Creators' Tools Discussion

[color=#009900]We’ve opened the creators tools to the advance beta-testers, and made this thread available[/color]
[color=#009900]- to answer questions[/color]
[color=#009900]- as the initial port of call for bug reports[/color]
[color=#009900]- so advance creators can look for playtesters for their worlds.[/color]
[color=#009900]Welcome all![/color]
[color=#009900][Note: we’ll be deleting posts about resolved issues, to keep the thread light.][/color]
edited by Alexis Kennedy on 7/27/2012

Using these tools has been a lot of fun, if a bit trial and error. I want to say thank you guys for making this system and giving us this chance to create our own stories.
I have noticed that whenever I try to delete a branch on a story, I get an error message instead. And I can’t see a way to delete an entire story.

Also, I’d love a question mark icon.

A magnifying glass would also be useful, as would a scroll of paper, cogs, a metal ship door, demonic teeth, a view of stars, a robed figure…

How do you delete “qualities required” from a story of branch when it’s not correct? Thanks!

Don’t delete a branch or storylet that’s ever been played (including by you in playtesting). The database tracks all branch plays, and gets upset when some of its fields start disappearing. If you don’t need a branch any more, give it an Impossible! min 1 requirement and make the branch hidden when the requirement fails. That way, nobody will ever see it. If you’re retiring a storylet, it’s best to create a tag and an area for content that’s no longer used (the one we use for Fallen London is called Way Down in the Hole), assign the content to those, and don’t provide a way for characters to ever get there.

You select the quality, and then remove any numbers in the boxes for Min, Max and Difficulty (including zeroes). That should remove it. We’ve noticed a bug that did happen where you’d need to refresh the page before the quality would be removed. Do tell us if you see that happening.

To add another query to my growing list…

I want to recreate the effect of menaces peaking in my StoryNexus game. i.e. Wounds reaching a certain level then you being taken to another area.

How do I recreate this without setting a requirement on every storylet and opportunity of “Wounds under X” and then having a storylet that only appears at Wounds X?

I just want to say this this is a great system and I am very excited to see what people make with it. On that note, can we share our world urls in this thread when we feel ready? It’d be great to get feedback & see other people’s work so far.

Will there be a way to modify the Create a Character if, er, they’re stepping into the role of an existing character (like Name Ths Game, maybe) or should I start thinking up a meta level to my idea?

[color=#009900]a Stranger: I’ve fixed this. I’m not sure how it happened - we’ll keep an eye out.[/color]
[color=#009900]Branch requirements: If you manually select the icon in the dropdown, it works - it’s just clicking on the quality text to populate the dropdown that’s broken. We’ll fix, but select manually for now.[/color]
[color=#009900]‘new Status…can’t add it’: Can you go into a bit more detail, Ytd?[/color]
[color=#009900]Menaces: We do this in FL with a storylet that appears in all areas when the Menace hits a certain threshold; forces a move to a fail state; and (the secret sauce) is a Must storylet, i.e. the engine picks it for you whether you like it or not. That last bit of secret sauce isn’t active in StoryNexus quite yet, but for playtesting you can still create the fail states and entry / exit storylets.[/color]
[color=#009900]Sharing world urls: absolutely! In fact, we encourage it.[/color]

[color=#009900]Modify Create a Character: Yes, there will. Take a look at the stuff on personas here: [/color]

Wonderful! For all those who are interested, feel free to check out my work so far at

I’ve yet to implement any of the plots or menace areas (so death is currently impossible), but background options are live and there’s a smattering of opp cards you can play, along with items to collect and spend!

I’d welcome any and all feedback, from typos/missing text, bugged stories etc, general quality.

Will we get a comprehensive guide to each individual option on the Worlds and Qualities screens? For example:

  • CATEGORY under Worlding: what impact does each category have?
  • ORDER under Worlding: how is this best used? And what is the Message box?
  • LEVEL AND CHANGE DESCRIPTIONS are not well-covered in the guide, and while I think there was an “insert current level here” special character for use with this option, I can’t seem to find it in the guide…

And so on. This might be a good place for a screenshot of each tool with numbered areas of interest and a couple short sentences for each number to follow.

Can we delete Qualities which have never been used?

How do we delete Storylets which have never been played? (I cloned one to see what would happen, now it’s sitting there untidy and accusing.)

How do we manually alter characters’ Qualities? I need my PlayTestBot to be perpetually terrible and unlearning.


The answers to most of your questions are in the reference document, which is admittedly quite big. But if you’ve looked at that document and you can’t find something you need, please tell us so we can add it.

CATEGORY and ORDER aren’t under Worlding as far as I can see. If you mean Category under qualitying, that’s which category the quality is in. This is mainly used to differentiate how different qualities are displayed. Have a look at the reference doc for the details, but a good start is to use Story for status qualities and Curiosity for Thing qualities.

Order in Storying is used to order the storylets’ appearance in both the storying ui and the game. So, if you give a bunch of storylets orders of 1, 2, 3 in that box, they’ll appear in that order in both the storylet ui and the game.

What problems are you having with QLDs and QCDs? I’d like to help out if the document isn’t clear.

The ‘insert special character’ - I think you’re talking about [q:Quality Name] string. That’s explained in chapter 6 of the reference document.

Can you delete qualities - not at the moment. I’d suggest changing them to REPURPOSE or REUSE or something and recycling them when you next need a quality.

Deleting storylets that haven’t been played - actually, you can’t delete storylets at all. Reuse/recycle them or shove them into an abandonment area.

Manually altering qualities - that’s the Debug functionality. Click on ‘Debug’ on the orange bar at the top of the screen.


The gendered pronoun is a use of the [q:Quality Name] string. You’ll need to set up a quality with pronouns. For Cabinet Noir, we used the Addressed as quality, with levels of Sir, Madam and Si… Mad… Yes.

Not sure if this is the best place to say this, but looking at the registration screen it would appear that there is no confirmation for email address, or password. I believe I managed to mispell one or both of those trying to register for Calico Jack’s adventure.

Whenever I try to fiddle with my Notoriety menace stat in debug, I just get an error screen instead. The rest of it is working fine. My world is called Heroic. Also is there/will there be an option to hard reset a character to deafult? I think it’d be useful for people testplaying their games when they’re in the early stages.

There’s not much we can do about that right now, I’m afraid. I’ll talk to the tech department on Monday.

That could be the system having a problem with two qualities in different worlds having the same name. Or not. We’ll have to have a look at it on Monday.
Resetting a character to default: You might want a toolbox storylet - something with Key of Dreams as a requirement that you can use for playtesting, and that has a [GAME_END_EFFECT] branch on it, so you can just zap a playtest character as you need.

[color=#009900]Urthdigger: there is a confirmation email link. If you’ve registered with the wrong email addy, you can reregister with the right one. But nb - if you already have an email login from Fallen London, you can just use this.

CalicoJack: as Goatdance suggests, it’s a name duplication issue. If you temporarily change the name of Notoriety, all will be well (you can change it back once this is fixed.)[/color]

[quote=Alexis Kennedy][color=#009900]Urthdigger: there is a confirmation email link. If you’ve registered with the wrong email addy, you can reregister with the right one. But nb - if you already have an email login from Fallen London, you can just use this.

CalicoJack: as Goatdance suggests, it’s a name duplication issue. If you temporarily change the name of Notoriety, all will be well (you can change it back once this is fixed.)[/color][/quote]

Well, one reason why I ask is it also asks for a username, which it doesn’t allow duplicates of. So, it could be possible to lock yourself out of using the username you want.


Thanks for the quick reply! Very helpful – the reference document is a lot to grapple with. A few follow-ups:

  • CATEGORY is certainly under Storying. It contains options such as Unspecialised, QuesticleStart/Step/End, Ambition, etc. The reference document doesn’t seem to discuss this.

  • Re: ORDER in Storying: how does the UI determine the set of Storylets to draw from? That is: is Order restricted to Setting, to Area, etc., or does it apply for the entire world? (Example in case that wasn’t clear: in my Peanut Butter Sandwich game, I have three storylets that occur in the order they’re listed – Find Bread, Spread Peanut Butter, Assemble Sandwich. The first storylet happens at the Tesco Area. The second and third storylets happen at the My Kitchen area. If I Order those storylets 1, 2, and 3 respectively, will storylets 2 and 3 not fire in My Kitchen until I’ve first completed storylet 1 at Tesco?)

  • Regarding QCDs, I’m trying to figure these out and neither of the listed strings for displaying the Quality’s current level seem to work. Specifically, I’ve tried the following, neither of which seem to work:

  • “Far, Far From Home has become [q:Far, Far From Home].”
  • “Far, Far From Home has become [level].”
  • I can’t seem to get rid of A Stranger on characters, even though it’s set to 0 and even though my initial Storylet outputs that the relevant character has lost the ‘A Stranger’ Quality.

No worries, Gordon, it’s what we’re here for.

Category - aha, enlightenment dawns. That’s a holdover from Fallen London. There, it was for making storylets a different colour or giving them borders. That functionality isn’t in StoryNexus yet, so please leave that alone. It won’t do anything useful.

Order - it’s the order of things that are currently displayed. So, if you have a chain of events that only play one after each other, with only one appearing at a time, the order counter won’t do anything. It’s only when you have a bunch of Always cards that appear at the same time that the order counter does anything - all the ‘1’ order storylets will appear first in the list, then all the ‘2’ order storylets and so on. It’s not a huge part of the functionality - it’s actually more useful in the storying UI, to make storylets appear in some sort of sensible order.

QCDs - I’m not sure that the [q:quality name] string works in QCDs. I’ll have a proper check of that tomorrow. But if all you’re doing is ‘Quality X has become Y’ - the standard change messages do that, and there’s no need to use QCDs.

Getting rid of A Stranger - that’s a known bug. Qualities that are set to zero should disappear. They currently don’t - they hang around at zero. The tech department is working on it.