Does anyone else find coding really hard?

Ages ago I wanted to create a fighting fantasy book of my own, having grown up with them (deathtrap dungeon was my favourite!)
I then came across a tool called inklewriter and slowly I built my own book, I found it incredibly hard as I had never done any coding before. Just as the book was finished the tool was discontinued.
That meant I found my way to here where I spent probably another year looking on and off at how to re-do the game in choicescript.
I have now made a start and was very excited to see that I could work out how to include images, create choices and so on! However, when I see the code for creating inventories and shops and so on it just makes my head spin.
Am I thick or is this actually really hard?! Has anyone tried and given up? - I am close


It is hard at the beginning, but persevere! You’ll spend as much time on the first few dozen pages of text you convert into workable code as you will the next several hundred. Setting up the code base is a challenge, but then it becomes a lot of repetition. At the start of my first game I had zero programming experience at all. 2/3 of the way through my second I prefer to just write directly in code to save time and I only occasionally have to rely on the awesome community here to bail me out, instead of incessantly.


I only started learning to code last summer when I started working on my own WIP, and it can be really confusing! There are still some things I don’t understand how to use/avoid (I’m looking at you multireplace), but the wiki was super helpful to me, and I still use it now. It just takes time and practice, so start with the easy stuff first and work your way up. Everyone around here is willing to help you when you’re stuck :slight_smile: Be sure to check out other resources too, like CSIDE and figure out what works for you.


Honestly CS coding is drastically more simplistic than actual coding. I’ve always coded directly as I write. However, I will admit that it can be tedious, and sometimes my brain’s like “let’s go hog wild” and I’ll end up with like 4 branches and two subsections within the second chapter.


I honestly think you give up too easily! Let’s take an example from earlier today. You used a new variable in a piece of code and came up with the error “non-existent variable” … and then gave up and asked for help.

Well, the thing is, that error means that a variable doesn’t exist, which means you need to make the variable exist. You know the commands for *create and *temp, which generate new variables for your game, so …

Coding isn’t like this inscrutable force that some people are good at and some aren’t and if you don’t have it you don’t have it – that’s totally wrong. It’s just a skill that requires a bit of critical thinking, like fixing a car, or building a shed, or solving for X.


Code is a language of logic and the art of saying as much as you can with a little as possible.


I wont say that the coding is easy for me. I have to constantly refer to the tutorials, and examples. That said, I still think that coding is the easiest part of making a CS game. Creating compelling characters and stories is way harder. Balancing a strong narrative with against the sprawl created by player choice is nightmarish. Then, finally posting your work reading and responding to the critiques of the community is terrifying.

Oh, I think I discouraged myself.


I’m not the kind of guy who repeats what has been said, so in addition to what others told you above, this is my advice.

It’s important to develop a good and healthy coding habit.

Make yourself a rule for labeling *label.
Decide whether you want to use either of these: *if condition or *if (condition = true).
Decide whether you want to space out different vignettes with 2 line breaks or not, despite of *goto and *label, for clarity.
Decide whether you want to put your subroutines at the bottom of relevant scenes, or group them all and put them into standalone scene.txt.

I’d say this is all about “do you want to be human or to be machine?” Being human is all about clarity, not putting yourself in a difficult situation by coding. By being machine, you try to exercise everything for maximum efficiency, although your code will be harder to read, even if you’re the one who wrote it.


Don’t give up. There’s actually some cool YouTube tutorials on creating inventory. I would link them, but I am stuck at work, so I only have my phone. If you go search on YouTube, you should be able to find some step-by-step ones that you can follow along with and practice.

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In the beginning it feels impossible yes, but after a week or so it’ll be a lot easier, and in a month you’ll have no difficulty.

For me the first three days of coding were impossible but then it all became pretty easy to me. This may be because I used the guide someone posted on the forums before I went to the simple and clear cog guide. Always remember the forum will help you with your major problems too. There are still a few things I don’t know how to do, but it still doesn’t effect me.

Honestly the biggest difficulty for me personally is dealing with the forum rather than coding.

Keep at it dude, don’t give up!


Different people have issues with different things. Personally I find writing the story itself far harder than the coding. Probably mainly due to getting bored with the thing after a while and finding it very hard to resist the urge to move onto something else.

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When does that part start? :wink:

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Love and support, love and support!

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Yeah I agree with you.
I’m trying to turn a story I have written down into a choice game and well…it hasn’t worked well for me. I don’t know when it came down to regular computer coding and Javascript it was easy to get a hang of it but with choice script, it feels like there’s way too many variables or less, no in between. I have been studying this for a year now and mostly debating whether to use alternatives like Ren’Py but I have mostly stuck around. If it gets too difficult I’ll probably make them books or visual novels.

Yeah sorry, I don’t have any advice except don’t give up.

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As everyone said, don’t give up, persevere! I found coding intimidating at the start as well, when I first started on my own WIP. It can be confusing and foreign, and Quicktest errors can be frustrating especially when you face them more often in the beginning.

But don’t let that stop you! It’ll only get easier as you get more used to coding. Also, for whatever error you may face, a forum search will likely be able to help you solve it.

Hang in there!


Thanks everyone for the kind words and support, made some more progress today so it’s getting there!