Creativity Module: Interactive Fiction

One of my standard unfunny Writing Center jokes depends on interactive fiction. “The sentence needs to be broken up, but you get to decide how to do it,” I tell people. “It’s choose-your-own-adventure!” Anyway, in this module, I actually made what I grew up thinking of as a choose-your-own-adventure game! Even though the protagonist only goes on an adventure in a very loose sense of the word.

Here’s the finished product. I’m not thrilled about it creative-writing-wise, it’s definitely retreading tired ground. But I do think it was fun to write a pretentious going-to-a-party-and-seeing-an-old-friend type story with multiple endings.

I also tried to use delayed branching as per advice from this article, which was really helpful in getting started with figuring out how I wanted to figure this out. A lot of the options you make at the beginning don’t necessarily dictate the outcome of the story, but they do impact which bits of narration are shown to you and in some cases what choices you get to make.

A fun fact: One of my best friends goes to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and does a lot of digital work, so I texted her I was using Twine to make a story for Digital Studies. It turned out she was also using it right now to make an art project about her experience with OCD.

Another fun fact: this project gave me an excuse to revisit Birdland, my favorite piece of interactive fiction, instead of doing schoolwork.

Also, bonus content: a very unfunny story I made while just starting to get the hang of Twine.