Kindle publishing options for CYOA type books?

I’m wanting to look into writing CYOA type IF that can be in Kindle format for my classroom (we’re getting some tablets). Can someone point out some easy to use software? I’d like to be able to embed some graphics. Variables and if\then would be great but not necessary. Thanks for any suggestions!

Undum, Twine, and Ramus produce HTML / Javascript.

Undum is my favorite, but generally involves working pretty directly with Javascript.

Twine and Ramus have been described as more newbie-friendly.

I can vouch for Twine being nice and easy to learn, it takes about 10 minutes to know it inside out and there’s some really neat feautures thanks to the HTML-ness. But does a normal Kindle (as in non-fire) display web pages? I don’t know, as I haven’t got one.

I’m so freakin’ jealous of these kids! We had NOTHING like this! Keep up the good work.

A regular Kindle can display HTML files - but only static HTML, no Javascript. Which means Twine, Ramus, Undum, etc. will not work.

Inklewriter can produce games that work in any browser, and can also export to kindle ebook format.

It’s all probably the most user friendly - no code required. But I would say that.

writer.inklestudios.com

Jon

Thanks for all the great info and comments! I did see the inkle (which I really like) does Kindle but charges for the conversion. Can I have graphics embedded with the inkle conversion?

Since I might one day end up selling what I make, I might go that route. I just see CYOA type books on Kindle already so I figured folks must be using something.

I found Inklewriter completely unusable - probably because the animations (bringing a section in from offscreen, etc.) take 10-20 seconds each in my browser, and there doesn’t seem to be a way to disable them… (Yes, I need a new machine…)

Your “export to Kindle” process uses the Perl script I saw mentioned on your blog, correct? The one that plays every possible choice so it produces a huge static HTML file that doesn’t use any Javascript? (Your blog mentions that the file compresses really well when converted to Kindle).

It’s built from the bones of that script, yeah, although it’s got quite a lot smarter since the early days (it takes about a minute to run now, rather than overnight…!) The final output is the same though - it produces and compresses a large HTML file with no JS.

Generally, in games which use only a few counters, the file size is pretty tiny, though. For a really complex story like The Intercept, the final file is 1Mb - that has about 600 paragraphs, twenty or thirty true/false flags, some loops and a couple of counters.

cheers
jon

So with the Inkle conversion would it be possible to 1) embed pictures 2) instead of paragraphs, full pages of text like a CYOA?
If so, can you offer any insight on the character count for a page on a Kindle so when writing it comes out a little better.

  1. yes.

  2. um, sure, but I don’t think I understand the question - you write what you write, and it comes out on the page.

You can’t really control how many pages a Kindle page takes up, though, as the user can change the font-size!

cheers
jon

I guess I’m having trouble wrapping my head around it, since I don’t use a kindle. I’m used to books having a layout, where an image might take up a whole page. When you convert, how does it know where to place the picture? Does it get it’s own page, shrink it to fit? Thanks for putting up with the silly questions!

You should download the Kindle program for your desktop OS and give it a try. That will give you an appreciation for how it will work.

Thanks for the suggestion. I actually tried that tonight but not finding a book with pictures. I’ll go ahead and grab a CYOA. I just wasn’t sure since I figured the translation from inkle would handle it a certain way.

Been reading on the KDP site. I wasn’t really understanding how the sections got separated, but from what I read I guess it’s through page breaks. I like to tinker to see how things work! Although it seems much easier to use inkle than the methods they describe, since I would have no idea how to do conditions and such. Thanks for offering the service!