Is there any software for making non-linear story or dialogues? I tried MS Word/Google Docs but that's not good for dialogues. In one complicated dialogue I wrote in Google Drawings, it looks like this
Some dialogue
(Ignore those ticks; I think it's not final version - I see some problems here) As you can see, all ways lead to the bottom node (except red arrows - which lead to game over) It was pretty hard to make it, especially those long arrows - even now when I opened it, Chrome barely could do it - it was lagging as hell

What software are you using? Or maybe there's a software dedicated to make non-linear story?


6 Answers 6


A free open-source tool for telling non-linear / interactive storylines is


Another non-free alternative to articy:draft is

Chat Mapper

From the forum posts and reviews I read, most that tried to find a free alternative to articy:draft, ended up paying for that software, because apparently it is superior in functionality to the free alternatives. But you'll have to try different software and the free demos yourself, to find what works best for you.

  • Yeah, Twine is really easy to use. Plus, even a little programming knowledge lets you tweak and modify the code far beyond the defaults available. You can colour code tags and tag individual passages. Strongly recommend
    – tryin
    Jun 7, 2019 at 9:02

articy:draft from Nevigo

The software is specifically designed for writing in a software development environment. It has things like asset management so that you can manage all your characters with everything important you want to keep in mind about them in one place, the ability to write branching dialogue, an export to Word and Excel, ...

It even has an integration into Unity.

There is a 14 day trial version.

Biggest problem: the price of ~85$ for a lifetime one-user license

It's more designed for bigger projects with multiple people.

Flowchart software like yEd (the idea is from Memor-X in an answer to my more general question about Are there tools that can aid an author in writing a branching storyline?)

With flowchart software like yEd you can easily manage branches and re-arrange it however you see fit at a later point in your development. The downside is that it's not really made for writing lots of text, but you could make subgraphs to assist you.

yEd is free and can be downloaded here. There is even an online version if you don't want to download anything.

  • articy:draft looks amazing, so bad it's expensive. yEd though is just one of many graph tools which are better than Word for example, but still not what I'm looking for
    – Chilli
    Apr 27, 2018 at 18:09
  • articy:draft has a 80 Euro lifetime license. Depending on where you're from, that's not expensive at all. I bought it because it had the best deal out of everybody. Chat mapper are not very friendly to indie devs, wanting to squeeze monthly / yearly money no matter how much you use it.
    – Axonn
    Jun 29, 2020 at 21:47

I am using Ink by Inkle Studios. It's writer-oriented and open source. They have a free editor/compiler that exports an elegant web version, and they have a Unity plugin. The syntax feels more sophisticated than other tools I've tried. Ink has evolved over a few versions, and was used on the game 80 Days which is the best branching narrative game I've seen.

Rather than a flowchart or mindmap, Ink is more like coding in HTML – it uses markup syntax to handle the interactivity. Story sections are defined by index names, and typically end with several choices which redirect the reader to other index points in the text. At it's basic level, Ink is similar to the CYOA books except you don't "turn to page 23" you jump to an index point by name. This makes writing more intuitive for non-programmers.

Ink is also designed to exhaust the choices, so the next time the reader returns to a section the option he picked last time is removed. This works within the text as well, for instance changing the dialog or descriptions the second and third times through. The options can also be randomized, or only appear once conditional variables have been satisfied.


A bit late to the party, but Celtx (www.celtx.com), the company behind the fairly popular Film and TV editor now has a narrative editor for Games, VR, and interactive writing, which seems to be updated fairly often.

It has a limited free version for up to 20 sequences, or $20/30 a month for full access.


This just recently launched on Steam :). It is currently a bit ugly though. Slow, exported JSON is messy and some vital UI functions lack shortcuts. Zooming options are also poor, not supporting intuitive gestures. But it's quite cheap. Hopefully they will improve it.



You can also check out https://arcweave.com. It has a free plan, supports multiple boards and things like characters, items, locations e.t.c. You can also play out your sequences as a choice game.

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