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Elm Story is a modern, narrative design tool for visually crafting interactive storyworlds

Photo of Elm Story's composer interface.

With the free Elm Story app for Windows, macOS and Linux, intuitively author storyworld content and the relationship between scene, event and character elements.

Self-publish your storyworlds, interactive fiction and visual novels to web, mobile and desktop.

Elm Story is free forever — made possible through community donations, subscriptions, open grants and transparent sponsorship.

Download Elm Story 0.7

Elm Story Features

  • No-code interface
  • Zero sign-up, data collection or royalties
  • Free forever

Declarative Composer

Elm Story's declarative approach to cause and effect fosters clear organization at scale.

Live Preview

See and test your changes as you make them — without the need to restart from the beginning.

Choices Matter

Design tailored, quality-based experiences with multiple choice, text input and weighted paths.

Rich World Elements

Import and crop images to expand the texture of your event content.

Add voice-overs and background ambiance, with audio import and automatic cross-fade.

Video, SFX and configurable transitions, layouts, styles, and more are coming soon.

Complex Characters

Define character biographies, portraits (we call them masks) and personalities.

Event personas contextualize dialogue and influence narrative outcomes.

Aliases and inline references make it easy to update your characters without error-prone find and replace.

Tailored Stories

Storyteller is Elm Story's unique drama runtime engine and interface that intelligently reacts to evolving world state and audience interactions.

The engine powers Live Preview and is bundled with your published storyworlds for players to enjoy — on and offline.

Professional Publishing

Export to human-readable JSON for re-import to ES or 3rd-party tools like Unreal Engine and Godot.

Ready to publish? Export your storyworlds to Elm Story's portable PWA format to be played in a browser or wrapped with a native framework for the app store.

Seamless Updates

Simply modify your content, re-export and replace the published files. Storyteller handles the rest.

Coming to beta in late 2022, Elm Story Cloud is our optional hosting service that transforms this process in to a single click.


The Storyteller interface for published worlds includes player persisted settings for light and dark themes, text size and reduced motion.

We're focused on bringing even more accessibility options and features to Elm Story.

Storyworld Spotlight

Illustration for 'The Masque of the Red Death' by Harry Clarke, 1919

Made with Elm Story, The Masque of the Red Death is based on Edgar Allan Poe's haunting, gothic-inspired short story of the same name.

Experience the mysterious narrative from the perspective of three different characters, each of whom have contrasting temperaments that vary aspects of the story.

About Elm Story Worlds

Founded in October 2020, ESW is on a mission to revolutionize narrative design and immersive, interactive storytelling.

As an independent team, our goal is to keep Elm Story free forever, with a best-in-class platform experience absent of invasive personal data collection and corporate greed.

ESW is sustained through community donations, subscriptions, open grants and transparent sponsorship.

We're also building a fully optional, subscription-based hosting service.

Join the community and share your feedback directly with us on our Discord server!

Support our mission by reporting bugs, donating and subscribing to our Patreon.

Drop us a line if you'd like to discuss collaboration ideas or equitable partnership opportunities.

Made something with Elm Story? Let us know!

Photo of Leonardo Codamo
Leonardo Codamo

Leo is a multidisciplinary designer and researcher with an eye towards interactive storytelling, narratology and games with coherent and meaningful stories.

He is a graduate in Communication Design from Politecnico di Milano.

Photo of Frederick Spencer
Frederick Spencer
FounderUnited States

Fred is an experience and software architect with over 20 years in applied, user-centered design.

They studied film and multimedia at UCLA, started their professional journey at Apple and was an educator at RISD for 6 years.