I'm in the process of writing an interactive fiction game (or Make Your Adventure novel, if you prefer that kind of slant), and I need software to map out all the possible scene transitions.
I found concept maps to be the presentation format most matching my needs, and I wanted to use some software for that.
There are tons of various concept-mapping programs, unfortunately, the vast majority focuses on attractive presentation, making the concept maps look appealing during meetings. Creating a single entry takes time, with all the styling, extras etc. Moreover, my concept map will be simply gargantuan in size. (I wouldn't need software for something smaller!) and many programs restrict the canvas size.
Currently, I got totally bogged down trying to use IHMC CmapTools. It has a quirky interface that doesn't take well to horizontal scrolling, it has limited zoom options, and many unintuitive features (e.g. you can't just add annotations to unannotated arrows, you must delete and redraw it as one with annotation). It focuses a lot on being a multi-user application with collaborative facilities and does a poor job of being a concept map editor on top of that.
This is the tree leading through the first day up to roughly 1/4 of the first night of the game drafted out. The whole game will be at least a week with the tree only growing in breadth.
What I need:
- connect boxes with arrows
- annotate these boxes and arrows
- allow for laying it out in a readable way despite the scale
- do it easily regardless of the number of these boxes and arrows.
Some rudimentary styling of these would be welcome but not essential and the styling must not get in the way of editing.
- Simple, intuitive, quirk-free and distraction-free.
- Also, bulk edits (moving whole branches) will be probably important as errors and corrections are bound to happen.
The software should work on Windows, but a version running on Linux will be most welcome (allowing me to access it on my netbook). Of course this doesn't have to be a desktop application - a good web app will be acceptable too (although it must not get bogged down and lag with enormous project, as many of these tend to.)