How is the Twine community doing from a historical viewpoint?

I’m very interested in the history of Interactive Fiction.

Parser has gone through a lot of waves, through the commercial wave, the early hobbyist wave, the Inform wave, the puzzleless wave, the Inform 7 wave, and the 2015 and on revival. In between these waves (which aren’t exact and vary in timing and existence by geographic location), it was frequently said to be dying out.

As far as I can tell, Twine’s first big movement was with Anna Anthropy, which brought it a lot of attention. Porpentine became a big early star, and we also got My Father’s Long Long Legs and Horse Master around the same time.

From my point of view, many people followed in Porpentine’s footsteps, with a lot of text-effect heavy games focusing on trans or other LGBTQIA life experiences.

Then it seems like a lot of the Twine authors were snatched up by companies or approached with other writing gigs, and a new crop of authors rose up who were still often drawn from marginalized groups but wrote games with a wider focus (like Animalia’s comedy, Lux’s heavy sci fi or The Good People’s ‘new weird’) and really good multimedia (like Heretic’s Hope).

It seems to me like Twine authors as a whole are about as productive and creative as ever, but that a lot of individual authors have come and gone. I love Chapbook and think the future of Twine is bright.

But I’m in an isolated corner of the IF world, and I don’t see everything that’s out there. What do you guys think is ‘the state of Twine’? How is the Twine world?


My impression is that the Twine world got big enough that it fractured into little Twine worlds, especially since stopped accepting submissions. There seem to be many more people making Twine games outside of any “Twine community” than there are in any one of those communities.

There are people who use Twine as an infrastructure tool for narrative design. There are people sharing Twine games via Patreon. There are people posting links to Twine games on Twitter, often without explicitly tagging them as Twine.


There are about 30 new free Twine games each week just on Itch. /r/twinegames is looking lively. Twine’s doing alright, just without high-profile releases and names.