Twine Challenge: Flash (Interactive) Ficton


I’d like to invite members to participate in a Twine “challenge.”

Twine is an open-source tool for telling interactive, nonlinear stories or games. Making games with Twine is super simple. Here is a great quick-start guide with pictures:

For this challenge, “game” and “story” are synonymous.

Like flash fiction but interactive, the challenge is to write a nonlinear story of extreme brevity.

Here are the rules of the challenge:

The amount of text in passages is limited to 1,000 words or less. Twine has a word count feature (“Story Statistics”) under the Story menu at the top of the Twine window. It is pretty accurate, but it’s not perfect for the challenge’s purposes. It does count code and variables, and it counts a few other things as well. No matter what, we’re going with Twine’s word count.

For more details, see the challenge’s thread on,1531.msg2914.html

Everyone, no matter how busy they are, should be able to make the time to take this challenge if they so desire. It should take about an hour to write a story, maybe another hour or so to tweak and playtest it. The tight restrictions also help prevent participants from getting bogged down after starting. As soon as you start, you’re pretty well finished. [emote]:)[/emote]

I hope this challenge finds an accepting audience here at I’m aware that not everyone likes Twine games, but I hope this thread will remain peaceful so that those who want to give it a chance can do so. [emote]:)[/emote]

If you would like, feel free to join us on the Twine forums to ask questions, post your games, or just chit-chat:

Thanks for reading! Hope to see some fun and interesting games from!

[center][size=200]The Twine Flash (Interactive) Fiction Challenge Submissions:

Inheritance by Rosencrantz

A Conversation About Tricking The Twine Word Counter by Mykael

The Minotaur’s Maze by Richard Sharpe

Tiny Weird Future Farm by Mostly Useless

Hero Contest and Mortal Queue both by Inurashii

Train Station by Loopernow

Reunion by Matt Weiner[/size]

Check the challenge thread for links to all games[/center]

cracks knuckles

What do you mean by “nonlinear”, exactly?

Look out! Inurashii’s about to go hard on these foos! [emote]:)[/emote]

Short answer: however you interpret nonlinear, that’s the correct definition. It’s a self-challenge, not a competition. All submissions will be accepted. [emote]:)[/emote]

Really, I’m just using terminology from the official Twine website: “Twine is an open-source tool for telling interactive, nonlinear stories.” First sentence on the page.

Other than that, I really don’t want to get into linear/nonlinear and the topic of agency in this thread because that is at the heart of the issue some members of the interactive fiction community take with many Twine works. I’m not at all arguing that issue is without merit. However, there are a number of other threads in this forum, some currently active, to discuss the issue of agency or lack of agency in the majority of Twine games. This is not one of them. [emote];)[/emote]

Oh, okay. I tend to think “Memento” and not “time cave” when I hear the term nonlinear, so I was wondering if my idea wouldn’t fit. Thanks for clarifying.

No problem. Looking forward to seeing your submission. [emote]:)[/emote]

A bit less than 48 hours to go now. Anyone who wants to join, it only took me about an hour to finish 95% of my game and I did that during midterm week. ;D Plenty of time left to make a game or two.

We have one game posted over at I’ll post mine today for sure.

EDIT: Three games are up, mine included:,1531.0.html

Remember, you can post your game here in this thread and I’ll compile a list of all games from all forums and edit the first post to include them all by name and author.

Well, my game appears to be bugged and I can’t figure out why right now. Going to bed. I’ll probably post this at some future date, outside the bounds of the challenge, just so as not to have wasted the effort.

That sucks, Matt! Better luck next time. I would have liked to have played it. [emote]:([/emote]

We did get some great submissions, though! That includes two from Inurashii (above)! Seven total. I’ll edit the original post in a moment.

Thanks, everyone, for your participation, support and interest! [emote]:)[/emote]

It turns out the bug was actually in my old version of Twine. (Well, there was one tiny bug in the game, but the reason I couldn’t find it was because Twine 1.3.8 didn’t actually support displaying passages in passages.) So here it is.

Hero Contest, Mortal Queue and Train Station seem not to be playable if you’re not logged into the Twine board.

I’d rather not have to create an account just for those… can’t the author use philome?

Not if they’re not on Twitter, or don’t want to link their Twitter account to the game.

They can use dropbox etc, though. I’ll post over there if no one has yet.

I PM’ed them.

You get busy making a new version of Tiny Weird Farm NOW! [emote];)[/emote]

Ok, I added Mortal Queue and Hero Contest to my page. They’re definitely both more proof of concept than complete game, though Hero Contest is actually a bit challenging to win.

It’s gonna happen! For now I’m just going to do the balancing you suggested, but at some point I’m planning a deluxe edition with extra graphics, deeper space madness mechanics and so on. Still tiny and simple, but maybe a leetle over 1,000 words.

It takes about five minutes to create a new Twitter account (with no need to use any identifying information), and there’s no rule saying you ever have to look at the account again. I have an account used solely for all those iOS games that want to spam stuff to your Twitter feed. (Is it really spamming if no one can see it?)

Some of us just don’t want to use Twitter.

I only brought it up because it’s the one reliable place I’ve found where I can get new Twine games, and seems easy enough. I didn’t really realize you’d need a twitter account.

I mean, twitter or don’t twitter, all I’m asking is, please make the game available without the player having to register at a new forum. Not much to ask, is it?

Oh sure, I think the twinery people are trying to do that in fact. My response was directed to Shadow Wolf, not to you – it sounded like he was giving advice about how easy it would be to get onto through Twitter, but that’s something I actively don’t want to do no matter how easy it is. (My game’s actually hosted on my own domain.)

My problem with the twinery attachments is that it seems as though I have to download them to play.