Prepare to be underwhelmed.

Spinning a Yarn With Twine

In which I write a mediocre game (no shame).

I have to admit, I know very little about games, or gaming. I have played video games, but I am really picky and have never really enjoyed the “point and shoot games” and unfortunately, for a very long time I incorrectly assumed that is what most video games are. Currently, I am in the middle of trying out The Witcher PC game series as well as another called Grow: Song of the Evertree (most definitely child-friendly), because I was stressed and wanted a really easy, cottage-core type game to play, but can’t afford the console needed to play Animal Crossing. Anyway.

That said, I am really intrigued by the process of writing a game storyline; I have written one small campaign for D&D, where players can (to a point) pick and choose the direction the story goes, so I have about 0.5% of an idea of how it might work.

Twine is brand new for me. I had no idea it even existed. This, combined with the no doubt superior knowledge I hold from regularly playing TWO PC games and writing exactly one RPG game for friends, made me destined for success.

No.

I do struggle with anxiety, and after reading the articles for this week’s class, I was inspired by Depression Quest to try a more honest, mental health approach. I am, as mentioned, rather stressed out and the last thing I want to do is actually induce additional anxiety, so I decided to try and make my Twine story something I would find comforting, rather than gut-wrenchingly educational. Also I like Halloween.

The jury is out on whether I did okay or not.



(It took me a bit to figure out how to embed the game into the page; originally I just provided a link to the web version.)

While my game is not award-winning, and likely has a bug or typo I missed somewhere, I did have fun linking certain responses together and weaving a (tiny) web of story possibilities. I tried to go for a theme of positive self-talk. I feel like I ended up with something that is imperfect, but with a lot more time and thought I could develop something I am much happier with (I would need quite a while to think about how to shape my messaging without being problematic).

I wish that gatekeeping was not such a huge issue with gaming; the value of Twine games, to me, is not “lesser than” more traditional video games. They are simply different. Everything is made up, and no method of creating things is so sacred that people need to be excluded. Anything that involves effort and that has thought and meaning behind it is worth existing and celebrating, whether that thing exists simply for enjoyment or as an educational tool. This goes especially for things that are intended to help people understand other people.


Photo by Liz West1

  1. “pumpkin patch,” 2012. liz west. Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED. https://www.flickr.com/photos/calliope/ ↩︎

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