Make your own game in an afternoon with Twine

Ever wanted to make your very own video game, but knowing how long it will take to actually do puts you off? Well, let me introduce you to Twine.

Twine is a small tool for creating interactive stories. It's completely free to use, for personal or profit. It's available for Windows and Mac, as well as having an in-browser option also available.

Twine is a tiny but powerful program, ranging from the ability to make simple stories - literally text pages one after another - to elaborate interactive experiences with text, images, choices, RPG like statistics and more.

I was introduced to this program from both the tweets of indie dev Zoe Quinn and several articles over at Offworld, intriguing me to check out this avenue of game development. As Zoe mentions in some of her tweets - when you can literally make a game and publish it in an afternoon, how much lower can the barrier to entry be?

My experience with the program so far has been, in a word, excellent. There are no hassles with setup and you can begin creating straight away. It is a good idea to check out both tutorials on YouTube as well as the ever helpful wiki located on the main Twine website for tips on where and how to start. These resources are great for learning the basics of how to get started with Twine.

If you are familiar with basic web programming, such HTML/CSS and/or JavaScript, the kinds of experiences you can create with Twine increase exponentially. Using these web programming languages allows you to not only change the colours, fonts, styles and everything visual about your game, but it also allows you to add in scripts and macros to enhance your game further - adding in timed events, for example.

Currently being held by Porpentine is the Twiny game jam - a small jam in where your task is to create a tiny Twine with less than 300 words. This is a great initiative to help budding young devs and veterans alike come up with something small in a few short hours. Props to Laura Hudson with this story on Offworld for alerting me to this jam and helping me finish my very first Twine game!

You can check out my little text adventure right here, in your browser or even on your smartphone, if you want an idea of a basic game that can be made very easily with Twine:

Click here to play Player Choice on your phone or Browser!

I've already had a ton of fun with Twine, and plan to continue to build games using it. If this sounds like something you would be interested in trying out, I encourage you to do so. If you do, please share them with me on twitter @lawnch1 so I can check out your creations! 

Twine - an open-source tool for telling interactive, nonlinear stories