponent after less that twenty moves-that wasn't
luck; Morphy was a chess grandmaster and knew what he was doing). If you're
a good adventure writer, you'll know when NOT to take my advice.
Hopefully these tips will give your adventure ratings a good boost. If you
still need help, a possible place to look is the Neopian Writers chat board
(look for an adventure writer) or you can Neomail me. You can always look at
other adventures with high ratings to get ideas. Good luck!