Getting Started

The Wrdie editor is easy to use but incredibly powerful. In this tutorial you will create a story and get an introduction to the editor UI.

Step 1. Make a new story

From the Create Page or the Home Page, click the button that says Start a new story. Name your story Tutorial Quiz, and then click Save.

The Wrdie editor opens to the story overview form. From here you can set the basic details of your story like its name, description, and image.

You can always access the story overview form by clicking on your story's name at the top left.

Give your story a description, something like this is for learning, leave everything else as is and scroll to the bottom and click Save Story.

Step 2. Write the INIT message and test

Saving your story has also created a new message called INIT. This is where your story will start.

Click the INIT message on the left.

Clicking on a message opens up the editor for that message. Messages have a name and text. The name identifies the message and must be unique to the story. The text is what will appear on screen when the message runs.

Type hello world into the message text and click Save message.

Step 3. Test

You can test your story at any time to see it from the perspective of a player. The test form allows you to edit your data and start from anywhere in your story.

Click Test Story in the upper-left. Leave all of the fields blank and click Play.

You should see 'hello world' print out on the screen. This is because Wrdie ran your INIT message and sent the result back to you.

Click the back arrow next to the gears on the top bar to go back to the editor.

Step 4. Add commands

Commands create choices for the player. Every command is a combination of text and a message name.

The Add Command tag, placed anywhere in the text, will add a new command for the player to select.

Tags are the little pills you see in the toolbar. To add a tag, drag it from the toolbar into your text. Once added, tags can be dragged around inside your text.

Add the text What does paradox mean? to the INIT message. Then from the toolbar, drag and drop Add Command into the message text. The tag should appear in the text and you should be able to drag it around. (There is currently a bug where sometimes the tag appears as the text "{"type":"addCommand"}". If this happens, just delete the text and try dragging the tag in again).

When Wrdie runs your message, it evaluates the tags. The Add Command tag will create a new command for the player when it is evaluated. The text of the command, and what message it runs, can be set by editing the tag.

To edit a tag, click its edit icon. The tag will change into its editing mode allowing you to modify it. When you are done, click the checkmark icon to save your changes.

Click the edit icon in the Add Command tag. Click the edit icon next to the command text and type Lost socks into the modal and click Save. Then in the dropdown, select New Message and call your new message LOST-SOCKS. Click the checkmark and then click Save Message.

The command text is the text that will appear in the button for the player to choose. The message name is the message that will run when the player clicks that button.

Drag in another Add Command tag. Set the command text to A contradictory statement and create a new message named CONTRADICT-STATEMENT. Click Save Message. Click Test Story and you should see your two commands at the bottom of the screen.

The commands are added in the order that the tags appear. You can drag the tags around to change the order that they appear in while playing.

Step 5. Write the next messages

The messages you connected to your commands do not have any text yet. This is why nothing appeared on the screen when you clicked them.

Click on the LOST-SOCKS message. Add some appropriate text like That's incorrect. and save. Do the same for the CONTRADICT-STATEMENT message with something like That's right! and save. Click Test Story in the upper left. Clicking on one of the commands should now show the appropriate text.

Messages and commands are fundamental to adding interactivity to your stories. You can easily build a choose-your-own-adventure type story just by creating messages, that add commands, that run messages, that add commands, that run messages, and so on.

One thing to be aware of is that, by default, all of the commands are removed after the user has selected one. This can leave your player stuck. Proper testing can help prevent such situations.

Add an Add Command tag to the LOST-SOCKS message. Set its text to Try again and select INIT as the message. Do the same for the CONTRADICT-STATEMENT message and set the command text to Go Back (don't forget to save). Click Test Story again and now you should be able to move between the 3 messages.

Step 6. Add a field and some globals

The main character of an interactive story is often the player themself. By letting the player add their own details, such as name and pronouns, you can further increase the emotional connection the players will feel.

In Wrdie, fields are a chance for the player to put in their own data before the story begins. All of your story's fields will be part of a form that the player can fill out before they start.

Click on your story's name in the upper left to go back to the overview form. Click Add Field to add a new field. Make the name First Name and leave the type as String. Click Save Story.

The player's entries are stored in a global (short for global variable). Globals allow you to set, modify, and retrieve data in your story text.

The field you added created a global with the same name (minus any spaces). We can use the Get Global tag to include this data in our story. When the text is shown the player, your Get Global tag will be replaced by the current value of the selected global.

Click on INIT to open it in the editor. Drag a Get Global tag into the message's text. Edit the tag and select the FirstName global (probably was already selected by default). Delete world and replace it with your Get Global. Save your message and click Test Story. There should now be a field for FirstName in the test story form. Enter your name in the field and click Play. The Get Global tag should be replaced with your name.

Globals from fields are set automatically to what was entered by the player.

Globals can also be set by using the Set Global tag. Globals can have different types which help restrict the kind of data that they store.

Strings hold text. Integers hold numbers. Booleans hold either true or false. Custom globals hold one of a restricted set of options.

Edit the LEFT message. Drag a Set Global tag into the message text and click its edit icon. Select New Global... and name the global LastAnswer. Set the type to Custom. In the entry below, type in Right and hit tab to create the Right option. Type in Wrong and hit tab again to create the Wrong option. Delete the default Custom1 option and click Save.

When using a Custom type, the editor will only let you set the global to one of the possible values. These can be useful for maintaining state that changes between different possibilities.

In the LOST-SOCKS message, edit the Set Global tag to set LastAnswer to Wrong. Then save the message and add a Set Global tag to the CONTRADICT-STATEMENT message that sets it to Right. Finally, go into the INIT message and add some text like Last answer was: and a new Get Global to print out the value of LastAnswer. Save and test your story and you should see the direction you chose every time you go back.

Step 7. Use an if

While printing the value of globals is cool enough, the real power comes from being able to make decisions based on their current value. The if and endif tags will only evaluate the text inside if its condition is true.

Click on the LastAnswer global in the list on the left. Add Unanswered as another option and click Save. Drag an if tag into the INIT message text before the text you entered in the last step. Edit its condition to check that LastAnswer !== Unanswered (!== means doesn't equal). Drag in an endif tag. Make sure the text is in between the if and endif tags. Save and click Test Story. Select Unanswered in the form for the LastAnswer. The Last answer was text should only show up after you've picked an answer.

Every if tag requires an endif tag after it or else the message will not run. Whatever is in between them will only be evaluated if the condition on the if tag is true. This includes tags.

Drag in new if, endif, and Add Command tags. Position Add Command in between the if and endif. Set the if condition to LastAnswer === Right. Make the command text End and create a new message called GOODBYE. Save INIT and then go edit End and add some kind of parting text. Click Test Story. Goodbye should only appear as an option after you've gone left.

Wrapping up

You now have the basic understanding of how to make an interactive story with Wrdie. With just the knowledge of messages, commands, globals, and ifs, you can create complex branching stories that are personalized to your players with outcomes based on their decisions.

If you'd like to continue learning about the Wrdie editor, a good next step is the Locations and Exits tutorial.

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