Writing:Introduction

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Writing
Introduction

Your First Age

Basic Concepts

Working the Example

The Ways of Printing

Assorted Features

Reference Section

The Scripting Language

Best Practices

Code Samples

Seltani is an online, shared, text-based, open-source fan project based on the Myst series of games. In it, you can explore Ages created by other players – and you can create your own. This document explains how.

If you haven’t tried Seltani, create an account and check it out! These instructions won’t make any sense if you don’t have a feel for what the system can do.

Seltani’s building model was inspired by wikis, and by wiki-based design systems such as Twine. To build a world, you will mostly need to write text and fill in simple forms.

I will not try to tell you that Seltani is a “code-free” system. It has a scripting language, based on Python. To create anything beyond a simple static world, you will need to write some code. However, the wiki-style model goes like this:

  • first, write the text;
  • then mark up the text with “hyperlinks” to describe actions;
  • finally, add code where needed for special cases.

Programming is the polish, not the foundation. Seltani is designed to make the common cases simple, while scaling upwards gracefully to more complicated chunks of code.

Temporary caveats

Seltani is beta-quality. It may crash or lose your data. If you plan to write reams of deathless prose – and I hope you do – you should probably compose in a text editor, and then paste chunks into the Seltani build screen.

Also, Seltani contains a scripting system. There are safeguards to prevent script code from crashing the server. However, Seltani is beta-quality! So the safeguards might not work right. You can probably crash the server if you try hard.

Please don’t.

But if you manage to, please send me a note or file a bug report.

Oh yes – bug reports. I am tracking bugs on Tworld’s Github project page. If you don’t want to set up a Github account, email or the Guild of Writers forum is your best bet.