The Aesop Storytelling Engine was created to empower the art of digital storytelling by making it easy for WordPress publishers to create interactive, feature-rich posts. Before Aesop came on the scene, these types of long-form storytelling posts often required quite a bit of code and were not easy for your average user to create.
The project reached another milestone today with the The Aesop Story Engine plugin now approved for WordPress.org. This further broadens Aesop’s audience to millions of WordPress users and enables notification for updates within the admin. The core storytelling engine includes more than a dozen storytelling components, which are created on the fly as you design a story within a WordPress post.
Theming Aesop Story Engine
It’s important to note that the plugin provides only basic styles and will not look like the demos you may have seen, especially as pertains to Timeline and Chapter components. To get the most out of Aesop you’ll need a theme that supports it.
If you want to adapt your theme or develop a new one for Aesop, documentation is available. It covers the markup that is generated for each of the components and includes information on actions, filters, custom meta and theme implementation.
After the plugin reached its funding goals at the end of January, work began on refining the story telling engine and developing commercial themes for the project. I checked in with Nick Haskins, Aesop’s creator, and he said that he’s got one commercial theme in beta. “Now that the plugin is out, themes are the priority,” Haskins said. Backers of the project are currently beta testing the first theme and he hopes to have one available in approximately two weeks.
In the meantime, if you’re looking for a basic theme example, download the Aesop Theme Sample from github. It demonstrates how to implement the story engine component design. Please note that the sample theme only includes styles for the single story as an example.
More information on the open source storytelling engine is available on the plugin’s homepage. For an in depth look at the future of Aesop, check out our recent interview with Nick Haskins on the WordPress Weekly podcast.