Word Up! Twine 2 Released

Twino.

Psst, hey, here’s a fun idea for the holidays: make a thing. Not a vow to e.g. stop drunktexting – everyone finds that charming, I’m sure. Nor do I mean assembling a weird toy a young nephew received. Make a thing wot people can play and go “Coo I thought you were a worthless lump, but look at you now, some kind of literary giant with these fine words and lawks a lummy look at the clever design you’ve got going on.” Or keep it a secret all for yourself. Just make a thing.

After a fair while in beta, Twine’s update/remake/”sequel” Twine 2 has launched. You could use that. It’s a fairly big overhaul of the write-o-game-maker tool.

Twine 2 is now browser-based, for starters, yet seems to run faster and feel easier than the old standalone for me. It’s also introduced a new form of text marking, going away from the scrappy one based on TiddlyWiki. Don’t listen to folks who say that Twine doesn’t require coding, but it all seems pretty simple. You can read more about the new TwineMarkup this-a-way.

Twine games are sometimes unfairly dismissed as a genre, but the medium allows, well, anything you can make with words. Perhaps have a browse over Twine games we’ve posted for inspiration. Or perhaps don’t – go in fresh as a daisy, finding a blank page and writing whatever comes to mind.

Here’s a vid introducing Twine 2 a bit:

27 Comments

  1. lowprices says:

    Fine then, Alice, FINE. I will make a thing. I’ve got two weeks off over Christmas and a new laptop, so I will make a thing in Twine 2: Word Harder and start making a thing in GameMaker.

    Happy now?

  2. Metalfish says:

    Excellent. Since I’ve bizarrely been persuaded to teach kids how to make simple games, this is excellent news.

  3. Monggerel says:

    One of these days I’ll write a So-Nic fanfiction so bad, so outrageously putrid, that Great Death themself will return to collect the sinners. And then I’ll combine that with Twingo ++ to make sure it’s not a game.

  4. WarderDragon says:

    Grumblemumble Twine somethingsomething game somethingsomething blurred lines mumblegrumble grinch.

  5. LionsPhil says:

    Every time I see Twine, I wish Inform hadn’t made the disasterous choice to try to tackle natural language parsing. Or that Twine actually pushed to the web properly and used web state mechanisms like URIs rather than JavaScript variables, so you could come back and resume later, share states, etc.

    Still, props to them for doing this with local storage so you don’t have to put all your work on their central server with an account.

    • Geebs says:

      I read somewhere that the natural language parsing was part of a political thing…

      • AXAXAXAS MLO II: MLO HARDER says:

        Didn’t they do that as an attempt to get people who would normally not be able to program games, to start programming games?

        Which, if you ask me, it’s an incredibly daft idea. You know what else tries to use plain language to describe a complex system that requires specific instructions? Magic: The Gathering. You know what is very well known for being easy to understand and appealing to a large part of the population, regardless of their level of education or background? Me neither, but it’s not Magic: The Gathering.

    • Cryptoshrimp says:

      Every time I try to approach Inform, it’s just an exercise in frustration. Maybe it’s because I’m approaching it from a (sort of) programmer’s mindset, but it just doesn’t work for me. I would imagine non-programmer writers are having an easier time though.

    • Tacroy says:

      I don’t know much about Twine’s development, but maintaining state in the URI seems to be something it does; see for instance this direct link to an end-point in a story.

      The problem with that, though, is that in practice most browsers limit the length of URIs. The practical limit ends up being around 2000 characters – and if you take a closer look at the URI, it’s not a plain world-state; it’s a world-path-state. This means that if there’s a particularly long path through the game, the player may get to a point where they are literally unable to progress further.

      That actually ended up happening to me in Skulljhabit – I apparently missed a ton of stuff in the game, because I took too long and the links stopped working.

      • zgtc says:

        This wouldn’t be terribly difficult to implement; a string of only a few characters A-Z and 0-9 would give you billions of pre-identified possible paths, and beyond that you could store quite a few additional values in plaintext. So a character named “Josephiblix” going with, say, option 1, 4, 12, 25 and getting item A, G, N, and Q could just be “/j2di43/Josephiblix” (one of about 2 billion six-character possibilities plus the name). Sure, if the player gets to name every single item there might be an issue, but just iterating out and attaching an ID string to every possible path would take maybe two or three lines of code.

  6. Skeletor68 says:

    Cool. I’ve been messing around with Twine to try and create some educational resources for work with a D&D style game for working out probabilities and a min-text adventure to deal with teenage issues. I have the basics down but really need to do some work on presentation. Must have another go over Christmas!

  7. rustybroomhandle says:

    Pleh, this has no ability to export the raw twee source. Our game is scripted in Twine, but alas it would appear we’ll be staying with 1.x for this very reason.

    Suppose we could just fork it since it’s open source, but it did have this feature before.

  8. Premium User Badge

    james.hancox says:

    I used to be very dubious about Twine games, but then I tried playing Terror Aboard the Speedwell. Fantastic piece of sci-fi horror, which gives you just enough agency to actually feel to blame when it all goes horribly wrong.

  9. Anthile says:

    Eh, might as well give it a try. I wonder if something like a singular Hitman level could be done in Twine. We’ll see how it works out.

  10. melnificent says:

    I made a twine thing. link to melhadf.itch.io

    Wonder how easy it is to convert to 2.0

    • Premium User Badge

      kfix says:

      A subtle but ultimately emotional love story. 10/10 would exercise consumer rights again.

  11. polarific says:

    I don’t think its unfair for Twine games to be labelled as a genre. For better of for worse, within gaming genres are generally coined due to gameplay (as opposed to narrative) considerations. Think of the FPS or RTS. Thus, if the player interacts with various Twine games in a similar manner, within the the current convention of what constitutes a game genre, they may be said to be playing games of the same genre. In my experience, I do interact with Twine games in a more or less similar manner (hypertext), so I think it is more or less safe to conclude they can be considered of a genre.

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      Then the genre is hypertext game, not Twine game. Can’t name a genre after one tool used to create them, when they can be built in so many other ways. We don’t have an art style called “Photoshop”.

      • Kaeoschassis says:

        While I’m inclined to agree, that’s a pretty amusing choice of example. Photo manipulation in general is very, very commonly referred to as “photoshopping”, after all.

        For years and years we referred to all FPSs as “Doom clones” but that’s not quite the same thing, I’ll grant you.

      • polarific says:

        I don’t think that’s really the issue though – remember, this is about whether such labelling is ‘unfair.’ If all Twine games are of a single genre, though incorrect, I don’t think it’s ‘unfair’ to say they are are a genre.

        • AXAXAXAS MLO II: MLO HARDER says:

          It would be possible to create a parse-based game on TWINE, just as it would be possible to fit a regular elevator to move sideways. In both cases, it would be better to just use something better for the job.

          I also say that in order if it not to be ‘unfair’ it shouldn’t be enough that all TWINE games fit the genre, but also that all games that fit the genre are TWINE games. I remember seeing a few hypertext-based Inform games, so kitten with a pancake on its head.

          • polarific says:

            Kitten with a pancake on its head? That’s an amazing phrase! What does it mean?

            Anyways, I disagree with you, and here’s why. I’m going to define fairness along the rough lines of ‘being allocated your just dessert’. Now, if it is said that Twine games are of a particular genre, and when this is said certain (correct) gameplay characteristics are attributed to Twine games, I think we could correctly say that the genre-label is doing a ‘fair job’ – after all, Twine games do have those characteristics. Now, it may be being unfair to certain other games to insinuate that only Twine games are of this genre, if they have the same gameplay characteristics and thus should fairly be included in the genre, but I don’t think its unfair to the Twine games themselves.

            To illustrate: there are three people, myself, and a pie. We agree to share the pie. I cut the pie into quarters, and give one of these to another person, and keep the rest for myself. Now, was I acting fairly towards the one person who got a pie-quarter? Intuitively I say yes, although I certainly was being unfair towards the others. He fairly deserved a quarter of the pie. Just as Twine games fairly get attributed certain characteristics when they are called ‘Twine games.’

            As to the possibility of parse-based games in Twine, as you alluded to, I don’t see why anyone would do such a thing. But yeah, it would be being unfair to Twine games to label them as a genre if these were a sizable proportion of them.

  12. Durandir says:

    I started making a thing a few weeks back. As usual I end up trying to do more than I should having just started, so I didn’t get far. Instead of just having a “normal” choose your own adventure, I decided I needed perception points that would determine what text you saw, which would lead to an unspecified number of endings. Maybe this means I should continue that, just in 2.0. Wait, can you convert it someway from last version to this? No matter, don’t have to rewrite that much.
    For the very few who want to see what I managed to make, this is the extent of my three-four hour work. A very short teaser that takes like… under a minute to play: link to auleyhill.altervista.org
    It does already have some sort of “point system” though, which alters what you see from how you behave and respond.

    • AXAXAXAS MLO II: MLO HARDER says:

      But Choice of Games doesn’t allow you to use ChoiceScript for your personal games, does it? Or you’re talking about playing games, rather than make them? Because if it’s the latter, I think they’re two very different beasts.

  13. Scelous says:

    I’ve really wanted to like Twine, but it’s just been too simplistic and linear compared to Choice of Games material. Maybe Twine 2 will change that; I’ll have to take a look.