Whenever the [Twine] Shall Meet

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.

0 thoughts on “Whenever the [Twine] Shall Meet

  1. So, I guess I understand where you’re coming from, but I disagree a bit. First of all, storytelling is something that takes practice and is difficult, and not everyone in the class is used to doing it. To expect great stories from everyone is unrealistic. Second of all, my CYOA book was a bit lacking in continuity. I read the Mayan one, and all of a sudden one of the storylines had aliens sitting on the top of Mayan ruins. Just something to think about.

  2. I agree with Emily about my CYOA book lacking in continuity as well, which matches with my experience playing the different Twine projects. I also read the Under the Sea book and, at one point, I chose to travel down a hole I found in the ocean floor. Upon descending down the hole, I became a “thought traveler” and was now able to travel into people’s minds and dreams. That is definitely a “jarring jump” as I was trying to find Atlantis, not travel into peoples dreams. I feel that part of the fun of CYOA books and this Twine project were these jumps, as they, for me, made the stories much more fun and interesting to interact with.

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