Made a thing

Posted by F1ak3r on July 26, 2012, 1:26 p.m.

Inklewriter is quite a fun little toy to play with. It's a very simple, intuitive tool for writing choose your own adventure stories, but also gives you the ability to use markers, counters and paragraph run-ons to far outstrip any of the CYOA or Give Yourself Goosebumps books you may have read as a kid.

I just spent the last hour or two messing around with a little story I call Your Dog has Been Abducted by Aliens, and it was fun. Not sure how fun it would be to play compared to how fun it was to make – it's a little silly. Time well spent procrastinating doing any actual work… and maybe I'll expand it later.

I ended up toying with Inklewriter after visiting my Google+ account for the first time in ages on a whim. Poor G+ is the butt of a lot of jokes, but it's really not a bad site. I've always loved the design and the circles thing. Of course, no-one's really going to stop using Facebook any time soon, so I'm not entirely sure why Google bothered. Facebook's the World of Warcraft of social media – everyone uses it because everyone else uses it, and that's worth more than all the pretty designs and nice features in the world.

A guy from Google gave us a talk on the company and how amazing it is to work there1, and mentioned that Google+ had apparently "succeeded". So maybe there are places where Facebook isn't as ubiquitous as in my personal circles. Odd to imagine. It's probably the most successful "Facebook killer", at the very least.

Out of interest, I'm typing this from the Ubuntu package2 I installed this morning. It's certainly very customisable and feels friendlier than Windows, but it also feels like you have to fire up Terminal every time you want to do anything3 and I could really do without that thing where it asks me for my password all the time. Nonetheless, a bare install of Ubuntu at least comes with an Office suite – it could be a real money saver for a lot of people if we could just get them used to it.

I'm busy typing up another blog about what I did over the holidays, 'cause I figure some of that might be a little interesting. See y'all then.

1. We got free sunglasses and shirts that say "I'd +1 that".

2. 10.10, which then bizarrely updated to 11.04 and now wants to update to 11.10 – why the incremental nonsense?

3. While that may have a certain hackery appeal, it's something that takes getting used to.


F1ak3r 11 years, 11 months ago

@Cesque: My inner game designer was screaming at me for the stupid deaths I did put in, but I figure it's not as bad to do that kind of thing in a short, silly experience. Speaking of which, the site could really use an undo feature. I always read CYOA books with at least two fingers working as backtrace bookmarks.

JuurianChi 11 years, 11 months ago

I've already read some really good stories from here today. I'm kinda interested.

It will be my midnight Sunday drug.

panzercretin 11 years, 11 months ago

Yeah, this actually seems really cool, definitely a great timekiller. Like colseed said, it's a great tool for writing branching story arcs, or maybe prototyping a story arc concept for a game.

Your story was actually a great introduction to it, by the way. It's quirky enough to pull you in, and only has so many choices, making a "complete read" doable in a matter of minutes.

I'm definitely going to read through more of these when I feel nostalgic for CYOA books again. Although I think my favorite part of those was definitely the content (I had this one time travel CYOA with all sorts of glorious imaginative cheese going on in it, and the medieval ones always turned out being really metal).

Cesque 11 years, 11 months ago

Questions from someone too lazy busy to check it out himself: can you keep track of variables in the stories or make them loop around?

(looping around would be a good finale in svf's story if you choose to click another YT link)

flashback 11 years, 11 months ago

Wait, why did you install Ubuntu 10.10? It's nearly two years old, and 12.04 just came out.

F1ak3r 11 years, 11 months ago

@George: I've had fun with it!

@Panzer: Thanks for that. Intros are important, and I do try to make mine hooky. There are too many books (usually old ones) where you have to skim/skip the first chapter before it gets interesting.

Probably my favourite CYOA book was this one about space travel in the year 3000 – most of it was set on Mars and (terraformed) Venus. It was quite long and made good use of a hub page.

@Cesque: Yes. You can use flags and counters, both to enable/disable options and to vary the text displayed. And I had a loop or two in my own project (which I disguised with said flags).

@flashback: Technically I reinstalled it, with the same Live CD I used about two years ago – the copy of Ubuntu that was previously on my PC had been allocated a laughable amount of disc space, and I hadn't used it in ages. Updating isn't too much of a pain.