Saturday, February 06, 2010

ChoiceScript....language for writing choose-your-own-adventure games

I do think about writing a choose-your-own adventure thing now and then. I'm hampered by the knowledge that most of them are terrible. Sure, you could open an infinity of choices for the player, but in practice, the writer doesn't want to spend infinity writing choices, so the writer collapses many options down so they either result in a quick end to the story (often a death), or joins them.

It would be interesting to try this in an online format, though, since pagecount wouldn't be a limit. I imagine pagecount was a big limit on the old Choose Your Own Adventure books.

Wait, they're not old. They have a website for a company called Choose Your Own Adventure.

HTML, of course, makes a choose-your-own-adventure thing pretty easy to make at home; you could simply have each 'page' be an HTML file, and provide the choices as links.

But you can get more interesting than that. Up to now, when I muse about this possibility, of writing electronic choicebooks, I think of TiddlyWiki as format...because it has a lot of features that would help, like being a single-file format, and a built-in editor.

Then I bumped into ChoiceScript: it's designed for doing these things. It's got a simple wiki-like script. And it looks like it makes HTML aided by JavaScript. I liked the company's page about why they make such multiple-choice text games.

Oh, and this might well be a good way to get a kid into programming, with a nicely concrete application. That might get me to actually try it out.

The makers of this script have a fairly interesting game, Choice of the Dragon. It clearly uses variables to make the game text more tailored than a paper game could.

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