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A Kotlin implementation of inkle's open source scripting language (ink) for writing interactive narrative. NOTE: This is no longer maintained.
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Note: mica-ink is no longer being actively developed. In current implementation, I'm now instead using blade-ink and using external functions + extra text processing to get around the limitations of Ink. The advantage of doing this is that it allows for a better utilization of Ink's native tools (such as Inky) + it helps to concentrate the "Java" community on one library, rather than split us up over multiple OSS projects. Thanks for following this project.


mica-ink is a Kotlin (originally Java) implementation of Inkle Studios (@inkle) scripting language ink for writing interactive narrative. It was developed in order to have an ink alternative for Java, and is used as the narrative engine in my various projects; most notable Pirates and Traders 2. StoryBytes is a simple open-source sample application (for Desktop) that uses the mica-ink engine and runs compatible ink scripts.

Currently, this reimplements Part 1 to Part 3 of the Ink documentation, with the following omissions (that I know of - probably things added to Ink since I made this list as well):

  • Conditions on choices (as well as the choice header) cannot be multi-line.
  • evaluation of conditions has some limitations (not only supported as a function, evaluation of 'and' and 'or' is space sensitive).
  • Multi-line comments are not implemented.
  • CHOICE_COUNT and TURNS_SINCE are not implemented (essentially functions, and those haven't been implemented yet).
  • Doesn't parse check for -> END yet (i.e., quite happy to have knots and threads ending in nothing).
  • Have not tested "Advanced: Gathers directly after an option"
  • No temporary values at this point (parameters exist, though).
  • No pass by reference parameters.
  • No constants.
  • No extern functions.

And of course, the key elements of Part 4 are missing:

  • Tunnels
  • Threads

Most of the examples in the implemented section of the documentation are used as tests, with a few additional test cases grabbed from the 'ink/Tests' where appropriate.

This implementation does one thing that the standard Ink implementation does not, which is to allow the use of native Java/Kotlin objects as values, and permit the calling of methods on those objects.


I used this implementation in my own Kotlin-based games, so I plan to continue working on the game engine as and when I require new features. I would like to stay compatible with the main ink functionality, but my focus is on making games rather than developing a game engine; as such, it is never going to be a priority for me to stay 100% in sync with the Ink engine.

  • Extend the engine until it implements all (or nearly all) of the standard Ink features; particularly threads and tunnels.
  • Add more comprehensive testing to code. Many corner cases are not covered adequately yet.
  • Clean up and refactor the code. Especially the variable/expression evaluator needs some work.

Feel free to send in push requests to fix bugs or add features. All help is appreciated.

Useful contributions

If you would like to continue developing on this, feel free to fork it.


The library is a combined runtime and parser, instead of splitting it up. Neither JSON output or input is supported at present; only plain Ink. In general, I am not particularly interested in the JSON format, and probably won't ever implement it, given that I don't really see a compelling need for it.

To build the jar:

./gradlew build

To run the tests:

./gradlew test

Use the bat file on windows.


To use the library, include the repository and the dependency to the latest release:

repositories {
  maven { url '' }

dependencies {
  compile 'com.github.micabytes:mica-ink:0.1.0'

For usage in general, check the StoryViewModel in the sample StoryBytes app.

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