Module 9: Interactive Fiction/Twine Workshop
With Twine open and your saved notes from the ‘Developing your Story‘ activity for reference, follow these steps:
- Open the “StoryAuthor” passage by double-clicking. A new, small window will open. Add your name or alias. Then exit the passage by clicking the X on the top right-hand corner of the window.
- Open the “StoryTitle” passage and add a title. Then exit.
- Open the “Start” passage and create a title page for your story. Write the title and format appropriately (i.e., as a heading, using the HTML <h1>title </h1>).
- Use the drop-down menu at the top left-hand side of the storyboard screen and follow “Build —> Test Play” to see how the game looks in your browser.
- Go back to your storyboard and the “Start” passage again.
- Add a link to your title page that will start the narrative (i.e., [[start]], [[begin]], [[enter the room]] or [[login]], depending on how you would like players to begin their immersive experience).
- Oh no! If you used [[start]], there is an issue! We already have a passage titled “Start” so Twine won’t make a new link. What do we do?
- We can’t have two passages with the same title—but we don’t want to have to limit which words we turn into links.
- Use a | (vertical bar; shift + \ on most standard keyboards) to separate the word or sentence you want visible to players from the name of the new passage. For example, you might write [[Start|start2]] or [[Start|opening scene]]. Remember, the more links we have and the longer the story is, the more confusing it can get, so having a numbering system can help the game designer keep track.
- When you go to exit the passage, Twine will ask you if you want to create the linked passage [[Start|start2]]. Select yes, and a new passage and link will be created.
- Clicked ‘no’? No problem! Right-click anywhere on the storyboard and create a new passage. Title that passage ‘start2’, or whatever you put after the | in the following step, to connect it to your previous passage.
- Add the opening scene or description to your new passage. Use the text from your notes that you decided would the very first screen.
- Add a horizontal link. In our activity, we highlighted words we wanted to expand on. Find a word in this passage that you want more information on and make it into a link. Have the link lead to a passage with text, images, or any other information you would like. Make sure to include a [[return]] or [[go back]] link that will take the player back to the previous passage!
- Add a vertical link. In our activity, we thought of some options that the player might have when they move through the story. Create links to two separate passages that represent these options.
- Play! Experiment! Have fun! Use the Twine Syntax chart and resources above.
- Before you exit, make sure to save your game using the drop-down menu: “File —> Save story”.
After using and creating your own Twine game, take a few minutes to jot down your thoughts on the experience. Consider the following questions:
- What was your experience using the platform?
- Was it easy to use/learn? Difficult?
- What connections and associations were you trying to create through your links?
- What experiences or emotions did you want to portray through these connections?
- How did you choose the words/phrases that would become horizontal links? Vertical Links?
- Did you have any unexpected hiccups/errors occur?