Here's a sample of the decision tree for my CYAO:
It's pretty complicated already... and this is at a point when the hero is only just getting to Dragonstone Keep, the main area for the game. It's going to be pretty complex by the end. Those black ones are deaths; four chances to be dead already, and we're barely out of the starting blocks. I don't know about you, but my favourite bit of the CYAO games I read as a child was reading all the deaths. Some just copped out, with a 'You are dead' script, but the best ones were a bit more flavourful. The larger one at the bottom is a placeholder for something like this:
"A goblin club catches you on the back of the head. The sudden pain is quickly replaced by a warm, wet feeling, and you sink into darkness. You awake hours later, your shoulders burning in agony. As you reach over to see what's wrong, you realise your arms have been removed. The smell of sweet meat cooking finds your nostrils. A goblin looks up from where he is sucking the flesh off your fingers, growls something in a guttural language and grins, displaying a mouthful of fangs. You are (mostly) dead."
Grisly, fun and something worth going through the decision tree for? Or would most people see the words 'You are dead' in bold and immediately flip back? I can't think that both Sue and I are alone in wanting to know all the gory details...