It's Twine Week on Electron Dance. This is the last of five posts.
I never had any experience of using Twine until I wrote Truth is Ghost, which was released as part of the Fear of Twine exhibition in February. I had heard all sorts of things. It’s really easy. It’s better than parser IF. It can make your voice heard. It’s the remedy for capitalism. It can make English Breakfast tea.
Now, with a little experience of Twine tucked under my Batman utility belt, I have a few thoughts to share.
It's Twine Week on Electron Dance. This is the fourth of five posts.
In this specially extended episode of Counterweight, Eric Brasure and Joel "HM" Goodwin go through the Fear of Twine exhibition (2014), curated by Richard Goodness.
01:30 Debt by Tony Perriello "It's almost like a text movie"
05:30 Duck Ted Bundy by Coleoptera-Kinbote "It is manic"
10:00 The Conversation I Can't Have by Morgan Rille "She wasn't writing as a victim"
14:00 The Matter of the Great Red Dragon by Jonas Kyratzes "This is the kind of thing he does and he does it well"
19:15 Zombies and Elephants by Verena Kyratzes "I really like this twine"
27:45 Workers in Progress by Konstantinos "Gnome" Dimopoulos "It makes sense to view it as a work of speculative fiction"
32:45 When Acting as a Wave by David T. Marchand "This is my personal favourite of the entire set"
37:00 The Girl in the Haunted House by Amanda Lange "This is an example of something you couldn't do in the short story format"
40:30 The Scientific Method by Evil Roda "I like this one because I'm a sucker for end of world stuff"
44:00 Drosophilia by Pippin Barr, Gordon Calleja and Sidsel Hermansen "What is going on?"
47:45 Abstract State-warp Machines by Ivaylo Shmilev "It had a lot to say"
51:30 The Work by Cayora Rue "You don't know it's secret, do you?"
57:45 Coyotaje by Joseph Domenici "It's not about big picture, it's about what people go through"
63:15 TWEEZER by Richard Goodness and PaperBlurt "It's kinda charming, right?"
70:10 "My feelings towards Twine have changed"
73:15 "Look at the twines I found most successful, they were probably also the ones that were the most technically complex"
Download the podcast MP3 or play it right here in your browser:
- My top three: When Acting as A Wave, Zombies and Elephants, TWEEZER
- HM has written micro-reviews of every entry on the Appendix forum
It's Twine Week on Electron Dance. This is the third of five posts.
Richard Goodness and Julius “PaperBlurt” Olofsson made a Twine RPG called TWEEZER (Goodness & Olofsson, 2014). Well, that’s what they said, right? Sure. Cheap laughs are not for me. Sadly, I had committed myself to engaging every Fear of Twine entry and I couldn’t skip TWEEZER without drawing undue attention to myself, so my fate was sealed.
What is surprising about TWEEZER isn’t how much work has gone into its visual presentation nor that it is silly fun. What I find surprising is how complex TWEEZER is.
I recommend everyone have a go because I am about to tell you the brief story of how I tracked down TWEEZER’s Secret Achievement.
It's Twine Week on Electron Dance. This is the second of five posts.
The critics have been unanimous:
Amanda Wallace: “Truth is Ghost is clear as mud.”
Emily Short: “I played through it twice, and it made maybe slightly more sense the second time, but not to the point where I felt I could explain the plot at all.”
Jed Pressgrove: “I feel I am lacking the context needed to identify what the story is trying to say.”
And I can hear you now, reader, whispering, “Phew, it wasn’t just me then.”
With just ten days left until Fear of Twine closes its doors, it’s time to talk about what I was trying to do. It’s spoiler time.
It's Twine Week on Electron Dance. This is the first of five posts.
So I wrote about how I had problems with the Twine format. But this year I participated in the Fear of Twine exhibition and, as a result, forced myself to read the other 15 works in the exhibition so I could write about them.
Do I still have problems with Twine?
In his epic Dark Souls Diaries series, Matt “Steerpike” Sakey wrote about a key moment when he felt guilty for killing an NPC he had intended to save. Sakey didn’t have long to mourn. Rather than leave him to wallow in his misery, one commenter told him there was actually nothing he could do. Don’t feel bad about it.
Player guilt is so easily destroyed, it seems, if we learn everything is a foregone conclusion. We are fascinated by what lies behind the curtain and the fear that the game might be making a fool of us, exploiting us through an illusion of agency. No one wants to be Stanley of The Stanley Parable (Galactic Café, 2013), the developer’s puppet.
We crave the weight of consequence yet revel in its destruction. How do we make sense of this contradiction?
Over the last couple of years I’ve found it difficult to play games for actual fun. A game, after all, is a potential Electron Dance article so I approach each one like a loot-filled mansion ripe for burglary; there are words in there somewhere, I just need to figure out how to liberate them. This careful, methodical approach means that play can really feel like work, so I often put off games that might be more work than the norm.
If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know that I’m going through some medical shenanigans. It’s obliterated my concentration and hollowed out my interest in writing. I still like the idea of publishing a piece of writing, but I just don’t have the motivation to do all the other stuff that goes before it. You know. The actual work.
Disaffected with the site, I unplugged from the Twitter world as my feed descended into GDC hysteria. There are only so many monetize your teens ha ha and moments astounding of truly inspirational and must-play jeez you gotta recommended I can absorb in a single hour.
And I found myself doing something unusual. Which was playing games. For fun.
This week's real post is proving difficult to finish and it's grown out of control, like a mutant zombie cyborg alien amoeba run amok. Soon, it'll be so long I might as well publish it as a book.
To tide you over, here are three games I've played recently. I'm not sure I can come up with something interesting to write about them but that does not mean they are less deserving of attention.
Today let's look at a platformer-painter, a rock hard 3D puzzle and an FPS roguelike.