Reactions on the JavaScript story engine: doing it

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In two days we got:

I asked a related question on Gamedev Q&A on how to name our “thing” which also got some interesting reactions: Clarification on the “game engine” notion needed .

So this is enough positive feedback (Gamamoto is not yet a very well known site), so indeed we are going to produce and release the game engine.

What the game engine is

A first note on what we are about to release: this is a set of JavaScript files which you can publish and run in any web application that contain:

- a set of JavaScript classes and functions that define the framework for writing game stories: player, NPCs, scenes, frames, dialogs and animations

- a set of JavaScript classes and functions that make game stories run

- a set of web pages that allow to run the story step by step in emulator mode

- an example story (a JavaScript file) that you can run

- support for creating a real game running on the story skeleton

The fact that you are writing the story directly in JavaScript gives you the full expressive power of a complete programing language, so that you can keep together and test

- narrative structure,

- game environment state

- player state

- NPC’s state

and removes the need of translating (and keeping in sync!) model and real game. Moreover you can use for the modeling and testing part the same tools (e.g. JavaScript/HTML editors) that you use in the real game. Of course you could even use this as a first layer of a game that is not in the end a browser game.

License and supporting the project

Our plan is to release the game engine and examples under MIT license so everyone can use it also in commercial projects for free. We may write some kind of paid e-book with illustration of the theory behind it so to get some support for continued development of the project, and maybe activate also a “donate” possibility.


8 Comments on “Reactions on the JavaScript story engine: doing it”

  1. Andrew Rabon says:

    Yay, it’s getting released! And yay, MIT license!

    So will it be parsing JSON files for the data? How flexible is the engine itself? I’m working on a game with the Akihabara library, could I just plug it into that without much hacking? I don’t need this for my current project but I know I will for my next one.

    • Data can be read from any source which is JavaScript – readable, so of course first of all JSON. This is a game-story engine, not an animation or complete game engine – we’ll see for integrations when we released the first version.

  2. In terms of where you release it, I would recommend using github – it has a very active community and would make an excellent home for your code. It’s pretty much the de facto standard for source code hosting now.

    • Jordi Fita says:

      Yes, it is iif you use git. Otherwise bitbucket, launchpad, sourceforge, berlios, etc… are also excellent candidates. It is a matter of preference, really (and, lately, some trend following sheepness…)

  3. Morgan Craft says:

    Just saw all of this and look forward to the release of the story engine.

    Please use github, the community and support on github is AMAZING.

  4. sirleto says:

    i am one of the two (positive) answers on indiegamer forum.

    to me this sounds quite interesting, but i do not develop games in javascript. so my main interest would be in writing, fast testing, designing and developing a storyline in a tool (i.e. on a selfwritten website, using javascript and your engine). and then of course using the data files, but with a non javascript (self written) engine. (i.e. c or c++ or java)

    how difficult do you think will that be?
    i would expect a game engine could be easier to write than your full framework, as your framework will need to tollerate errors (i.e. bring error messages), which is time intensive to develop.
    while a game engine that is running files that have been tested with a tool written ontop/arround your engine, could be more “stupid” and less error tollerant.

    do you think that is possible?
    do you think its reasonable to write a new engine for a non javascript game?
    or would you expect its better to find an javascript interpreter that runs in another language (c or c++ or java) ?

    thanks for any reply,
    daniel / sirleto

    • I believe that using Storymoto as a prototyping tool is a very good idea, also because it will be immediate to share the prototype on the web, and very easy to develop in stages.

      You ask then: what to do with the obtained story files? I don’t have a clear cut answer. What I can tell you is that the natural and most practical usage of a Storymoto game is as a base for a web based game, as for example something that may be non trivial to translate is keeping the state on say NPC characters, which is trivial in a web context. But probably the best thing is to give it a try with a simple model. Just have to find the time to prepare it…


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