My friends and I were talking about an adventure game. There will be a surplus of possibilities in the game and the player can pick from this wide variety of choices at each stage to do something. There will be consequences for each decision and that may or may not end the story.

The result would be somthing like this:

this picture from flashforward series (picture from flashforward series S01E17)

If any of you watched heroes season 1 there is also similar time lines represented as strings in isaac mandez workshop. Sorry for bad quality examples but right now I can't think of any better one.

Do you know any website or application which we can use to create the timeline?

These features are required:

  • The ability to represent events as boxes.
  • The ability to connect distant events to each other.
  • The ability to move events on a scene freely
  • The ability to expand the scene easily
  • There should be some color options for the lines representing connections between events
  • Easily sharing the idea with one another
  • It's much more better to have a WYSIWYG editor
  • Easily explore in the large scene of events

In the end if you know any application which could let me create a board just like the one in my sample picture and please share it

  • \$\begingroup\$ so far the best i could think of are microsft visio and powerpoint: but they both lack the sharing ability I'm seeking in such a sotware. and for the powerpoint, it get's really slow when working with very large work area. \$\endgroup\$ – Ali1S232 Jun 21 '11 at 15:24

CmapTools was used to create this image, which is a visualization of a Choose Your Own Adventure book. This might fit your needs, even though it's not specialized for story-writing.

enter image description here

The full size image is available here.

The author of the image has some things to say about it and has some other recommendations:

In addition to CMapTools, which has an invaluable “auto-arrange” feature, there are other tools you might want to try. Bubbl.us allows you to make maps of this sort online. You can try Powerpoint or Visio...

(read more here)

Disclaimer: I haven't used it myself

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    \$\begingroup\$ Looks good, CYOA FTW! \$\endgroup\$ – Jonathan Connell Jun 21 '11 at 16:16

Any kind of diagramming/graphing tool should be able to handle this. OmniGraffle on the Mac is an excellent choice -- options on Windows include Visio, Dia or the drawing program that comes with OpenOffice (maybe, not ever used it).

As far as I know there are no real dedicated storyboarding software that supports egregious branching like that. There are programs like Scrivener (Mac, Windows) that can be used to organize story concepts and flow, but they don't generally bother with a graph view because it is a limited practical utility.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Scrivener looks quite good actually! The problem with GNU projects is that they generally have bad interfaces, which can be a huge prolem for this kind of work. \$\endgroup\$ – Jonathan Connell Jun 21 '11 at 15:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ Scrivener is wonderful to use, although it's a bit of Swiss Army Knife type of tool -- you sort of need to figure out how to make it work for you. Agree on the GNU point, but the price is usually right. I can't stand them from a usability or ideological perspective, though, so I don't use them. \$\endgroup\$ – user1430 Jun 21 '11 at 15:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ am I wrong or Scrivener is just a tool just like LATEX? it seems to me it's something gui to generate tex files. \$\endgroup\$ – Ali1S232 Jun 21 '11 at 15:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ You are quite wrong. Read the features page and look at the screenshots. It's a tool for organizing writing -- outling, storyboarding, note-taking, research, the actual writing itself. \$\endgroup\$ – user1430 Jun 21 '11 at 16:12

You could use StarUML, it's not strictly speaking for this kind of useage, but you could create quite easily any sort of diagram you want.

Microsoft Visio is also a good piece of software, if you're a Student check with your campus you may be ably to get it free, otherwise you have to pay.

I also found a forum thread (are we allowed to post to other forums?) that had a few free links to specific storyboarding software :



Indeed it seems you need to search for film creation tools to get anything like what you want. When will people learn Games aren't Films? :P

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    \$\begingroup\$ @3nicios: there is one big difference from what i want to create to a film :a film has one linear story it may be captured from viewpoint different people but always there is one story line moveing staight forward. but i want to create many story lines which may collied to each other and the player can choose which one to follow, there is no restriction as the main story since all the stories are the ones that can be followed to reach to some destination points not similar to each other as different endings. \$\endgroup\$ – Ali1S232 Jun 21 '11 at 15:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Gajet Yeah I understand completely; that was my point! Only that it's hard to find software for this 'outside' of what the film industry brings. I implemented a Javascript/XML Gamebook which pretty much follows the same branching narrative that you want to produce. \$\endgroup\$ – Jonathan Connell Jun 21 '11 at 15:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ I mean both links you provided after edit are good for a movie story line and do not have any features of multiple story branches. \$\endgroup\$ – Ali1S232 Jun 21 '11 at 15:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Gajet Okidoki, sorry about that then. Any luck with the other liks Josh or I posted? \$\endgroup\$ – Jonathan Connell Jun 21 '11 at 15:44

I've found one other online graph tool named grapholite. it's based on silverlight. It's easy to use and has a very easy to use sharing system (just like the one google docs provide). I think I'm going with this one.


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