Looking for a drafting software for story and dialogue, we found a possibility through our students in our team, provided by the Trier University of Applied Sciences. It offered the opportunity to use Articy Draft 3 (stylized “articy:draft”, in the following called “Articy” for simplicity). We saw this as a chance to explore the software extensively for our use. And it convinced us.
But what is Articy exactly? You can learn more about it on the official website. To summarize it, we can say, that it is very easy to create a clear story-flow and complex dialogue. Additionally, the software provides means to expand it via plugins and engine-exports, also into Unreal Engine, which is important for us.
So, after test duration of several weeks we know, that we are very well able to design our story-flow and dialogues for our game all within Articy. But that is not all. Moreover, we will file the majority of our data for the game in Articy. That includes characters, items, equipment, as well as skills, status effects, and some of the level information.
We were already hooked up with Articy back in march 2020, where we explored its possibilities and limitations and got to know how to use it effectively in the future for our project. In the course of this year, we recreated data structures from our Proof of Concept (PoC) and implemented them in Articy and we generated first test data. So we basically created a replication of the content in our PoC. Fitted to this structure, we wrote a plugin for Articy, which simplifies the content-creation and ensures, that the rules for our data were being complied to automatically.
The possibility to customize and extend Articy according to our requirements is one of the reasons why we can already create a majority of our data for our future game in Articy. Therefore, our story- and dialogue-writers don’t have to deal with engine-specific things and can concentrate completely on their work.
At the end of the Vertical Slice Prototype (VSP), every Character and dialogue, skill and equipment is supposed to be depicted in Articy completely.
The ultimate goal is to create the content easily in Articy and then to export it per click into the Unreal Engine, so that you can directly work in the engine, without huge manual expense. The official “Articy Importer for Unreal” helps us thereby. It prepares Articy data for use in Unreal. We subsequently develop our own import process, that converts the data from Articy and makes it usable for our project, without much effort.
In our next blog, we want to give you an insight into character creation with Articy and everything that is part of it. Until then, we wish you all a wonderful start into spring and hope that you can enjoy the weather outside!