Avoiding Copy/Paste

In a visual novel with a lot of different decisions, it’s import to make sure that players learn certain important information no matter which choices they make, essentially putting that info on every possible route. There may also be situations where certain scenes or conversations have the potential to take place at multiple points in the story, depending on the player’s choices. Now there’s nothing really wrong with that, but when replaying the game and making different choices, it can sometimes get rather repetitious, especially if the text is just copy/pasted. That’s something I always disliked, so I’m doing my best to avoid any copy/pasting in Aurora’s Nightmare.
One strategy I employ is ensuring that the three main story paths have to be completed in a set order. There were actually a few reasons I made that choice, but one of them is it lets me minimize repetition across the paths. If a key plot element is explained in detail on the first path, I can skip or gloss over it on the other routes.
But that doesn’t remove all need for repetition. For example, in the part of the script I’m working on right now, Ars is having a conversation with another character and can choose between three different discussion topics. Later on, they have another conversation and the player can choose between either of the two topics they didn’t discuss the first time around. No repetition there… Unless the player later replays that section and wants to try out other options. Since there’s two different points at which each topic can be discussed, it would be simple to just write one version of each conversation and copy/paste them. But players looking to try out all the different options would end up reading each conversation twice, something I’d prefer to avoid. While I did need to ensure that both versions of the conversation convey the same information, I went the extra mile and rewrote all the dialogue so, even though they’re coving the same material, they both feel different from each other.
That type of approach takes a bit more work, and doesn’t really constitute a major improvement to the game as a whole, but it’s a touch I always appreciate when playing visuals novels, so it’s something I want to do in my own as well.