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## What would your "dream come true" story design software be like?

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### #1KaiRosenkranz  Members

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 08:45 AM

Hi all,

My company is developing a tool for story and game design, and I'm curious to learn what kind of software you always needed but never found? Your "my prayers have been heard"-tool for writing? ;)

Thanks in advance for your thoughts! You'll find some info about our product below the "promotion starts here" line, and please be lenient with me and don't stone me. I think it's very useful and relevant for many of you.

All the best for you and your projects!

-Kai

Promotion starts here

Our tool is called articy:draft 2, and it covers writing, structuring a non-linear plot, branching logic (variables, conditions, etc.), character and location design, and it's a collaborative tool.

Website: http://www.articydraft.com

Edit: Sorry for the huge embedded players. No idea how to turn them into unobtrusive links...

Edited by KaiRosenkranz, 10 October 2013 - 08:45 AM.

### #2Stormynature  GDNet+

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 09:52 AM

Just some thoughts - I haven't used Articy so am not able to determine if such features already exist.

The ability to tie dialog/narrative and events together in such a way that if an event where to be removed/edited the associated related dialog/narrative whether earlier or later in the design would also be excerpted / highlighted i.e. ensuring continuity issues get avoided.

The integration of voice to read pieces which could be adjusted for inflection, accent etc for the purposes of feedback as well communicating intended delivery styles to voice actors as well other team members.

The ability to create thematic/slang dictionaries for example in a scifi genre you might have a language dictionary for one race and separate one for another race -- this would preferably be linked in such a way as to validate characters/narrative being in keeping with the appropriate language uses i.e. highlighting a point such as a human swearing in Klingon as a possible error in scripting.

Edited by Stormynature, 10 October 2013 - 09:55 AM.

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 03:47 PM

For game-specific applications I would be particularly interested in attaching faction or relationship values to dialog choices, and also checking faction and individual relationship stats (as well as plot/quest checkpoints) to see which of several lines of dialogue an NPC should deliver to a player.

Other than that I'm more interested in story design as it applies to novels.  In particular, the process of working downward from a more abstract theme to specific plot events, because this process seems to be a weak point in most of the currently available literature about "how to plot" and "how to design story structure".

Edit: I'm taking a look at some of the feature videos now, they seem nicely made.  I guessed wrong about how to pronounce "Articy" though, lol.

Edited by sunandshadow, 10 October 2013 - 04:10 PM.

I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me. I also love pet-breeding games.

### #4ChronicGames  Members

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 01:50 AM

Our Team actually works with articy draft
and generally I believe it to be amazing.
What I think would really improve the software would be the ability for a map drawer in the location tool
importing texture and drawing out maps would be a lot simpler then our current process of making a map (sometimes just for the picture)
and then taking screenshots from a top down view.
Also it should have a blue print designer in which you can use to plan locations before drawing them out
and lastly Id like a simulation play of the map. Meaning from a top down view the ability to move around with a dot or player sign and do simple things such as teleporting to different locations and being able to see things like dialogue pop up when interacting with npcs.
Lastly a import feature for fbx files with a 3D view would be nice so that you can have a 3D view for guns, items, characters, or even locations.

### #5Acharis  Members

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 04:31 AM

and lastly Id like a simulation play of the map [...] Lastly a import feature for fbx files with a 3D view would be nice so that you can have a 3D view for guns, items, characters, or even locations.

Why not make the next logical step and add an option to compile the game to an executable making it a full blown RPG maker of some sort?

I mean, if you the designer and did the script, the events, drawn the map, imported graphics assets then it's no point doing it again in the game editor...

Working on an Emperor focused, no micromanagement, asymmetric, 4X, space empire builder:

### #6KaiRosenkranz  Members

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 02:14 PM

Hey guys, thanks a million. That's great feedback and very helpful.

A lot of what you requested is already possible, and I've added all other feature ideas to our backlog. I understand how they can be very

@Stormynature: I like the change tracking idea that highlights pieces of content that need attention or re-writing after an object has been changed. The thematic dictionary is a very good idea as well, and it ties nicely to our translation memory feature which will be part of the localization update. Not sure I understood the voice support idea. Did you mean the ability to record mock-up audio for dialogue lines?

@sunandshadow: The conditional dialogue branches (using variables like reputation, attitudes, ...) has been introduced in the 2.2 update, and we'll continue to expand on that in future updates. I think one way to improve it (along the lines of what you suggested) is to have relation values automatically created based on relationship diagrams, instead of letting you create variables like "AttitudePaulRachel", "AttitudeRachelPaul" for each pair of characters (and the same for factions). So you could use those values as functions in condition scripts like this:

Paul.Reputation(Pirates) > 30 && Paul.Attitude(Rachel) > 15

.

@ChronicGames: Great to hear you're using out tool, and thanks for your nice words ("amazing")! Am I right assuming that by "drawing maps" you mean actually drawing with pens and brushes on a map canvas, as in PhotoShop? Regarding the "blueprint designer" you suggested, we have a location editor improvement on our roadmap for floorplans (quickly drawing walls, doors, etc.). Is that what you had in mind? And yeah, using 3D models as Entity avatar "images" sounds like a great idea.

@Acharis: We're trying to keep articy:draft as flexible and genre-independent as possible. On the one hand, that causes some accessibility problems (since you'll have to customize everything to your genre's needs first before you can actually start creating content), but it also makes our tool very versatile. As you can see in the showreel linked in the opening post, its used for RPGs as well as space sims, MMOs, point'n'click adventures, and more. That range of genres makes it hard for us to actually export a running game, but we could export something like a stand-alone story player demo where you can simulate actual gameplay in multiple-choice options etc.

Yet, the run-time library articy:access can be hooked up to your game engine (Unity, UDK, CryEngine, your own engine) so that you can very quickly and conveniently import all the content into your game. Using articy:access, you can - for example - analyze dialogue choices and validate condition scripts, to get a list of "currently active dialogue choices" without a single line of own code.

Thanks again to all of you.
Any other requirements or ideas?

### #7mippy  Members

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 03:27 PM

I would like to be able to add comments to the conversations/locations as I'm testing it, in the game. Work memory is constantly overwritten and writing on paper is not always the best solution.

• If I walk around and there is a small cutscene, I would like to click somewhere and say: hey! I would like to have a barrel here!
• If its a conversation, I would like to pause it and add some comments to the lines which would spread into the editors/database of lines if there us such a thing

I know you seem to be developing a tool that is outside the actual engine, but this is still what I want

EDIT

An example what I mean with the first bullet can be found at the new site kotaku: