# About Story Synth
Story Synth is a platform for developing, playtesting, and publishing lightweight storytelling games on the web. The mission is to lower the barrier to playtesting games online and encourage a flourishing of new designs.
Check out this video tour (opens new window) of Story Synth to see it in action:
There are a few key features:
- Designers can create their game in an Google Spreadsheet and can playtest by pasting the link into Story Synth – no coding knowledge needed.
- Story Synth games take place in “Rooms” where content is synchronized for everyone in the same Room. In other words, everybody at the same URL automatically sees the same content.
- There are multiple templates for different types of games and, if you’re comfortable coding, you can add your own games
You can see the templates in action (with placeholder content) at storysynth.org (opens new window).
Visit Dawn of the Monster Invasion (opens new window) for example of a published game that runs on Story Synth.
Check out the repository on GitHub (opens new window) to explore and download the codebase.
# Use cases and guides
Story Synth is for game designers with one of three use cases:
- Playtesting a game that uses one of the existing templates (no coding needed)
- Publishing a game that uses one of the existing templates, on their own website, so that others can easily play it (some, simple coding needed)
- Extending one one of the templates or creating their own template, to add mechanics that suit their game (serious coding needed)
Here are guides for each of the use cases:
I’m planning to elaborate on these guides so please reach out with any questions or if anything is unclear.
# Available formats and templates
Story Synth currently has six different game formats you can use. Here’s a brief description of each and a link to its demo and template. You can read more about each format on the Formats Page.
- Shuffled – a series of ordered prompts followed by shuffled prompts | template (opens new window) | demo (opens new window)
- Phases – the game rotates through a series of a phases, with each phase drawing from a corresponding deck | template (opens new window) | demo (opens new window)
- Monster – a series of ordered promts spread over rounds; some rounds have multiple prompts and can expand for more detail | template (opens new window) | demo (opens new window)
- Slot Machine – a series of cards with randomized content, drawn from each of several lists | template (opens new window) | demo (opens new window)
- Secrets – each round, each player receives a shared public prompt and secret private prompt | template (opens new window) | demo (opens new window)
- Timed – each player receives unique prompts at different times based on a shared stopwatch | template (opens new window) | ``demo (opens new window)
# Technology used
Story Synth uses:
- Vue.js (opens new window) for the frontend framework
- Firebase (opens new window) for syncing game state, presence, and website hosting
- VueFire (opens new window) to sync Firebase and Vue
- Axios (opens new window) to fetch data from Google Sheets
- Bootstrap (opens new window) for the design framework
This means Story Synth is serverless and completely free at moderate usage.
Story Synth is open source and published under the extremely permissive MIT license (opens new window), meaning you can do almost whatever you want with it.
There’s no need to cite Story Synth in your game or on your webpage, though credit is always welcome!
Story Synth is designed and maintained by Randy Lubin (opens new window), of Diegetic Games (opens new window). You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on Twitter at @randylubin (opens new window).