Varytale

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Varytale was a platform for authoring and publishing browser-based CYOA, created by Ian Millington and Alexis Kennedy; it occupied a point somewhere between Undum and StoryNexus.

The Varytale website was live from approximately 2011 to 2015. The first posts on Varytale's blog appeared in June 2011. On March 7, 2014, Varytale posted a comment on the Varytale Facebook page saying, "The project is stalled, due to key people leaving the project. So there's no news, and I'm not sure if or when there will be." The last Wayback Machine snapshot of www.varytale.com/books was taken in September 2015.

Features

  • Rather than a tree-shaped structure, Varytale games are (by default) primarily quality-based. Each storylet becomes available to the player based not on their immediately previous action, but on stored qualities. (Within an individual storylet, choices are more likely to be made in a more conventional branching CYOA manner.)
    • Because of this, Varytale works tend to be divided into scenes or vignettes, rather than describing continuous action.
  • Attractive, browser-native layout.
  • Form-based editing, and simple state-tracking and logic.
  • Varytale games can only be published via the Varytale site.
    • Play analytics and user comments on individual storylets are gathered for authors.
    • Works are awarded different cover styles depending on their popularity.

Links

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TODO: How does Varytale differ from other CYOA authoring systems?