IF with Twine

Have you ever played in a MUD?  Back when I was working on my MA-Ed thesis, I explored MUDs as a method of teaching languages to high school students…(totally another story!)

Recently, however, I ran across the idea of Interactive Fiction (IF) while I was searching for tools to create storyboards for eLearning. I don’t remember what I actually searched for, but I do know that a poor Google search can be your friend!   Several hours later, I had briefly tried out Inklewriter, Inform, and Twine.   They are all interesting and I will be returning to Inklewriter and Inform at a later date.  For now, I’m exploring Twine.

I selected Twine to try first for several reasons. For starters, it gives me the opportunity to try my hand at interactive fiction without learning a new language.  Additionally, it gives me options to develop my HTML, CSS, and JavaScript skills.  Being able to easily add audio and video content was also a plus because I have visions of melding ‘old-time radio drama with 21st c. eLearning.   Finally, and maybe more important in some respects:  I think this tool will serve double-duty as a storyboard tool for developing branching scenarios for eLearning.

To begin my journey, I accessed some great video tutorials from Vegetarian Zombie, Adam Hammond, and Dan Cox. These helped me understand the different story formats available in Twine and each format’s features.  I am currently using the SugarCube 2.1 format.

I’ve got a long way to go – but, I’m sharing my work-in-progress.   I still have to figure out how to do inventory control, stop audio playback, access variables, and a host of other things…   My plan is to have a sort of 1950s radio drama / interactive fiction hybrid in which players (higher ed faculty) are tasked with developing their first online course and then go around the ‘university’ locating and utilizing the resources they need to complete the task.   There’s a lot more to the idea…