Inklewriter: Choose/Create Your Own Adventure
“Inklewriter is a free tool designed to allow anyone to write and publish interactive stories. It’s perfect for writers who want to try out interactivity, but also for teachers and students looking to mix computer skills and creative writing.”
The inklewriter gives you a chance to compose as you play, stretching the story with decisions, and after that connecting those stories back together once more. It monitors which ways you’ve completed, which still should be composed. There’s no set-up, no programming, no drawing outlines. Simply begin written work and see where it takes you.
It’s really quite simple. Begin writing your story rather than dealing with conspiracy diagrams or dialogue trees. When you reach a decision point, you have to click on the “add option” and enter the appropriate text. You can view your story in read mode, as read by readers, or by selecting options while reading. You can access the tools while writing and designing your story in writing mode. You can write paragraphs of text, add options to the bottom of the text, “rewind” the text to write the story’s new branches, join the story breaks, and add images. Click the “Content” option at the top right for a complete list of paragraphs and links to your story; Click on any paragraph in the list to jump to it, or call your story using the search box. “Map” allows you to visualize your story graphically in flow chart style. For more complex stories, you can add logical conditions that follow your stories, and you can show a reader with different options and textures, depending on the values being viewed.
“As a non-linear writing tool, it’s about creating flow-diagrams without creating flow-diagrams, it’s about turning player decisions into narrative, and creating cause-and-effect. It’s about thinking in a non-linear way without worrying about naming your variables or learning to script. It’s about no-setup, no-fuss, make, test and share of stories.” says one of the developer of Inkwriter. Furthermore; Lev Manovich stated that “A book or a magazine is a solid object consisting of separate pages; actions include going from page to page linearly, marking individual pages, and using the table of contents. In the case of cinema, its physical interface is the particular architectural arrangement of the movie theater; its metaphor, a window opening up into a virtual 3-D space.” According to this statement I believe creating/choosing your own adventure via this particular writing application, user can break linear narrative style and create his/her own 3-D space.
Another innovative aspect of Inklewriter other than presenting an easy interface of writing tool is it is highly demanded by teachers for their educational purposes. “We chose to make a tool for writers because, you know, writers write well. That meant no learning curve, no programming, and no requirement to hold a map in your head of how the story branches. And I think we’ve been successful – Inklewriter is being used in schools with kids as young as 8 and 9.” says the developer Ingold. Inklewriter has benn awarded by American Association of School Librarians 2013’s Best Web Site for Learning and Teaching for Digital Storytelling award of the year.
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Last but not least; Inklewriter is a strong tool for roughing out and testing interactive content and according to the website inklewriter is already being used by several projects, including Stoic Studio’s The Banner Saga which “is an epic role-playing game inspired by Viking legend. Hand-painted landscapes portray a world eerily suspended in perpetual twilight. Cities and towns begin to crumble into chaos. Heroes abandon their hearths and homes to traverse the snowy countryside, gaining allies along the way to help battle a strange, new threat.”
The ability to easily manage narrative branches can lend Inklewriter a good use by other game developers who plan for the story before it flourishes. “That’s the kind of thing I want it to be — a sort of ‘WordPad for interactive fiction. Simple, but useful.” says Ingold.
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Overall; Inklewriter, when you start playing, breaks down the story with options and then brings it back together. It keeps track of the paths you are finishing and the paths that still need to be written. No installation, no programming, no drawing diagram – so there is nothing between you and your blank page. And it is free to use. And once you have written, you can share your stories with the person you want.