I want to try my hand at writing a story and see where it goes. I am wondering if it’s a good idea to write it all out in a word processor first? Or Twine? Or is it better just to immediately use ChoiceScript?
I know everyone will have different methods but just looking for some advice.
PS: I found my experimentation with ChoiceScript a bit daunting and confusing at times. I used Twine to help organize my thoughts into something I could see like a map. I wonder if anyone else has done this?
I’m a new author, just starting out work on my game too, but personally, I use the Choicescript IDE. I find that it is much more comprehensible than notepad or notepad++. I don’t have any experience with Twine, however, so it might be better.
Both Twine and ChoiceScript are great tools for writing interactive fiction. While Twine is more flexible and allows you to make more customizable UI, it’s harder to gain a following for your game (unless you already know how to handle marketing/ social media).
ChoiceScript is more limited, but you will have an easier time getting people to play your game if you decide to publish via the Hosted Games label. It will also be easier to gather feedback during the development process through the forum.
As far as writing goes, the process is more or less the same. Write something. Be happy. Write some more. Wallow in despair. Take a break. Write some more. Doubt yourself. Continue anyway.
I personally write everything in a word processor (sometimes two), I don’t trust my own spelling and grammar enough to not use one. From there I will plug it into CSIDE or a txt file and upload it to a hosting website to test it out.
If you have not yet done so, I suggest looking at CSIDE, as an IDE interface, for Choice Script. The issue with using any engine is that you’ll need to understand the coding of that engine, at least in concept, before you will be able to fully lay out your game satisfyingly.
You have already used twine, so an IDE interface should be comfortable to use; once you grasp the language itself.
Many text processors (such as notepad++) have IDE plug-ins that you would be able to use. I know many published authors go this route.
Some people even utilize in-depth writing tools like Scrivener to write a story in a more traditional manner as well.
Lastly, there are many visual mapping tools out there (some for free as well) that can help you.
There are threads available on the forum that should be helpful, such as:
I’m gonna offer something that sounds even more tedious I bet but- I write on paper first. Okay, so I used to write on word first. But I found I love writing on paper a lot, and I can feel a little morr forgiving when it comes to bad grammar, awkward/run-on sentences, etc. Because, for me, it feels like a “true” draft" on paper. I fix everything I can in word and write all the branches and choices. THEN I go into ChoiceScript, as the final stage, so to speak.
Unless you’re a very visual person, I’d steer clear of Twine. I’ve looked at it a couple of times, and the diagram thing does not work for me. In fact, it gives me a migraine.
CoG scripting is easy to learn, if you start digging around in other people’s code. You can also pick up gosubs to use in your own writing.
As far as the writing process itself, I have yet to do a game, but have written a not-yet-published novel with my writing partner and have another in the works. And I have a chapter done for a CoG game, but have found I cannot write and code at the same time because it ruins the flow (I write in character, so coding breaks that and then I can’t write a damned thing).
Depending on your focus, you may find the same, so I’d definitely try something like @PrismaticSpace suggested (do the writing on paper or in word, including the branches, then add the code for the final stage). If you have no problem flipping between coding and writing, then the IDE would probably be the place to start.