These days life can get a bit hectic.
If, like me, you run a popular
vanity agile publishing house built using your father’s money, you’ve probably found yourself ina situation just like my friend Ted did recently. Maybe Ted is you or maybe Ted is a friend or relative or arch-nemesis, but I think we all can sympathise with Ted’s predicament.
You see, Ted, like many publisher’s today, found himself having to pull a book from Amazon because rogue squirrels hidden among the lower ranks OBJECTED to his book on the spurious grounds that his book cover was a
clear rip-off humorous parody of another book.
What to do! Even the most nimble of publishing houses may take nearly a day to slap some stock images together and think of a new fake name author. And let me tell you, a day is 23 hours and 55 minutes TOO LONG in this cut throat, cat-eat-cat world we live in.
That’s why our scientists at Felapton Towers have
borrowed the idea from the pulpomizer come up with a wholly novel new web application.
The Corrodiser allows you, yes YOU, to create your own amazing new cover
after waiting several minutes for the bloody thing to load in a matter of moments!
Available right here: https://camestrosfelapton.neocities.org/hype/covermaker.html
The Corrodiser will make you NIMBLE and LOOK GREAT!
Timothy the Talking Cat
Chief Editor and CEO
PPS Please direct all complaints to the bozo who made it. No, he doesn’t know how you can’t but your own text in. The guys is an idiot. I only keep him round because he changes the litter tray.
A recent piece at File 770 pointed to this SFWA blog article on interactive fiction using the authoring tool Twine. Intrigued, I downloaded it and went off on small wild tangents with the resulting output here: https://camestrosfelapton.neocities.org/Bortsworth%20Quest.html
The software doesn’t present you with much: a simple screen with limited menu options. However, this really encourages you to jump straight in, start a story and start typing.
Even a relatively short story will generate a complex web of interconnected passages.
But you can easily reposition the passages on screen and the connecting arrows follow fairly neatly. Although I did note some passages that do have connections didn’t always show them if they were connected to a passage with lots of other connections.
You can zoom out as well.
I can see this being handy for sketching out a network of relationships – shame there is no graphical export for these views.
Authoring passages is fairly simple. There are some different markup/code systems available but I just used the default (Harlowe 1.2.3) and haven’t tried the others.
Start with a passage title. These are used to reference the passages. You can create a complex story just with links between passages that are formatted as:
[[some text to display -> Name of Passage]]
General formatting (bold, italic etc) is via a mark-up system – which is a bit old school but which wasn’t onerous.
There is also a set of commands you can add. The documentation here was a bit stuck between two stools – some of it pitched for people not used to coding and then some of it just sort of assumes you are already familiar.
It’s easy to attach conditional statements to a bunch of text and so you can fairly quickly make your passages display text conditionally based on where somebody has been or just on random numbers.
The finished story can be exported as HTML and can then be hosted on a website.
No bells or whistles in terms of using the program but easy to start and then build in more interactions as you go.
Timothy, as the new chair of Bortsworth Chamber of Commerce Tourism committee, asked me to put together his new interactive tourist guide. It shows all the sites of this historic town, which was lovingly rebuilt in 1955.
Story by Timothy, coding by yours truly and typos by squirrels.