Wednesday, March 10, 2021

A retrospective on the rise and fall of Twine

Adi Robertson has a long article about the glory days of Twine, which brought us the "comically literal Call of Duty adaptation called Tower of the Blood Lord" and "Cry$tal Warrior Ke$ha," which "turned the 'Tik Tok' singer into an otherworldly avenging feminine entity":

Unfortunately, other writers weren’t nearly as compelled. “I was trying really hard at the time to get writers interested in it. I was like, ‘Hey, writers! You know, like, you like writing stories. Maybe you’d like making an interactive story!’” he says. “There was sort of a small community. But for about a year, I think it didn’t really go anywhere.”

After a couple of years, Klimas was nearly ready to write Twine off. It was tough to even gauge the program’s impact since it produced tiny files that people hosted on personal websites or even storage services like Dropbox. “I had kind of moved on,” he says. But slowly, he realized he was getting bug reports from people he’d never met — asking him to fix a tool he wasn’t sure anybody used.