Join Our Game Jam In An Hour With The Help Of Story Synth
from the easy-peasy dept
Randy Lubin is a game designer who partners with Techdirt and The Copia Institute on many of our game-related projects, including our public domain game jam. He’s also the developer of Story Synth, a free and easy to use platform for building narrative games. Story Synth makes it easy for even inexperienced designers to quickly build a game, so it’s a perfect way to get involved in the jam. We invited Randy to share some details on how the platform works and what you can do with it.
We?re in the middle of our fourth annual public domain game jam: Gaming Like It?s 1926. If you?re thinking about designing a game, Story Synth is a free platform on which you can design a browser based game in under an hour, with no technical skill or prior experience needed. In this post, I?ll give a quick overview of what Story Synth is and how to design a game with it.
With Story Synth, you can design prompt-driven storytelling games by authoring the content in a Google Sheet and then uploading the sheet at storysynth.org. The platform then automatically builds your game, complete with a homepage for your game that you can share online. The platform has live multiplayer: players in the same session will see the same prompts at the same time.
Story Synth supports a wide variety of formats inspired by tabletop RPGs such as The Quiet Year and For the Queen. Other formats enable players to generate collections of random prompts and to explore a map of hexagons. You also have plenty of options to customize your game, from tweaking the visual appearance to adding on extensions such as dice rollers, editable lists, shared journals, and more. You can learn more about all of this in the Story Synth guide, or the video tour.
You can get started with your design by copying a template Google Sheet. You can grab a link for the format you want at the Story Synth Formats page. Once you make a copy, start editing and adding prompts in the numbered rows. When you?re ready to upload your game, set the Sheet to publicly viewable and then paste the sheet URL in the Story Synth homepage and the site will build your game. Once your game is built, you can launch a new session and test it out; when you refresh the page, Story Synth reloads the content from your Google Sheet; that means that you can keep editing your sheet and immediately testing the changes.
If you?re making a game for the Gaming Like It?s 1926 jam, then you can create an Itch.io page that links to your game on Story Synth and then submit it to the jam. Here are more detailed instructions for publishing Story Synth games on Itch.
For inspiration on works entering the public domain, check out Duke University?s overview. To get a sense of what Story Synth games are like, try playing fantasy travel game Around the Realm and Seven Samurai inspired Clash at Ikara, or browse the gallery for more options.
If you have any questions, feel free to drop by the Story Synth Discord.