New Twine Interactive Story Tool Announced at No Show Conference

A new tool to make interactive story games without being able to code? Yes please.
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Great news for budding authors and those curious about game development; Chris Klimas, author of Twee and Twine, today announced his intent to deliver a new version of his interactive story creation tool at the No Show Conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

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Klimas’ presentation was an interesting tale of the slow development of Twine in the “early part of the last decade” and his struggles with burnout and initially low levels of interest.

Yet with a recent surge of community interest, he is now a man reinvigorated and seems to have renewed purpose.

“I thought it was about making machines do things people didn’t think was possible, but I’ve learned that it’s about helping people do things they didn’t think was possible.” – Chris Klimas, Twine Creator

The Gift of Storytelling, Digitised

The free tool has been available to budding games designers for several years and provides with a first step into the world of game creation for those curious but without the ability to code. He identified that he hadn’t released a new version of Twine in 3 years but that it wasn’t until 2012 “that people finally figured out what it was for – it’s a great introduction to gaming [development].”

A community has built up around Twine and Klimas recognises the need to revisit his tool in light of the belated attention. Leon Arnott, a significant contributor to the community and the man responsible for some great tweaks and additions to Klimas’ original program, will be involved and will be “leading the charge”.

The new build of Twine will be called Harlowe (after Klimas’ favourite Choose Your Own Adventure novel, Who Killed Harlowe Thrombey) and will be browser-based. Klimas realises that there is a need for mobile device compatibility and sees focusing on browsers as the preferable option to attempting to coding specifically for each individual hardware platform.

However, Klimas understands the need for an offline option, stating, “I wouldn’t feel comfortable putting my creative work on somebody else’s server.”

A Call to Arms for Twiners

He has obtained a new domain name and will be moving from the old website to a new location at (currently blank) , where an early pre-alpha version of the browser-based tool can be tested to destruction here.

Chris Klimas closed his presentation with an appeal to the community for help in setting up his new website and carrying the Twine project forward. He can be contacted at [email protected].

Here’s to seeing the continued resurgence of bedroom coding storytellers and other Twine applications.

[Check out EVE Online: The Text Adventure, my attempt at a Twine-based satirical adventure/tongue-in-cheek review of one of my favourite MMOs.]

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Mat Westhorpe
Broken paramedic and coffee-drinking Englishman whose favourite dumb animal is an oxymoron. After over a decade of humping and dumping the fat and the dead, my lower spine did things normally reserved for Rubik's cubes, bringing my career as a medical clinician to an unexpectedly early end. Fortunately, my real passion is in writing and given that I'm now highly qualified in the art of sitting down, I have the time to pursue it. Having blogged about video games (well, mostly EVE Online) for years, I hope to channel my enjoyment of wordcraft and my hobby of gaming into one handy new career that doesn't involve other people's vomit.