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Author Topic: software to write gamebooks ?  (Read 8576 times)
kilele
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« on: September 06, 2011, 02:12:38 AM »

Could you recommend some software to write gamebooks like the Fighting Fantasy or Lone Wolf series ?
BTW you might be interested in this blog about writing this kind of books :
virtualfantasies.blogspot.com
« Last Edit: September 06, 2011, 06:29:39 AM by kilele » Logged
Paul Keith
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« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2011, 03:09:51 AM »

Could you clarify? Aren't gamebooks just regular books but ones where you include things like stats and drawn art? Wouldn't a novel writing application or even a word processor suffice for that task?
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kilele
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« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2011, 06:25:46 AM »

Could you clarify? Aren't gamebooks just regular books but ones where you include things like stats and drawn art? Wouldn't a novel writing application or even a word processor suffice for that task?

A gamebook is a book that you play while you read it. Each section has a little bit of story and then a decision for you, the player, to make. Your decision takes you to another numbered section of the book, where you read the story that results from your action.
I'm trying to find a program that allows to randomize sections(paragraphs), write the story building a map where each node is a section, create player stats, test your game from any section with the possibility of altering stats and changing routes(sections), export to pdf...
« Last Edit: September 06, 2011, 06:33:21 AM by kilele » Logged
Paul Keith
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« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2011, 06:40:12 AM »

That is going to be tough. Well, I don't have any suggestion but if you have heard of ChoiceScript it can deal with the stats but testing is pretty much an interactive fiction rather than a book.

A storyboard program like Celtx could supplement the map but this is assuming mindmapping programs can't work for you.

The rest would have to be dealt with via a novel writing software or some other form of notebook/outliner. Maybe even a software wiki could supplement the randomized sections. If it's random events, maybe PopUp Wisdom can make up for it.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2011, 06:43:42 AM by Paul Keith » Logged

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Ampa
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« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2011, 07:40:32 AM »

As a teenager I was a huge fan of these types of book, and even went so far as to write my own.

It was not very long (perhaps 30 locations leading to 90 paragraphs of text) and to my adult eye the quality is pretty mediocre, but a great experience none the less.

I can't give you a suggestion of a definitive piece of software to use but here are a few thoughts...

You will need to design a map. I drew mine on paper in the manner that I used to map text adventures as I played through them. I know that there are various mapping tools for Dungeons and Dragons / Interactive Fiction that might help you here.

Tip: You will find that most of FF or LW adventure books are fairly linear and have discreet sections where the player is effectively trapped, unable to backtrack too far, nor proceed until they have solved a series of puzzles. This greatly reduces the permutations that the author has to deal with!

There is a lot of crossover between FF style adventure books and the text adventure games of yesteryear (now more usually called Interactive Fiction or IF). There are some fantastic IF tools - my favourite is Inform 7 - well worth a look! The Inform language is both very straight forward (it is almost natural English language) yet very powerful as it understands basic concepts such as location, objects, weight, light/dark etc.

You may also consider creating the book in the form of a Wiki which would allow you to write and build the adventure on the fly. Although the wiki would have no 'intelligence' (unlike Inform7) and thus could not enforce rules or handle inventory automatically, it still has some advantages: there is no scripting language to learn, yet it can highlight unwritten sections, handle simple text formatting etc. I like WikidPad but there are plenty of others you could try.

Good luck and keep us informed of your progress!

UPDATE: Couldn't resist a bit of searching myself and found this handy (and lengthy) guide to writing adventure books on the Fighting Fantasy website itself!
« Last Edit: September 06, 2011, 07:58:32 AM by Ampa; Reason: Spelling and grammer! » Logged
Ampa
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« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2011, 07:57:34 AM »

Another update: This one worthy of its own new post!

Edward Griffiths has written an extension for Inform 7 specifically designed for creating adventure game books!
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kilele
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« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2011, 02:28:12 PM »

Thanks for the recommendations!! I'll check them out.
It seems that some people use a program called Advelh, like for example the author I mentioned above
http://virtualfantasies.b...book-part-2f-what-to.html
However this program doesn't allow for visual branching of the scenes or playtesting. So It could be used along with a mindmaping tool like xmind at the beginning and some adventure engine or player for testing once you have written all the sections.  

« Last Edit: September 06, 2011, 08:27:25 PM by kilele » Logged
40hz
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« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2011, 03:45:40 PM »

Take a look at the Brass Lantern and The Interactive Fiction Archive websites for tons of information, examples, and links.

A google for "interactive fiction" will identify many additional things to check out.

If you're more heading towards a long novel, there's a product called Storyspace from Eastlake Systems that was once THE hypertext writing system. It's largely disappeared from view (along with the general public's interest in interactive e-books and hyperfiction) although it's still available. Be forewarned - it's pricey. And to be honest, there's nothing it does that you couldn't do better with the more recent editions of Acrobat - or a visual web design tool like Dreamweaver. Take a look at it if you like. But don't bother buying it.

+1 w/Ampa's recommendation for Inform 7. I think that may be exactly what you're looking for if Colossal Cave or Zork type adventures are what you have in mind.

Luck. Thmbsup

« Last Edit: September 06, 2011, 03:50:05 PM by 40hz » Logged

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kilele
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« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2011, 08:30:28 PM »

UPDATE: A couple more programs
GBP (this one exports to rtf as well as Advelh)
http://www.sandman.connec...e.co.uk/prog/gamebook.htm
Twine (Creates CYOA stories. Based on TiddlyWiki)
http://gimcrackd.com/etc/src/
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« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2011, 02:17:14 PM »

I tried Twine, and found it interesting but ultimately I abandoned it. (Example.) It isn't being actively developed, and not being being any kind of a coder, I found that to be limiting. It has some basic commands and formats all set up to use, but anything beyond that requires tooling around under the hood. I just want to write the story, not also have to code it or debug it. Initially, I also found that the story I wrote seemed to work differently between various browsers, and couldn't ever figure out why. Yet today my example seems to work okay in IE8, IE9, and Firefox. (Can't speak for Safari or Opera or Chrome.) There is still a Google group for its support, but the owner has confessed to not having time for it, and nothing much is posted there anymore. It's too bad, because I thought it was a great concept, and if someone put time into it, and provided more UI "canned" features, it could really work well.
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Farkran
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« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2012, 11:12:47 AM »



Hello everyone, this is Farkran of Divinegames.

We are fond of gamebooks and text adventures like you, and we decided to develop a gamebook creator which is complete, captivating and most importantly easy to use!

How often did you look for a editor and found only incomplete, overcomplicated or extremely limited programs? Our tool will be exactly the opposite: you will be able to use all the common features of a gamebook such as branching paths, but in addition you will be able to add and remove text dynamically through conditions, you will be able to set and use variables (such as character name, attributes, items, currency, experience and much more) and last but not least you will be able to export your book in a cool looking HTML page. All of this without need to know any programming language, because the program does it all by itself.

With your help, this project could come true smiley support us on indiegogo: http://www.indiegogo.com/gamebook-creator?a=834321

If you are interested or if you have any question, contact us at info@divinegames.it

Thank you for your attention!
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mouser
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« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2012, 11:33:57 AM »

Looks really fun Farkran!  Thmbsup
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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2012, 11:44:29 AM »

I could see designing this as raw webpages and then just giving each webpage a "page number". Then just export the whole thing.

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kilele
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« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2012, 05:30:13 PM »


We are fond of gamebooks and text adventures like you, and we decided to develop a gamebook creator which is complete, captivating and most importantly easy to use!


GREAT!! please consider my requests on the post above:
visual branching of the scenes, playtesting and export to rtf/word
it'd be nice that your program would allow showing dice animations like the gamebooks from this site:
http://www.ffproject.com/shark.htm
btw advelh is now available here:
http://www.geste-maldoror...romag/Xhoromag/Advelh.htm

Good luck! I'll try to support your project asap

Edit:
If it's a NET app, have you thought of using MONO to support linux?
« Last Edit: August 05, 2012, 06:30:45 PM by kilele » Logged
Farkran
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« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2012, 06:47:35 AM »

We just posted an update on our campaign site, answering some of the most frequently asked questions.

You can view it here: http://www.indiegogo.com/...home&a=834321#update1
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kilele
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« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2012, 08:24:35 PM »

sounds cool like an inform7 extension for gamebooks but simpler and with export to pdf/rtf as well as the html version
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Farkran
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« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2012, 07:18:57 AM »

We posted another update on our campaign site, including screenshots of the basic features.

You can view it here: www.indiegogo.com/gamebook-creator?c=home&a=834321#update2
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kilele
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« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2012, 08:29:14 AM »

The guys making "Gamebook Creator" have posted the fourth and final update to their campaign.
It's a pity they haven't been able to collect more funds.
Click here to see:
http://www.indiegogo.com/gamebook-creator#update4
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Ullie
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« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2014, 11:50:05 AM »

http://www.rootbook.com
(it's online software you don't have to download)
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