Take con­trol of your sto­ries

Re­mem­ber Fight­ing Fan­tasy? Cre­ate in­ter­ac­tive sto­ries with inklewriter

Mac Format - - IMPROVE -

Do you want to write an in­ter­ac­tive story in which the reader chooses what to do next? Maybe you’d like to pro­to­type a branch­ing story that you’re plan­ning to use in a videogame. How about a dy­namic tu­to­rial that adapts to the reader’s ques­tions, or an in­ter­ac­tive let­ter to a friend?

With in­ter­ac­tive sto­ries, you can al­low read­ers to ex­plore a story or set­ting at their own pace, solve puz­zles and chal­lenges, or feel re­spon­si­ble for character ac­tions. You can take the player through to one end­ing, or you can cre­ate a range of dif­fer­ent out­comes in re­sponse to their choices.

Texts that let the reader choose what to do next have been around in print­ed­book form for years, but they’re en­joy­ing a new wave of com­mer­cial suc­cess as more peo­ple carry text-friendly mo­bile de­vices. Dozens of apps avail­able for iOS cover all sorts of gen­res too. Time named in­kle stu­dios’ in­ter­ac­tive travel story 80 Days as its top videogame of 2014, and we gave it five stars in MF278.

If cre­at­ing this kind of work ap­peals, in­kle stu­dios’ inklewriter tool is an easy way to get started. Both the cre­ation tool and the reader run in a browser win­dow, al­low­ing you to cre­ate, re­vise and share your sto­ries with­out down­load­ing any soft­ware. If you log in, all your sto­ries are con­nected to your ac­count, which means you can edit from dif­fer­ent com­put­ers.

Are there lim­its? Yes, a few. Inklewriter will let you use bold and italic fonts, but it won’t al­low for ex­ten­sive for­mat­ting changes, al­ter­ing colours or fonts, or at­tach­ing your own Javascript. You can embed images in your inklewriter piece, but you won’t be able to embed video clips or sounds. And, if what you want to do re­quires a rich world sim­u­la­tion, you’ll prob­a­bly need a tool that al­lows you to write some code – but inklewriter does al­low you to keep track of player stats and mark­ers, mean­ing that it’s ro­bust enough to build many types of game­book-style ex­pe­ri­ences.

All in all, inklewriter of­fers a sur­pris­ing amount of power with a very gen­tle learn­ing curve. And if you do find that you even­tu­ally need more op­tions than inklewriter of­fers, the lessons you learn about de­sign­ing and or­gan­is­ing an in­ter­ac­tive story will carry over well to more chal­leng­ing toolsets. Emily Short

Al­low read­ers to ex­plore a story or set­ting, solve puz­zles, and be re­spon­si­ble for character ac­tions

Bend the rules on tra­di­tional sto­ry­telling with inklewriter.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.