A text adventure language and runtime inspired by inkle/ink

Usage no npm install needed!

<script type="module">
  import kni from '';



We are the Knights Who Write Kni. Our first letters are all silent. Our final letters are however unbearably loud.

Kni is an interactive story language for multiple-choice text adventures, interactive fiction, and phone bots. Press 1 for adventure.

The name is an homage (also silent) to Inkle’s Ink (the same, but backwards) and to Monty Python, and like other languages namèd thusly, Kni alsø has significant whitespace.

Use npm to install and run kni. The kni command line requires Node.js version 4 or greater.

$ nvm use 4
$ npm install kni
$ PATH=$(pwd)/node_modules/.bin:$PATH
$ kni

Kni stories consist of descriptive text and options. Kni runtime engines trace the dialog, entering at the top of the file and exiting out the bottom. The dialog accumulates options and presents a prompt for the interlocutor to chose the direction of the narrative.

Hello, {"World!"}

+ [You s[S]ay, {"Hello."} ]
  You are too kind, hello
  again to you too. ->loop
+ [You s[S]ay, {"Farewell."} ]

The End.

To run an Kni, use the command-line interactive reader:

$ kni hello.kni
Hello, "World!"
1. Say, "Hello".
2. Say, "Farewell."
> 1

You say, "Hello".
You are too kind, hello again to you too.
1. Say, "Hello".
2. Say, "Farewell."
> 2

You say, "Farewell."
The End.

Kni scripts can be loaded and bound with scenes in a web page.

$ kni hello.kni --html hello.html
$ open hello.html
  • Peruácru is an app for iOS and Android using Apache Cordova. A slice of the game is open source for illustration.

    Peruácru Icon

  • The archery prototype illustrates a shop and gambling game.

    An Archery Shop

  • The journey prototype illustrates a survival game over a procedurally-generated infinite road.

    A Journey through Ælfland

  • The airship prototype illustrates a narrative that includes a simulation of the control and behavior of a steampunk airship.

The command line tool can also:

  • produce a transcript of a interpretation of the story.

    $ kni hello.kni -t hello.1
  • verify that a transcript continues to produce the same narrative after alterations to the script. The Kni test suite uses this mechanism to validate itself against its examples and test scripts.

    $ kni hello.kni -v hello.1
  • generate a JSON representation of the script. The JSON script can be embedded in a web application as a module and interpreted by the lightweight Kni engine.

    $ kni -j hello.kni
  • interpret a script from precompiled JSON.

    $ kni -J hello.json
  • Kni can also produce a diagnostique view of a story. The first column is the thread label, then the instruction type, a description of the instruction, and an indicator for the next thread. In the absense of an indicator, the engine proceeds to the next instruction. A forward arrow indicates a jump and a backward arrow indicates a return to a calling thread, a processsion to the next thread of a question or answer sequence, or an exit.

    $ kni hello.kni -d
    start     text    -Hello, “World!”
    loop      option  (Q loop.0.2 loop.0.3) (A loop.0.1 loop.0.3 loop.0.4)  -> loop.1
    loop.0.1  text    -You s-                                               <-
    loop.0.2  text    -S-                                                   <-
    loop.0.3  text    -ay, “Hello.”                                         <-
    loop.0.4  text    You are too kind, hello again                         -> loop
    loop.1    option  (Q loop.1.2 loop.1.3) (A loop.1.1 loop.1.3 loop.1.4)  -> loop.2
    loop.1.1  text    -You s-                                               <-
    loop.1.2  text    -S-                                                   <-
    loop.1.3  text    -ay, “Farewell.”                                      <-
    loop.1.4  goto                                                          -> loop.3
    loop.2    prompt
    loop.3    text    -The End.


Copyright © 2016 by Kristopher Kowal. All rights reserved.