Hi folks! In case anyone is interesting in creating a piece of e-lit with Twine, I’ve gathered some resources to help you get to know the platform and the kind of work you can create with it.
Twine is a tool for telling interactive, non-linear stories – or any other kind of writing based around hyperlinks. Some people use it to create choose-your-own-adventure stories, while others use it to create interactive poetry, or other text-based projects.
The program looks kind of like a mind map. You write your text in passages and then use links to connect them. You can create something linear, if you want, where each passage links to the next – or you can creating branching paths, loop back to old passages, and experiment.
The first thing you should know: there are two versions of Twine. Twine 1 and Twine 2. For our purposes, I’m going to recommend you stick with Twine 1. I find it more user-friendly and intuitive, and there’s more support available if you get stuck.
Download Twine & Get Started
The Twine Wiki should be your first stop. Here, you can download the program, check out the reference materials, and browse the FAQ.
Anna Anthropy’s How to Make Games With Twine is the most straightforward introduction to the program. It walks you through the basics, and includes an example story file at the bottom. I’d also recommend you check out another of Anna’s games, Queers in Love at the End of the World. In ten seconds, the world will end. What do you do?
You can also check out TwineHub – it hasn’t been updated in a while, but there’s a great collection of games and resources.
Publish Your Work
When you work with Twine, you’ll produce two files. A story file and an HTML file.
Your story file is your work in progress. It will look like this:
Your HTML file is your finished story, and you’ll need a place to upload it.
The easiest place to upload is on Philome.la (you’ll need a Twitter account) – just drag & drop, name your story, and voila!
I would also recommend Neocities – once you make an account, go to “Edit Site” and you can drag and drop your HTML file there.
You could even upload the file to Google Drive, Dropbox, or some other cloud service and create a shareable, public link.
games to try
I’ve gone through my bookmarks and pulled out a few of my favourite Twine games. They’re roughly organized by complexity; the games up top are fairly simple and text-based, while the ones further down make use of images, macros, variables, music, and/or CSS. (Creating games that use all those resources can get complicated fast. I recommend that you start simple first.)
If you’re looking for more, check out IFDB (the Interactive Fiction Database) or hit me up for additional suggestions!
You don’t need to write any code to create a story with Twine. Here are some of my favourite text-only Twines:
1am by Soundboy (choose your adventure)
»——-?——-> by JP LeBreton (interactive poem)
Make your own 4D poem by Alex Calderwood (interactive poem)
stars by lysander (…poem? a collection of thoughts? it’s a lovely, peaceful experience with nice music)
Utopian Jam by Astrid Dalmady (interactive fiction about making jam out of emotions)
hardcore / personal favourites
the uncle who works for nintendo by Michael Lutz (horror interactive fiction about a sleepover that gets…creepy)
Birdland by Brendan Patrick Hennessy (young adult text game about saving your summer camp from birds)
Fabricationist Dewit Remakes the World by Jedediah Berry (sci-fi interactive fiction about remaking the world & my personal favourite work of electronic literature)