Creating a Universal Open-source Game Writing Tool – The Narrative Design Exploratorium™

Creating a Universal Open-source Game Writing Tool

Cetlx LogoAs elected co-leads of the IGDA WSIG Tools Initiative Ron Toland and I are happy to announce the forging of a partnership between our special interest group and open-source writing toolmaker Celtx. Celtx was first point out by Tools Initiative facilitator Corvus Elrod and he was right, Celtx is exactly the partner we need to create this potentially wall shattering tool. As AAA titles grow in magnitude having standardization in the tools used for our industry is of dire importance. Game writing increasingly affects all parts of game design, from help text to NPC dialog and beyond. Game writing tools and systems tend to remain proprietary, and subsequently leads designer and writer alike to reinvent the wheel for every title. Seeing this as a barrier to entry for talent, developers, and publishers alike, the International Game Developers Associations Writers Special Interest Group has created the Tools Initiative to forge the creation of an Universal Open-Source Game Writing Tool. Based on the free open-source writing tool Celtx, the tool will be free and modular.
Our development schedule has just been fixed and
we are
hoping to have a working tool ready for release by Q109 (read spring
2009). Creating such a tool naturally has its challenges, as such the
first thing we did was to create a simple list of goals:

1. To serve all members
of the IGDA Writers SIG equally in their needs as game writers.
2. To create an IGDA Writers SIG Recommended/Approved scriptwriting
3. To forge a partnership that understands the needs of game writers.

Built as an extension of the existing Celtx tool set, our primary
feature set includes:

1. Database Driven
2. Customizable Sorting Functions
3. Customizable Input Styles
4. Extensible and Modular
5. Version Control Software Sync
6. Branching Dialog
7. Custom Metadata tags

These are not selected arbitrarily, but where voted upon once I drafted
the first design document. I am happy to say that everyone in the WSIG
seemed to agree that this tool will be a vital part of their
development in the near future, thanks to Corvus Elrod‘s anonymous
voting system (better than the Feds). Standardization is of
vital importance, and we cannot allow the disparate tool sets available
to be a barrier for creativity anymore. The best part about it is the
is that it will be able to plug into any development pipeline and
should gracefully connect to any proprietary software used to develop a
game. It is the hope of the WSIG that this tool will help us all create
caliber, more fiscal  gamestory experiences.

For more information, please visit the Celtx and WSIG sites:

Remember everyone, really, everyone, is invited to join us at the
IGDA and the WSIG Tools Initiative for contributing to the creation of
exciting new game writing tool!

0 TrackBacks

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Creating a Universal Open-source Game Writing Tool.

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Leave a comment

The Narrative Design Exploratorium

↑ Grab this Headline Animator


The Narrative Design Exploratorium proudly serves readers in more than 70 countries!

Recent Works

A brief demo reel.

About this NDE Article

This page contains a single article by Stephen E. Dinehart published on August 21, 2008 4:20 PM.

Screenplays for video games was the previous entry in this blog.

Masters of Narrative Design™ 4: Louis Castle is the next entry in this blog.

Welcome to the Narrative Design Exploratorium. Please feel free to browse and comment.

Author Stephen E. Dinehart is a producer, designer, writer, and artist. You can find out more about him on his self-titled website.

Find recent articles on the main index or look in the archives to find all articles.

Copyright Conditions


Technorati search

» Blogs that link here

Add to Technorati Favorites
View Technorati “blog authority”