Sunday, April 3, 2011

Advanced Storywriting Techniques for Choose Your Path

You've hopefully seen by now the basic instructions to write your own story for the Choose Your Path app.  I hope you'll agree it's been pretty simple so far.  For those of you who have mastered that or are more comfortable with code and HTML, here are some more options for you to try out.

Creating a story all in one page:
If you are planning on writing a very short story and would prefer to keep the entire thing in one giant "main.txt" file, we have given you that ability as well. The tool that lets you do that is a <marker> tag.  Here's an example:
<text>Here's my brilliant masterpiece of a story. Don't be jealous of its magnificence.</text>
<choice TheMall>Go to the mall and get yourself a congratulatory Slurpee.</choice>
<choice GoSkydiving>Your life is filled with adventure!</choice>
<marker TheMall>
<text>Holy cow! I made a page within a page! This is magical!</text>
<choice GoSkydiving>Your life is filled with adventure!</choice>
<choice main.txt>Go back to the beginning.</choice>
<marker GoSkydiving>
<text>Holy cow! What will you take on next???</text>
<choice main.txt>Go back to the beginning</choice>
The app knows that if you leave a file extension (like '.txt') out of the choice tag that you intend for the next page to read from a marker instead. The page begins at the tag <marker> and ends at the next <marker> tag or the end of the page, whichever comes first.  In this example, the page the story will show for the TheMall marker will start with the text "Holy cow!" and end with two buttons that take you either to GoSkydiving or the first page of the story.

You can have as many markers in a page as you like, so you can write your entire story in main.txt (but be careful how you keep track of it!).  Alternatively, you can mix and match between creating new text files or using markers within files.  Just remember that when you're referencing a file, you need to use the whole name including the extension, otherwise the app will assume it's a marker.

If you want to link to something on the internet, you can do it with regular html code.  Use the formula <a href="the-address-of-whatever-you're-linking-to.html">the text you want as the link</a>.  When someone clicks the link in the story, it will open with their browser.  You can also embed images in pages with html style code: <img src="nameoftheimagefile.jpg">.  The app currently supports most standard types of images, such as .jpg, .gif, .png, etc. but we will need some code modifications to the app so they always display properly. For now we would recommend only using very small images that won't need to be resized, or skipping them altogether.

List of common tags:
<a href="______"></a>
<img src="_____">

We hope that you'll enjoy using these more sophisticated options to create stories just the way you like!  As always, if you are proud of your work and would like to share it with the world, send us a zipped copy of the story folder at [submissions at sudomakemeanapp dot com].  If we like it too, we'll include it bundled in the next version of the app!


  1. I love this app, is there any chance of implementing variables any time soon? I would love to be able to store variables and have the user enter data, If it was possible to have an inventory and stats as(text based RPG) that would be amazing.

  2. Can you please let us use our name in the Story? I wanna use my name :(

  3. Can you please let us use our name in the Story? I wanna use my name :(

  4. Can you please let us use our name in the Story? I wanna use my name :(

  5. Hmm... Is it possible to implement stat counters too? I mean... It's just a suggestion...