Inkle's scripting language, Ink, has Unreal integration thanks to Bloodlines 2 developers The Chinese Room

Torreador vampire looking at camera with red eyes
(Image credit: The Chinese Room)

You may know Inkle from interactive storygames like 80 Days, Heaven's Vault, Overboard!, and the Steve Jackson's Sorcery! Series. All of these games were made with Ink, a scripting language the studio created that uses markup instead of script, and came with Unity integration built-in. Given how badly Unity dropped the ball then also tripped over the ball then ate the ball while rolling around in dirt this year, it makes sense developers with an interest in using Ink might want to divorce it from Unity.

Now they can, thanks to Nick Slaven, technical director at The Chinese Room, the studio that made its name with a Half-Life 2 mod turned foundational walking sim, Dear Esther—though nowadays it's working on nautical horror game Still Wakes the Deep and long-awaited RPG sequel Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2.

The Unreal Engine plugin for Ink is called Inkpot, and like Ink it's open source. You can download Inkpot from The Chinese Room's Github page. It'll work with any version of Unreal from 5.3 onward, and Ink version 20. 

Ink made it easy to write game dialogue and narrative text in a way non-coders could understand, then import it directly into Unity. It was used in the development of games like Neocab, Haven, Sable, Wayward Strand, Falcon Age, Where the Water Tastes Like Wine, Goodbye Volcano High, Dance of Death: Du Lac & Fey, Signs of the Sojourner, and a previous Vampire: The Masquerade game, Coteries of New York. 

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.