Introduction to Pezna Story Engine

A PSE story called "The Concise Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet"

A PSE story called “The Concise Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet”

When creating a game with a story, creating and implementing the dialogue into the game can be very tedious. This was a problem I faced when I wanted to make a game with branching dialogues that could alter the course of the story depending on the player’s choices.

I searched for tools that could do what I needed, but they always fell into these categories:

  1. Crappy – Did not have as many features as I needed.
  2. Overkill – Was too expensive and had many features, but not the features I needed.
  3. Tedious – Repetitive dragging and dropping and clicking, constantly moving the mouse to click buttons and menus, etc.

There was no program that fell into just one category; each met at least two categories. The only reasonable thing to do was to build my own. Thus, Pezna Story Engine was born.

A portion of a story file used to rigorously test PSE

A portion of a story file used to rigorously test PSE

I needed a program that would let me create characters, variables, choices for the player, and dialogue branching. I needed the program to be like a text editor that I could simply start writing in, and not have to painstakingly drag, and drop, and click, and arrange. In some of the programs that I found, by the time you finish clicking, dragging, and arranging, you’ve forgotten important details about the story you want to write. If your mind is anything like mine, you can get a dozen different ideas a day, and when trying to flesh out an idea, a bad user experience is not ideal. For the amount of flexibility and customisability that I needed, I had to create my own scripting language.

That is essentially what Pezna Story Engine is, a tool that interprets a simple scripting language designed for creating non-linear, complex stories for games.

Created with non-programmers in mind, it is extremely straightforward and easy to learn.

For the list of current and planned features, please visit the features page. PSE is still under development, and has not been released yet because there are many features that still need to be added.

I will talk more on the syntax and structure of a story file in later blog posts. Please bookmark this blog, and leave a comment if you like the project or have any questions or input. Please follow me on twitter @pezna_official

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