If you’re writing interactive fiction, you’d be hard pressed to find a better tool than Twine. It’s incredibly simple and incredibly powerful, with a reassuringly shallow learning curve. With a little know-how you can use it to create very sophisticated role-playing games, but even with no know-how at all you can jump right in and write a fully functional Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-style story. I’ve already written a tutorial that shows how you can get started in just four clicks! This one will pick up where that left off and show you how to convert your Twine story into a format that can be read on plain old paper without the aid of a computer.
I do very much recommend having a look at that first tutorial before beginning to follow this one, by the way. At least keep it open in another tab to refer to. Nothing in here is going to be particularly complicated, and if you’ve already had a fiddle around with Twine 2 then chances are you could probably follow along well enough. However, having my Getting Started in Four Clicks tutorial handy would probably save some confusion, as I’ll be referring back to it here from time to time.
In Getting Started in Four Clicks I made the case that merely by knowing how to link passages in Twine using double square brackets, you’ve got just as many options available to you as Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone did when writing the Fighting Fantasy series back in the ’80s. However, though these simple Twine stories would in theory work perfectly well on paper, there are a few extra steps involved in converting them from Twine’s (far superior) system of hyperlinks into the (slow but printable) system of numbered passages and “Turn to…” instructions used by pen-and-paper gamebooks. Continue reading
You know how some people quit smoking just about every week? Well, I start making games almost as often: or I did before I found Twine. I’ve lost track of how many different “make a game with no coding” packages I’ve installed, tried, and given up on over the years. I’ve also lost track of how many Python for Beginners lessons I’ve got through, which is a large part of the reason why I haven’t gone back to Python for Beginners. If I’d stuck with any one of these things, I’d probably have a handful of decent, non-text games under my belt by now, but instead I pretty much just hopped over to a new one every week.
Anyway. This week it’s Unity. Time will tell whether or not this opens up any grand new gaming avenues for me to explore, but even just the first few lessons of the basic Roll-a-Ball tutorial have made me think. Largely, they’ve made me think about how mind-bogglingly difficult Unity is to grasp compared to Twine. Unity isn’t even spectacularly hard to pick up in itself–at this point I feel as though I could get an interesting (though far from spectacular) game together just by tweaking Roll-a-Ball a little–but it really highlights all the things about Twine that make it easy to get started. Continue reading