What are some best practices for creating my story bot?

When you create your story bot, here are a few new "best practices" we've found to be pretty helpful:


1) No Message can exceed 320 characters on Facebook. On some other platforms, any message that is >100 characters will be truncated, and end with a "..." to see more. It's better to break your thoughts into two smaller text blocks anyways. It will be easier to read for the player.


2) Have a max of 3-4 messages in a row, before having a User input. Don't have a slew of messages in a row that flow to the player. That's a lot of consecutive mobile phone buzzes and annoying interruption. Give the player an opportunity to pause and control the flow by giving them a lot of Choice buttons or Input opportunities.


3) Send a max of 2 messages after any delay. If you insert a time delay of any good length, always come back after the delay with a quick message from your character, followed by a User Input. Again, you don't want to bug your player by having a long chain of unexpected messages in a row.


4) Always have a story text line after an image. (I.e.: don't follow an image with a player choice) This is more of an aesthetic thing, but it looks better on the platforms if you follow an image with a line of text.


5) Don't bother adding short time delays (1-3 seconds). The really short time delays are just lost on Messenger platforms due to technical quirks. Instead, try to use your conversation bubbles to garnish the drama:


Instead of:

<Mary> "I saw that and I'm not amused."

<Delay> 2 seconds


Try:

<Mary> "I saw that..."

<Mary> "I'm not amused"


6) Don't install delays in-between episodes. We're still testing this out, but for now, don't bother adding a time delay at the start of each subsequent episode. E.g.: no need to put a 3-hour delay at the start of Ep2, Ep3, etc.)


7) Don't use single, stand-alone emojis (or emoji-only text lines) Some Messenger platforms don't support every kind of emoji. Some don't recognize a solo emoji sitting all by itself. You can and should still use them, but have some text there. Just know that some platforms will ignore the emoji if it doesn't support it.


Content Rating (Also see the Sequel Content Guidelines FAQ)

Some message venues have strict guidelines about story content. To avoid "Imperial entanglements," it's probably best to avoid the f-word, or use it only rarely.


Profanity may be present, but multiple occurrences will usually set off an alarm, as will the usage of such an expletive in a sexual context.


Avoid any nudity that is sexually oriented.

Think PG-13


Using Capital Letters and Periods

When entering text, most Chat Apps automatically start you off with a capital letter, so it's normal to capitalize the first letter of your sentences.

A lot of common text messages don't bother with a period at the end of a sentence. It's really up to you and your character's style.

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