Dark grue gamebook creator
|title:||Dark grue gamebook creator|
|developer:||Jeremy Kaldobsky also known as Aprone|
|last edit by:||Dark|
The Darkgrue gamebook creator is not a game as such, but rather is a highly useful tool intended to help creators of the choice based, interactive stories more commonly known as gamebooks.
A gamebook is of course, a story devided into various sections where the player is required to make a choice over how the story progresses and what his/her character does by turning to different sections of text (often rolling dice along the way).
Of course, as anyone who's played some of the gamebook genre catagory items on this site will know, gamebooks these days are more commonly written as a series of html pages with links to choose the actions.
The business of writing gamebooks can however be rather tortuous, mostly because the author needs to keep on top of what page links to what section. For instance, if a player chooses tunnel 1 or tunnel 2, and gets to room 1 or room 2 with a door linking the two rooms together, and possibly the chance to take the unexplored tunnel back to their starting place, this means a hole tangled mess of sections to keep track of. this however is where the Darkgrue program can help.
Outputting either to sapi or in fairly understandable text (hit tab to turn sapi on and off), the darkgrue program gives a map to the complexbusiness of creating sections and the choices that link them together. So beginning at the start, the program will announce the name of the first section. The author presses pluss to create a choice which will lead to the next section and gives the choice a name (such as take tunnel A), then repeats for any further choices in that section, for instance further tunnels to walk down. Up and down arrows will cycle through the choices, and pressing right arrow on one will take you to the section it links to while left will take you to the previous section. Thus, choices are like bridges while sections are like islands linked by those bridges.
In each section, the gamebook author can hit ctrl enter to open a plane text file to write the description (with any html code they want, though returns will be shown as blank lines), and any choices they create in that section will be shown as links with whatever name the author gave the choices in the first place, so from that first section, if the author created a choice called "take tunnel A" in the html file of the first section will be a link called "take tunnel A" which leads (surprisingly), to the next page. .
this probably sounds more complex than it actually is, and the system is really quite intuitive, especially when review keys for sapi, and extra textual information are taken into account.
The program has some other functions, for instance, hitting back space will name a section, and the author can choose whether to have these names displayed as titles of the html pages, or just keep them as private notes. Choices can also be coppied and pasted with ctrl c or v, to create switch backs, ---- for instance if you want a later section to link back to the "take tunnel A" choice, which means even complex story structures can be very easily navigated in the program. Ctrl S will also create that most common and most dreaded choice in any gamebook, ---- go back to start (usually after suffering quite a sticky end first).
The program is entirely free, and will very nicely create a set of linked html pages, perfect for telling whatever sort of gamebook story the author has in mind to share, from a complex dungeon adventure, to a science fiction or horror story, or even a political intreague or romance (all is possible with simple linked choices), so this is perfect for anyone who's ever wanted to write a gamebook, but been daunted by the problem of structuring it and all the complex tangles of working out what choice goes where and so hopefully we'll see a good few gamebooks made with this program in future.
the program is entirely, utterly and completely free, but should you wish to show your appreciation via a donation, there is a button to do so on aprone's webpage.
Oh, and if your wondering if the darkgrue name has anything to do with some random nutter called Dark and his slight obsession with a certain darkness dwelling evil monster from the dreaded dungeons of the Zorkian empire, ---- well you can go on wondering sinse wondering is always good for the brain!
Further information about Aprones games can be found The audio archive site
Updates: entry 25 Jan 17 and description 25 Jan 17