[Interest Check] ChoiceScript Workshops

ChoiceScript is a really fun language, and it’s great to see so many from a non-coding background pick it up so quickly. However, whilst simple, CS is also slowly becoming more powerful, and I believe there is still a lot of untapped potential in the way in which we write our ChoiceScript games. I’ve spent a long time playing around with ChoiceScript, crafting related mods and prototyping some particularly unusual projects. Many of these projects required a lot of extra care and thought, and I feel that I’ve learned a lot from them, even if I didn’t benefit from an end product.

Due to some previous suggestions, and a really strong desire to see more adventurous cs coding/game mechanics, I have toyed with the idea of running these ChoiceScript workshops.

They would be in a livestream format with a chat (saved video available for later access). Time and interest permitting, it may even be possible to provide people with a worksheet/template - much like in a real class, that you could use to work through the exercises in real-time (or after, at your own leisure).

Some initial ideas for topics:

  • Replacement by References / Use of Constants
    Get creative with constants and curly brace notation {} in order to minimize the amount of manual changes you need to make when updating data (names etc.) in your game.

  • Templates
    Learn how you can use templates to aid in the structuring of your gamebooks through persistent UIs and nested components.

  • Dynamic Choices / List Management
    Learn how to dynamically craft *choice(s) at run-time, based on variable data.

  • Generating CS From External Sources
    Use external tools and data to generate vast amounts of (connected) ChoiceScript files and data - that would be completely impractical by hand.

Note that these are pretty advanced concepts (by CS standards), and that’s part of the proposal here. I think stuff like this is well suited to a workshop environment where you can ask questions and for additional clarification as you go. The tutorials we already have do a good enough job of teaching us the basics of CS. These workshops are meant to stretch the abilities of those who wish to try their hand at something a little more challenging and unorthodox.

If this proves to be an idea that people like, I’d also hope to get other members involved, hosting their own workshops (and taking community suggestions).

Please vote (and comment?) below with your thoughts :slight_smile:

  • Not interested
  • Not sure (please comment with your thoughts)
  • Interested - weekly sessions
  • Interested - biweekly sessions
  • Interested - monthly sessions

0 voters

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Whooo!
Should be fun to listen to others’ secret creative idea and secret techniques in both writing and coding :grin:

I wonder, will this livestream goes to YT or Twitch? (or something?)

That’s a good point actually. I’m quite a technical person so I had only really thought about this from a coding perspective, but I’m sure there would be plenty of scope for literary based workshops too.

I was thinking YouTube, as that’s what I have experience with. I’d be happy to try Twitch though, if that’s what people would prefer :slight_smile:

If you ever want some guest writers for a class, let me know. I have thought about doing game design videos.

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@CJW, just wondering, would these sessions be live, in case if we want to ask questions ?

Oh that’d be really nice.
With all the functions that keep getting added good tutorials etc would be a blessing.

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@JimD Definitely! Not even as “guests”, just anyone else who is willing to host their own workshop. I wouldn’t have enough time or material to do it solo indefinitely :slight_smile: It just seems like a great way to both share knowledge and get closer and more collaborative as a community.

@MIGhunter they will be, although finding a time that suits everyone will be difficult, so the recording will be hosted for those who can’t make it.

2 Likes

That sounds really really useful and great!

I’ve run a couple of interactive fiction workshops here in Canberra, Australia—with people sitting around a table with their laptops. I limited the group to ten people (five would also work well) for 2-3 hours. I pitched them for absolute raw beginners (novel writers but not computer people). They always sold out, and I was always astonished at how little we got through. I’ve ended up having a section on my blog just for beginners’ IF tutorials.

I’ll vote for dividing lessons into beginners, intermediate, and advanced (and then walk away whistling, since I’m far too overcommitted to actually do anything helpful).

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Thank you all for your votes and comments. I’m actually very pleasantly surprised by the amount of interest in such a small space of time. Looking at the poll, whilst it’s close, monthly does win out. That works quite well for me too, as it gives me no shortage of time to prep and plan between sessions. What I would add is that if other users, such as @JimD (or anyone with a good idea) wished to add their own workshops to the schedule, they could then become more frequent.

The next step would be to decide on a streaming time that works best for as many people as possible (I’m assuming weekends), but would be grateful for any suggestions or input. Once that’s decided I’ll move on with planning the first session. If there is anyone who wants to propose a topic (that they’ll teach) please get in touch via PM and we can discuss scheduling.

If you have ideas for sessions you’d like to be taught, but not teach, post in this thread (and maybe someone will volunteer to teach it!).

Thanks again for your input everyone, I hope these sessions will prove to be useful!

4 Likes

Yep! Definitely weekend.
Personally, my free time is around Friday-Sunday. Convert that to most of EU and US timezones, it should be your Saturday-Sunday, guys.

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