If you’re interested in learning to make games with Twine – and especially if you’re interested in using them to build up a portfolio – it’s well worth considering how to reach as many players as possible.
Anything that runs in a browser (such as a Twine game) will tend to be played more often that something must be installed, and anything that’s primarily text and choice -based (like most Twine games) is generally more accessible to players with disabilities than something that depends primarily on using quick reflexes to respond to graphics on screen. By making just a few small adjustments to your Twine games – such as ensuring your text is clearly legible, and adding descriptions to any visual media included along with it – you can boost their reach even further!
This post offers a few quick tips, as well as links to further resources if you want to look into the subject in a little more detail:
Hey all, After our group discussion about my “Disability Media” Twine project on Frost accessibility, I went on to do some further research on how to make Twine and the HTML you put in it as accessible as possible. I hope to update this post as I learn more, because this is actually to some […]
Twine 2 lets you do a whole lot with simple text and hyperlinks, and it couldn’t be easier to get started. If you want to take things a step further and add images as well, that’s not hard either! There are actually a few different methods of doing this, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. I’d recommend adding images as Base64 where possible, but there are times when it’s handy to simply display a picture stored in the same place as your game, whether that’s on a website somewhere or on your computer.
About Local Images:
When I talk about “local images,” I’m referring to image files that are stored in the same place as the HTML file containing the actual Twine game. Your overall setup should look something like this:
This is a directory (which Windows refers to as a folder) containing the HTML Twine game itself – Visual Vera and the Three PNGs.html – as well as an image, bananas.png. When the player encounters the passage in which the banana image is supposed to appear, the game will look for a PNG named “bananas.png” in the same folder as itself and, if it’s there, display it in the appropriate place in the game. Continue reading
Depending on how closely you follow my work – and in particular whether or not you’re subscribed to my monthly newsletter and all the goodies therein – you might be aware that I recently began supplementing my Twine projects with simple HTML5 games. For the moment these tend to revolve around well established (and thus easily replicated) mechanics, which is why the latest is…
If you’re familiar with incremental games (and especially if you’ve played Cookie Clicker specifically) then this will look a lot like what’s already out there. While I’m still getting the hang of Gdevelop5 – the tool I’ve been using for HTML5 games – it only makes sense to follow a tried and tested recipe (to keep things cookie-themed). However, even while aiming for a fairly safe format, I like to think that I’ll inevitably work in some new ingredients. Continue reading
Have you ever noticed a really neat feature in a Twine game and thought: “Hey, I wonder how they did that?” Well, wonder no more because it’s (usually) super easy to find out.
Twine 2 has many advantages over Twine 1:
- It’ll run in your browser so there’s no need to install.
- The default story format (Harlowe) is simpler to learn. and easier to read if you’re working with variables.
- The playable HTML file is also the editable flowchart version of the game.
In my first Twine for Beginners tutorial I recommended using the “Publish to File” option regularly in order to save your work in case of accidents. I touched upon the fact that this file is both a copy of your work and a playable game that you can share, but never really explained the full significance of that:
Anything that’s been made in Twine 2, you can open up and edit for yourself.
My philome.la profile includes just about every Twine project I’ve ever finished. The vast majority of these can be opened up and explored with the process I’m about to describe. For now, click on Ultraviolent Unicorn Deathmatch of Destiny.
You’re welcome to poke around any of my stories that you like, but a small handful were written using Twine 1 and so can’t be (easily) imported into Twine 2. For the sake of demonstrating the process, Unicorn Deathmatch was both written using Twine 2 and provides an interesting, comprehensible example once it’s imported with these simple steps: Continue reading
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
I’ve been writing interactive fiction using Twine for a few years now, but one thing that’s stuck with me is just how simple it was to get started and just how quickly that simple start led to bigger, more impressive things. In fact, starting out with Twine is actually easier now than it was when I first gave it a go, and in my opinion there’s quite a bit more you can do with it than there used to be. The software has changed a lot in the time I’ve been using it. Take a look!
On the left, My Name Algernon, written using Twine 1.4.2 and currently available to supporters of Ten Little Astronauts. On the right, Inquisition, seen here in Twine 2.1.1 and included in my flash fiction anthology, Robocopout. (Click the screenshots to see them full-size.)
There are a whole bunch of great Twine tutorials out there already, many of which already make the case that Twine is a great way for non-programmers to get into making games. However, as a non-programmer who has used Twine to get into making games, I feel as though I’m in a pretty good position to add one more to the mix. Here’s my comprehensive, foolproof guide to making your first game in Twine 2.1.1.
I’m not kidding about it being foolproof, by the way. I’ll be describing the entire process click-by-click, and I promise if you follow these steps exactly, you can have your first Twine story set up in literally four clicks. I can do it in three.