Tuesday, August 27, 2019

LAST KID RUNNING _____ How to create your own interactive text games


The book launch event for my new book Welcome to the Scramble (Last Kid Running series, Book 1) is happening next week at the Asian Festival of Children's Content in Singapore. You're invited! Free entry, yay. Details here.

In case you don't already know, Last Kid Running is a gamebook series, which means it's an interactive story. You play as the main character and you make choices along the way, in response to what's happening in the story, and you just keep going and see how well you do, and whether you can be the winner in the awesome AR game that's the main action in the book.

Some people have been asking me about how I developed this and organised all the branching plotlines. I used an awesome open source software called Twine, you can get it here. Some weeks back I also wrote a simple Twine how-to guide for StoryCode SG, which I'm duplicating below for your convenience.

I really enjoy writing interactive stories! Hope you have loads of fun with this too.

— D





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HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN INTERACTIVE TEXT GAMES
(Original post)

StoryCode SG’s quick guide to using Twine
by Don Bosco




Do you like zombies?

Do you like funny stuff?

Do you enjoy interactive text games?

Here’s one I made recently, called Zombiehead Yaargh!, it’s funny and features a zombie hunter, and you can play it for free here.

Even better, you can join our coming StoryCode SG game jam session, and prototype your own text games.

Wow, cool!

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Ever since I joined StoryCode SG some years back, I’ve been occasionally organising fun storyhacking sessions around my creative obsessions. More people, more fun.

We did a bunch of comics-making workshops. (Info and photos here and here and here.)

We had a fiction writing workshop. (Here.)

This time around, I’m pretty buzzed about interactive fiction, or hypertext story games, or whatever you call them. I’ve made one for kids called Toy Mystery: Secret of the Chatter Blocks. (Free ebook here.) And I’m working on another one now called Last Kid Running.


As you can guess, we’re now looking forward to hosting some game jam sessions where the local StoryCode community can join in the fun and prototype your own story games!

Event details coming soon.

But how does one make an interactive story game?

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The basic tool I use is Twine. It’s free, easy to use, and there’s a huge Twine community online. You can download the app, or use the online version at https://twinery.org/.

For total beginners, I’ve created a quick guide below to show how to get started.


Tip: if your screen is too small, download the image above so you can zoom in and read the details.

Your Twine game is automatically packaged as a HTML file, which can be played in any browser, or embedded somewhere online.

It takes just a few minutes to explore the basic features, and then you’ll be up and running, fleshing out your own game ideas.

Which may or may not include zombies.

Twine can also incorporate music, graphics, etc. And various scripts. Confession: I haven’t gone on to this advanced stuff.

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Here are some interactive text games that I’ve found inspiring.

+ 80 DAYS by Inkle
An ambitious text adventure experience.
https://www.inklestudios.com/80days/

+ LIFELINE
Acclaimed game that works on your Apple Watch. You interact with an astronaut.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/lifeline/id982354972?mt=8

+ A DARK ROOM
Play it for free online, or buy the app.
http://adarkroom.doublespeakgames.com/

+ FIGHTING FANTASY: THE GATES OF DEATH
A new book in the classic FF series, this one written by Charlie Higson.
https://www.amazon.com/Fighting-Fantasy-Gates-Death/dp/1407186302

+ BLACK MIRROR: BANDERSNATCH
Did you know this Netflix phenomenon was designed with Twine?
https://www.wired.com/story/black-mirror-bandersnatch-interactive-episode/

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So don’t be a zombie. Come alive quick, join our StoryCode SG Meetup group for updates. See you soon!

https://www.meetup.com/StoryCode-Singapore/

Remember to play ZOMBIEHEAD YAARGH! here.










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