Writing branching stories made easy! NST is a full suite of tools for creating, analyzing and rendering branching and nonlinear texts and media.
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Release Date:
Dec 3, 2021

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Early Access Software

Get involved with this software as it develops.

Note: This Early Access software is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to use this software in its current state, then you should wait to see if it progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“NST is a single-person operation exiting internal development for the first time. This means that user feedback is invaluable to me. There are still issues to be solved, crashes to be fixed and places where the user experience can be improved.

Developing user workflows is one of the main goals of the Early Access for NST. As people start using it they will find new ways of doing things with it, and this will drive the development of new tools for the new workflows.

The NST Reader tool is still very early into development and needs further improvement. The final goal is to have a seamless integration of the Reader in the Editor, but also work as a standalone application on multiple platforms.”

Approximately how long will this software be in Early Access?

“When enough users can actively use the NST Editor for a couple of hours without crashing. The target for this is 6 - 12 months, depending on the interest of users.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

  • Improved graph representation of the stories.
  • Additional tools for analyzing branches.
  • Visual scripting using blocks instead of text.
  • Seamless integration of the NST Reader inside the NST Editor. (already done to some degree)
  • States that can have a timer.
  • String or Array properties
  • More editor options such as specifying custom external text editors, font scaling, more themes, more translations.
  • Displaying resource previews inside the Editor.
  • Better documentation, more guides.
  • Some official content on the Steam Workshop.
  • Bug fixes, performance & memory improvements, UI/UX improvements.
  • Android, iOS and UWP (Xbox) versions of the NST Reader

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“It's a full version with all major features already implemented to varying degrees:
  • Stories can be created, edited, saved, compiled, exported, loaded or imported inside the NST Editor
  • Stories can be read both inside the NST Editor and the NST Reader tool
  • The NST Reader tool offers full HTML5 / JS / CSS support for displaying stories
  • The user can create links between moments in time inside the story (called states)
  • The states can be linked based on multiple variables (is something happening, has something happened, could something have ever happened, and many more)
  • States can also depend on numeric properties
  • States can be searched by internal properties and by connection to other states or properties
  • The user can search for a path between two states in the story
  • Full English and Macedonian language support
  • 3 themes
  • Support for publishing stories on the Steam Workshop
  • Support for 4 main external text editors
  • Importing stories from plain text files using the custom NTX format
Note: Bugs and crashes are to be expected.”

Will this software be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“The price will not change.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“Every one of you is encouraged to submit feature requests, crash reports, usability opinions or whatever comments you may have. I can be found mostly on email, the Steam discussions or the official Discord server, I try to respond as soon as possible.”
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About This Software

NST: Nonlinear System Tools

NST is a tool for writing novels, short stories, poems, and other forms of text in a way that makes the reader's decisions count.

Everything that happens can have inter-dependencies such as:

A can only happen if B has already happened.
A can only happen if B can happen.
A can only happen if B could ever have happened.
A can only happen if B is happening at the moment.
A can only happen if X is more than 1
And much much more!

NST has an Editor and a Reader. The NST Editor is a standalone program that enables you to write branching stories from scratch. The NST Reader is a tool that visually renders these stories using HTML/JavaScript/CSS with all their power. The Reader is available for free and also comes bundled with the editor.

How it works

It's really simple! All stories have only two main components: states and properties.

A state is a moment in time, a description of a situation. It contains a logical link with everything that might lead to that situation.

A property is essentially a numeric value, which can hold information on the amount of health you have, or your armor strength, or your relationship with other characters in the story, or anything else you might imagine.

The states and properties are interconnected to form a story, which one can read in a branching fashion based on own's decisions.

Who's behind it

NST is a single-person operation, the brainchild of Martin Petkovski. Development started in early 2021 and will continue into the foreseeable future. All inquiries and requests are encouraged, I'm trying to respond to all messages as soon as possible.

What can be achieved with it

NST is tailored towards creating hypertext fiction that follows a branching or nonlinear narrative.

Examples of literature that can be written and played in their entirety in NST include: James Joyce's Ulysses, Enrique Jardiel Poncela's La Tournée de Dios, Jorge Luis Borges' The Garden of Forking Paths, Italo Calvino's The Castle of Crossed Destinies, various Choose Your Adventure magazines, and so on.

The NST Reader is capable of everything that Chromium is able to do, including playing video and audio, so in theory, it is even able to run movies and TV shows such as Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, if they are to be written in the NST format.

System Requirements

    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
    • OS *: Windows Vista SP2
    • Processor: Intel Celeron G1000
    • Memory: 40 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 20 MB available space
    • Sound Card: N/A
    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
    • OS: Windows 10
    • Processor: Intel Core i3
    • Memory: 60 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 100 MB available space
    • Sound Card: N/A
* Starting January 1st, 2024, the Steam Client will only support Windows 10 and later versions.

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