Launch of Interactive Story

Over the last few months many new features have been added to the Interactive Story App:-

Google Translate support: Have your interactive story or text adventure read in over 90 different languages.

Text to speech support: Now your browser can read your story to you. The number of voices, languages and availability is browser dependent.

Simple/generic responses can now be grouped to items and objects.

Random outcomes to actions.

Story editor comments: Text enclosed by parentheses {} in any scene, event, outcome, item or object description will only be displayed in the story editor.

Interactive Map: The story reader now auto generates a map as you play the text adventure. The map generator can optionally take cues from your story text by using the words north, south, southeast etc. in your action or outcome descriptions. You can also use the new editor comments feature to give the directions. For example the outcome to ‘go stairs’ could be ‘You apprehensively walk down the stairs {north} into the basement.’

The Interactive features of the map are available in both the reader and the editor. You can click on any map node for a current scene description. The map can also be used to conveniently navigate through your interactive world. In the editor you can use the map to quickly find and edit another scene.

A short story using the new mapping feature can be found here.
(Click on the [Menu] button to configure the map size and enable text to speech)

Click here for the full list of updates.

I like this system very much, it is great for mobile gaming as it is not dependent on a keyboard.
Coming from graphical adventure games, the interface makes a lot of sense to me (SCUMM-like verb selections)
I especially like the new auto-mapping feature, from my other posts in this forum I guess you can understand why :slight_smile:
Great job!, hoping to see more stories added.

I will try this again-I like the concept and was trying to wrap my head around how to write for it.

When I read your post for zorkmid (which is pretty cool btw) it felt like I was reading my own thoughts when designing the mapping for IS - great minds think alike :slight_smile:

The authoring environment will literally prompt you along at each step of the writing process. Think in terms of scene description, action, outcome, new scene description. The editor will automatically create a new event or scene based on your narrative and will automatically group actions to each event within a scene. Once you have written a few outcomes, the story structure should begin to reveal itself through this automatic grouping.

I can guess the answer, but surely no one will be surprised by my asking…

Is it possible to save a finished (presumably non-collaborative, at least not until it’s completed) story which I can, say, transfer to another device and play offline?

Interactive Story is a browser based app (Javascript) and can be run entirely offline. You need only be online to access the public library or the support forum.

There are two ways you can continue editing on another computer:

  1. Publish to the IS Library (requires an IS account).
    In the story editor select ‘More options…’ and then select ‘Save this story’. Click on the ‘Publish’ button. Make the story ‘private’ if you do not want other people to see your work in progress. Click on the ‘Publish Story’ button. This will upload your story to the IS Library.
    To retrieve your story on another device, log into IS and select ‘Browse the library’ from the main menu. In the Genre list select ‘My Published Stories’. Select the title you want to edit. Click on the ‘Retrieve’ button. This will download the story to your device and allow you to open it in the story editor (at which point you can go offline).

  2. Export and Import the raw story data.
    In the story editor select ‘More options…’ and then select ‘Save this story’. Update the story details and click on the ‘Export’ button. This will display the raw story data which you can copy and paste to a text editor and then save as a file onto a flash drive, mobile device, etc.
    You can import the raw story data by starting Interactive Story and selecting ‘Write a story’ and then selecting ‘Import’. Paste the raw story data and select ‘Import Story’. Export/import can be done entirely offline.

It’s a pretty exciting time for web apps. There is a growing number of technologies that allow you to deploy as a standalone app to a large variety of devices and operating systems. This is something I definitely want to do with IS.

Sorry, that went over my head. Could you explain again, bearing in mind that I have no interest in making/editing but have tons of interest in playing - exclusively?

The short answer is YES you can play offline, the whole story file is downloaded into your device when you fetch it from the library.

But to fetch it I need an internet connection in the first place, which I may want in my desktop but not in my non-desktop device.

…ok, let me rephrase it. Let’s say I want to download and play, offline, the stories YAL and The Brass Lamp. How do I do that? Do I need to download the “web app”, and if so how/where do I? How do I download the actual stories? So that I can store them, offline, and pass them among my devices offline as need be. Is all/any of this possible?

Sorry, my replies have been author-centric. Getting the authoring system right is a priority at the moment. The answer from a readers point of view is Yes and No. When publishing, the author has the option to allow the reader full access to the story data.

Currently, as a reader, you can save/load a story, but you need to do it through the editor via the process I described earlier. In a future version of IS, as a reader, you will be able save and load the story as a file directly to/from your device (provided the author enables this option) with a single click of a button. All bookmarks and your current progress in the story will also be saved. I plan to have IS run as a standalone app on all popular operating systems (currently there is an Android version only).

That answers my question sufficiently. :slight_smile: Many thanks! It does look like a great system, especially suited for mobile devices, so I’ll be on the lookout as it develops… and I’ll start downloading (and collecting!) stories as soon as that becomes a player-centric possibility. Cheers!