Quick Start

Quick Start

Writing within Charisma is designed to be quick and simple. There's no special syntax or code to learn, and you can create stories, episodes, scenes and characters in minutes.

This quick start guide will help you create a story on the Charisma platform.

Create an account

To create a story in Charisma, you will need to first sign up for a Charisma account.

After you've signed in, you'll be taken to your Stories page. Click the Click to create button on either the Pro or Web Comic Story panel. This action will, for the first time only, open the dialog to activate your trial licence.

Types of Story

Web Comic stories are stories that can be previewed on the Charisma platform and then published to the Web Comic player so they can be shared with friends. Web comic stories consist of scenes and subplots. Scenes start automatically in sequential order and subplots can be accessed from scenes via the subplot node.

Pro stories are stories that can be published and played anywhere, such as on a website, your own mobile app, or in a games engine, through the Charisma SDKs. Pro Stories only consist of subplots. It’s up to the game to start each subplot when appropriate and co-ordinate the wider “story”. It’s driven more by triggers/events that happen in a game, so is more fluid than the story equivalent.

Create a new story

  1. Click the Click to create button on the Web Comic panel.
  2. Give your story a title. This will be what your story is named when it is published.
  3. Give your story a description. Add a description for your story so people know what to expect. Think of this as a blurb.
  4. Choose licence. Any credits used in playthroughs of this story (including the draft version) will count towards this licence's quota.
  5. Click Create Story.
  6. Click "Add new scene" under Story in the sidebar on the left.

Start using the editor

To write a story and script how characters should respond, you write straight into a story graph.

Let's dive straight in!

Note: this video was made using a Starter story, which are no longer supported on our platform. There are some small differences – for instance, there is currently no template for Web Comic stories. However, the video still provides a good introduction to writing with Charisma.

What are nodes?

Story graphs are made up of a number of connected nodes. When playing through the story, a player flows through the nodes, left-to-right, and each node has a different effect. These include...

  • waiting for a player to say something (a Player node),
  • a character speaking (a Character node),
  • saving information that a character could later refer to (a Memory node)

... and so on.

There are two special nodes that are always in every graph, and those are the Graph Entry and Graph Exit nodes, which are where the graph begins and ends.

  • Graph Entry: Press n (for eNtry) to jump to this node.
  • Graph Exit: Press x (for eXit) to jump to this node.

Which node is chosen when there are multiple nodes joined to the right?

Charisma will work out the best pathway to take based on how the graph was written and what the player is saying.

For example, if you have a number of Player nodes, Charisma will choose the route with the Player node that most closely matches to what the player has just said. Behind the scenes, Charisma uses AI to evaluate the pathways.

Or, if you have a Player node connected to a number of Character nodes, one node will be picked at random.

There are a number of other features like priorities and gates which can influence what pathways are chosen. To read more, head to How Matching Works.

Playing the story

Use the slide-out chat tester on the right hand side of the screen to test your story.

Click "Chat from graph start" to start playing the graph from the Graph Entry node.