Creative folks of the SDMB, would you help me create a story/game?

The Awkward Disclosure Bit
I have asked for and received moderator permission for this SDMB crowdsourcing request
If this project comes to fruition, I will be publishing the end result in online/interactive form on my website, where (depending on its popularity) it will generate some ad revenue - which is why I sought permission before posting this.
By contributing to this thread, you agree to permit me to use your suggestions (in whole or part, or modified/edited/recombined at my discretion) - I’ll use everything I can, but also can’t guarantee to include every contribution.

What I’m hoping to do
I’m designing a multiple-choice story-adventure game which will have similar gameplay navigation to Fighting Fantasy - that is, the player is presented with a scenario, makes one of several presented choices, each of which leads to another scene, where further choices are available.

Thus, the player will navigate through a branched (and possibly recombining) path from beginning to end (there may be multiple different win/lose endings).

Game Scenario
The game itself will be called The Grand Adventure of Vernon the Moth - a lightly comic life story of a moth, from egg to caterpillar to some kind of happy ending (which I guess will be either finding a mate or fluttering away, free into the night - but who knows - maybe there could be multiple possible happy endings) or one of several sad demise scenarios (flying too close to the candle, for example)

It will be produced in some sort of animated/visual clickable form (yet to be decided), probably with textual and/or spoken narration - so visual and contextual clues are possible - and the player will be able to know what the protagonist is thinking or feeling, or other narrative details external to the immediate scene, if they are relevant/necessary etc.

Style and mood
This is difficult to describe, but I’m aiming for a sort of childrens’s stories for grown-ups vibe, with a bit of surrealism. Examples of this that I have liked (for context - I am not going to copy) include Pulch: the Good Times and Crackanory.

What I need
So I’m looking for some ideas for individual scenes - these need to be succinct story units where:
[ul]
[li]Something happens - either something completely mundane, or something that develops the story [/li][li]A choice to be made between two (maybe three) options.[/li][li]Ideally - if the unit includes a choice that leads to peril, there should be some sort of subtle clue in the preceding scene (so the player could conceivably foresee and avoid it)[/li][/ul]

The story should begin with a prologue where Papa Moth and Mama Moth meet, fall in love, share a romantic dinner, and ultimately create our hero’s egg. The prologue should end with a choice between two separate-yet-parallel story paths, with the reader choosing either Papa’s side (“Look at the time! Hey, I’ll call ya baby, ok?”) or Mama’s side who promptly bites Papa’s head of and eats it… (do moths do that?)

I hope this thread takes off, this sounds like it could be a really interesting storytelling experiment.

Caterpillar phase, recently hatched.

You are very, very hungry. Smells* - lots of foliage, some richer than others. Overpowering Sounds of traffic, children’s voices, etc. indicate you are in a suburban garden.** There’s a faint buzzing noise somewhat closer. From the smell, the richest food source is the leaves of the nearby [small tree - I’m no gardener]. If you don’t want to climb, there’s poorer quality food nearer ground level.

Eat at ground level: the food is OK, but not great. A sudden burst of pheromone tells you that another caterpillar is under attack nearby. Unseen under your current foodsource, you see/smell an ichneumon wasp fly away from the caterpillar it just laid eggs in.

Climb tree: While gorging yourself, you are surprised by a sudden stabbing pain in your belly. An ichneumon wasp has seen you in your exposed position and injected its eggs into you. As the paralysis takes hold, you realise that the eggs will hatch into larvae which will eat you from the inside, saving vital organs till last. And if that doesn’t teach you not to be so greedy, nothing will.


Your world suddenly shifts as you feel yourself yanked into the air. A bird? As the seconds pass without you sliding down a gullet, you realise that a human child has snatched you from your leaf. You are on its open palm, its huge eyes gazing down on you. You consider employing your defences to make it drop you. Or maybe you should try to stay cool.

Defend yourself - you stab the little bastard with the fine hairs lining your body, injecting an irritant. Angered, the child drops you and stamps on you.

Stay frosty - you try to stay calm as the child stares. It’s mouth moves and it makes sounds, attracting the attention of an adult. They converse. Then the child takes you and places you in a strange, see through box. He throws in a collection of leaves. When the lid is placed on the box, he stabs holes in it. Congratulations! You are now a science project.

Very cool, thanks

You might find Twineto be useful.

Even as I put the asterisks in, I knew I’d probably forget them.

Smells: I know very little, but I think scent and pheromones play a critical/dominant role for moths and butterflies in terms of communication and sensory perception. Similarly, I gave Vernon good sight and hearing without really knowing how accurate that was. It’d probably be pretty difficult to do a true caterpillar POV without “translating” sensory perceptions into ones we recognise, but if you can create a scent-world for Vernon it would add an interesting dimension.

(There was a PC game based on the Pratchett universe call Discworld Noir which did this well with a werewolf detective tracking scents - you might be able to find screenshots or a description online).

Suburban garden - I thought this gave a nice variety of environments, as well as the potential for human interaction. Adventures inside the house could have quite a different feel - and a new set of opportunities and threats - than outside.