Tara explains: Letting the reader customise/name characters & creating/remembering typed in choices


#1

Author: Tara Star (TaraStar on the Forums, tarastarofficial on Instagram).

NB: This article contains some tricky concepts. Take your time to read it slowly, and feel free to comment any questions you may have below. Hope it helps!

Hi everyone! So, I’m going to explain everything you need to know about letting the reader customise and name their character, as well as all the stuff about typed in choices and remembering them between episodes. This stuff can be daunting, so take your time as I explain (fairly) slowly…!

  1. Firstly, create a character called YOU in the characters section of your story.
  2. Now go on to episode 1, click “Script templates” and choose either Avatar - female or Avatar - male.
  3. Assign the character YOU to this script template, then insert it.

Now, if you expand the coding and scroll to the top, you should see near the top some coding that looks like this:

label first_name_input

input What’s Your First Name?|What’s Your First Name?|Done(FIRSTNAME)

if (FIRSTNAME is “”) {

NARRATOR
You do need a name…

goto first_name_input

} else {
continue
}

So far, we’ve covered creating, customising and naming a character. But how do we get the input name to appear at the top of the speech box? And how can other characters say this name? Easy! Above, we can see that the reader’s input name is called (FIRSTNAME) as it’s referred to in the code. So, we need to go onto the character settings for the character YOU, and you should see a box that says display name. In that box, we write FIRSTNAME and now the entered name should appear as the display a name. One problem sorted!

Now, if you have multiple customisable characters, each time you insert a script template you’ll need to change the code so it looks a bit different for every character, for example you’ve created a second character called BROTHER, assigned him to the script template then see this familiar code again:

label first_name_input2

input What’s Your First Name?|What’s Your First Name?|Done(FIRSTNAME2)

if (FIRSTNAME2 is “”) {

NARRATOR
You do need a name…

goto first_name_input2

} else {
continue
}

But wait, you say! I’ve changed the code! I have indeed - I’ve given this choice a different label and I’ve called the character BROTHER’s new name that the reader entered FIRSTNAME2. This way, the names won’t get all muddled, and in the character settings for the character BROTHER, you just need to write in the display name box FIRSTNAME2 for the name to appear.
Now, how can other characters say each other’s names? Here’s how:

YOU (talk_greet)
Hi [FIRSTNAME2]!

BROTHER (talk_greet)
Hey, [FIRSTNAME]!

In the coding above, if we’ve done all of the previous steps, then on screen we should see the character YOU that the reader customised, with the correct display name that they entered, and they’ll be doing the talk_greet animation. The speech they’ll be saying would be “Hi” followed by the name of the second character BROTHER that the reader chose and an exclamation mark. Then, the character BROTHER with his new display name that the reader entered will be saying “Hey” back, followed by, you guessed it - the character YOU’s new name. Cool, right?

Wow, okay! Let’s do a quick recap of the important stuff.

  1. The character we want the reader to customise, we need to assign to a script template called Avatar - Male or Avatar - Female.
  2. For each customisable character, we need to edit the name code slightly.
  3. If the coding looks like this:

label first_name_input

input What’s Your First Name?|What’s Your First Name?|Done(FIRSTNAME)

if (FIRSTNAME is “”) {

NARR
You do need a name…

goto first_name_input

} else {
continue
}

…then the display name box in the character settings should have FIRSTNAME written in, and to refer to the character, you need to use [FIRSTNAME] in your coding.

Hopefully, that explains everything! A quick handy tip, though - you can adapt the name input code to let the reader enter other choices! For example:

label foodinput

input What’s Your Favourite Meal?|What’s Your First Favourite Meal?|Done(MEAL)

if (MEAL is “”) {

NARRATOR
Please enter your favourite meal…

goto foodinput

} else {
continue
}

This would allow the reader to enter their favourite meal! The you could do:

MUM (talk_greet)
Hello, sweetie! I’ve made [MEAL], your favourite!

This would make the character Mum say that she’s made whatever meal the reader entered - cool, huh? Also, typed-in choices are automatically remembered over episodes. Yes, you heard that right!

But wait, I hear you say. You say that you’ve used the food code above in episode 1 but in episode 3 when you write [MEAL] in the code then MEAL comes onscreen? Or, you’ve used the name code just as I explained but in episode 2 when you write [FIRSTNAME] the FIRSTNAME just comes on screen?

Well, fear not! The reason you’re seeing that is all to do with our design view as authors when we test out stories. How to solve it? Restart the story, then play through episode 1 when you entered your favourite meal or your name. Skip to episode 3, and you should see where you’ve put [MEAL] or [FIRSTNAME] the meal or name you entered in episode 1 appears. You’re welcome.

So, I hope that explains everything and helps you all! Feel free to message me (directly via the Forums, or on Instagram at tarastarofficial) or comment below if you have more questions. If this has helped you, I’d appreciate it if you could like this post, and share it so other authors can see it. Thanks everyone! xx


#2

Thanks girl, this was really helpful!!! :heart:


#3

Can you customise them to look Korean like the Kpop band EXO


#4

OMG It’s so hard!!! i wanted to do a tribute to bts for their anniversary but ughhhh


#5

Ikr I feel your pain literally


#6

Closing due to one month of inactivity :slight_smile:


#7