FRISE -- a new interactive fiction engine


I am new to this forum, so I am not 100% sure if this is the discussion category…

In any case, I’ve written a new story engine I call FRISE – FRee Interactive Story Engine which can be found at:

It consists of a small Javascript script and CSS stylesheet that can be used to facilitate writing interactive fiction stories in HTML. I wrote it because to me Twine story formats seemed kind of quirky. You can write FRISE stories, on the other hand, in W3C validating HTML and standard Javascript. FRISE also supports many of the cooler features of Twine like loading and saving games out of the box.

I’ve tried to completely document the source code. As it is small, only a small portion of you life will be exhausted looking at. I have also written a set of example games (each under 200 lines) illustrating the features of FRISE. For most of these I have written a description of how they work, but I am still writing up the last three of four. I also have a larger scale story that I have been writing in it that I’ll probably post to my site soon.

I’d be grateful for any feedback.


Hi Chris!

First: Congrats on your release!

One thing: I tried playing the samples in my Browser (Chrome on macOS, all most current stable versions) and it did not load the examples properly resulting in a blank page.

The dev tool console in chrome spits out this, hope it helps:
Uncaught (in promise) TypeError: Cannot set properties of null (setting ‘disabled’)
at Game.clearHistory (game.js:1062:38)
at Game.reset (game.js:841:14)
at new Game (game.js:831:14)
at initGame (game.js:1437:12)
at onload (00 example from main page.html:8:29)


Hi Oliver,

Thanks for pointing that out. It wasn’t just a Chrome problem – it was me being stupid and not checking a bug fix I did earlier today regarding state histories. In any case, it should be fixed now, I did a test download and went through each example to make sure they worked.



Thanks for making this! It’s always good to see people create new tools! However (without wanting to sound too harsh) I don’t think this will attract many users in its current state. It feels a bit too HTMLy/JavaScripty to me. That tends to scare off people. (And I am saying that as somebody who absolutely loves JavaScript; it’s just that we aren’t the majority here.) But if it helps you complete your game “Bad Patch” that’s already a good thing. :slight_smile:


Now that I have finished a first pass of the documentation, I am back to writing my game. I am hoping that when I post at least a work in progress for it in a couple weeks, that it will be clearer that you can write larger scale projects with my system.

Daniel, your point is well-taken that many people are intimidated by the sight of HTML/Javascript. I am hoping that there might be interest among people who have made, or at least are not intimidated by the code to make, a simple web page. I try to explain the HTML needed in the documentation. I don’t know how much of an audience my system will have – I’ll be happy if it’s larger than just me.


I have another take on that. Of course, you have to know a lot more HTML and JS than with other systems to use an engine like that, but on the other hand, that offers opportunities. Being a rather “bare bones” engine, it would make it possible to use it in an environment like WordPress for example, being able to include all the convenience and layout trickery a CMS like that can offer.

Thinking about that, I might just try that out. A nice little project for the rainy weekend. :smile:


It might be a good idea to take part in Spring Thing, IntroComp or IF Comp, since competitions are usually the best way to get feedback on games. And if people are impressed by the games, they’ll likely take a closer look at the engine behind them.

Spring Thing is fairly relaxed, IntroComp only requires an intro or an excerpt, and IF Comp has the most competitors, but is also the highest-profile one.

(One word of caution, though: for all these, it’s much better to have something small and polished, than sprawling and bare-bones. That probably goes without saying, but can’t hurt to mention it, to be sure.)


Thanks for the suggestions. I’ll definitely consider entering Spring Thing… I think I can make its entry deadlines.



Great! If you try it out, let me know if you have any feedback or questions.