Let’s All Twine Together! It’ll Be Awesome!

July 10, 2013

(New:  Games have been submitted!  They are still tiny, but they are playable here.)

I have rulified a chain-letter system for collaboratively writing Twine games.  If I were Jason Rohrer, this would constitute a metaphor for mortality and I would win some sort of award.  I am kind of glad I am not Jason Rohrer, because frankly it’s got to be exhausting making metaphors for mortality and winning awards all the time, although I do like meadows.

This is a link to a dropbox folder containing the blank template file with instructions (if you want to start your own story) and, eventually, a bunch of beginnings of stories (if you don’t).  This is a spreadsheet directory of the files in the dropbox.

Download Twine here.  Read the documentation here.  Check out Porpentine’s Twine resources here.

Instructions after the jump, for your convenience.


1) Add your name to the list of authors on the ABOUT page.

2) Increment the version number — it should equal the number of authors listed.

3) If you are starting the story, fill out the RULES section. Sanctity level is explained below. If there is a rule or rules you don’t want to define, just put N/A after it.

Special rules can be absolutely anything you want. Feel the power coursing through your veins!

If you are not starting the story, abide by the stated rules! This is the only thing that separates us from the animals! Which is good for some reason!


Chaste: You may add links to an already-written page, but you may not otherwise alter that page in any way.

Mischievous: You may add links or other writing to an already-written page, but may not delete anything. You may append things like “Then John realized everything he’d just said was terrible and he was a stupid,” if you are a jerk.

Wantonly Disregardful: Add, delete, go crazy and be a nihilist.

4) Write and have fun!

5) When you are finished, save your .tws file and send it to the following two people:

I) Someone who has ALREADY INDICATED INTEREST in continuing the chain and can be shamed into following through.

II) Me at [address in actual Twine file]@gmail.com. I will maintain a repository of these until I get bored or hit by a bus or something. (Hopefully I don’t get hit by a bus, because that will make you feel pretty uncomfortable reading that bit.)

If you are sending the beginning of a story and want to make it available for other people to start chains with, let me know and I will add it to the story beginnings folder.

Happy Twining!


  1. […] though, I ran across Let’s All Twine Together! It’ll Be Awesome! — twice! — and thought it was an interesting approach I hadn’t seen before using […]

  2. Sounds fun (and gives me a reason to look through the twine instructions, presuming I have enough willpower to actually read the documentation prior to letting loose on the keyboard).

    So – just to make sure I get the process: we make a local copy, work on it, but for the sake of not trashing each other’s work and creating all kinds of conflicts with versioning, don’t save back to DropBox — you are the dropbox gatekeeper; only you write a file to DropBox. If a few people work on the same story, you’ll do some sort of merging magic to make it all fold back together. Is that basically it?

    • I totally neglected to properly explain what I was thinking of as far as process. Lemme break it on down.

      I am the dropbox gatekeeper (as far as things going into the dropbox, anyone can get files out); the dropbox only contains seeds (version 1s) and the template. This is the process, step by step, assuming an already created seed for simplicity’s sake:

      1) Author chooses a seed from the dropbox.
      2) Author downloads a local copy of that seed.
      3) Author adds to/edits .tws file, adhering to the rules in its ABOUT page, until author is finished.
      4) Author gets someone to agree to take the chain.
      5) Author sends that person their final save of the .tws file.
      6) Author sends the same file to me.
      7) New author makes local copy of that .tws file to work on.
      8) Repeat steps 3-7 with new author.

      My involvement with the files I am sent extends only to maintaining a playable build of the games for public consumption (I’m asking for the .tws so I can get at the metadata in the ABOUT page) and adding new seeds to the dropbox. If more than one chain is started with the same seed, the alternate versions are allowed to coexist peacefully, disambiguated by second/third/fourth author or something (I am still trying to decide on a system). No merging magic. Just independent chains with very little input from me.

      (I might reserve the right to edit people’s spelling/apostrophe use, though? I don’t know. Should I?)

      • Um, this still on?

      • Absolutely everyone involved has stalled out on it, especially me, but yes!

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