/ Latest changes
Latest changes and improvements
Last updated: 5/7/2023
Improvements added since public launch:
- To combat spam, only members can post links to outside websites on the forums and on their profiles. (5/7/23)
- Increased the maximum number of characters per game for non-member hosts/narrators, from 3 to 8. (7/1/22)
- Improved the accessibility of games lists on profile pages and the cast list on game pages. (6/4/22)
- The Player Finder’s ranking algorithm has been updated so that users who are inactive on Storium are ranked lower in the matching results, and are eventually hidden until such time that they return to the site. (5/28/22)
- Storium’s experimental AI writing tool (created in partnership with researchers from UMass Amherst) is now powered by GPT-3, an AI system from OpenAI, producing improved results. (4/14/22)
- Launched Player Finder, a new system that helps people find players who share their gameplay interests. (4/11/22)
- User profiles have been separated into tabs and the interface has been updated, to improve usability. (4/4/22)
- Game speed options (and corresponding preferences on user profiles) have been updated to reference player moves over time, instead of scenes completed over time. (10/17/21)
- When a narrator continues a scene, the text of their move is now included in notification emails sent to players. (7/27/21)
- Launched a new opt-in alpha tester program for experimental AI writing tools. (1/5/20)
- The “Most followed games” list now also includes an option to view the most followed games of all time. (10/2/19)
- The “Most followed games” list is now filtered by follows within the last 90 days, which will make the list more current. (9/22/19)
- Made improvements to the logged-in homepage, including links to helpful resources and mini-feeds of recently active games and forum threads. (7/23/19)
- The Forums page now shows a visual indicator (as a red dot) for any forum categories that have new activity since the last time you viewed them. (7/17/19)
- We’ve just launched StoriumEdu, an all-new version of Storium designed for use by teachers and students. This was our most popular Kickstarter stretch goal. (2/15/19)
- Storium’s discussion forums now have a search engine. You can search by category, exact or partial phrase, user name, and thread closure status. (9/23/18)
- Storium is now running on new infrastructure and a new hosting provider. As a result Storium now has improved uptime, performance, and disaster recovery capabilities. (6/3/18)
- Storium’s social features have been significantly expanded with the addition of “friend” and “follower” functionality, a new site-wide blocking feature, and unified abuse reporting tools. We’ve also added the ability to sign-up and login using Twitter and Google Plus (in addition to Facebook, which was already supported). (5/30/17)
- We’ve rolled-out a new and greatly expanded Code of Conduct. (3/25/17)
- All original banner art from our completed Kickstarter worlds has been added to our Art library. (3/9/17)
- The number of levels (and the distance between them) have been for most achievements, which makes them more... well, achievable. (2/7/17)
- Our Art Library has launched, featuring eighty original avatar and card images that are free for use on Storium by paid members. (12/11/16)
- Storium now offers interactive tutorials: one that teaches how to play characters, and another that teaches how to narrate. Both tutorials are single-player so that anyone can learn more about Storium without having to start or join a game. (12/7/16)
- The pop-ups for characters in a game’s Cast list now display a clickable list of the character’s cards, enabling you to fully browse and view their cards without visiting their character sheet. (12/5/16)
- The interface that lets you customize the list of games on your homepage has been re-built to be faster and easier to use. (12/5/16)
- You are now able to edit your posts on the forums, as well as in the Green room’s “Discussion” and “Lobby” tabs, provided that your post is still the most recent one in the thread. (10/14/16)
- User profile bios now support line breaks and formatting (using Markdown syntax, just like in games). (10/14/16)
- Hosts are now able to customize the number of cards that characters can play per scene, as well as the number of Strength and Weakness cards they receive during character creation and card refresh. Storium also provides two new presets (“Gritty” and “Heroic”) to demonstrate how changing these settings can impact your storytelling. You’ll find all of this in the Green room’s “Game info” tab, under “Card settings.” (10/9/16)
- When writing a Wild card players can now re-use any Strength or Weakness they’ve previously held. (10/9/16)
- When refreshing their cards players can now re-use any Strength or Weakness they’ve previously held. (10/9/16)
- Players can now earn “achievements” for their progress on Storium. All of your achievements — both locked and unlocked — are listed on your profile page. Some achievements have multiple levels that you can unlock. (8/23/16)
- Your total word count is now displayed on your profile page. This number is calculated based on all the moves you have written across every game you have ever played. (Note that only game prose is included, and not cards, character bios, etc.) (8/23/16)
- Every Storium game now displays its total word count, based on all the game prose written by every participant in the game, past and present. You can find this number on the Green Room’s “Game info” tab as well as inside the banner “drawer” on the game page itself. (8/23/16)
- Storium now offers monthly memberships in addition to annual ones. We’ve also improved our membership management page, making it easier for you to update your billing information and modify or cancel your membership. (7/15/16)
- The game management page has been merged with the Green Room. Game hosts can now manage all aspects of their game directly from the Green Room. The Green Room itself has also been more directly integrated into the game page. (7/3/16)
- Open Invitations have been renamed to Open Submissions, but the underlying functionality has not changed. (7/3/16)
- In addition to Open Submissions hosts can now choose to turn on the Open Lobby, which creates a public discussion space where prospective players can interact with the host and players. (7/3/16)
- Hosts can now choose whether or not the narrator’s cards are visible to players. Previously, players could not see the narrator’s cards until they played them. (7/3/16)
- We’ve added a new game setting: “Target number of characters.” This gives hosts a way to state how many characters they want in their game. It’s not a hard limit, but rather an advisory that is shown to prospective players. (7/3/16)
- Our help section now includes a page of third-party Storium resources, including articles, documents, podcasts, and other tools. (5/2/16)
- There is now a new section for “Games for beginners” — games that are run by volunteer “Mentors” and aimed specifically at people who are new to Storium. (4/23/16)
- You can now share games and worlds with your friends and followers via Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. (3/17/16)
- Our “Featured Games” page is now community-driven and will now be updated once per week. (3/15/16)
- You can now choose to make your Storium profile visible only to logged-in users.(3/11/16)
- Games now have an additional visibility setting that makes them readable only by logged-in users.(3/3/16)
Improvements included in Storium’s initial public launch (3/1/16):
- Anyone can now play Storium for free! Free users are able to play in up to three games at a time, and can host as many games as they like, with a few minor limitations.
- Users who choose to become paid members can play Storium without any limitations. (Read more about membership)
- Storium can now be browsed without a login. This means the general public can explore Storium and read stories without an account. It also means that you can now share links to your games with friends via email and social media.
- New users can now sign-up using their Facebook accounts, which greatly simplifies the process.
- Roughly 40 of our planned 60 Kickstarter-funded “worlds” are now available. Each world includes a full deck of story cards, original cover art, several pre-made characters, example starting premises for stories, and backgound materials for both narrators and players. These worlds are available to all backers and users who have purchased “The Deal.” (In the near future, these worlds will be available a la carte.)
- Hosts can now choose from three different game licenses when starting a game. Each license stipulates different ownership and deletion rights for the game’s participants. All pre-existing games have been automatically migrated to the default game license, which matches the license offered prior to our public launch.
- Our terms of service have been streamlined, and updated to reflect the new game licenses mentioned above.
- Our community guidelines have been replaced with an updated code of conduct.
- You can now include a brief text description with any image you upload, for the benefit of vision-impaired players.
- The “NSFW” tag has been renamed to “18+” to more accurately reflect its purpose, which is to make readers aware of mature content so they can make their own decision about whether or not to engage with it.
Improvements added since Gamma launch:
- You can now give Storium memberships as gifts using our new gifting tool. (12/20/15)
- Hosts can now create pre-made characters up front and then ask invitees to choose among them (instead of — or in addition to — creating their own custom characters). (10/23/15)
- Reduced the number of email notifications generated by very active games. (9/24/15)
- Added the option to designate an edited move as a “minor edit,” which avoids triggering an email notification to your fellow players. (9/24/15)
- New game settings (including “Host’s rules,” “Info for invitees and applicants,” “Triggers,” “Game style,” and “Collaboration style”) allow hosts to better describe their games to current and potential players. (9/21/15)
- New profile settings allow users to better describe their play preferences and can also be used to filter the list of games that are “looking for players.” (9/21/15)
- Added online indicators to gameplay pages, showing you when your fellow players are online and when they’re working on a move. (9/3/15)
- Added “vacation mode,” a new setting on your profile page that makes it easy to let your fellow players know when you expect to be away from Storium for an extended period of time. (8/31/15)
- Every Storium game now has a “Green Room,” a place for players to gather before the game has started so they can talk and collaborate. (8/24/15)
- Playtesting of the new “rotating narration” game style (in which the narrator role automatically passes between the players, scene by scene) is now open to all Storium users. (8/24/15)
- Playtesting of the new “story formats” feature (which adds three-act structure to Storium, along with contextual storytelling tips to help you move your game forward) is now open to all Storium users. (8/24/15)
- Started testing “rotating narration,” a new game style that automatically passes the narrator role between the players, scene by scene. (7/7/15)
- The first ten games listed on your homepage are now also listed (as clickable links) in the dropdown menu at the top of the screen, for your convenience. (7/7/15)
- Started testing “game formats,” a new feature that adds classic three-act structure to Storium games. (5/8/15)
- Narrators and players can “hand-off” their role in a game to another user. (We have also added language to our terms of service and deletions policies to cover this new capability.) (2/10/15)
- Ability for narrators to “un-retire” characters that have been previously retired. (1/29/15)
- Narrators can choose for their move revision request comments to be private, shown only to the intended player. (1/29/15)
- Open games listed on the “Looking for players” page now have a button to read the story (rather than join it). (1/29/15)
- New “Activity Summary” shows players and narrators a summary of player activity and challenge status in the current scene. (1/24/15)
Improvements included in the initial Gamma launch (1/11/15):
All-new game engine
- Improved performance and page-load times (especially for users with more current hardware).
- Improved support for games that have large numbers of moves and scenes, or that have more than four players.
- A stronger technology infrastructure for building the future of Storium.
Real-time page updates
- Gmail-style alerts notify you if a fellow player makes a move while you’re looking at the page or working on your own move.
- Commentary now automatically refreshes and updates.
Multiple characters per user
- Narrators can now invite players to create and control more than one character per game.
- Narrators can create and control their own characters.
- (Both of these features can unbalance your game, so we recommend narrators discuss it with their fellow players before using them.)
- The list of games shown on your homepage is now customizable. Click “customize this list” to change which games are shown and the order in which they are listed.
- You now also have a separate page listing all of your games. Click “show all” on the homepage to reach it.
Improved user profiles
- User profile pages now organize games by those that are active, suspended, and completed. They also list the number of games from which the user has retired or been retired by the narrator.
- User profiles can now optionally include a time zone. This is a useful way to help your fellow players in other parts of the world understand when you might be playing (versus, you know, sleeping).
- The “Browse games” page now has a tab that lists public games that have been completed. (In the future we plan to build-out this page and further celebrate games that have reached an ending.)
Improved editing capabilities
- Narrators can now edit their contributions to a scene, including cards played (provided their changes don’t create conflicts with card plays that have already happened later in the scene).
- When editing a move, players can now edit the cards they played as well as the text (provided their changes don’t create conflicts with card plays that have already happened later in the scene).
- If your contribution to the scene is the most recent one, you can delete it if you so desire.
- When narrators edit their cards (including their images), those edits now apply everywhere, including for any cards that players are holding.
- Once a scene is completed, everyone can freely edit the text of their own contributions. This is useful for fixing typos, making grammatical corrections, or clarifying aspects of the story. (Card plays in completed scenes cannot be edited, since the mechanics of the ongoing story depend on them.)
New gameplay mechanics
- New characters now start out with two Strength cards, two Weakness cards, and two “wild” Strength and Weakness cards each. (Previously, new characters began with three Strength cards, three Weakness cards, and only one wild Strength and Weakness each. This new approach gives players more flexibility at the start of the game, when they need it most. When players refresh their cards, they still receive one “wild” Strength and Weakness card each, as in Beta.)
- Players can now discard Assets, Goals, and Subplots that they no longer want. (If a player discards their Subplot they will have to choose a new one at the start of the next scene, because every character must always have a Subplot.)
- Redundant flux capacitors have been installed to ensure that the system can handle a full 1.21 gigawatt charge. (Just checking if you’re still there.)
- Each character now has a private commentary track that enables private conversation between the narrator and the player. This commentary begins when the character is created (to facilitate feedback during the character submission phase) and can be continued during gameplay via their character sheet page.
- When narrators play their cards or give them away, they now automatically retain a copy. That makes it easier to play duplicates and keep track of your cards.
- In most places, line breaks are now honored in the text you write. (Two linebreaks in a row still trigger a new paragraph, as before.)
- In most places, URLs are now automatically link-ified in the text you write.
- A game’s open invitation status automatically expires after two weeks (at which time the narrator can turn it back again if they want to). Games in the “Looking for players” list are sorted by the date that open invitations were turned on. Thus, the list of open games will be fresher and more relevant than it was in Beta, and will be sorted in a more meaningful order.
- Narrators must provide a reason (in the form of some written text) when denying an applicant. This at least lets applicants know why they were denied, which may be a helpful learning experience for them.
- When you apply for an open invitation game and are denied entry, your character is no longer deleted outright. Instead, you have the option to delete it yourself or to keep it on a special “declined characters” page.
New deletion options
- There is now a form which players can use to request deletion of one of their characters from its corresponding game.
- There is also now a form which narrators can use to request deletion of one of their games, provided all of the players agree.
- We’ve added a page to our Legal section explaining Storium’s current policies regarding deletion of content.
- (Our deletions polcies are still evolving as we work through both legal and technical hurdles. We expect to allow even more flexibility in the future.)