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Writing and World-Building Software Review: Campfire

Natalie is a writer who works at her local library. She enjoys writing reviews, watching anime and TV shows, and playing video games.

Campfire Technologies Software

Campfire Technologies Software

What Is Campfire?

Writing Software: Campfire

Campfire is a writing software program that writers can use to create characters and world-building for their stories, whether you’re an aspiring novelist and you want to be organized or you’re an amateur fan fiction writer you can use this software to organize events and scenes in a timeline keep your characters organized and keep track of their relationships to other characters.

It also lets you organize your story timeline between insignificant and major events along with scenes that can be part of those events.

Customizing relationships in Campfire.

Customizing relationships in Campfire.

Everything Is Fully Customizable

You can literally create any character you want. Want your character to be Christian or Atheist? Fill in whatever you want for “Religion”. Want your character to be straight, gay or lesbian, trans, or asexual, fill in their sexuality. Choose whatever age you want and punch in whatever number you want for their birth year. If they have a nickname you can fill that in too. You can also fill in their education and occupation.

You can also add a character’s back-story in their profile and it’s a very lengthy section so you can add as much or as little as you want to.

After you create the character you can export their file to either a PDF or a Campfire File called a CHAR if you want to use these characters in multiple stories without having to create them over and over.

You can also fully customize events and scenes, differentiating between minor and major events. These are also fully customizable and you can write as little or as much as you want. You can also add your created characters to the scenes and they’ll show up in the Events section of their character profile.

You can customize your characters how you want them to be. If you’re artistic and you drew a picture you can add the picture to their profile. For fanfic authors this extremely easy since you can use official artwork or fan art for character pictures, you will need space if you have a lot of characters. While the standard version of Campfire has a limit of 50 characters per story, Campfire Pro has no character limits.

Pricing for the Campfire softwre.

Pricing for the Campfire softwre.

The World-Building Feature Is Not Available in the Standard Version

The only thing that is limited by the standard version is their location, you can fill in their location, but you cannot use the world map in the Standard Campfire software because the world-building software costs extra.

Demo of Campfire: Story Planning & Outlining Software

If You’re an Aspiring Novelist, You’ll Love this Software

If you want to write a book but you don’t know how you want your plot to go or what you want your characters to do, this is a great software to use since you can drag and drop events in the timeline in any way you want. It’s easy to move scenes and events around before you start writing anything since it’s just dragging and dropping boxes in the timeline.

Example of character creation for fan fiction.

Example of character creation for fan fiction.

Is It Worth It If You Write Fan Fiction?

This is an amazing software program and it’s worth it if you’re an aspiring novelist and you want to either self-publish or be published by a publishing house. But what about if you write fan fiction or original fiction that you don’t think is good enough to publish, should you still use this program?

Maybe. It depends on how much money you want to put into a hobby. I bought this program specifically to review, not necessarily because of my fan fiction hobby. The YouTube channel short video made it look really easy-to-use and I thought it’d be something fun to mess around with using my hobby and make a little money through the written review as well.

If you’re a fanfic enthusiast and you really enjoy writing you might want to pick this up. I’d recommend trying the free demo before buying it that way you can see if you even like this software or if you think it’s too difficult to use.

Having character profiles is really nice and since t official artwork is readily available and there is a lot of fan art for so many different mediums out there, it’s easy to create character profiles for fan fiction.

I really enjoyed using it, but not everyone, especially a fan fiction author is going to pay money for software like this.

I liked it as a fan fiction writer because it helped me organize one of my chapters before I have finished writing it. It’s a fantastic way to keep your thoughts in order without having to write anything in a word processor or in a notebook.

Reader Poll:

Is It Worth the Price Tag?

This is an important question for people that write stories, whether for fun or if they want to make a career out of it. $24.99 is a lot for the standard version; $49.99 is also a lot for the Pro version with the world-building feature.

If you’re going to become a novelist, it’d be best to buy the Pro version, but not everyone wants to shell out that kind of money for the software.

You can get a 10% discount when you sign up for their email newsletter, and that’s how I bought the Standard Edition. I will be upgrading to the Pro Edition soon so I will add a section about the World-Building software.

It’s hard for me to recommend the $49.99 straight away blind for anyone who hasn’t bought the software. Because the original demo doesn’t let you try the world-building feature it’s hard for me to say you should pay full price just for organizing a world map and an unlimited number of characters you can have in the story.

They have changed the demo to a 10-day trial, but I don't know if the world-building aspect is available in the trial.

At least try the 10-day trial, but is disappointing that we can’t demo the world building, even if they had a limited version of it, it’d still be nice to try it for myself without paying the $49.99 something that might be a nice feature.

Just because I’m impressed with Campfire Standard doesn’t mean that everyone else will be.

Quick Summary

What works:What Doesn't Work:

Easy-to-use software

Standard version limits number of characters to 50

Fully customiable characters, events and scenes

Standard version doesn't include world-building software

You can easily export and import characters for other stories

Best features are in the Pro version

The New "Campfire" Subscription Model

Campfire Pro is no longer available as an individual purchase, instead, they have become a subscription service that you can either permanently purchase or pay a subscription fee for various software features. I still recommend the software because it's great and nice to use.

My Grade: A-

Campfire is a feature-rich world-building and storytelling software. It’s easy-to-use. It can feel overwhelming at first but after some using the software I was able to create characters and a timeline for my Code Geass fan fiction.

The price point is what’s the hardest for me to recommend, $24.99 is a good price for the Standard version, but the Pro version has all the best features, but it’s hard for me to recommend Campfire Pro because that’s a lot of money to spend on a storytelling and writing software. I could understand if you’re really into writing, whether it’s for fun or if you’re a published author, but I will recommend trying the demo to see if you like the software, there’s also a learning guide on the Campfire Technology website.

I’d recommend buying the Campfire Standard version if you’re interested, but download the trial first and if you really like the software you can easily request an upgrade from Campfire Technologies.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

Question: When I first heard about Campfire I was really impressed, but then I found out, that it doesn't have a cloud function. And since I only write stories together with my friends that's something very important to me. Do you know other tools that are similar to Campfire but with a sharing option?

Answer: No, I haven't heard of any story-creation software that has cloud sharing yet.

Question: I would like to buy Campfire as a present for somebody else, is it possible to download the software and install it on an other device?

Answer: You could do that or since the full version is on Steam you can buy it as a gift and email it to them or send them a Steam Gift Card for them. If you buy it for you and give them the software you'll be getting any update email about it, I would just gift it to them via Steam. It will be expensive though.

© 2018 ReViewMeMedia


ReViewMeMedia (author) on October 25, 2018:

Nicholas Ibemere, it does not, it is only to organize your story and world-building.

Jude Ibemere from Lagos,Nigeria on October 25, 2018:

Do this software have a system of read-out-your-works to you in it?

There are some writing software I use just because they have a read- it-out-aloud program.

Writings have to sound nice.

Natalie Frank from Chicago, IL on October 24, 2018:

I've never heard of this program before bur woth Nanowrimo approaching I'll be looking for options to help me write during the month. I'll think about trying the demo. Thanks for the info.