Emergency - stories not showing on startup?

Hi everyone,

I’m freaking out - my computer shut itself down overnight (for no known reason, it’s been doing this) and when I reopened Twine (2.3.9) in the morning, there were no stories in my library. I’ve been working HARD on a story for the past few weeks (in Harlowe, if it matters), and there’s still an HTML file in my Documents\Twine\Stories folder whose last-modified time seems to reflect when I was working on it, but dragging it in or trying to import it doesn’t seem to register with the program. How can I recover my work?? I was supposed to turn this in in a few days and I hope I don’t have to spend those days recreating what I already had from memory instead of finishing the thing…

I’m able to import an automatically created backup from two weeks ago which is the most recent one created, but it’s got practically nothing in it.

Thank you!

EDIT: I was able to import one of the temp files created when I tested out portions of the story. I haven’t yet poked around it to make sure everything is there, but at least the map looks right; luckily I’d tested it fairly recently before stopping for the night, so I’ve only lost a little work. I’d still like to know what I could have done if this weren’t an option!

You don’t say whether you’re using the online or offline version of Twine, so I’m going to assume you’re using the offline version, since that’s the version I know best.

First, if your computer is shutting itself down, you might want to check the system’s power options to see if it’s set to go into “sleep” mode after some period of inactivity.

Second, normally that shouldn’t be a problem, since Twine is supposed to save every time you close a passage window (or something like that). So it’s weird that it wasn’t there.

If you do run into a problem where it goes missing, then (assuming you’re on Windows) you should be able to import it from My Documents\Twine\Stories. Not sure why that didn’t work for you, but it should have been able to import it.

Next place to check, assuming you’ve hit “Play” in Twine to open your game, is your Temp directory (typically in C:\Users\YourUserName\AppData\Local\Temp) for any HTML files, since that’s where they get launched from. Look for the most recent .html file there which is your game, and then import that into Twine.

After that, check the most recent My Documents\Twine\Backups\(date) folder. You should only use this if it’s more recent than the most recent file in your Temp directory.

Then, if you’ve either a published an HTML version of your game or you’ve made an archive of your Twine files more recently than either of the above, then you should import that.

Generally speaking though, this is why it’s important to back up your work frequently. Any time I make a major change to any of my stories, I “publish” them to an HTML file, and back them up in my Google Drive. Additionally, I periodically make an “archive” of all of my games, using the “Archive” button in the main Twine window, and back that up as well. That way, even if my computer dies, I still have access to those files.

Anyways, glad to hear you got your work back, but I’d definitely recommend adding regular backups to your routine.

Hope that helps! :grinning:

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Definitively you should start using version control.

I recommend Git + Bitbucket.

Twine it is known to give this kind of scares. So better add this fail safe, as soon as you can.

Thanks everyone, and sorry to drop the ball on responding. As I mentioned in my edit, I was able to figure out that I could go get my most recent temp version and import that, but the files in Stories and Backup were both very out of date. Still don’t know why!