What do you use for your writing?

Hello, I was just wondering if I could get a general consensus of what the best writing tool is to use for writing your choicescript story.

Please comment below what you, use and why you use it.

Together we will find the most common and possibly best writing tool.

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Notepad++ remembers indentations and saves as .txt, so as a step up from normal Notepad I’d say that’s the baseline. It’s free to download too (I think from sourceforge but it may have its own website).

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CSIDE:

It really making ChoiceScript coding way easier. If you not sure whether to download it or not, you can try the web version instead (though it require Dropbox account for that.)

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Another vote for Notepad++, although I did use the web version of CSIDE for quite awhile. I had some issue with the download version of CSIDE and switched to Notepad++ so I could use it offline.

Here’s where to get it: https://notepad-plus-plus.org/

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CSIDE.

In-app testing and error finding, in-app guide and hints, colour coded commands, automatic indentation, and the ability to have multiple projects open at the same time.

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Notepad++ with the Choicescript syntax plugin. Simple, lightweight, and efficient!

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My vote is also CSIDE.

I don’t know how I would have gotten anything done without its testing. It keeps track of your word count (and automatically exclude commands) and is just super organized.

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Okay looks like we’re getting some pretty mixed results, I also find it interesting there is a Choice script syntax I did not know that.

I also used Notepad++. I found it suited my needs well. I also liked that it had an in program save feature so if you accidentally close without saving (something I did often, sigh) you wouldn’t lose any progress. Not something I relied upon heavily but still nice.

Also here is a link to the Notapad++ syntax for those interested

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I write my first draft in pen and paper (without code, obviously). Once I actually move it to the computer…I’ve just been using normal notepad…

I did download CSIDE though so looking forward ot giving it a go next time I’m at that stage of coding.

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I switched from Notepad++ (which is how I do my pure HTML and JavaScript stuff) to CSIDE shortly after starting my second WIP. On the whole I’m very pleased with it. It’s convenient to be able to test the game right in the same window, and I find that the edit panel is mostly big enough, especially on desktop. When it isn’t, I can always hide the test panel. Especially once I switched to a monospace font (so I could align my variable initialization properly), it’s not that different from Notepad++.

It’s also surprisingly lightweight, for something billed as an IDE. The settings are pretty flexible, too. The only thing I miss is having multiple open tabs and the attendant CTRL+TAB shortcut. Unless it’s in there and I’ve missed something in settings.

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This workflow thread might also be of use - the chart listing all the various tools is updated as of 11 days ago.

For my contest entry game, I used Notepad++ but then switched to CSIDE, as I found it easier to control testing and formatting together with the writing.

For a short story and contribution to Zombie Exodus: Safe Haven I used CSIDE exclusively.

Now I am learning Scrivener and plan on using this for my next project starting with the outline all the way to the manuscript and then move the project to CSIDE for scripting and testing.

Scrivener is a joy to use - I have everything that is normally all over the place in one container and I am able to use and manipulate all the notes, graphics, text files and character/locale sketches in multiple ways, including linking key words across multiple documents and the tracking of all sorts of project goals.

Scrivener will also allow me to switch the format of the project from a CS game to a novel, screen-play or any other writing I may want to use my subject material for in the future.

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Sublime Text with ChoiceScript highlighters. With a wordcount extension it has everything I need.

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Fat chance! But nice try. :smiley:


CSIDE for me, all the way. Having migrated from Notepad++, I’ve never looked back.

The main appeal to me personally is the ease of testing, swift bug-finding and fixing, which no ordinary text editor can ever compete with (not being specifically designed for this purpose as CSIDE is) and which for me just makes the whole development process far more efficient, much less frustrating, and definitely much more enjoyable.

In addition to the sheer ease of use where the invaluable Quicktest and Randomtest (CoG’s official testing functions) are concerned — in CSIDE, simply CTRL-T or Shift-CTRL-T respectively — having the game also run side-by-side in the same window as the code editor is perfect for my widescreen desktop setup, while ESC handily toggles between editor-only and normal layout if required (e.g. for smaller monitors). Alternatively, you can ‘slide’ unwanted UI panels out of the way as needed.

When running a test game within CSIDE, there are three functions I simply cannot now live without. The first is the ‘Popout’ facility. This allows me to test each Option of a particular new Choice in turn to make sure everything works as intended, before advancing the main instance of the game to the next significant Choice down a particular route, and then repeating the manual testing of each Option there — all without requiring a game restart or any sort of ‘alpha testing’ code inserted in my files. For game testing purposes, it’s essentially the equivalent of a working ← Back button on your browser…

The second unique testing function is the CSIDE Console, which is extremely useful in a number of different ways but especially helpful in tracking down those elusive logic bugs (which may cause strange things to happen in the game but don’t actually result in a game-stopping error, so can be very hard to nail down without the Console).

Complementing the Console is the third main testing feature, the ability to step through your code (meaning, to run your game literally one line of code at a time from a particular point). This is a last-ditch measure to hunt down the most infuriatingly elusive bugs, but it really is a life-saver in those situations. Indeed, I credit this particular feature as the reason why I still actually have a bit of hair remaining on my head — I’m pretty sure I ripped out the rest back when I used an ordinary editor! (OK, slight exaggeration, but I’m sure you get the gist :smiley: ).

Those main testing features, together with the fact that CSIDE helps to keep me much better organized (as I have all my design & character notes, reusable code samples and similar stuff as multiple files in a separate but easily-accessible ‘Project’) are what gives me both the confidence and the ability to tackle something as ambitious as Vendetta: Rise of a Gangster — but you don’t need to be pushing the boundaries to also benefit from each and every one of these.

For relative newcomers to ChoiceScript, I should stress that these advanced testing features are all covered in detailed Helpfiles so you can learn and grow with CSIDE at your own pace. In the short term, the features most useful to you will probably be things like the ‘Smart’ auto-indentation, the ability to double-click on any typed *command in your current game file and have it load the actual Wiki page for that command in your default browser, and the ability to have a separate ‘code testing’ project so you can quickly and easily write & test working code before committing it to your actual game files, thereby learning CS through experimentation. Add to this CSIDE’s dedicated, interactive Tutorial for Learning Basic ChoiceScript — among other handy stuff — and you could do far worse than to begin your ChoiceScript authoring adventure using CSIDE.

Oh, and don’t forget that by using CSIDE you never need to download and figure out ChoiceScript’s file system for yourself, either initially or each time CoG updates in future… CSIDE nicely handles all of that side of things for you.

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I like the contributions to the article, it seems like CSIDE has a lot of fans and its most likely for its seamless features. I also see that Notepad+++ is used by almost as many and has some similar seamless features upon modification.

Interesting you seem to be unique from all the others.

To be fair, Notepad++, §ublime, and Atom aren’t all that different except their UI. I just use NP++ since I’m familiar with it for years.

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@Vendetta I’ve been using CSIDE exclusively for months now and still had no idea about some of the features you mentioned! Thanks for teaching me about a bunch of new things today!

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I did not know this feature worked like this. Now I absolutely have to start testing this. Tip of the hat for the, uh, tip.

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I am glad that people’s detailed answers are helping some of you get further acquainted with your writing programs.

Any other tips or recommendations?

Reply below!