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I am searching for a tool that will help in writing a game script. By "script" I mean the text core of a storyboard - without the drawing drafts, which may or may not be there (yet).

What I'm thinking of will let write a piece of text of the script, define a simplified workflow from that step, and then define the text of next steps, and so on.

Searching online, I found Inform http://inform7.com/ ("A Design System for Interactive Fiction Based on Natural Language") which in theory is exactly what I am searching for, but trying to use it it has this model of a space (a dungeon, a library) where you are picking up objects and exploring them. In my case I am designing more a Sims like game, the flow is entirely different.

Considering non specific software, mind mapping tools miss the linearity of the process. What I am writing is a directed graph - simply a work-flow, but the way I want to design it is more text based than work-flow based.

SO what I'm doing now is using a text editor, which I'll transform directly in code.

Any suggestions?

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3 Answers 3

I googled 'directed graph software', but most of them seemed to work from C++ or Java, and not exactly what you wanted, which I'm taking is a script/storyboard tool for a non-programmer.

Graphiz seems like it would work well with what you want:

The Graphviz layout programs take descriptions of graphs in a simple text language, and make diagrams in several useful formats such as images and SVG for web pages, Postscript for inclusion in PDF or other documents; or display in an interactive graph browser. (Graphviz also supports GXL, an XML dialect.)

You could still write your scripts into text files (use the nicest processor you can find, Notepad++ maybe?) and then export them into a format you and any future co-workers would be able to digest and scan easily.

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Yes, Though I am a programmer, I would like to avoid programming languages when at scripting level. Thank you for the pointer. I was hoping for something more specialized, and as I am a complete novice in game development, I thought I was missing something obvious for experts. –  Pietro Polsinelli Dec 8 '10 at 20:32

It looks like Celtx might be lean more towards what you are looking for. Free media preproduction suite that focuses on script writing, storyboarding, etc... I used it for one of my game script writing classes a while back and was pretty happy with the workflow and results.

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Yes - thank you a lot. I have been playing with it for a while, a bit perplex on the user interface and conception, but this is the kind of thing I am looking for. –  Pietro Polsinelli Dec 10 '10 at 16:18
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Sorry for the late and self-answer, but I found a tool that fits perfectly the original description (in particular: "What I'm thinking of will let write a piece of text of the script, define a simplified workflow from that step, and then define the text of next steps, and so on." and being not just focused on exploration) as it is centered mainly on dialogue between characters (also allows exploration): its called Chat Mapper.

Unfortunately it runs only on windows systems, but is not too hard to use and quite complete:

http://www.chat-mapper.com/

The installer is a bit bugged, if after installation it doesn't start, check out the forum, you may need to update a DLL.

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