Dead Week by Tory Hoke

Dead Week (Remastered)

Back and now mobile-friendly for your Halloween enjoyment! Evil is at the door.

DEAD WEEK (Remastered): the week before final exams, college roommates face a horror they may not survive.

“Dead Week” is an interactive horror webtoon with audio, playable in English or Korean. Headphones and a modern browser on a desktop computer are recommended for the best experience.

PLAY DEAD WEEK NOW

Twine is a platform for making interactive fiction—stories integrated with choice, picture, and sound. If you like IF, you might be interested in sub-Q Magazine.

submit to sub-Q Magazine

Submit to sub-Q Magazine

submit to sub-Q Magazine

Hey! So I founded sub-Q, a magazine for interactive fiction. It pays pro rates. It needs submissions. It needs them REAL BAD.

Have you dabbled in Twine? Played with Inform? Messed around with hypertext fiction or CYOA?

Then sub-Q needs you.

What is sub-Q?

This 90-second video demonstrates how we work:

Our Mission

We seek to promote all forms of interactive fiction by

  1. Increasing the visibility of IF
  2. Growing the market for short- and long-form works
  3. Supporting the development of open platforms
  4. Compensating content creators

We encourage work from creators of color, creators from the QUILTBAG community, and creators with disabilities. Intersectionality welcome. Internationality welcome.

Our Content

We release a work of interactive fiction every Tuesday. We publish original and reprint works of science fiction, fantasy, horror, weird tales, magic realism, and mash-ups.

Most Thursdays we publish interviews, news, and tutorials.

We want smart, fun, and unexpected.

Submissions

Interested? Go to our submissions page go there now go there right now!


SUBMIT

SUBMIT

today is the day

SUBMIT

getting started with twine 2

Twine in 10 Minutes: Write Interactive Fiction Today

(This article originally appeared as a Luna Station Quarterly’s Chick on the Draw column, February 6, 2015)

Think IF might be fun, but don’t know where to start? Here’s how to get hooked in ten minutes.

1) Watch an introduction by Chris Klimas, the founder of Twine.

It’s about two minutes and will prime your brain. Anything that can be done in a web browser, you can do with Twine. ANYTHING. But we’ll begin at the beginning.

2) Take a look at your Twine 2.0 home page.

While Twine 1 was an app to download and install (for Windows or OSX), Twine 2 is a web app that runs right in your browser. Open it in a new tab.

If it’s your first time there, it’ll look like this:

Intro to Twine 2.0 - splash page

Hit the big green “+Story” button and create a new story.

twine_2_home_new_story

3) Take a look at the big blue Twine 2 workspace.

It should look about like this.

twine_2_workspace

Buttons do what you might guess. Hover over any of them, and a tooltip will explain.

twine_2_workspace_tooltip

For extra credit, click on the story title and take a look at the options.

twine_2_workspace_story_menu

We won’t use any of these right now, but it’s good to know they’re there.

4) Edit the “Untitled Passage.”

The little soft blue square is our first passage. In Twine, a passage is a unit of the story–kind of like a page is a unit of a book. To edit a passage, you can either double-click it OR hover over it and select the pencil icon.

twine_2_workspace_passage_options

The passage editor looks like this:

twine_2_edit_passage

There are instructions in the passage! They are true instructions. Write some text in your passage, and include a link to another passage. Links belong in double square brackets, so Twine knows they’re links.

For what it’s worth, you can the link after a word in your story:

Go to the [[cellar]]

Or name the link something else.

[[I went to the cellar.->Spooky Place]]

You can also rename the passage, though this isn’t required.

Here is our gripping tale so far:

twine_2_passage_editor_start

5) Close the passage, and see that Twine made new passages automatically.

twine_2_workspace_new_passages

Neat! You can also add a new passage by clicking the green “+Passage” button. You can delete a passage by hovering over it and clicking the “Trash” icon (or by hitting the good old “Delete” key.)

For fun, I’m going to edit the “prince” and “heel” passages, too.

twine_2_workspace_passages_updated

6) “Play” what you’ve got so far.

Hit the “Play” button. The story will build and open in a new tab.

twine_2_story_built

Click on a link and see where it goes!

7) Set a variable.

Let’s make a “trust” variable and change it depending on the reader’s choice.

In the “prince” passage, add this line of code:

(set: $trust to 10)

In the “heel” passage, add this line of code:

(set: $trust to 0)

It doesn’t matter where the line of code is within the passage. It will be run when the passage is displayed.

twine_2_passage_editor_variable

(It’s maybe good practice to set the variable to some default starting value at the beginning, and then update it as you go, but let’s not worry about that right now.)

8) Use that variable.

That “trust” variable should have an impact on our story. Let’s add a passage that uses it.

Add this link to both the “prince” and “heel” passages:

To think I wouldn't have met him if it weren't for Lord Coddish's [[funeral]].

Like so:

twine_2_passage_prince

And add this to a new “funeral” passage:

Reynaldo sat next to me during the service and I was sure
(if: $trust > 0)[I'd never met a man so dignified](else:)[he'd make off with my handbag].

Like so:

twine_2_passage_funeral

9) Hit “Play” again.

The story will rebuild in the same tab as before.

Now, if you choose “heel,” you arrive here:

twine_2_story_heel

You can also hit the “Bug” button to play the story in debug mode. This gives you more information if you run into trouble.

And that’s it! You’ve written a Twine story!

The official full documentation is here, and the forum is here. There are more story formats and controls and stylesheets and anything you could want to do. WELCOME TO THE RADDEST ADVENTURE.

EXTRA CREDIT

If you’re interested in interactive fiction and writing games in general, you might enjoy the Sorting Hat built by the Quinnspiracy. BE CAREFUL. You might find yourself writing a visual novel, or a platformer, or a puzzle game, or some other wonderful thing.

Twine icon

In 2015, You Will Read Interactive Fiction… and Maybe Write It

This post first appeared as a Chick on the Draw Column at Luna Station Quarterly, January 9, 2015.

You may not know it when it happens, because it will sneak up on you in your browser or Kindle or mobile device. You were reading a thing, and then it gave you some kind of choice, and you clicked a link, and BAM: interactive fiction.

There may have been picture. There may have been sound. But mostly there was story that you, the reader, took a role in telling.

It may have already happened. You may have played some Professor Layton or Phoenix Wright… or both. You may have already read Michael Lutz’s My Father’s Long, Long Legs or Lydia Neon’s Reset. You may have picked up Dragon Age: Inquisition because Solasmance was all over your Tumblr.

You may be way ahead of me. You may be signed up for Ludum Dare 32 and IndieCade East and taking code binge breaks to check for updates from Porpentine and anna anthropy.

Wherever you’re at or want to be, the party is ready for you.

What is interactive fiction? Is it a game? Is it a story? Is it the democratized, digital reincarnation of Edward Packard’s Choose Your Own Adventure novels?

Yes, yes, and yes, and it’s poised to explode this year.

 

The Demand is Massive

Want a main character with the gender, color, or other character traits that interest you? IF lets you choose.

Enjoy cities named Rha’athal? Can’t stand cities named Rha’athal? IF lets you name.

Prefer metric over US customary? Prefer US customary over metric? IF lets you decide.

Want to participate in the characters’ problem-solving? IF lets you solve the mysteries.

Want the The Princess Bride, but with the chance to romance Inigo? IF says “viva España.”

Romance will be a big part of the IF boom, and women will be the driving demographic. According to the International Business Times and The Daily Dot, 22 million women worldwide play otome apps–a dating sim for mobile devices–whose model offers the first chapter for free and the remainder for $5. BioWare’s been incorporating story, game and romance since 1998, with the combined sales of last year’s Dragon Age: Inquisition topping 2 million.
Obscurasoft‘s Kickstarter-funded sexy, funny gay dating sim “Coming Out On Top” raised over seven times its $5000 goal and was released to critical and consumer acclaim. Fiction, games, and dating sims on devices are expanding westward, and anyone can play.

 

The Devices are Ready

If you have a computer or a mobile device, you can read IF. According to the Pew Internet Project, as of this time last year:

  • 58% of American adults have a smartphone, skewing strongly toward young people (83% of those age 18-29 vs. 49% of those age 50-64, moderately toward people of color (61% of Hispanic Americans, 59% African-Americans, 53% white), and slightly toward men (61% of men vs. 57% of women)
  • 32% of American adults own an e-reader
  • 42% of American adults own a tablet computer

Downloading text-based IF takes little bandwidth, and content can easily be stored on the device for offline reading. Fiction can go everywhere the reader does.

 

Creators Wanted

Interactive fiction combines the efficiency of the written word with the showmanship of film. You can make a big impact on a smaller budget.

If you’re a writer, you may not think of yourself as a programmer. You may see a semicolon or curly braces and run for the hills. Fortunately we’re in a golden age of tools to turn writers into programmers. The lists below are by no means comprehensive.

For text-based games:

  • Twine: Flexible and powerful. Anything you can do in a browser, you can do with Twine. Open source, gratis and libre. No central publisher, but a robust community of creators and supporters.
  • ChoiceScript: Simple and streamlined. Central publisher Choice of Games has interesting royalty- or commission-based payment options. Good choice for writing Choose Your Own Adventure-type stories for pay.
  • Inform 7: Builds story environments via human-readable descriptions. I haven’t tangled with it too much, but Rock, Paper, Shotgun has.
  • Failbetter Games is a studio that occasionally seeks contributors

For picture-based games (e.g. visual novels, the Professor Layton series), there’s Ren’Py.

If you’re feeling energized, you may even enjoy PuzzleScript for making Sokoban-type transportation games–you know, stuff like Rodent’s Revenge (90s PC game alongside Ski Free.) I mention PuzzleScript only because scripting with it is very, very fun.

 

Find Out More

If you’d like to talk more about the future of IF, reach out on Twitter @toryhoke or through my blog. If you want to see what I’m doing, visit my games on itch.io.

Dead Week

Dead Week

Dead Week

I promise this is the scariest interactive horror webtoon about final exams you’ll play today.

Beware of watching while alone at home.

PLAY Dead Week

(Tested on OSX in Chrome and Safari, and on Windows in Chrome and IE. Layered audio does not work on mobile. Sorry about that.)

If you like IF, you might be interested in sub-Q Magazine, launching Spring 2015.

Twine is a platform for making interactive fiction–stories integrated with choice, picture, and sound. Do you make Twine things, too? Enjoy these audio macros with volume controls and seamless loops: