Released: July 5, 2015
This is an interactive fiction game – it’s a sci-fi story based on various works by Shakespeare.
I made it in about a week for the Twine Mine Arms interactive fiction jam, in which the participants made text-based games inspired by the works of the Bard. If that sounds interesting to you, you should check out the works of piratescarfy (itch.io, tumblr), the jam organizer and Shakespeare aficionado.
This is the second game I’ve ever made with Twine, and the first I’ve ever made with Twine 2, the slightly different update version of the interactive fiction software. If you’re interested in making some games of this sort, check out this tutorial for Twine or this guide for Twine 2.
It was a fascinating development experience, and I ended up scaling down quite a lot. I originally planned on having it be more of a visual novel format, with animated gifs of a couple of the key moments. I actually built quite a bit of the world geometry and did some animation before finding that I didn’t have enough time to implement any of it. Ah, well. So, it became a text-only story.
What did not end up getting scaled back, though, was the number of endings. There are probably nearly 20 endings, all of which arise from slightly different combinations of items used to stop the monster. A single playthrough probably takes 15 minutes or so, and subsequent playthroughs (if you’re interested in seeing the other endings) would probably just take a few minutes each. I didn’t really realize all of the different possible permutations when I was designing the 10-or-so items you can pick up and use in different ways, but it ended up being a whole lot.
That being said, I don’t think it’s an overwhelming experience in the way that many long, branching interactive fiction games can be. There’s a single problem you can solve. You can pick up everything, use what you want, see what happens, and the game ends. Scope-wise, I think it’s excellent for a quick, amusing sci-fi story.
Give it a try, and let me know what you think on Twitter!