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A Game Maker Is You – Twine – An Introduction

Are you interested in making games? Do you have no fucking idea where to start? Then you’re in the right place.

I also answer yes to the above questions, which probably makes me a terrible person to be your guide, but at least we’re on the same page. To ease us all into it, I’ve decided to start with Twine.

Have you ever wanted to make a Choose Your Own Adventure story but didn’t have access to a printing press? Well, you’re in luck, because Twine is a program that allows you to build interactive stories.

Do I have your attention?

a) No. I think I’d rather go look at some porn.
b) Yes! I would like to read more.

Strictly speaking, there must be a hundred different ways to make an interactive story; Hell, you could build one in HTML with only rudimentary knowledge of the code. You would only need to memorise a handful of HTML codes to take care of basic text editing and linking back and forth between pages, but you’d still be dealing with either plain text or some awful editor link FrontPage. Where Twine comes into its own is in the graphical representation. Links between passages are clearly illustrated, broken links are easily spotted, and the whole story is automatically mapped out for you on the main screen. There might be other ways to make an interactive story, but the developers built Twine with only one purpose in mind, and at this single purpose it excels.

But I’m not here to review Twine, I’m just here to tell you about it and set you on the path.

Download it for Windows or Mac, read some of the documentation, and then get to work. If you need to get in touch with me, your wise-yet-youthful tutor, there’s twitter, facebook or email. I’ll be back soon with thoughts, tips, and a story of my own in the coming weeks.

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