LGC 3.2.2 – a new editor

An unexpected release of LibroGameCreator, mostly due to an unbearable nest of bugs in the old editor component, one of the few freely available for Java.

So two weeks ago I’ve decided to start from scratch. Using some hour of sleep at day, keeping a steady rithm developing at night, I’ve rewrited the editor, changed the icons, and reused only a bit of the original code.

Some tests have been made from writers of the italian community and it seems that old bad habits of LGC editor have been eradicated.

Good writing…

librogame-creator-3.3.2

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LGC 3.3.0 – table of contents, validation and history

Spring release for the interactive book editor, LibroGameCreator, which gains a “minor” version, going from 3.2 to 3.3. There have been numerous changes including the introduction of various features that have long awaited in my hard disk to be completed. To avoid updating the manual this time I will examine in depth every new feature, to clarify its use with lots of colorful images.

Gamebook Validation

It should have been one of the first features, but I used to bang my head several times against the monitor while I decided to revise an old gamebook, Obscura Genesi, to decide to implement it. I derived it in the format from the ebook editor, Sigil, adding some changes to fit the needs of LibroGameCreator.

The validation of the librogame starts from the button in the main bar or from the Book menu.

The button starts the validation, which will reports:

  • empty chapters
  • orphan chapters (without inbound links)
  • widow chapters (without outgoing links and without any kind of information that justifies them, such as the final flag or the deadly flag)
  • paragraphs with links to a non-existent chapters

By clicking on a row of the results table, the editor will move to the paragraph relating to the error.

gamebook-validation

Removing generic entities

Each object parts of the structure of a LGC3 gamebook was originally called Entity. The basic idea was to build a generic and modular database, which support text entities but also abstract entities such as the game hero, opponents, items, each with its own attributes. The hero would have had scores (strength and stamina), weapons abilities. With a suitable parser, like that of the Adventurescape engine, we analyzed the meta text of the chapter, containing the narrative part and the interactive code that was based on the value of the attributes to manipulate it, allow access to otherwise hidden sections, start the fights and so on.

Adventurescape project has remained in the hard disk and no one has picked up the idea, so the Entities have become an annoying and difficult to understand element of LGC3, which I finally decided to hide. In the Preferences menu you will now find the item Show generic entities, which is deactivated by default.

Gamebook Table Of Contents

In this release I’ve added the Sections, parts of text that make up the interactive book, even though it is not really a game chapter. Sections can be created, modified and deleted as chapters and as these are defined by a name (an alphanumeric identifier as “rules”) and by a title (for example “Game Rules”). When exporting the file, priority will be given to the title and only in the absence of this the name will be used.

With the Sections you have the possibility to introduce texts such as the introduction and the epilogue, the rules, the colophon and whatever else, sections that we find in every book.

To decide whether to export them and in what order, there is a new page, dedicated to the structure of the book, accessible from the Book menu.

On the left there is a list of all Sections, including the standard one of the Game Chapters. On the right there is the current TOC of the book, composed by the sections which will be exported. Sections can be moved between the two sets with simply draging & dropping them (you can select more than one using CTRL + mouse click or select all with the CTRL + A shortcuts).

The TOC is saved in the LGC3 file with the other data.

Book details

The elements belonging to the now hidden Game entity have been grouped into a text information window, accessible from the Book menu. You can enter the author, the title and book’s version. It also shows the number of characters and the word count (number of chapters are included).

History

The reading history was an old LGC 1 feature (a vintage version still used by some well-known Italian writers).

At any time the History records the “movement” between paragraphs. When you want to use it, for example to save a sequence of paragraphs for a test, or a series of notes to keep.

You will see all you have read up to that point. History can be reset with the button on the bottom right, while it can be saved on file with the button on the left. You can edit it by writing directly next to the chapters number.

New Icons

The LGC 3 icon bar has been modified, introducing some block spacings for the feature sets: file, export, and tools. In the last part, the one dedicated to the instruments, three new icons are now visible:

  • validation: starts the book control process and opens the results panel at the bottom
  • search: show the panel at the bottom to search the book
  • history: show the panel to the right of the reading history

GUI modifications

I changed many small elements of the interface, to improve usability. The main one involves the chapters tree. I removed the background and colored the individual “page” icons to indicate the status of the chapter.

The meaning of the colors is the original one:

  • green = selected chapter
  • blue = empty chapter
  • orange = chapter with at least one note (inserted with the special tag {todo}).

The dialogues are no longer the standard ones but a “homemade” version.

The About window is now complete and shows all the data of the program, including credits for external elements and the names of “supporters”, which I have to integrate with the latest arrivals.

Epilogue

The changelog of 3.3.0 contains numerous entries left out of this post, for which it does not make much sense to go into detail. Those are internal changes and bugfixings, correction of graphical glitches, rewriting of dozens of unclear localization strings. In this regard, the French translation, entrusted as always to the excellent Yannick Roch, is on its way.

 

Write Your Own Adventure

Write your own adventure

I take a break from LibroGameCreator releases to present you a survey about reading and writing interactive books. The idea of Write Your Adventure was born while working with the Italian writer and game designer Mauro Longo (Ultima Forsan) on one of his (many) future books.

Continue reading Write Your Own Adventure

LGC 3.2.16

New release of the gamebook’s editor, ready to be downloaded:

– solved a bug about ebook format export (reported by a writer working on a huge gamebook with more than 2200 sections  yikes )

– modified tag visualization, now highlights fill the entire tag from { to }

– modified the link tag, now the clickable area cover all the characters from { to }

LGC 3.2.15 with Squiffy support

squiffyI’ve been away from this blog for a while but the development of LGC has never stopped. Now let’s see the changes made in the latest releases.

All the main modifications made those months are connected to Squiffy format support.

The last release of LGC could import from Squiffy files and export to Squiffy files. If Squiffy is installed, after exporting, the file is automatically opened in Squiffy.

Other import/export features are:

@start tag is imported (in the squiffy_start attribute of the game entity) and exported

comments (#) are imported in LGC tag {rem comment} and exported

master section [[]] is imported in an LGC entity in the setup group. Entity text is then exported to Squiffy file master section

– both section links format, [[section text]] and [[section name]](text), are managed using LGC chapter’s title to memorize the section text

 

3.2.10 released

France-FlagOne of the shortest changelog from the birth of LGC, only a bug fixed but a very big one. Some weeks ago, an LGC user contacted me to point out that exporting a gamebook in the ebook format (the less known and used format, I think) images are not embedded.

I’ve heavily modified the code, to improve ebooks creation, to pass the EPUB Validator check.

lgc-ebook-3
Editing the gamebook (on the right) and the exported ebook, opened with Adobe Digital Editions (on the left)

LibroGameCreator is freely downloadable from here and, as always, it is donationware.


Petite nouveauté printanière pour l’éditeur de livres-jeu qui ne recevait plus rien depuis mai 2016. En fait, je lui ai consacré quelques heures durant l’automne: Libro Game Creator avait besoin d’une petite intégration nécessaire durant l’écriture de la version simplifiée et corrigée de mon AVH “Obscura Genesi”. Mais comme cette modification n’avait pas suscité un grand intérêt, j’ai décidé d’en retarder la mise en ligne.

Après une pause qui a duré des mois durant lesquels je me suis dédié à l’”engine” pour roguelike, j’ai été contacté par Marco, un enseignant qui utilise LGC pour son travail avec les jeunes handicapés, argument intéressant et sur lequel je m’exprimerai plus en détail avec une petite interview dans un futur proche.

Il fallait combler une des failles du programme: il n’y avait pas d’incorporation des images dans l’exportation en format e-book. Ce type d’exportation est certainement une des fonctions les moins utilisées de LGC. Peut être parce que les e-book. interactifs n’ont jamais suscité un grand intérêt ou parce que, probablement, quand on pense à un livre-jeu interactif on pense à un produit plus complexe comme les applis pour smartphone et tablette qui tiennent automatiquement le compte des scores, de l’inventaire etc.

Après avoir donné quelques coups de tête sur le mur, nécessaires pour reprendre en main un code que je ne voyais plus depuis presque un an, la bonne quantité de tests (toujours avec Marco qui s’est gentiment porté volontaire pour servir de cobaye) les images insérées dans les livres-jeux (en utilisant la fonction interne de l’éditeur, cliquez sur le bouton droit de votre souris et choisissez l’option “Insérez l’image locale”) seront reportées dans l’ebook, qui passe haut la main le test de EPubValidator.

lgc-ebook-3
Editing avec LGC3 (à droite) et e-book. (à gauche, ouvert avec Adobe Digital Edition)

Petite note technique: les images sont englobées sans subir de modifications, mais ont class=”lgc_chapter_image”, donc il est possible d’en modifier la visualisation globale sur le fichier CSS de l’ebook (style.css, le même qui est utilisé pour visualiser le livre-jeu dans l’éditeur, se trouve dans le dossier cfg/template)

LGC est téléchargeable en cliquant sur ce lien https://librogamecreator.wordpress.com/lgc-editeur-de-livre-jeu/

Libro Game Creator 3 est un programme donationware, si vous le trouvez intéressant, vous devriez visiter ma wishlist Amazon

3.2.8 released

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Looking at this blog it could seem that LibroGameCreator development has stopped one year ago. The truth is that the program has evolved, new features has been added and bags of bugs have been thrown away. But everytime I released a new version I’ve postponed the post on the english blog, slowly forget about it.

Today I’ve tryed to recollect all those modifications, and list them below. As always you can download the program here.

Continue reading 3.2.8 released