looking for a development system

A quick question: I and my husband are looking for an authoring system for interactive fiction. The interactive stories we will create will be mobile-optimized and based on interacting with the story text via textual input so that the plot changes according to the player’s actions, resulting in a kind of interactive novel. I have experience in Visual Basic and my husband is fluent in C++. We are going to develop our stories on a PC with the Windows 10 OS, but we’d like them to be playable on mobile devices. What development system would you recommend?

Regards Marie and Roman

I’m currently looking for content collaborators for a new authoring system targeting mobiles. I’m planning to implement my own system rather than use one of the existing offerings.

The main reason for a new system is that i don’t see the existing ones working too well on mobiles. Also someone pointed out yarn which looks interesting.

From your question, it’s not clear whether you intend to build your own system or plan to extend an existing one. For any existing one, you’ll have a porting problem which might be a headache.

I do my mobile development in xcode (for iOS) and android studio.

For my project, I’m not planning on games with text input. This is because on mobiles the virtual keyboard takes up too much screen space and somewhat disrupts the user experience. Although i guess you could have some kind of hybrid system with icons or predictive text, maybe.

A lot of people like to use web based approaches. In this direction, you might checkout cordova. I haven’t used this however, so i can’t give the pros and cons. There’s also appcelerator, sencha touch & iconicframework in that direction.

hope that helps.

I recommend ChoiceScript if you’re writing long-form (novella to novel length) interactive fiction. It’s the best well-known system for longform works, and it’s mobile compatible. (If you want to publish as an app, you will need to go through the Choice of Games company, but if you put it on the web, people can easily play on mobile via the browser.)

My sense is there’s a significant unfamiliarity with Interactive Fiction, which is problematic is choosing a platform (of which there many).

My recommendation is to play IF games from parser-based platforms (look on ifdb.tads.org), choice-based platforms (see Choice of Games), web games (Twine), and get familiar with the medium before proceeding.

Deciding to implement interactive stories is not trivial, but there is a great deal of excellent material to help you understand the process.

Text input is a little difficult on mobile, but you can use Inform and Frotz (on android with zcode) or iFrotz (on iOS with glulx) as an interpreter.

See the game Hadean Lands for an example of a freestanding implementation of an Inform game in it’s own wrapper interpreter that can be distributed via mobile.

CVanEseltine’s suggestion of ChoiceScript is also excellent, but it is a choice-based system with integrated variables and stats and ideal for phone reading and longer “novel” like texts.