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StoryHarp Kurtz-Fernhout Software
Developers of custom software and educational simulations.
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StoryHarp & Java

Top twelve tips for authoring audioventures

If you read nothing else, read these tips.

  1. Start with what StoryHarp does easily and go from there. Dont try to do too many complicated arrangements until you get the hang of using contexts, commands, replies and moves. You may be surprised how easily you can put together a large number of simple rules into a very complex adventure.

  2. Remember to make new rules; don't type over old ones by accident.

  3. Try not to have too many commands available at once no more than ten or twenty and try not to use commands that sound very much alike. Having too many commands and having commands that sound alike both reduce recognition accuracy.

  4. When you are starting out, you should spend most of your time looking at the table. Later when you understand more, the map and browser will be more useful to you.

  5. Create contexts with the new contexts wizard and link them with the new moves wizard. Avoid making sequences with the new commands wizard until you have some experience using requirements and changes.

  6. You can drag and drop from the browser left hand side or the map to any field in the rule editor panel except the reply field.

  7. You can enter only lower case for contexts, moves, requirements, commands, and changes.

  8. The player window and world editor window maintain separate undo lists with multiple levels of undo. Nearly everything you can do is undoable.

  9. If it looks like you have somehow lost some editing work, try looking in the change log for snippets of text you entered.

  10. Don't overuse riddles; try multiple choice instead.

  11. Focus on writing a good story with good descriptions and meaningful messages.

  12. Use sounds to give themes to characters and places, and use music to set a mood.

See also:

Essential definitions

Examining one rule in detail

A simple example audioventure

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Updated: March 10, 1999. Questions/comments on site to
Copyright © 1998, 1999 Paul D. Fernhout & Cynthia F. Kurtz.