choose your own adventure software
January 8, 2011 7:56 PM   Subscribe

My son is making a "choose your own adventure" style website dealing with the Cuban missile crisis for his junior high history fair. Is there any free software that would make creating the story with multiple branches easier to do, that exports into html?
posted by mecran01 to Education (14 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
It seems like a wiki would do a good job here. It allows you to easily create new pages, fill them with text, and link to them. That is all you are really looking to do, right?

Further, MS word actually has table of contents/hotlink/bookmark-esque feature that could let you do this on _not_ a website. I don't know what the nature of the assignment is, but this might also fit the bill.

Either way, I think you would be better served to make it in its native environment and keep it there rather than building it in one place and trying to export it into something else.
posted by milqman at 8:12 PM on January 8, 2011

I've never used it myself, but I think this is exactly what Twine is for.
posted by seikleja at 8:28 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]

I discovered this site recently, and it has a few sample "multiple choice" style games, but also it has tools available to create one's own games online... perhaps it would work for your son!
posted by newfers at 8:32 PM on January 8, 2011

You could use the trial version of Axure, which could be used easily to do this.
posted by drewgillson at 10:41 PM on January 8, 2011

I think the simplest way to do it might be to use a Google Form (usually used for survey creation). You can have each scenario be a multiple choice question, and then depending on which path the player chooses, they can be sent to a different page (scenario) of the CYOA.
posted by shabaabk at 11:09 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]

Twine seems like a good bet. I've also seen Powerpoint (with links to different pages) used to create a similar choose-your-own-adventure scenario. Powerpoint will output to a PDF, not sure if it will go to HTML for you.
posted by harriet vane at 11:47 PM on January 8, 2011

You can output powerpoint to flash with iSpring Free, which is how I'd probably approach something like this.

Or given milqman's point about how doing it in html might be better, perhaps some mind-mapping to keep track of the story while creating it in html?
posted by Coobeastie at 2:25 AM on January 9, 2011

You could use Inform 7 and the Adventure Room extension, which is specifically designed for this task. The resulting game can be exported as a website and played in a browser. For an idea of how easy it is to create something in Inform 7, this is compilable code:

The Oval Office is a room. There is a desk here. There is a telephone on the desk. There is a flip chart here. There are photographs on the flip chart. McGeorge Bundy is here. He is wearing a grey suit, and holding a pointer. West is the Private Study. North west is The West Wing. North east is the Secretary's Office. East is the Rose Garden. North is In Front of the Fireplace. South is The View South. The description of The Oval Office is "Your office. You wish Bundy wasn't in it, that his damned U2 photographs weren't in it, that you'd known about this yesterday, instead of hearing it third hand from an intern to McNamara's senior aide."

Of course, for a CYOA piece you own't need to use most of that - just the room (which is effectively the numbered paragraph in a book) and the options (which serve as directions to other 'rooms'), but it gives you an idea of Inform's enormous power.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 2:49 AM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

I came here to recommend choiceScript (which ChoiceofGames uses), but it looks like Twine might be an even better choice. It does a great job of minimizing the programming-type features, which is pretty much essential if he's new to it all - CYOA books are always *much* bigger than you think they'll be, so that'll help insure that it gets finished!
posted by piato at 3:28 AM on January 9, 2011

I don't think it would be incredibly difficult for your jr. high age kid to make a website entirely out of HTML using hyperlinks to link the "choose your own" pages together. I used a plain text editor and an ftp client but I think a WYSIWYG editor could do the job just as well.

Even though my website are terrible now that I look at them, I felt that learning how to use html was very empowering. I had the ability to create something out of nothing.
posted by p1nkdaisy at 6:26 AM on January 9, 2011

Seconding Google form as the easiest way to do it - no coding - but the coding/logical part could be a great skill to learn. FYI, there are national tech standards now. Your kiddo's idea is creative and can really help him develop some interesting and useful skills to keep building.
posted by adorap0621 at 9:19 AM on January 9, 2011

milqman  I think you would be better served to make it in its native environment and keep it there rather than building it in one place and trying to export it into something else.

Seconding this. In the long run it usually simplifies editing, especially the repeated nitpick revisions everyone does during the finishing stages of a project. It also keeps the internal structure of a project more transparent in the situation that you need to come back to it later and revise it for another use, or want to use it as a template for a new project.

I really just came in here to say that it'd be pretty cool to see the eventual result of your son's project if he posts it somewhere public.
posted by hat at 2:17 PM on January 9, 2011

Response by poster: Oooh, sorry for not responding sooner, I forgot that I had submitted this question! I will post a link to my son's project when it is finished. I'm tempted to swoop in and "help" but I think I'd better let him do as much by himself as he can.

The students are required to host their sites at Weebly, but I think Iframe can be used to pull in an external site.
posted by mecran01 at 12:29 PM on January 13, 2011

Response by poster: Here is a link to his finished project: Cuban Missile Crisis

And here is an early pic of his outlining process:

He did ok in the local exhibit and is going to the state history fair soon. Oh, and it is a collaborative project with a classmate. Both of them are fourteen.
posted by mecran01 at 1:22 PM on April 15, 2011 [2 favorites]

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