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  1. #1
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    i've got no idea what i'm doing.

    Long story short, I'm currently trying to code what is essentially an interactive choose-your-own-ending online novel, with a few extra features. In it I want readers to be able to make decisions that change the outcome of the story, offer different dialogue interactions with other characters, and eventually lead to different endings. I also want to be able to set up a point system for the characters in the story, sort of like a game, IE: doing things they like earns the player character points in affinity, or friendship, etc. So, when someone is reading it, they'll make decisions that effect how many points they have with certain characters, which will effect the choices available to them in later chapters of the story.

    That's the basic concept of what I'm trying to accomplish. I have a large amount of the story itself written, but now I'm looking to figure out how to code it. I have a fairly good understanding of CSS and HTML but unfortunately my experience stops there. I've spent about the last 3 hours on w3schools staring at tutorials for javascript, sql, and php, but not really understanding A) which one I needed to use to accomplish what I wanted (or if the answer is all three) or b) how it works to any degree.

    So that's what I'm here to ask: Which one of these do I need to develop an understanding of in order to accomplish something like this? Any suggestions on which I should learn first, or where to start?

    Certainly willing to go into more detail on what I'm trying to do.

  2. #2
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    I should have mentioned that I already have a webhosting platform that allows javascript, php, and sql.

  3. #3
    Master Coder sunfighter's Avatar
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    You are going to need all of the above, but if you want software that makes these things easier a program called QUEST comes to mind: Quest - Write text adventure games and interactive stories. There probably a number of free programs like this out there.
    Evolution - The non-random survival of random variants.
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    Lepidotzoro (Apr 14th, 2019)

  5. #4
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    This sounds very much like the early adventure games, so that would probably be a good place to start looking for ideas and pitfalls, here is one such guide which will hopefully give you some ideas on how to set things up, I haven't read it all, but Tim Hartnell knows his Balrog from a levitation spell. I'm sure a good rummage will show more sites that can help.

    To answer the question, what / which and in what order IMO:

    PHP first, so long as you do understand HTML and CSS, this will allow you to deliver the multi-part dynamic story line.

    SQL may make it easier for you.

    Client side JavaScript last and has the least-most importance IMO, however, once you have your basics up and running, you may be able to enhance the user interaction with JavaScript for people who have it enabled - don't exclude people who don't or can't use JavaScript; also if you are cynical or paranoid, it would probably be easier for someone to cheat if you use JavaScript.

    PHP and SQL act server side, the PHP will allow you to create the logic and keep score for the characters in your play, SQL can be used to keep the scores, story boards and track of all the characters.

    It would probably be easier to update using a database, and it will be largely down to you how easy that would be while learning. The key thing is to get your logic and data (story and interactions of it) sorted.

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    Lepidotzoro (Apr 14th, 2019)

  7. #5
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    Thanks so much! I'll check out the link! Even just this informAtion is extremely helpful, so thanks again wha. I did wonder if Java would have been purely for aesthetic purposes, but I'll probably look into it and I'll be sure to offer a version that doesn't require it. I do have a database and I've been looking into how to use it. Just knowing that my focus should be on php in order to achieve this is again, a huge help!!

    And to sunfighter, I've actually already attempted to use a program called Twine for this purpose, but in the end it just wasn't what I wanted, and I wanted more control over the project.


 

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