“The neat thing about having accessible game creation tools is that nontraditional authors are using them to make nontraditional games.” -Merritt Kopas

We will use Twine 2.0 to build our text-based games. Twine is a free, open-source tool that can be used on any device. Users create a visual storyboard linking together the passages of their text. Twine is easy to learn and implement, and it teaches aspects of HTML and web literacy. Below is a set of video tutorials. We encourage you to watch the first couple of videos to get a feeling for Twine. We will use the rest as reference material as you build out your game. There is also a text-based manual for Twine: Twine Harlowe Manual.

Two Syntax Tools

Link 2 Twine Passages

Link passages using [[this syntax]].

Twine Storyboard showing how [[]] syntax links passages

Here’s a variation on the [[syntax|Passage Title]].

Twine Storyboard showing how [[|]] syntax links passages

Add Text Within A Twine Passage

Use the Hook and (click:) Twine syntaxes together:

[Click  this text to reveal]<hook| (Click: ?hook)[And now this text has appeared]


Tutorial Videos

Discussion – Students as Creators

Games can be used as an alternative or accompaniment to lectures and readings to allow students to play with and experience course topics. Students can also play with and experience the content by building games of their own.

  • What are students are creating in your courses? (Ex: projects, papers, data analysis, etc.) How are these opportunities intended to engage students creatively?
  • Where would game design fit into your courses? What would you want students to learn from a game design project?
  • How is thinking about game design and game elements pushing you to explore your content? How can they be used to push students to think through the nuances of course topics?
  • How could you adapt traditional paper writing exercises into game design?
  • What are some of the best and worst presentations that your students have given? What elements were successful and what elements were distracting or even disastrous?
  • What have you done to make group projects successful in terms of student collaboration? Which of these elements could be applied to group game design? What do you see as the collaborative challenges of game design?