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CSIDE Integrated Tutorial - Testers Wanted

CSIDE (the ChoiceScript Integrated Development Environment) is a new, free, community-driven application for developing long-form, multiple-choice Interactive Fiction (or, more succinctly, Interactive Novels) using the ChoiceScript scripting language.

Many of these games go on to be published (as Web, iOS, Android & even Steam apps) by Choice of Games LLC, the creators of ChoiceScript—either directly or under their Hosted Games label—and can in fact earn quite substantial royalties for their authors. 'Choice Games' are one of the most popular, growing and commercially-successful forms of traditional (CYOA-style) IF on the market today, with new releases enjoyed by tens of thousands of players every month.

While ChoiceScript has occasionally proven difficult for some budding new writers to learn, especially non-programmers struggling with the scripting side of things, the community team behind the CSIDE project aims to change all that. More than three years in development / beta testing and only recently released to the public, CSIDE's design draws on a wealth of experience to remove every possible hardship or chore from writing and coding with ChoiceScript, leaving only the fun, creative bits for you.

In addition to a host of useful features and functions, also included within CSIDE is a detailed, step-by-step Interactive Tutorial—Learning Basic ChoiceScript—designed to help you progress at your own pace as well as introduce you to the basic workings of CSIDE itself. This tutorial is especially aimed at newcomers in general and non-programmers in particular, and has itself been written by a non-programmer. Using ChoiceScript, of all things. :)

As the actual author of this Tutorial—and a long-time CSIDE beta tester and design contributor—I need your help! Now that CSIDE has finally been released to a grateful, ChoiceScript-writing audience, I am seeking a few kind souls from outside our core community to provide genuine "newcomer" feedback and in doing so enable me to tweak and refine our Interactive Tutorial, to make absolutely sure it actually does the job it's intended to do.

Ideally I'm looking for a few writers / game developers who are passionate about creating great IF but have never before tried ChoiceScript, perhaps have never even heard of it, and most especially any who may have actually tried it in the past but found that "old way" of doing things just too tedious, unhelpful or downright frustrating to persevere with…

Is that you? Are you genuinely interested in learning to develop with ChoiceScript, whether for a decent sideline 'hobby' income or just for sheer creative fun?

If so, please give it a go and let me know what you think! Any and all feedback would be gratefully received.


Useful Links:

Desktop Downloads (Win & Mac): https://github.com/ChoicescriptIDE/main/releases/tag/v1.0.1

CSIDE Website: https://choicescriptide.github.io/

CSIDE on CoG Forums: https://forum.choiceofgames.com/t/cside-the-choicescript-ide/27622

Independent Viewpoint: http://pyramidifblog.blogspot.com/2017/06/by-cside.html

Choice of Games LLC Website: https://www.choiceofgames.com/

Free WIP Hosting / Games Portal: https://dashingdon.com/

Comments

  • edited July 11
    This certainly casts your conversation with greyelf about choice script in a different light (not necessarily good or bad, mind, just different).
  • edited July 11
    Not sure how I feel about someone advertising a competing set of products and services on the (current) official Twine forums, but I guess that is up to the moderators to decide.
  • @TheMadExile - Heh, possibly. I've put an awful lot of time and effort into both the (27k-word) Interactive Tutorial and my involvement in the CSIDE community project as a whole over the past three years, so yeah, I want to do everything I can to make sure it's up to the task!

    @Chapel - Yep, I can see how it would, on reflection. FWIW that was however just genuine curiosity on my part at that time, with my final sentence in that thread being the root of my excessive curiosity. Having been around the IF hobby—in one form or another—since the early 80s, I've always tried to keep in touch with, and to understand, the various ways it has (and sometimes, or in some ways, has not) evolved and grown.

    @greyelf - They will indeed, and I agree that's entirely their prerogative. All I'm personally interested in is finding a few genuine CS "newcomers" to help me make sure our tutorial does exactly what it's supposed to do, and it seemed to me the best way of perhaps achieving that was to first "sell" the potential benefits of CS and our community-driven application for it, CSIDE (otherwise, why would anyone from here even bother?).

    Just to make it absolutely clear: I am entirely unconnected with CoG themselves, and our free software is both unofficial and unsupported by CoG—beyond having received their permission to actually name it as we have. We're just a bunch of IF enthusiasts who have come together to do something for the benefit of other people just like us, and (as we see it) for the greater good of the IF hobby as a whole. The real "competition" in our view is not other forms of IF, or even other styles of CYOA, but all the other, much more mass-market games out there.

    But as you say, we'll leave it to the moderators here to decide whether or not they want to stamp on community initiatives of this nature. I freely admit, I believe that doing so would go against the very principal upon which Twine itself was built, but we'll know soon enough I'm sure.
  • edited July 12
    All new threads here must be approved by a moderator, so someone decided to let this pass though, so why don't we let that dog lie.

    But as you say, we'll leave it to the moderators here to decide whether or not they want to stamp on community initiatives of this nature.
    What "community initiatives" are we talking about here? I see what CSIDE is getting out of this, and by extension the CS community, however, what is the Twine community getting from this? I also don't buy that this is somehow going to miraculously benefit the IF community as a whole. This seems fairly one-sided.

    Frankly, I find advertising/promoting a, like it or not, competing IF system on the official website of another in poor taste. Let me be clear, I'm not against the advertisement/promotion of CS or CSIDE in general, however, surely you can see the issue with doing so here. Have some couth, man—woman, whatever.
  • I was talking in general terms about the wider IF "community" as a whole, although I do appreciate (and lament the fact) that not everyone sees their particular niche as actually belonging to a greater whole. Granted, this divisive attitude is no less noticeable among, say, the parser-based or CoG community, than it is here—to the detriment of IF as a whole, in my opinion.

    My definition of a "community initiative" is something done for the benefit of other, like-minded, individuals (i.e. regardless of which niche community they may or may not feel they belong to), and not for personal or commercial gain.

    By the same token, I am a determined supporter of the "Other IF" forum category to be found on the CoG forums, where Twine games (among others) do appear, but I could find no such sub-category here so had to stick this in chit-chat. If doing so has caused any offense to particular individuals, I can only apologize.
  • edited July 14
    Let me make perfectly clear upfront that I believe in IF and that we should be attempting to both grow IF and make it better, as a whole.

    Let me also say that I wish CSIDE, CS, and CoG, nothing but the best of luck and success.



    I didn't ask for your definition of community initiatives, I asked what your initiatives were. Specifically, what your initiatives to both the greater IF community and Twine's sub-community were. I suppose I can take the dodge itself as an answer.

    Regardless. Whatever your intentions are/were, promoting tooling which is only useful for one, single IF system on the dedicated website of another smacks of an attempt at cannibalism and I find it difficult to believe that the possibility of such never crossed your mind.

    This is an issue for the same reasons that the mere appearance of various forms of favoritism—e.g. nepotism—are stepped on hard. Actual instances are extremely toxic to the parties involved, so simply the appearance of such tends to provoke vigorous reactions in many cases.

    Your original post was either severely lacking in tact or something entirely less than wholesome is afoot. Add to that the whole "for the greater good of the IF hobby as a whole" malarkey and there's a definite smell here.

    I'm not saying you had/have ill intent—this could simply be a misunderstanding. I am saying, however, that you haven't done yourself any favors to date and, whatever your intentions, learning some tact wouldn't hurt.

    Anyway. I've said more than I wanted to in the first place, so I'm out.
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