Text Adventure Game Creator
A graphical tool for authoring interactive fiction, which most of us will remember in the form of text adventure games. No scripting required, just a bit of creativity and a web browser.
Some of the first books I ever read as a youngster were from the Choose Your Own Adventure series by R.A. Montgomery and other authors. For those not familiar, these are a series of interactive fiction novels, where the reader makes decisions at certain points in the story, affecting the plot and ending. Later on I enjoyed Fighting Fantasy which added an element of chance and state theses adventures. Not only does the reader make decisions, but they have to roll the dice as well as decide on items to bring with them to help solve puzzles along the way. It's kind of a dumbed down version of Dungeons & Dragons, but much more accessible.
I've often thought it would be really cool (and pretty straightforward) to create a tool for authoring such stories. They're essentially just a series of paths with branches, some of them leading to dead ends and leading the reader in circles. It lends itself well to fairly simple data structures used for creating directed graphs.
So that's how the Text Adventure Creator came about. In its current form, they are just like a Choose Your Own Adventure novel. Each page contains one or more paragraphs of test, along with a number of options which link to another page. I haven't implemented and form of state in the game - so no inventory, nothing about the environment that changes and no element of chance. I may add these to a future version but the aim of this project was simplicity. It should be easy enough for 3rd grade child to author their own story.
To meet this goal I've made the tool almost entirely point, click and drag. It is entirely web based, and with no additional software to be installed. The only requirement is that the user must have a browser made after 1980. I apologise for anyone still using IE8 or older browsers, it's just too much work to make compatible with such dinosaurs. The resulting works produced by the tool however can be exported in a style of HTML that will run in virtually any older browsers, and can even be stored and hosted on your own site - even hosting environment that don't allow dynamic content, just plain HTML!
One last thing to note is thats since starting this, I've come across a project called Twine. It achieves the same goal but with a bit more flexibility and finesse. It's actually a really nice tool. Rather than trying to replicate it, I've decided to keep mine just slightly simpler, sacrificing flexibility for ease of use. There is no hypertext markup of any kind required, just purely clicking and dragging to make connections between pages.
- Launch the application in your browser. I'll put together a fill list of supported browsers, but it should be fine in Internet Explorer 9 and other browsers of the same era.
- Learn how to write your own adventure stories. Just to get you started, double click anywhere within the window area of the tool to create a new story "location". Double click that location to edit the text. You can drag links to other locations to create your story options.
- View a demonstration of the kind of adventures you can create.
One important thing to note with this current version is that you can only work on one story at the time, and it is saved to the cloud. It's linked to your web browser on your computer, so you won't see it on another computer. I'm working on a version that allows you to log in and view your work from anywhere on the internet, share your work with others and even work collaboratively.