I felt very ambivalent after playing most of the created Twine games. On the one hand, they had everything that was required- many storylines, an overarching plot, and ephemeral passages that only appeared with certain player choices. On the other, most also only had what was required. There were brief moments of creativity and inspiration, but by and large most of the projects, including my own, focused more on the technical aspects than on actual content.
This being my, and I suspect most of our, first time using Twine, the unfamiliarity of such a program, and the difficulty of coordinating four separate edits to the same HTML file, made us leave narrative by the wayside. We’ve all written stories before. I believed that I knew what to do. However, with the implementation of player choice, it seemed that many stories choose to tell instead of show. There were many instances of jarring jumps, with foreseen consequences and temporal leaps resulting from what appeared to be simple “continue the game” choices. At least personally, the rush to finish and fully use Twine detracted from the quality of the actual story.
After using an unfamiliar program to work in an unfamiliar medium, I appreciated just how much more there is to CYOA than meets the eye. In the Under the Sea novel that I read, no matter the path I ultimately choose, it felt like a cohesive narrative. Until writing my own, I did not realize how much this continuity was a function of expert plotting and suspension of disbelief. With more experience in the future, we (I), should be able to concentrate more on the story, and allow the content to speak for itself.