Looking for feedback on Celestory: a new branching story tool

Hi everyone!

As a big interactive story fan (I came from CYOA to narrative videogames like Heavy Rain or Life is Strange), I used Twine a lot (which is fantastic!).

But as I wanted to share my passion for interactive story-telling, I realised that some solution where missing for those who want to quickly create an app.

So I decided to work hard on Celestory which you can try here: https://www.celestory.io/gaming

:video_game: Code-free branching story tool to create narrative game, bot, interactive book & movie
:trident: Instant multigraphs visualization, which can share ressources & design
:jigsaw: Simple blocks to create the logic and variables (boolean, number and string)
:family_woman_woman_boy: Collaborative sharing (visibility, comment, editing)
:iphone: App generation on PC/mobile/Web/PWA (offline multi device installation )
:bar_chart: Behavior analytics and players statistics
:electric_plug: Data connection with more than +3000 apps (gmail, gsheet…)
:books: Ready to go examples and +1500 graphic assets

You can look at the tutorials here: http://help.celestory.io/en/

I’m looking for feedback as I’m continuously improving it. Feel free to let me know what projects you would like to create, or what features you would like :slight_smile:

Finally, let me know if you would like to help me on the development or on the word to mouth, it would be wonderful.

Today, our users are authors, game/narrative deisgners and teachers.

Thanks a lot for your passion and happy to share with you all :slight_smile:

Stay safe !

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My usual questions (I perused some site info but didn’t do a diligent search!)

  • Is it for mobile/app only, or can games be developed and played on desktop systems?
  • Is it a closed system? Is content generated and housed on a website, or can games be distributed separately, say by exporting an HTML file and not be monetized? Could I submit a game created with Celestory to a competition?
  • Does the player have to download a specific framework to run games?

EDIT - I found the page where it appears Celestory can be used for free but to export requires subscription.
Is there an example that doesn’t require registration? I’ll sign up of course if I decide to dive deeper, but was just looking for a quick overview of what it looks like.

Found videos:

TL;DW: Looks like a really nice system and an alternate for quasi-VN type experiences and other types of guided tutorial creation for mid-level professional devs who buy in.

Hi Hanon !

  • List item It can generate apps on desktop too (windows, mac os, linux)

  • List item It is open as you can export your games everywhere (store, website…) and sold, especially with Progressive Web App (HTML5 app that can be installed offline on many os by clicking on a link). Sure, competition is also encouraged.

  • List item No framework required to play the games, as they are natively playable like the HTML5 format.

  • List item You can export, monetize your game for free on our own marketplace. Unlimited external export and monetization requires indeed a premium plan.

  • List item I’m working on examples without sign-in (as example can be copied and edited, now you have to be connected)

Thanks a lot :slight_smile:

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Sounds good. It appears that limited story creation can be done for free, but a player would also need to sign up for an account. I ran into this as a problem when I entered a comp with a StoryNexus game and got a lot of friction that people didn’t want to provide account details to play a “free” game - I understand the business model though.

The player does’nt have to sign up to play a mobile/desktop game if it is exported for those platform. But sign up for free accounts is required, especially to help educators to limit their creation to a limited audience, like their class :slight_smile:

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IMO, you should also have a desktop app for creating games. Just throw something together with Electron or NWjs or something, but make sure it doesn’t require connecting to the server either.

This is just my opinion, but there have been so many web-only server-hosted creation engines shut down lately that there’s no way I would try to use one now, especially if I was planning to make money off it. Someone reports a bug and I have to explain to them that the creation engine doesn’t exist anymore because the web site shut down? No thanks.

I’m not trying to sound rude, but this is definitely a strike against the product that you should consider. Otherwise, it looks pretty cool.

Thanks @tayruh :slightly_smiling_face:

We tried the desktop app in beta:

  • you don’t know how many people has difficulties to install an app, especially on macos
  • development support is multiplied by how many os you are supporting, and we couldn’t afford it
  • experience between users is too different for good support
  • mixing offline desktop with online saving and collaboration is insanely hard
  • Some people use now tablet with mouse instead of a desktop

Those are the reasons we went on the cloud. And having premium is definitely the best way to guarantee a longer support :slight_smile:

Let me know your feedback if you try it :wink:

I see. I thought the experience with Electron across the different OSes was fairly universal, but maybe it depends on how reliant on the file system you are. I’ve only ever used it for windows applications, so I guess I don’t have enough experience with the cross platform difficulties.

But I can see that this is a catch 22 situation. If you had enough premium users, you could probably afford to invest in a real desktop app. But without a desktop app, you probably have less of a chance of drawing in premium users. That’s a tough situation.

Anyway, I wish you luck. Hopefully you gain enough users to make something like that possible in the future.