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How to use Twine and SugarCube to create interactive adventure games

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Storytelling is an innate part of human nature. It's an idle pastime, it's an art form, it's a communication tool, it's a form of therapy and bonding. We all love to tell stories—you're reading one now—and the most powerful technologies we have are generally the things that enable us to express our creative ideas. The open source project Twine[1] is a tool for doing just that.

Twine is an interactive story generator. It uses HTML, CSS, and Javascript to create self-contained adventure games, in the spirit of classics like Zork[2] and Colossal Cave[3]. Since Twine is largely an amalgamation of several open technologies, it is flexible enough to do a lot of multimedia tricks, rendering games a lot more like HyperCard[4] than you might normally expect from HTML.

Installing Twine

You can use Twine online or download it locally from its website. Unzip the download and click the Twine application icon to start it.

The default starting interface is pretty intuitive. Read its introductory material, then click the big green +Story button on the right to create a new story.

Hello world

The basics are simple. A new storyboard contains one node, or "passage" in Twine's terminology, called Untitled passage. Roll over this passage to see the node's options, then click the pencil icon to edit its contents.

Name the passage something to indicate its position in your story. In the previous version of Twine, the starting passage had to be named Start, but in Twine 2, any title will work. It's still a good idea to make it sensible, so stick with something like Start or Home or

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