Reflections about Workshop in interactive storytelling

I attended a workshop about interactive storytelling with the program Twine and I wanna share some of my takeaways.  

Twine is a free and open-source tool for making interactive fiction in the form of web pages. You don’t need to write any code to create a story with Twine, but you can extend your stories with variables, conditional logic, images, CSS, and JavaScript. The goal of the workshop was to get familiar with the program and try to create your own interactive storytelling. The setup was that each person participated online from their own computer and was connected to an online program that took you through the different steps of using twine. Twine works as a grid of paths where at each step you will have to pick your next step.

This is an example of a storyline. 

The workshop started with a video that explained the basic tools followed by time for each person to start creating their own stories. Every 15 min. you would then be matched up with another participant to try their game, give feedback and resume again to your own story. I think the idea of the setup was great. Unfortunately the workshop encountered many technical issues which resulted in I never got to try another participant’s game. Nevertheless I still learned the basics of the program and had some takeaways. 

  • It is an easy program to get started with and uses very simple coding tools. I got a good idea of the program and fast I learned to use very simple tools and started creating a story. It can both be used as a program to do a fast mockup of an idea to an interactive game and can also be created with many different focuses both ethical dilemmas, informative questions etc. I could see myself using it both to create content for teaching students, but also for students themselves to create stories.
  • I started creating my story without any specific idea, but I was surprised how the program sparked creativity and how fast it was to create a story by very simple means. 
  • Besides the setup did not work because of technical issuesI found the format interesting. To be online and get partnered up with somebody, give them feedback but actually never “meeting” them seemed to work for other people in the workshop.

Beside creating my own story I have afterwards also explored the many different interactive stories created by other users. If you want to explore yourself is there here a list of games made with Twine:

3 thoughts on “Reflections about Workshop in interactive storytelling

  1. Majel Peters (She/her)

    B— Thank you for sharing! I checked out the link in your post and quickly got sucked into a few stories. I’ll definitely be checking out the platform. You mentioned ethical dilemmas, I wondered if you meant in trying to translate a story from life into this format, or if there were other considerations that posed issues.


    1. Benjamin Moerch (he/him/his) Post author

      Hi Majel

      Happy you found your way to examples of projects. I think that explains the programs potential better than my post. About the ethical dilemmas I was actually referring to the built up of the interactive games content, but thanks for bringing up another important perspective. I found that you often can categories the different types of choices you will need to make into something like: actions, ethical dilemmas, emotionally response and random choices (and there could be more). I personally ended up finding the ethical dilemmas mmore interesting in this setup.

  2. Maria Baker

    Benjamin – I have been meaning to respond to this for a while. Your post has been extremely helpful for me. It seems that Twine would let me do several things I am interested in, like creating a game as part of a novel or project and creating a piece of digital fiction. I’ve recently spent some time on the site and was surprised by how emotionally potent some of the stories (storytelling and visualization) were. That Twine is fairly intuitive and not too demanding is good to hear.

    I also appreciate that you point out the pedagogical potential of Twine and storytelling. Thank you.

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