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TIGSource ForumsCommunityTownhallForum IssuesArchived subforums (read only)CreativeWritingKeeping track of branching narratives
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citizen5
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« on: February 20, 2015, 05:46:50 AM »

Hi, everyone.

I'm working on a interactive fiction game and am struggling to keep track of all the branching paths.

I know how to plot linear stories but are there any good tools/techniques for branching stories? How do you guys do it?

Some kind of visualisation tool to plot with would be great but I haven't seen anything for this.

Thanks.
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Tim White
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« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2015, 07:11:20 AM »

Hey there!

You might have seen it already but on detective's post there's a link to an article that shows some of the tools to help develop branching narratives:

http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/AlexanderFreed/20140916/225763/Branching_Conversation_Systems_and_the_Working_Writer_Part_3_Building_a_Conversation_Tree.php

I've recently started using Twine 2 (running in the browser) and it has a neat drag and drop flow chart interface, which I've found helps layout interactive fiction. Even if it's not your dev platform, it could help prototype.

http://twinery.org/

Hope that's useful Smiley

Tim
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starsrift
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« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2015, 07:42:39 AM »

Hardcopy, tacks, and a corkboard, with tape and a blank wall if required for more room.

I've not yet found a flowchart program that's as easy to use.
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"Vigorous writing is concise." - William Strunk, Jr.
As is coding.

I take life with a grain of salt.
And a slice of lime, plus a shot of tequila.
rj
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« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2015, 08:11:01 AM »

^^^^^^

pen and fucking paper, man. best way. use super shorthand to outline all the possibilities, grow it from there.
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citizen5
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« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2015, 08:34:30 AM »

Thanks guys - I'll have a look at twinery, maybe I can use it just for plotting.

I guess the requirements for this kind of thing are quite difficult once you get to scale:

- looping
- reuse
- conditionals
- hierarchy

Just thinking about it does my head in!
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autumnspark
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« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2015, 12:50:28 PM »

I goofed around with Twine for a stretch of hours one night and found it easy and fun to use. It was cool to be able to reconnect divergent paths to different story nodes or locations.
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