Rookie author seeking advice


#1

Please move to a different thread if this is inappropriate for this thread.

Okay now, ever since I got into Choice of Games about a year or two ago, I’ve been having a very bad itch to at least attempt writing and coding out a game. But the main problems that I’m currently facing is one, I have no clue how to code a game so I’d imagine it’d take me time to learn how to do so so if someone could link me to the correct articles that can help me. Two, my PC does not have any internet connection at all (that’s a long story) so really, I’d be using my mobile phone to do it, would that be possible to do so? Three, this would actually be the first time I’d do something like this so I know I’ll make alot of mistakes the first time around so if any authors has any advice how to write a story I have in mind, that’d also help me. And lastly, please do keep in mind that I just started having ideas for this so I want to try my best to write a good story that the readers can enjoy. If I missed out on something, please do let me know about it.


#2

Alright, let’s see

for the basics:

  1. I believe there is a way to do it on mobile. Though if you can transfer data from comp to phone, then you should be able to do the typing (and testing, afaik you need a browser but no connection) on comp and the uploading via phone.

  2. Look around the forum for a bit. There’s plenty of threads about writing, plot ideas etc.
    Personally I’d say once you have an idea, write out the plainstory first (one path in the game) and branch from there.


#3

Thanks for the help, I appreciate it!


#4

I’m still sort of new to this myself, but here are the things I wish I’d known before starting out:

  1. Don’t use spaces for indenting. Notepad++ automatically tabs if you have too many spaces and this can be done without you realising, so when you go to test sections with lots of indents you’ll keep finding game-stopping “illegal mixing of tabs and spaces” errors. Just start off using tabs, even if it’s uglier and harder to keep track of. And no, I really wouldn’t recommend you use your phone for coding. Indenting will be a pain, as will *if statements where you don’t want capitalisation (mid-sentence flavour text) and the phone auto-capitalises.
  2. For now maybe you can just do some planning until your computer is fixed. Planning all your variables beforehand leads to tidier documents and fewer logistic errors. The save system, if I remember correctly, saves according to line and word position, so going back and adding new variables to startup will mess up the system.
  3. Know the difference between fake choice and choice commands; it really does help a lot. You can’t fall out of a choice block (every option needs to have goto something), but you don’t necessarily have to fall out of a fake choice, so when unsure just use fake choice.

Hope this helps.


#5

Thank you so much for the advices! But yeah I was really going to plan out the story first before I started to code them in with dashingdon.com. The idea itself is still fresh in my mind but it definitely will need some work first.


#6

You can actually code in your pc, and then transfer it to your phone when you’re ready to upload the game. This way, you’ll still have the luxury of bigger keyboard and bigger screen.

Besides, coding at phone shucks :wink:


BTW, is your phone can’t be used as a mobile hotspot?


#7

It can be used as a mobile hotspot but I have a limited data plan. Although I can try once I’m able to get the plan renewed.


#8

I second what @Szaal said; online is not needed to code on your computer. I downloaded CSIDE and code on the computer itself. You would need to be able to upload it to DashingDon at least occasionally, though. Not just so people can see it, but also as a backup. I cannot imagine the horror of making a whole game offline and then having the computer go kaput before it was uploaded.


#9

So all I would have to do is download CSIDE and Notepad++ on my PC to create a game? Sorry, I’m a little confused but I just want to be sure though.


#10

You could get away with using either one of those (you don’t need to use both, although some people like to!). Notepad++ is a really good code editor, but it doesn’t provide much in the way of choicescript help or absractions. CSIDE is a full choicescript development environment, that abstracts out some of the complications, like downloading and extracting choicescript, or having to test in a seperate browser. There is also Chronicler, by @BenSeawalker. This abstracts even further and lets you create games without coding, but rather by connecting “action” bubbles. I think the wiki covers most of these tools and other useful tips. It’s worth doing a bit of research. Have a play and see what works best for you! Good luck :slight_smile:


#11

Actually, all you need is CSIDE. I downloaded Notepad too at first, after reading those tutorials. But a lot of them were written before CSIDE existed. I ended up not using Notepad at all, and have written like 110,000 words for my WIP exclusively in CSIDE without any issues. I upload every now and then to DashingDon both to get feedback on the new content, and as an insurance policy in case my 17-month old decides to drop my computer, the way her older sister did when she was her age.

There’s also Chronicler, if you prefer a more visual format. Both are fine systems, just depends on personal preference.

Oh, and you should also download that ChoiceScript file, just so you can do Quicktest and Randomtest on your WIP periodically. So great for finding bugs.

It is daunting to try and learn this code as a total noob. But it can be done, and has been on many occasions. And just remember you can always come on here to ask about anything that hangs you up. I think I have literally made about 70 posts in a coding help thread (I make them all in one thread to keep from spamming the board, but you can also do one for each issue, there’s no rule against it), and I always get one or more kind souls here who point me in the right direction to solve the issue.


#12

Coding looks hard at first. I read the wiki and couldn’t even make a relationships bar. The forum was the biggest educator coding-wise.


#13

Just keep in mind to put all your questions and whatnot at a single thread :"
Some people made a new thread for every different question, and honestly, we don’t really encourage that.

Or is it “encourage to not do that”?


#14

Man you guys have no idea how much confidence you’re giving me to give this a shot! While I do know that learning how to code can be difficult, that doesn’t deter me at all from wanting to at least learn how to do it. Thank you everyone! I’ll be sure to ask questions in this thread if I ever run into any problems.


#15

Is this the appropriate CSIDE app that I should be using to code the story? If so, then I’d have to wait until next week to pay for the premium version for it.


#16

You can do that directly from within CSIDE (just a FYI), but yes, you’ll need to download that for the other two options, and should run them reguarly!

@MichaelCrank Ah, no. CSIDE is a desktop/website app. See: https://choicescriptide.github.io


#17

Just use CSIDE. Notepad++ has a few advanced features that can make coding quicker, but by the time you’re ready to use them, CJW will have already incorporated them into CSIDE. :slight_smile: And the ability to read your game in realtime as you write it will really help you as a beginner.

Also, have a look at the code for Choice of the Dragon to see how a simple game works. You could even copy this, feed this into CSIDE and play around with a complete scene… see what happens when you change different things in the code.

Edit: use it on your PC, not your phone. Phone coding is an utter nightmare. If you can get online long enough to download CSIDE (and the Dragon code while you’re at it), then all the rest of your writing can be offline.


#18

Well good news, I’m using my PC right now (Thank you mobile hotspot and USB tethering!) Bad news? It’s going to take at least a hour to download CSIDE to my PC… But I am sure it will be worth the wait. :slight_smile:

Edited: No high speed internet, my phone ran out of it earlier this month.


#19

well, you can do the pre-work in every text editor (plainstory)
as example, this is what I’m currently working on:

Plainstory

You stop dead in your tracks and cast Polly a worried glance.
“The mayor?” you manage as you start moving again.
“She requested it to be so,” the clerk says like it’d explain everything.
Slowly but steadily you are running out of confusion to muster.
The clerk, most unfortunately, says nothing more till you reach the mayor’s office.
He knocks, and a moment later the door is buzzed open.

The mayor turns out to be a woman in her 40s and a creme-colored pantsuit, with dark brown skin, a short twist-out and currently a rather annoyed look on her face as she talks to the young blond man from yesterday, Francis.
Well, he did say that his mom was the mayor.

code
You stop dead in your tracks and cast $!{kid_firstname} a worried glance.
"The mayor?" you manage as you start moving again.
*line_break
"She requested it to be so," the clerk says like it'd explain everything.
*line_break
Slowly but steadily you are running out of confusion to muster.
*line_break
The clerk, most unfortunately, says nothing more till you reach the mayor's office.
*line_break
He knocks, and a moment later the door is buzzed open.
*page_break
*goto day2cityhalloffice

*label day2cityhalloffice
*if (day1visit = "restaurant")
   The mayor turns out to be a woman in her 40s and a creme-colored pantsuit, with dark brown skin, a short twist-out and currently a rather annoyed look on her face as she talks to the young blond man from yesterday, Francis.
   *line_break
   Well, he did say that his mom was the mayor.

*if (day1visit = "hotel")
   La Mode, the mayor, has switched the shimmering lengths of fabric for a creme-colored pantsuit and and annoyed look on her face as she talks to a rather desperate looking young man with short, styled blond hair.
   *line_break

*if (day1visit = "museum")
   The mayor turns out to be a woman in her 40s and a creme-colored pantsuit, with dark brown skin, a short twist-out and currently a rather annoyed look on her face as she talks to a young blond man

"Mom, I swear, it's really, really just for school. Please." @{(day1visit = "restaurant") Francis sounds very desperate, all the arrogance he displayed yesterday gone| He's almost begging and you are a bit surprised that he's apparently the mayor's son}. Should he really be allowed to take up her time with his own matters?
*line_break
He does, however, stand to attention as you enter.
*line_break

(yes, I know some gotos and labels aren’t strictly necessary here, but better save than sorry)

If you have one path down as story, it (to me at least) feels a lot easier to write the other paths


#20

Oh wow, coding seems a bit easier than I’d thought it would be. Seems like I’ll have to pay close attention to what I’m typing the codes for once I do get the grasp of understanding how to code properly.