I've now taken some time to play around with the editor, so you all can get an idea of how it's like.
Overall, I'm happy to say that the functionality is pretty straightforward after you get a bit more accustomed to it and take a glance over the short documentation. It's actually quite similar to the CYS documentation, with scenes corresponding to chapters and pages to... well, pages. Even the "feature" of not being able to specify pages out of the root scene is the same, as well. It's like the CYS experience with more button clicking and less new tabs+popups.
Now, starting with installation. If you don't have Unity already, you can only use SB with it. The installation process is not too bad but may be slightly confusing if you're not too well versed with tech-y stuff. The steps of the Readme and documentation make the process pretty clear, though.
The main editor after setup looks a bit like this, cutting out all of the unity stuff:
It's split into 2 parts - the game itself and the page/variable/stats editor which are both resizable. The game updates in real time as you change the right hand side, which is nice so you can see your writing/scripting in action. There is no style customization at the time of writing, so you can only have the large choice texts and the dark blue background.
You're given a scene and a page to begin, and to swap from page to page, you use the "edit page" button. Then, if you want to edit the content of the page itself, you will have to click the dropdown menu of "Contents of page X". All text that it displays is based on "chunks", which I like. You can essentially piece together the page with text chunks and variable display/conditional chunks in between.
Also similar to CYS editor - there are on page scripts via commands(variable editing) and conditional text, and link scripts. At the time of writing this, there is no way to limit the visibility of choices based on variables, but I have received word that it is already being made.
A list of functionalities that I tested with a short, 4 page game:
- text displaying based on variable value
- stats page text displaying based on variable value
- changing variable value upon entering page
- changing variable value upon specific condition in page
- common operators working, including modulo(%)
and most other basic things.
Final thoughts? Definitely promising. I like the auto-updating display and the block-style writing + scripting. It's definitely a bit overwhelming at first, but the process is pretty clean once you get used to it. That being said, it's definitely more of a "game" designing experience rather than a "story" writing one. Take my words with a grain of salt, though. I haven't done any extensive branching or any particularly complex variable fiddling, so there might be problems or features that I overlooked.