A text adventure? - A (simple and short) idea about HUD faces


I’m wondering how looks like a text adventure about weight gain, like the usual ones, but with a HUD that always show the avatar’s face.

Just that, this is a very simple idea. So, I saw a lot of images about only fat faces and no more. I think could be a game about that: fat faces. You’re doing stuff and the HUD show the stuff. You chose to eat X thing and there’s your avatar eating X thing. Your face keeps being as you’re keeping gaining weight. Also it shows the emotions what your avatar has in some scene.

Basically the normal text adventure, but with a HUD that shows your face. Maybe it makes the game better. Or not, I mean, feels the same way as without that HUD.

What do you think about this? I think you guys are the ones with the correct thoughts. Sorry for don’t be so explained.


I don’t see why this wouldn’t work, in the right context.

The problem I see lies in the way people react to text over images. This is probably going to oversimply things, but here goes. If a character is presented purely in text, then the player’s mind is free to visualise how the player character looks. That’s actually part of the immersion; the player has to create that image of themselves, and if the author is careful it can be pretty much any way the player wants (Gaining Perspective is a good example of this - it leaves some appearance things undefined and if you’ve played it then you’ve probably imagined details that aren’t actually there). It improves immersion in the character. Similarly if you’ve read a book and later seen a movie of the book then it’s likely that the actor won’t match how you imagined the character to be.

Another work around in a text adventure is to allow the player to define how their character looks at the start of the game, then substitute in there choices whenever needed. It can be fiddly to do, but the character will be how the player imagines themselves to be to some extent.

If you are going to have an image of the character displayed then you don’t leave things to the player’s imagination. Have a fixed player character and you run the risk that some players just might not like the one the creator has chosen for them. Offer customisation so they can play who they want and you’ve a lot of images to create and composite on the fly. A middle ground is to have a few choices the player can pick from (and not customise). Any kind of choice adds complexity (gender, skin tones, face shape, eye shape, eye colour…).

A middle ground is the black and white artwork found in comics. Because (on most pages) the isn’t a lot of detail the reader is forced to imagine the rest of the picture, and that makes them engage with the story more. Tainted Elysium did this rather well with just a silhouette of the character showing the body shape, but allowing the player to fill in the details.

Yes, text requires more of the reader to play, but fosters more engagement. Graphical things are easier for the player, and (much) harder for the developer, but run the risk of less identification with the player character.


Makes me think the face on the HUD of the original “Doom”.

In any case, I think a fat-status face would be a interesting presentation feature for a game. Tougher to execute well on a long story, perhaps, but great for a simple arcade-style situation.


Admin Note(7/27): Move to #game-design-discussion since topic seems to be discussing a machanic in general instead of any specific project.

I feel that’s an interesting idea for a way to spice up text adventure games. If done correctly I feel it could add a bit of flare that can draw in players that usually shy away from those games. But as @dingotush mentioned since you now have a concrete image it leaves less to the players imagination, which could be a good or a bad thing depending on factors like your skill as a writer or the design of the game.


I don’t play in text adventure games just because there is no hud with avatar body where I can visually see how much character gain weight and how changes her appearance :slight_smile:


how about one where they show the whole body


I actually have the opposite reaction~
Noone’s fatty text adventure had a description of the player character’s appearance that changed based on their weight and tone. For me, this description was more detailed and exciting than any image could have been, because reading takes time! I have a shorter attention span when it comes to pictures–I need to force myself to look if I want any enjoyment out of it, but words a magic that keep me enthralled~

Another thing to consider is the style. My favorite artists for weight gain include PixIveo, KipTeiTei, and DuoRadon (back when they still used that name and did the fat furs for CalebFox and Tach0012). The way they draw fatness and stuffing are more appealing to me than work from Kurokaze-s or Metal forever, while Axel-Rosered is hit-or-miss. Then you have the differences between the old Craving Control comics and the now ones, which are handled by different authors. Personal taste means that not all art is appealing across all audiences.

Which is why I think Fenoxo’s Trials In Tainted Space does what it does with character portraits! Most characters in the game (except the player, who has a lot of customization and transformation possibilities) have multiple portraits to choose from. So if one artist seems to have captured your image of a character better than another, you can switch portraits on-the-fly. Or you can hide portraits for that character completely! That’s the sort of feature that I think most text adventure games should have if they want to supplement their text with illustrations!


Speaking for myself, I’m not entirely sure this would add a lot to a game. I’d frankly be quite distracted if the portrait kept animating while I was trying to read, and I’d likely end up ignoring it. Plus… Faces for me are generally the least appealing part of the subject.

If a designer wants to put small graphical touches in their game, their effort would be much better used on items, especially if some of them are difficult to describe or otherwise esoteric.


It’s very good to see different thoughts about it. I don’t have much to add.

So, I think I see the problems. @dingotush already said:

He has a very good point, but the main problems are what @KaptainKQ said:

The fact that you have to watch the text and the images is contradictory. I did say when the player is doing some event, the game show the player’s face. If you have to read, it’s pointless the HUD face, and vice versa.

And the big one: the fact that we are speaking about fat faces. Yes, someones like it, but I feel that the majority won’t.

I suppose the way to be HUD fat faces better is if the character is a already identifiable one. By the way you don’t need to make a character with predeterminate characteristics. And like he said:

It looks like for fast games. Maybe not a long one, but definitely for a fast-paced one.

Being honest: my original thought wasn’t for text adventure game. Some games already have it (like Doom or Dota 2), but actually as just ecstatic. It’s not bad that, but in their case are basically pointless. Unlike my idea (or well, I want to think that…), the player’s physical is show and that’s what suppose to help, because what the player is playing for: its weight gain.

I thought that must only the player’s head is showing because by that way the player can do a idea about how the whole body looks like, lessing the effort (for draw a whole body) for less time developing the game and leaving the player to imaginate with the face image and the text.

But yes, maybe works or maybe not. Anyways, look like I was some wrong.