Comic Editor Reference
This is a collection of reference material that explains how to use the Comic Editor to tell stories.
(Related links: Check out the Writer's Guide for a more top-level view of crafting stories. If you're wondering about tags, check the Tag Reference. If you want your text to look a certain way, check Text Styles)
Make a New Event
- Open up Scratchpad
- go to the Content and Comics Editor
- Click on the Effects tab at the top or press Control+2
- Click the New... Button or press Control+N
- Select the type of event you are creating, for example Arrive at Hostile Site or Mission Victory.
- Enter your name if it's not there already. (The game remembers who wrote each event, and we may make this info visible to players. If you don't want to be associated with your events, or a particular one, we can work that out.)
- Enter "a" for the event name (in plain english, with spaces) for the event. The tool will create an ID and Filename automatically.
- Edit the id and filename if you want.
- Press Create!
Event now exists! Maybe save?
Read this first: Story Inputs and Outputs
General Advice: Use the STUB fields to document intent, and leave notes about what SHOULD happen, especially if you don't know how to do something. It's totally fine to STUB out complicated effects or fiddly details that you're not sure how to handle. That's what programmers are for after all, right?
You CAN edit all this stuff, if you want to, but it's not necessarily recommended. If you're tempted, you can search for other effects that use the functionality you're interested in, and see if you can just do the same thing.
Now that you have an event, it's time to add targets for the important people, which is generally the heroes. The easy and right way to do this is to press the New Story Role button, which can be found on the same row as the targets header. You will need to mouse-over targets and the buttons will show up on the right. The New Story Role Dialog will pop up:
There's a lot here, but let's just look at the first dropdown box. Expand that down and you'll get a list of possible roles for this new target. The easiest and most common thing to do is to pick a personality stat, like greedy. This will automatically populate the dialog so that the greediest hero will be picked for this role, which is almost what you want, right?
But the point of all this mess is to help you select the most appropriate hero for a particular story role. In the end it all boils down to a Score Function, which you can see by playing around with the controls and seeing how it changes.
A few other notes:
- If a Required Role is not present, the story won't happen. This is usually what you want. This way you can be sure that if the story is being told at all, the right characters are in place. Sometimes you have a role that's not too important, and you can make it optional.
- The Not Already Matched As checkbox is actually disabled if this is your first story role, but for number two and on, it makes sure that this person isn't the same person you selected for a previous role, because then it might seem like they were arguing with themselves, which is only sometimes what you want.
- Remember, targets are selected in order, and by the time you get to number three or four, it's unlikely that the Romantic is really an iconic romantic, so put your most important/iconic/identifiable roles first.
Create as many roles as you need. Usually that means one per speaking role, and remember there are never more than 5 heroes in a party, but there can be more than that in the company. So, it depends what kind of story you're telling.
In addition to Story Roles, you can create other targets. One useful template is LEGEND, which allows you to pick NPCs that have been generated at the start of the game, and/or maybe if we get around to it, pulled from the player's legacy. Use the legendId field to specify who you want.
TODO explain more.
Some events call for choices. In this case, there's generally a prompt, which is a set of comic panels, and then a choice, which is several panels, some of which might only be present under certain circumstances. Anyway to add a choice, do this:
- expand targets->choiceTarget...
- See options right after "prompt".
- Click on the New Option button
- to bring up the New Option Dialog
This lets you pick a tag (which is not too important except that the outcome will use the same tag). Then you can pick who will be speaking, and you can make the choice optional, so that if that character is not present, the choice won't show. Then you can choose if you want to add any branching, like a dice roll with a chance of multiple outcomes. Most commonly you will pick "simple" or "event roll."
TODO more explain.
Specify what should happen as a result of choices, or chance.
Details on how to do this can be found on the Outcomes page.
Use the STUB field as a place to write down what should happen without touching the code.
We need to add more functionality here, like, probably a lot. For now it is STUB City.
Comic Editor Basics
- Each box on the left holds text for a different section of the story: a prompt, a choice, or an outcome.
- Press the save button!
- Undo should work, but sometimes need to press it more than once.
Using Tags to Control Text
See : Tag Reference
Each event can specify a number of targets, which are often heroes, selected for a particular personality, relationship, etc.. These targets are assigned to roles. Roles are easy-to-remember words like leader, target, hero, hothead, friend, etc..
Once you have a target assigned to the role, you can insert the target into your text using a role tag like this.
<leader> takes a long, appraising look at <hothead>. <leader.mf:He/She> wipes a fleck of bluish ooze off <leader.mf:his/her> nose.
This is a simple example but we can get a lot more sophisticated, and tags can be nested as well. The status bar at the bottom will tell you where the cursor is within a tag or nested tag. It's super handy for complex splits!
One of the key uses of tags is to give heroes different lines depending on their personalities. This works by embedding the stats you care about in the tag.
<leader.goofball/bookish: Surprise everyone! It's fightin' time! /Ahem. Our foes appear to have arrived.>
Tags can do a lot more! For a full list of available tags see : Tag Reference.
See: Text Styles
Text in a comic panel gets a style automatically depending on if the TextBox is set up as narration, speech, thought, etc.. The Style can be modified using square brackets. Generally, text-style markup is similar to html markup, in that you have a starting and ending tag, BUT! our style format doesn't require the end tag to have anything in it.
It looks like this:
[bold]bold text [italic]Bold italic textbold again regular again.
TODO add some pictures of styled text here
You can set the size, color, and font of the text. See Main article on Text Styles for a full list of available fonts, styles, and colors.
See: Face Tags
[face:sad] [hero.face:dubious] [loner.face:talking]
Sets the facial expression from text, overriding what the tool says. This is useful inside text splits, so you can tweak a panel without having to build a whole panel split.
TODO document all the buttons!