Articy:Draft is a must have product for anyone interested in game design. Make no mistake; there is a learning curve to this tool as with any professional grade software. Once you've learned it, the productivity you'll gain will more than make up the initial learning time. I used the team version of Articy:Draft 2.1 in my Game World Creation class, and what it enabled the class to create is beyond anything I was expecting.
It can handle just about any game design task you can throw at it. Complex branching dialogs? Easy. Detailed NPCs with complex relationships? No problem. Have a massive game world with many areas interconnecting? Have at it. And once you're all done, hit the export button and get a nice XML file with all your text content ready for use in your game engine of choice.
* Price. You get what you pay for, but you will pay for it. Regardless of how awesome it is, $200 is a steep price to pay if you're doing this as a hobby. Knock that up to $300 if you want to go commercial.
* Export Formats. While I did list this in the Pro section, it's also a con as well. The docx export is difficult to read, almost to the point of being useless as a general purpose document. The xml format will take some serious digging through and studying to fully understand how Articy:Draft is linking things together. The product could really use some polish on this aspect.
* No resizing of areas. When you draw a zone in a location, there's no resizing it, other than grabbing it point by point and moving them around. This was a major source of headaches in my class as many groups discovered they had scale problems and needed to resize things. Much gnashing of teeth was done that day.
If you're serious about game design, buy this software. You will not regret it.
Posted: November 26th, 2013