Fear of Twine Exhibition

As far as I can tell, this has gone by unnoticed on the forums. It’s an online exhibition of twine games that the curator, Richard Goodness, organised in reaction to some people’s ‘fear of twine’.

There are sixteen stories, some of which were written by familiar authors, some not. Each one was created specifically for the exhibition and is reasonably short in length, I believe.

To play them: http://fearoftwine.com/

Oh, and you can find loads more info on Richard’s blog: http://richardgoodness.wordpress.com/

[Just in case there’s any confusion, I’m not at all involved in this, just sharing it.]


“played” the first one – Debt. It doesn’t feel like either literature or a game. Interaction is clicking the next link. The prose reads like raw text dumps from a computer phosphor screen describing the actions taken by the robotic PC. If that sounds delightful as either literature or a game, beats me.

and BTW, I’m behind a firewall so whatever music it had only presented an error message in red. I actually thought it was part of the story and our robocop-alike protagonist was being hacked. That would make it more interesting as a plot but, alas, it was just in my head.

I have no fear of twhine though. I just fear most stories made with it are not interactive fiction.

BTW, the link for the curator is wrong, in the About page.

Just out of curiosity, namekuseijin, why do you keep playing Twine games and the like when it’s clear (and you even say as much in your signature) that you don’t like the general format?

blame hope
The dreaded die-hard feeling sits there while you keep harassing it from all angles.

Sometimes it reward your tenacity by pointing to a good game or other.

oh, wow. tried another.

Here’s pretty much it’s only outcome, out of 2 tentatives: “No answer comes. You give up and head to the kitchen. You open the freezer and take a look around. You see a pint of Ben & Jerry’s you had forgotten about. Oh man! Score. You remove the ice cream from the freezer, grab a spoon, and eat the entire thing in bed. Then you masturbate and fall asleep.”

Along with the boring twitter-level prose and the plotless nature, why should I keep trying it to see whatever possible branches?

I mean, this is supposed to be an Exhibition (with a curator and all the jazz) and among the picks are some really pointless stinkers. Now, I thought the name was supposed to hint at removing fear away from Twine, but instead it seems the purpose is to make people really fear the tool instead.

way to go

Namekuseijin, the link is working fine for me.

I’ll admit the exhibition is somewhat lacking, but a few of the entries held my interest – namely, The Conversation I Can’t Have and Kyratzes’ stuff.

I mean in the About page

Honestly I’m kind of a twine evangelist but this exhibition is really not presented in a fashion that’s friendly to non-twine users.

When cvaneseltine linked me I was like … “Ok what is it?”

Wow, how did I miss this? I mean, I only check TwineHub, TwineGarden, the Twine forum (announcements section), the Twine Googlegroup, Adventure Cow AND philomela.la… DAILY…

Hi–I’m Richard Goodness, the guy running this exhibition. Everyone agreed that the initial presentation of the exhibition was awful, and so Jonas Kyratzes (whose story “The Matter of the Great Red Dragon” is the fourth entry in room 1 and well worth your time if you like good stories) was kind enough to perform some major cosmetic surgery. It’s a lot friendlier and informative–I was initially trying a “letting the works speak for themselves” kinda thing, but that didn’t work out too well. Also thanks for the heads up on the link, which has also been fixed.

I’m not sure how interested i am in the whole “games vs stories vs IF vs etc etc etc” thing that collects around Twine for very obvious reasons–frankly, one of the reasons I wanted to do a Twine-only exhibition was because I saw the reactions a lot of the Twines had in the IF competition. Stuff in Twine and stuff in Inform is very different because they have different types of works they’re geared to, and the general tastes of the IF community (at least the one surrounding the Competition) leans towards parser. You might like my own game TWEEZER (Room 4, last one), which is presented a little more like a “game”, but I don’t really necessarily want to make a point about fitting into any particular category at least with my own stuff.

Well anyway! I do think that the Fear of Twine collection does kind of show off the main things that can be done with it. You know, I’m glad you’re all giving it a chance and I really appreciate the feedback; in return, if you don’t like Fear of Twine, consider it a dispensation: You can say with informed authority, nah, I really don’t like Twine games. They ain’t my thing.

Tweezer text goes by a bit too fast. and I don’t think the retro look makes it anything like a “real” game. It only suggests pixel art, which in turn suggests 80’s games… a common mistake among twine folks, I guess.

to be clear, take a look at this:

[i]The painted glass pitcher of water cracks silently, the painted water spilling
in perfect resemblance of real water, the dangerous symbol of Venus
Genetrix now illegible painted slivers; and then the link that controlled it is

The guards swear in the next room, searching through your possessions in
the most distressing way.[/i]

it doesn’t look particularly gamey nor does it read in large butt ugly 80’s fonts… yet, it’s a real game with objectives, state and damn good prose and story to boot

I’d gladly pass on most Twine “games” if only they would not pop up in IF circles so often…

Twine is still interactive fiction. The game mechanics of Twine is CYOA, which began as game-books. You can alter the story, so it’s interactive. Most of them are fiction, I’d assume :smiley:. Where’s the problem with Twine appearing in IF circles?

you can, except when you can’t. Like in most linear twine games.

they are also fiction, twitter-esque fiction in bad grammar, but still fiction I guess. and mostly static

If the grammar or mechanics of the writing are bad, then that’s different. With Twine, that’s all you have to go on. However, there are bad examples of Inform games, too – plenty of them. Bad games, like bad books, won’t be remembered, so why fight against them? Let the good ones speak for themselves. And, you can learn from both good and bad games. What to do, and what not to do, are two sides of the same coin, when it comes to art. And sometimes, you can break the rules and still have something good.

I made an IFDB page for The Matter of the Great Red Dragon since it lacked one and I wanted to review it. Yes, I did give it a negative review, but on one level I kind of feel like negative reviews that amount to more than ‘This is uninteractive! This is not IF! This is bad because it’s not a parser game!’ are a positive development, surely.

Richard – Thank you for putting this exhibition together; it strikes me as something terribly necessary. It would be nice if, when running exhibitions or competitions in the future, you make sure to generate IFDB pages for all pieces in them when they go online. I realise it’s a lot of work but it really helps put attention on them that wouldn’t otherwise be there, and IFDB is where a signiifcant chunk of the conversation about IF happens nowadays…

Sequitur–that’s not a necessarily unfair review! I didn’t feel the same about the surrealism and the ending but that might be because Kyratzes is a friend of mine and I’m familiar with his work, so quite simply I expected that to be where it ultimately went. Lawnmowering aside, if you’ve got a minute id be curious if a replay, knowing where it ends up, would be more palatable.

Anyway thanks for the tip on IFDB–that’s kind of one of those blind spots for me (I usually hang out in other corners of online) and so I appreciate the reminder. I know the IF community has always been fairly hostile towards CYOA stuff–hell, I remember the initial reception stuff like Rameses and even Photopia had, and I’ve never been the type to try to barge into a club where I didn’t necessarily meet the membership requirements. Entering the IF comp was something I did on a whim–I started on the my game around the time that the intent deadline was and figured it was a good motivator and that it was time to get some feedback on my work. Given the way that Twines in general have been received–again, I know that’s a general prejudice against hypertext works, I know that parser IF tends to reign, and one of the reasons I waned to do Fear of Twine is that I wanted to see what could be done without all of the baggage it gets–I don’t like the parser vs hypertext argument, particularly when it’s contorted into a political argument rather than an aesthetic one. The two do different things in my mind.

That said, I’m gonna accept the invitation and I’ll have the entries added. And I’m really happy you appreciate the event, and I thank YOU for your attention and advice!

I think some level of barging is necessary. I also think that while there is some low-level hostility and a few naysayers, the important/respected/whatever-you-want-to-call-it people within the IF community have been very receptive to Twine, CYOA and hypertext fiction. I don’t think it’s good for the “traditional“ IF community to be ruled by that hostility.

As for Red Dragon; honestly, I felt like towards the last part of the second act the game was dealing in symbolism that wasn’t connecting at all for me. And then towards the end it takes a sharp right turn from telling a fantasy story to making what is very much an ideological point (One that I disagree strongly with) that I found it jarring, unpleasant even. When I have the time I should go play and review the other pieces in the exhibition.

Thank you for taking the time to put entries up on IFDB.

There has always been a nonzero amount of hostility, but I hope it is clear that the community considers choice-based games “part of our thing” these days. (IFComp and XYZZY results demonstrate that I’m not totally talking out my butt here.)

Second this. I’m glad to see more people writing and playing interactive fiction, and parser-based games (no matter how traditional they are) are only a slice of what’s possible.

There are a few loudly hostile voices, but they are the exception rather than the rule.

yeah, let me unroll the dusty old red carpet and drum roll for a while

drumming makes me dream as the spell unrolls