I know next to nothing about the world of Twine and choice based IF. I’m playing Howling Dogs now. What should I try next?
Try The Bones of Rosalinda by Agnieszka Trzaska. It’s got a real parser feel to it and it’s really fun, especially for a parser player trying to make the transition.
Twine’s got so much variety that it might be better to break it down into subcategories;
Do you like:
-Visceral or comedic allegories/stories for being LGBTQ or having a disability in a mostly-linear format but with cool effects? (like Howling dogs, lots of these on IFDB). Other examples are Will Not Let Me Go, Birdland, Depression Quest.
-Parser-like games with a map and inventory and puzzles? Most Agnieszka Trzaska games are like this, like Amanda said. Open Sorcery is a commercial Twine game that does this well.
-Visual-novel like games with different romanceable characters? (lots of this on itch)
-Primarily story-based games that rely on good writing? (Bogeyman and Eidolon are like this)
There’s a lot more than just those, but those are all pretty sizable categories.
If you’re thinking of trying commercial Choicescript games, I’d try Choice of Robots, Creme de la Creme, Night Road, or Choice of Magics first, those are all really great and general audiences like them. Night Road is basically a huge Vampire the Masquerade scenario (a licensed one).
If you don’t know at all what you’d like, you can look at this search of (mostly) the highest-rated Choice-based games on IFDB (there’s a few parser games on here). They’re all great:
Thanks for the recommendation! Added that one to my wishlist!
Oh, wow, thanks! I could potentially be interested in all of those categories (provided they are done well), with the exception that I don’t have any interest in dating simulators so maybe some of those visual novel style games won’t be my cup of tea. I will check out the games you recommended.
I’ve heard good things about Night Road, and intend to check it out.
I think your filter’s a bit borked, it’s mostly only showing parsers
Edit: it’s the url parsing of the spaces turning
-system:inform -system:tads -system:dialog -system:zil into the search box and that should work better
I would recommend playing the top-ranked entries of Comps, or just go through game jams (can I recommend the newly finished bite-sized Neo Twinies?). A lot of newer Choice-Based projects, especially on Twine, are Work-in-Progress, with no clear date of ending. On the other hands, competitions and jams have more completed/rounded works.
After that it depends on the vibe you want to go. There’s more experimental stuff (like Computerfriend), not-really-choice-list ones (like Plasmorphosis), storylet based (like The Archivist and the Revolution, also most of Autumn’s work, but it’s not Twine), or more traditional choice-based (I think the work of Brendan Patrick Hennessy would fit this category the most?). Oh, and there’s also the RPG kind (like Trigaea).
That’s so weird! I edited it. Thanks for catching that!
All the recommendations offered are pretty good starts, so I’ll just offer three titles that use audiovisual elements that I found interesting:
The first is Tangoroa Deep by Astrid Dalmady. You are going underwater and checking out the fish. The screen changes color as you go deeper into the ocean … and I suppose the game has become more timely thanks to certain recent events. It’s one of those Twine titles that made me go “woah” at what Twine could do.
The second is Fabricationist DeWit Remakes the World by Jebediah Berry. This game is magical as it changes backgrounds and audio the more you progress through these choices. Much like other great choice IF, the choices are closer to > examine in parser IF and let you examine deeper an object.
The third and last is SPY INTRIGUE by furkle, which mixes different narrative voices with some simple Twine tricks and complicated programming magic. This is like the most wicked title and I am always impressed by the prowess. Unfortunately, it’s quite hard to explain the game except it’s unique and interesting. It deals with trauma and mental health in fun ways.
If you need more, I’d also recommend Open Sorcery by Abigail Corfman (a modern Twine classic about programming and magic), Excalibur by J.J. Guest (Twine emulating a MediaWiki on a fictional BBC science fiction drama), With Those We Love Alive by Porpentine (a political horror work where an artist works for a monstrous queen), Bee by Emily Short (homeschooling nightmares ensue), and The Archivist and the Revolution by Autumn Chen (a trans archivist lives a poor and terrible life under a new regime).
Although it’s a commercial release, Inkle’s 80 Days based on Jules Verne is probably the best example of a mainstream choice-narrative that is recognizably IF with a lot of bells and whistles and surprisingly open-world and chock-full of re-playability. Their Overboard is similarly intriguing as a re-playable “reverse” murder mystery set on a 1930s luxury liner.
Other fun ones:
jumping in and out to second The Archivist and the Revolution, Spy Intrigue, and Bee.
e: I enjoy the Lady Thalia games, too
Oh wow, thanks for all the feedback everyone! That should give me a lot to look at.
Slightly different question:
Is there a particular game that really shows off the technical possibilities of Twine? Doesn’t even matter if it’s a great game in its own right, I’m just curious what Twine is capable of doing.
Depend what you mean by technical possibilities.
Is it visual? Gameplay-wise? Other?
Cause I’ve messed around with Twine, made a Flash-like drink mixing game or make a bad parser.
EDIT: The IFComp had a Idle Game too, with Aproaching Hordes.
I guess I don’t know enough about Twine to say for sure. I’m sort of toying with the idea of “maybe I should try to make one of these at some point in the future,” but I haven’t played a lot of them yet so I’m not sure what’s possible. I’ll probably just keep trying the recommendations and getting a feel for what I like and don’t like in choice games, and go from there.
But then we are moving a bit away from Choice-Based IF games…
That’s cool. I have been curious about trying my hand at something with a CYOA type narrative structure. I’ve never really done it before (although I did make an RPG with multiple endings) and thought Twine or something similar might be a good format for it. I’m not sure whether “click links to get more paragraphs” is interesting enough in and of itself though, so I was considering what else I might be able to incorporate. I’m a fan of RPGs, so something like that would appeal to me if I could figure out how to do it in a way that is engaging.
You might want to keep an eye on the Twine format for gamebooks that Sophie Houlden is toying with making: Sophie 🎲🧩🏳️⚧️: "Started a new weekend project, a new twine story …" - Dice.camp
Snowman is a format for Twine, meant for dev wanting to create their own format. It’s not meant to be for beginners
And I didn’t know any JS/HTML/CSS when I started with Twine either. So no worries on that!
It depends what’s inside the paragraphs.
It can be interesting in and of itself.
That sounds like an alternative to the Gordian format