Best System for Hypertext

I’m considering writing a hypertext story. I’ve been pointed to Twine, which is simple to use but doesn’t support state tracking. What are my other options?

Quest is getting a new “gamebook mode” in the forthcoming 5.2 release - I wonder if that would suit your needs? … quest-5-2/

I can send you a beta build if you’re interested.

I like the look of the plans for the beta- especially the scope for embedding different media in the story. I’d be interested in checking out the beta, I’ll even give you some feedback on it if that would be helpful. My email is notquitethere[funny looking ‘a’]gmail[dot]com.

My timeline for this project is very open, so I’m looking to explore all the different options. Just had a look at Undum, which Dierda Kiai used to excellent effect with The Play. It’s entirely web-based, so using it would give me another good reason to properly learn css, something I’ve been procrastinating over for a few months now.

I thought Twine did support state tracking url=,variables[/url]; though I haven’t used Twine at all and doing this may make it much less simple.

Ah, I think you’re right there. I was basing my assessment on what I saw in the tutorial videos. It looks like you need to use code (doesn’t look that hard though) rather than just use Twine’s menu-based development environment, but again I might be mistaken.

The problem with Twine is that it’s not officially supported anymore, though a small community can help you out with issues like the back button not working.

I had Twine on my computer for a little while until one of my stories made it go haywire – for some reason, the lines linking nodes became miles long, and it made things difficult. (Most of my time was spent scrolling.) I have never heard of anyone else having that problem, though. I loved the interface (when it worked) and the way everything looked in a browser.

HypeDyn is a newer alternative to Twine. I haven’t used it myself, but it looks very promising.

Undum is also a tool for making hypertext-like things, with a big focus on a beautiful web-based front-end.

Also for your consideration are:

–Each system has its strengths and its advocates.


Apart from CSS prettiness, the nice thing about Undum is that you can pick up basic state-tracking-CYOA functionality in a few days (particularly if you avoid persnicketiness with Jon Ingold’s “say” function), but you can also get considerably more powerful capabilities by taking advantage of the underlying Javascript.

(Of course, learning Javascript from scratch for purely-Undum purposes is kind of difficult and weird. It’s convenient that I know so many CS people.)