Tooling Up

It's looking like the Playniax Monkey framework is going to have its GUI functionality enhanced soon, something that puts me in even more of an even more pleasant quandary – ChallengerGUI, Ignition or HTML5 for SLAY2? Because yep, that's right, I still haven't fully decided! With provisional versions of SLAY2 up and running in two technologies the actual way it will work is pretty much decided, so it's really a matter of waiting and seeing if any Monkey-based tech becomes more attractive than HTML5 in the near future.

In the meantime I've been looking at sorting out an actual development process for interactive fiction. The way I've typically been working is to use a good old fashioned pencil and paper, but the problem there is that notebook pages are a certain size and, as a result, I've found myself falling into creating things in a "mini-episodic" way. A production might span pages but the complexity of its discrete parts inevitably winds up being naturally hemmed-in by the dimensions of my trusty notebook. I decided to look around for visualisation software and found, I think, an absolute gem in the form of Twine.

Twine is much more than a way to visualise interactive fiction as you design and write it, the program can actually build a working version of your game in HTML5. Incorporating the Twine engine into SLAY2 seemed like a logical thing to consider at first but, on reflection, the subsequent requirement to open-source proprietary code, the way such a move would push Monkey out of the picture, along with the requirement to essentially start over in terms of development (and hands up if you prefer reading somebody else's code to writing your own... anybody?!) turned me off the idea. As a replacement for a notebook & pencil, though, Twine is liberating and I can see it becoming my go-to tool for IF design. Swing by and check it out!

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