Interactive fiction is a fantastic medium. It’s always fun to choose different paths along the way and see which endings you’ll get. Until recently, though, it was rather hard to create. That’s where Twine comes in.
Twine is an application that allows people to create choose your own adventure stories easily. It was originally released by web developer Chris Klimas in 2009, and has been updated many times since.
Twine is extremely easy to use. Full choose your own adventure games can be created very quickly without the need to write a single line of code. Although some limited knowledge of HTML and CSS code will help with formatting, it is not necessary.
Additionally, Twine has almost endless documentation and support. If you don’t know how to do something or use a certain feature, chances are there’s a tutorial on the subject in the Twine Wiki. Even if there’s not, you can undoubtedly find an answer on the Twine forums. In addition, there are several different story formats with different aesthetics and commands. Some of these formats may be more suited to beginners than others.
Unfortunately, there is no Scratch-like sharing system for Twine. Thus, stories have to be exported as an HTML file and embedded into a website to share them. That’s definitely a downside, as that can be a complicated process. But Twine’s astounding ease of use and accessibility to new users make up for this easily.
Twine has been used to make a small handful of famous games, such as “The Temple of No,” a satirical game from the developers of the critically acclaimed indie meta-fiction game “The Stanley Parable.”
Another problem with Twine is that it’s significantly harder than it needs to be to insert images and music into stories. It requires using HTML code and knowing the file name off the top of your head, making it a bit of a pain to accomplish. This isn’t a huge issue, however.
The sheer simplicity and vast amount of learning resources make it well deserving of a recommendation. I give it a score of 9/10. If you wish to use Twine, it can be used online at twinery.org, or can be downloaded on Windows and Mac. It is a perfect tool for allowing one to express their creative ideas and is well worth learning.
By: Brig Larson
Photo Credits: Twinery.org