The following contains spoilers for my new interactive erotica book, Taken by the Aliens. Before you read any further, you should probably go buy the book, which I am sure that you have already.
I have been reading interactive fiction for most of my life. I started with the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure series, moved on to the excellent Fighting Fantasy series and have tried just about every spin-off like Interplanetary Spy, Wizards, Warriors and You, and a host of books that used licensed properties like Star Trek and G.I. Joe. I am a huge fan.
Most of these kinds of books have a simple linear structure. They have one main storyline that is the preferred story. If you deviate off the main story, it abruptly comes to an end. These kinds of books are more like a puzzle where you try to navigate pitfalls and traps to make it to a successful ending.
There is nothing wrong with this kind of structure. In a lot of ways, it mimics how most videogames play. Fighting Fantasy does this very well in which if you make a mistake early on, they let you keep reading for quite a bit until they stop you. Other books will end the story in one page and you just find yourself flipping back to your last choice and continuing. They both do the same thing which is prioritize a central story over the rest. Again, this is fine for a puzzle or game.
Erotica is something different from a game. It is about desire and personal tastes. Although you can easily make a game out of sex and I did that in Prisoner of the Wizard’s Harem, I feel that erotica, and especially interactive erotica, should have more freedom.
I applied this philosophy in Dominate Your Teacher. I took a central idea, having sex with your mean teacher, and I brainstormed different ways to tell that story. One way was to have a male friend with you. Another way was to bring in a girlfriend as you dominate your teacher. A third way was to make a cuckhold out of a male teacher. Other ways included how you dominated your teacher. I took all of these ideas and made them equally viable and important. It is a book that caters to the reader’s desires.
That was what I also did with Taken by the Aliens. Lacking a central sex goal like a mean teacher, I decentralized even further by indulging in different kinds of fantasies. To me it was very similar to an amusement park mentality. You go to the park and you have a choice of rides and attractions. It is unlikely you will go to every ride on one visit. You very likely don’t want to go on every ride anyway. You pick and choose based on what appeals to you.
In this story, the spaceship that abducts you is the amusement park. At the very beginning, you are given choices of equal length and complexity. Do you want to follow the Men in Black? Are you curious about the door marked with tentacles? Are you more curious about your fellow abductees? Do you want to skip all of these choices and just get back on your exam table and go straight to some probing? The choice is yours.
More importantly, your choice does not overlap with any of the other beginning choices. If you play around the other abductees, you will not see a single line of story from the other choices. Each choice from the first one is a self-contained novella. You might see similar aliens but your experiences with those aliens will be completely different.
This separation of choices was very important to me as I feel it creates a lot of value. To really explore Taken by the Aliens would take four readings just to start. Each path has at least three sex scenes. I want the reader to be able to sit down every couple of weeks and enjoy a new alien abduction.
This Friday I will conclude the autopsy with a look at consent and endings.