Sneak peek at new features?

Justin,
Can you give us a glimpse of what you’re thinking for key new features in V2???

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Thanks for the question. That’s better than any introduction I’d have come up with.

As I’ve said elsewhere, v2 will support iOS, Android, and work on the web. I had no idea when I started that mobile support was going to be the biggest request by far. Most other planned features are derived from mobile support.

Cloud storage and syncing between devices, because what’s the use having Superscript on your phone and your laptop if you can’t sync your work between them? I don’t know yet whether I’ll be hosting your docs on a Superscript server or use iCloud (like Bear does) or some other cloud storage that would be tied to you. (I think Notion might use Google Drive since they require a Google Account for syncing.)

Since the files will be online anyway, sharing will be much easier. Send your script to your artist, letter, editor and dentist in just a few clicks. No need to export it, just give 'em a link.

Real-time collaboration. This one is far from certain, but if syncing and sharing will be supported, collaboration can’t be too far behind.

Documents -> projects. This isn’t definite (I want to hear feedback about this on the forum), but based on past requests I’d like to save multiple scripts and other documents in a single file (or as a single project in the cloud). This will help you organize your notes, outlines, treatments and multiple drafts of a script.

Friendlier metadata management. Instead of defining variables (draft, issue, etc.) in a YAML-like syntax before the first page of your script, I’ll move the data to a more user-friendly interface. Personally, I’d prefer the YAML style, but that’s because I’m used to it. It’s caused too many bug reports that weren’t really bugs. Lesson learned.

Easier character management. Instead of having to manually list all the characters in your script for autocomplete, the app will see what you’ve used for character headings and include those as well. I may also have a way to link character names in your script to bios in another document in your project. I’m not sure exactly how that would work, but it’s been requested before and I like the idea.

Move speech, panels and pages easier. You can already cut and paste easily in v1 and everything will renumber automatically. But if you could drag and drop, that’d be even better.

Left/right page indicator. Comics are a medium like no other, and as a comic writer, it’s your job to take advantage of that. Seeing that you’re writing a right-hand page (or left-hand if you’re writing manga) is good reminder to set up a page-turn reveal. But much more importantly than that is making sure that your double page spread actually consists of facing pages. Comics typically start on the right-hand page, so all odd pages will be “right” by default. That will be configurable, of course.

Speed improvements. If it’s going to work on a phone, then it has to be lightning fast on desktop. Though it’s been improving over time, v1 still has some issues with speed if you want to write a megalithic script.

I feel like I’m forgetting something. Oh well. What do you want to see?

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Oh wow—the page turn indicator would be huge. what a great idea.

Cloud storage/back-up will be great as well. And as I’ve mentioned to you elsewhere, the ability to use superscript on my iPad will be a game changer.

No ideas for other features at the moment—but i’ll come back to this thread when I do!

The page handedness is such a simple feature that it may find its way into v1.5.

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do you know when we can expect the v1.5 update?

I don’t have any plans for minor updates. I’m kinda waiting to hear reports of bugs, but I haven’t gotten any since the release.

Do you plan on creating any planning tools to help writers outline, world build, and flesh out characters? I’m sure that would also be beneficial for artists.

In the current version of the app, you can create simple outlines (with numbered lists) and notes. I plan on making that easier in v2 by separating those outlines and notes from the rest of the script. I’ve had requests for a character catalog of sorts, where you can put your character descriptions. The character names in your script might link to the corresponding character description. I’m not settled on how that would work, but I find it an intriguing idea because of how it could help artists as well as writers.

Something you can already do in the current version of Superscript is outline your script by page ranges. Say you’re writing a 24-page issue. You could write out four acts with the headings “PAGES 1-6”, “PAGES 7-12”, “PAGES 13-18” and “PAGES 19-24”. Then you can copy that file and and split the acts further into individual pages, and then write panels for those pages. I don’t mean to be prescriptive, but I like doing it that way.

If you know of specific methods for outlining, world building, etc. you’d like Superscript to adopt, please share. Examples from other apps are welcome.

It looks like Superscript has Touch Bar support. One thing I would really like to see is auto-correct suggestions being listed on the Touch Bar as they are in Pages, Ulysses, and other writing apps. Perhaps there’s an option for that and I’m just not seeing it, but for those of us that are…spelling challenged while writing our first drafts, it would be a godsend to not have to stop and dig through a right click menu every time, since Apple pushes the “Replace” option all the way to bottom of their menu for some odd reason.

I use Ulysses for outlining and Superscript is now my preferred app for scripting.

The only thing I might recommend is if you are going to add world building and outlining features, give us the option to either hyperlink or footnote things like graphics or reference material. I hate reading scripts that have huge graphics littered about the pages among the panel descriptions. I much prefer something like a footnote with all of the graphics and references pushed to the final pages and given their own space. Just my 2 gil.

Interesting. I don’t look down at the touch bar much myself, and this is the first I’ve heard of a Superscript user actually using the touch bar, so I haven’t put much thought or time into it. I’ll definitely need to look into that. As for the right click menu, I can move the suggestions to the top. That’s my doing, not Apple’s.

Good note about images and world building. I’ve received many requests about adding features for character descriptions, outlines, etc. Not really sure how much of that I really should implement, given the lack of time and resources — I’m just one person. I’d rather Superscript be the best script editor it can possibly be than a mediocre script editor plus a mediocre notes app. I am, however, looking into implementing “projects” in version 2, which could contain multiple script drafts, all your images, some notes, etc. Linking between all those resources may be tricky, but it’s certainly a goal.

Lately, I’ve been using StoryPlanner for outlining, but I’m not happy with it. The Mac version is buggy and there’s no universal find & replace. When I create a character, I’ll just come up with a temporary name. Then it becomes a huge hassle later on when I want to change the name and have to do it manually in 40 scenes, plot outlines, and character descriptions. Does Ulysses have a universal find & replace? [Edit:] Never mind. I downloaded Ulysses free trial, and it looks a lot like Notion or Bear (my current notes app of choice). I’ll see how it compares to Bear though.

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I know you answered your own question but yeah, Ulysses has much more robust find, find all, and find and replace features and has more seamless integration across mac and ipad. I was using Story Planner a lot since I could jot down ideas and stuff at work, but I’ve since transitioned to Ulysses for all of that, since A. Story Planner for Mac is 14.99 and as you said, buggy, and B. bafflingly does not seem to have any way to export image files even though you can add reference images to each character and it actually uses them as an avatar for them.

It also doesn’t seem to have a way to just export ONE character at a time. I have different artists working on turnarounds for each character, so when exporting the character I was spending an inordinate amount of time cutting out every other character just to send them the text I wanted them to have, if that makes sense.

i completely understand trying to add features when working by yourself is a huge undertaking, especially since it sounds like this isn’t your only “thing”. SuperScript as it stands is the best thing I’ve found for writing comics, and using it has allowed me to finish my first draft of my first issue - no other tool I’ve found has made it this easy and actually encouraging to keep going, so no guff from me if there are features that are just unrealistic. What we have now is awesome. The other suggestions are just first world problems =)

That means a lot, man. I made Superscript at first just for me because I couldn’t stand any other tools out there. So I’ve had Superscript longer than anybody and I still haven’t finished a comic. Ah well. I’m working on it. I’d like to read yours.

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Absolutely! I’ll share it here as it progresses.

By contrast, I’ve taken a bunch of Python courses and never written an app, so I feel you.

Here’s a glimpse of a few features in v2. None of these are close to being finalized, but I wanted to show you what I’m working on and get some feedback.

  1. Left/right page and page spread icons. I’m hoping these icons will assist in two ways: it will clue you into the fact that you’re writing a rectō foliō page, which is a great opportunity to end with a mini cliffhanger to motivate the user to turn the page; and more importantly, you can see whether your two-page spreads are actually facing (PAGES 4-5 in the screenshot) or if it’s spanning the front (recto) and back (verso) of the same leaf (PAGES 7-8). You’ll be able to customize these on a per-script basis by specifying whether your script is read left-to-right (e.g. American comics) or right-to-left (e.g. manga) and whether your starting page is on the left or right hand side. Traditionally in the West, books start with page 1 and odd numbers are on the right, but if you’re writing a short comic as part of an anthology, the rules may be different. If you’re writing a digital-only comic, then these icons and hints might not apply to you and you’ll be able to turn them off.

  2. I’m experimenting with a different dialogue style. Instead of indenting your dialogue like in v1, anything after a character heading and before the next page or panel heading will be assumed to be dialogue. (In v1, I enforced indentation just in case you wanted to write plain/description text after dialogue, but I’ve taken a look at a lot of scripts and have never seen anyone do that. Please let me know if that’s a feature you want to keep in v2.) I also moved dialogue to its own column to the right of the character heading to look more like Fred van Lente’s template. It think it looks better this way, but it might be a little confusing to navigate between lines.

  3. Shortcuts and auto-numbering will show you a preview instead of just taking affect. This will help discoverability of features and make it easier to understand what’s going on when the editor makes changes to your script automagically.

Justin, this is looking awesome. I especially love the page spread icons and a dialogue formatting that better emulates how it will lay on the page (after exporting). FWIW, I have very seldom written description following dialogue in a panel.

As a frequent Superscript user, all of these get an enthusiastic thumbs up from me! :+1:

I love the page layout visualization…I actually had no idea you could do two-page spreads, also.

The only thing that’s limiting me at this point is how frequently I write on my iPad. For now, since it’s free, I use Celtx when I’m writing on the go, then transpose everything to Superscript when I get home. I know that’s a vastly more monumental undertaking, but just providing more data points =) Wouldn’t mind paying for an iOS version of Superscript at some point in the future.

SylentWulf81, you can create page spread headers in Superscript v1 as well. I use it more for outlining than actually writing page spreads (e.g. “PAGES 1-5 … We meet the main character. She’s in a bind.”)

I thought CeltX was removing support for comic book scripts. Either way, it sounds painful to have to switch between the two applications. My main goal for Superscript v2 is to have it run on mobile and in the browser. In fact, I’m testing in the browser as I develop features. Mobile and desktop apps will come a little later. I’m rewriting Superscript from scratch, and from the inside out, starting with the chocolatey editor center and ending with the candy application shell.

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Maybe they are? The iPad app seems to have largely been forgotten about, so comic scripts still seem to work there for now. I really prefer the formatting and presentation of SuperScript, so I’m excited to hear that more cross-platform is coming. Like I’ve mentioned previously none of this is “essential”, they’re just little icing on the cake features that I’d like to see. Almost done with my SECOND issue thanks to your app, so tip of the cap to you for that. Can’t wait to see what’s coming down the pipe.

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Not to be one of “those customers”, but is there any update on V2’s release timeline? I ask not to rush you but because I’m actually getting pretty close to finishing the first issue of my comic (by finish i mean, we’re going to print soon), and I’d love to have access to an iPad version of SuperScript since I do a lot of scripting at my day job, where I can’t necessarily have a laptop / desktop handy. My current workflow is to do a loose script in Ulysses, then when I get home, transfer everything to SuperScript for the real heavy lifting, but it’s cumbersome and I’d love if I could transition to iPad fully.

Thanks again for such a fantastic app - without it I wouldn’t have come this far.

Edit: I should have checked the dates of my last post before asking, I thought that was much longer ago than it was. I realize 4 months in development-time is nothing at all.