Twine is an open-source tool for telling interactive, nonlinear stories.
Sept'2013: Joel Goodwin is not a fan. Most Twine games allow the player to rewind their steps which confers the time-travelling power of Braid (Number None, 2008) to the Twine player. With such powerful agency, it becomes a game of scaling the tree, scurrying through the leaves of text, leaning out from each branch and identifying every ending. I wind up performing tree appraisal rather than engaging the story and sharing authorship. I can only consider the game completed once I have learnt the shape of the entire tree... I eventually gravitated towards parser-based text adventures, with Info Com's adventures being the high point... We can view parser as a clumsy tool for exploring the decision tree of a text adventure but what the parser did was help obfuscate the tree and place me in the story.
Apr01'2014 expansion: HyperText tales are often sold as games of choices, of Agency, of your version of the narrative – when it would be better to embrace what they are good at, which is telling a different kind of interactive fiction: one which is host to multiple narratives, narrative superposition for want of a better term, from which meaning can be derived... It is important to separate hypertext storytelling from other forms of Story Telling... It might be time to forget about forcing players to cry over consequences and let them cry over story. Except… well, good luck on that, because players are going to hate you.
Apr04'2014 revisit. Yet my respect for the form is very real now. Previously anything I wrote positively about Twine would have been very technical: I did not have fun with twine and found it difficult to get excited enough to make observations and analysis. Having sat down and spent quality time with more twines in the last couple of months than I’d ever played before, I’ve been converted. I appreciate what Twine can do and understand how the format can really work for others... In sum, I get Twine now. But I don’t know if that has actually changed anything.
founded by Nova Spivack.
bought by Ev Ri in 2010