Playing Twine Games

The first Twine game that I played was called “Rainy Day,” and was written by Thais Weiller with art by Amora B. The game led a player through a day of a woman with anxiety and makes a player make decisions for her. With each choice that was presented, there was an option for returning to bed, which nailed in the idea that those with anxiety may often feel that being defeated is easier and more comfortable than continuing. At the end of this game, there is a message that reads, “Being anxious is a serious matter. This game aims to illustrate how anxiety can get into the way of a happy life.”

The second Twine game that I played was called “The Temple of No,” and was made by Crows Crows Crows. It leads a player through an elaborate adventure story and asks players to sing along to a song and do other goofy tasks throughout the process. The game continuously pokes fun at the generic nature of many Twine games, but promises to be something different. Eventually, you are led to the actual Temple of No and have to make a few decisions regarding the order of exploration of various areas. The message that the game leaves a player with is “Have you ever played a good game made in twine? Like one that’s actually good – not just ‘good for a twine game’?”

The goals in these two games are very different. In “Rainy Day,” the goal is just to get to work and make it through the way without crawling back into bed. The character expresses concern with money and paying for food and rent, which drives the importance of actually making it to work. I think this game did an excellent job in having me rooting for the main character. The game says that there are three other endings upon completion, but each time I played the game, I couldn’t let the character get back into bed, no matter how many times I saw the option. Even in the best, shortest possible run-through, the character got to work late. They were disappointed by that, but proud that they made it through and would have money to pay for the bills and for food. This game felt so real to me and I was really impressed with the effect of this straight forward storytelling.

In “The Temple of No,” the goal is to discover something new about this mysterious land the player is placed in. There is no real incentive to make it to the temple, besides for adventure and exploration. Although I am not too familiar with other Twine games, this one seems to emphasize the point that all Twine games lead players though meaningless steps as this one has many steps. There are really no choices made in this game, but a player just progresses through stages of the story with a determined outcome.

I like the idea of multiple play-throughs yielding different results, even if they are slight. Considering the current tentative argument of my video game revolves around the idea that people will stick to social norms in a lot of situations, I should allow people to have slightly different outcomes for their responses. Like I saw in “Rainy Day,” however, I want people to feel like they should stick to social norms when going through this game multiple times, even when they know they will probably not change the actual outcome of the story.

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