Elm Story 0.2.0 released — hello folders


If you've used tools like Twine to build interactive stories, you're familiar with scenes serving as containers for passages. The design is simple. Like turning a page, players move from passage to passage.

Passage components are where the action is. Scenes help the designer relate and manage hundreds and possibly thousands of passages in a game. But how do you organize scenes?

With Elm Story, I hoped to solve this problem through the introduction of Chapters. These components are useful. Chapters organize scenes and represent the top-down outline of story flow. Nice!

Designing Project Katherine to test ES 0.1.3, I find chapters to be frustratingly rigid. I use chapters as locations. I break up these locations into nested locations and NPC scenes. In the future, what about props and other component types?

Better Components

Though chapters solve the original problem by organizing scenes, these components introduce unnecessary, confusing steps and force opinionated, temporal design. Interactive stories contain temporal elements, but games are spatial. Players explore and experience space. Designers require flexibility.

The real solution is to implement a component abstraction that allows for parent-child relationships. All components serve as possible containers. With 0.2.0, the ESG format supports parent-child relationships at game root, folder (replacing chapters) and scene level.


Using the editor, designers may now use the Game Outline to add scenes and folders to the game root, add scenes to folders and nest folders inside folders.

Accommodating this major change, 0.2.0 also introduces migration. This feature automatically upgrades studio game libraries and imported games, starting with 0.1.3.

Roadmap Updates

0.2.0 arrives a little over 100 days after the last release. Due to family issues and move to a different state, I paused development for a brief period. That time has passed and full time development continues.

This week, I will update the roadmap schedule. I'm targeting mid-September to wrap Alpha M2. Stay tuned!

0.2.0 (Alpha M2) Release Notes

Features

  • Organize game components with nesting folders
  • Manage scenes at game root

Enhancements, fixes and etc. 

  • Game Outline Add Chapter button replaced with contextual menu for adding components
  • Studio game library and import features automatically migrate (upgrade) older Elm Story format data to latest version
  • Removing scene or passage after moving to a different parent no longer results in error

Feedback

This is an alpha release and there are bugs. Please report issues you encounter to our subreddit, r/ElmStoryGames.

Support Elm Story

To help this project continue to thrive with full-time, active feature development and updates, well into the future, consider a donation via Itch.io or become a monthly patron.

Files

Elm Story (Alpha M2) — Mac 78 MB
Version 0.2.0 Aug 13, 2021
Elm Story (Alpha M2) — Linux 78 MB
Version 0.2.0 Aug 13, 2021
Elm Story (Alpha M2) — Windows 58 MB
Version 0.2.0 Aug 13, 2021

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