|Type of site||Interactive Fiction|
|Launched||July 23th, 2000|
Fiction Branches is an adult-oriented interactive story site, focusing mainly on transformations and other fetishes. Fiction Branches regularly sees contributions of roughly 100-200 episodes a month from a number of authors. Due to the nature of the site, the current number of contributing authors and episodes are untracked but easily reach into the thousands.
The Introduction, including instructions, rules and guidelines can be found here: http://transform.to/~zach/fb/index.html
The earliest iteration of Fiction Branches began in 2000 with Zach, the creator and administrator of the website launching the first interactive story, "You are What You Wish". In the following years, several more interactive stories were introduced, some created specifically by authors on the website that received much adulation and praise, others which were created based on existing well-known story universes such as Altered Fates.
Fiction Branches was created as a place where authors could come together and create additions freely. Initially anonymous users were permitted to post episodes, but particularly during earlier years in development, Fiction Branches suffered heavily as a result of spam and defaced episode additions. As a result, a user control scheme was implemented, requiring all authors to register to the site to post.
On January 12, 2005, Fiction Branches migrated from it's transform.to web host, to sapphireplace.com. During this time Fiction Branches suffered substantial issues with connectivity, uptime and reliable hosting, by September 25th, 2008, Fiction Branches came back online at it's original transform.to web host.
On occasion afterwards, the increased traffic caused by the popularity of Fiction Branches has caused the transform.to webring hosts to take Fiction Branches offline due to overworking the webhost servers. This has been recently resolved by reducing the ability of anonymous users to use functions such as search and tree displays for stories.
How it works
Unlike most interactive story sites, Fiction Branches does not allow the author to specify any suggestions or forced directions for the episodes they post, rather each episode is open and unending, allowing any author to create as many follow on directions as they want from an episode. This allows for the freedom for old abandoned stories to be picked up by new authors, or for authors to create multiple directions for their stories to take.
For anyone to post on the site, they must register an account with the site, this is a simple and painless process that only takes a few moments, once a user is registered, they will be given access to the story creation options, search functions and tree view.
Whenever a story is updated, it is moved to the top of the site's queue, this dynamic method allows users to identify if a story has been updated more recently then others and gives a general indication of how active a story is.
When an author writes for an episode, they are given custom functions that allow for the author to add modifications to their text, such as bold, italics, underlining and strikethrough, as well as producing horizontal lines. This was created rather then using existing methods and basic HTML functionality to prevent exploitation by spammers as well as allowing for maximum cross-platform compatability on web browsers.
Users who visit an episode are given the option to rate the episode from a scale of 1 - 10.
You Are What You Wish (started July 23, 2000)
Jon has received a Wishing Stone from his recently-deceased grandfather, and shows it to his best friend Karyn. The Stone grants wishes to the person touching it, but wishes cannot contradict previous wishes and only people who hear the wish know that something has changed.
The Future of Gaming (started April 16, 2002)
David's girlfriend Suzie introduces him to FOG, a virtual-reality game world. He designs his character and enters the game.
Altered Fates (started March 22, 2005)
The Medallion of Zulo is purchased at a yard sale. If someone wears the medallion and touches a piece of clothing to it, their body changes to that of the last person to wear the clothing. There are further special rules that are detailed in the storyline. The Medallion was created elsewhere in the TG Community.
These storylines were removed, due to lack of popularity or activity. As a result, the few authors who did appreciate and contribute to these stories recreated them under the You Are What You Wish story.
The Next Life
Jack has just died, and finds himself in a place where he must choose what his new body will look like in his new life. Restarted on YAWYW on May 31, 2008.
Narayanne is an insane goddess who uses her powers to mess with the people she meets. Restarted on YAWYW on June 3, 2008.
Started on the 15th of March, 2002, the forum was created as a place for all authors to easily and readily communicate with each other, as opposed to the previous email-only access. It is used no only for discussions but for the administrator to release updates and new information about the site, as well as allow authors to collaborate on existing stories.
Glossary of Terms
Author - A simple term to describe anyone who contributes to Fiction Branches
Branch - A branch is a part of one of the larger running stories which has taken it's own direction and follows a particular "Universe" of rules. This includes using the same characters in all related paths the story may take and is considered a "story within a story" in it's own right.
Broken Episode - This is a term used for when a glitch in a user's web browser has caused no data to be sent as a new episode to the Fiction Branches servers, this results in a link in the interactive stories which leads to a blank page. Broken stories are usually reported and removed by the administrator at the earliest convenience.
Comment Episode - An addition to an interactive story which is only provided as an out-of-character author commentary to another author. Usually provided as a form of praise, although it is discouraged as many authors would rather any comments about an episode to be posted in the forums as to not detract from an existing story.
Episode - A single entry into an existing story.
Prefix - A code put in front of an episode title to allow it to be identified as part of a specific continuing story branch. Usually these are seperated from the episode title by a colon : or dash -.
Remastering - A term used when an author takes a previous author's story, and rewrites it into a new, sometimes expanded context. Sometimes done without permission of the original author or not. The intention behind remastering episodes is not to simply copy and paste an old story, but rather take the original story and all it's related episodes, and re-write them with more detail and consistency then the original story, with the hope of not only providing a better and more up to date version, but do a justice to the original story which may have suffered from substantial inconsistencies, spelling errors and other mistakes that detracted from it's otherwise excellent quality.
Spam Episode - This is a term used for episodes which were not created as part of an actual story, but were created with the sole intent to spam unsolicited marketing information to users on Fiction Branches. Most are deleted as they are discovered, but some remain in the older archives. A few authors have taken it upon themselves to turn spam episodes into actual stories with mixed results.
Story - A story is a term for one of the 4 main storylines that exists on the website, the current stories are listed above. Each story contains multiple branches.
Tree - A term used to describe the scope of a story or branch which includes all it's children episodes.
"Mr One" - A derogatory term for an anonymous user who continually deflates ratings on new posted episodes by marking them with the lowest possible score, bringing down otherwise high marked stories. While not confirmed as a single person or not, the term "Mr One" is used similar to the boogey man.
Fiction Branches is one of the oldest interactive story addventures remaining live, because of it's extended life and the preference of authors to contribute to multiple interactive story sites, a number of Fiction Branches characters and stories have been reproduced on other sites, such as the BEAddventure and CYOC. Likewise, many stories and characters have been reproduced on Fiction Branches.
Most reproduced stories are done with permission, or by the original author and humerously reference the related nature of both sites through the character. However, some repostings are done maliciously by new authors who take the original content and repost it under their own name, claiming it as their own. This is frowned upon by all sites and is usually identified and resolved as quickly as possible.