TWINE

HOW TO MAKE GAMES WITH TWINE – Anna Anthropy. Covers the basics of Twine 1. Introduced me and many others to the tool.

Macro Set for Twine 1 – Leon Arnott. Essential for implementing behaviours like click-replace text in Sugarcane.

Custom Stylesheets for Twine 1 – Leon Arnott. Modifiable stylesheets designed for Sugarcane; also works for Responsive.

Twine 2 Harlowe CSS Tutorial – furkle. Essential reading whether you’re new to Harlowe, CSS, or just want to check how it all works.

Twine 2 Macros – furkle. Useful for implementing behaviours such as cycling links.

 

CHOICESCRIPT

Make Your Own Games With ChoiceScript – Choice of Games. Primer on the basics of ChoiceScript.

ChoiceScript Interactive Tutorial – Lynnea Glasser. Includes live examples and a few more complex functions not included on the Choice of Games pages.

Choice Structure in The Sea Eternal – Lynnea Glasser. All Lynnea Glasser’s development notes are useful; I’ve highlighted this one for the notes about displaying a variety of pronouns such as singular “they”.

Debugging ChoiceScript – Carolyn VanEseltine. Goes into some more complex uses of QuickTest and RandomTest, especially regarding test difficulty.

Loose, Tight, Flat and Bumpy Stats in ChoiceScript Games – Emily Short. Explores techniques for coding and analysing stat changes and test difficulty.

 

IF CRAFT

Writing IF – Emily Short. An overview of things to consider when starting a work of interactive fiction, including tool choice and developing skills.

Standard Patterns in Choice-Based Games – Sam Kabo Ashwell. Defining common structures in interactive work.

Small-Scale Structures in CYOA – Emily Short. Looking at scene- or paragraph-level structure in interactive fiction, and how they can be utilised.

Set, Check, Or Gate? – Emily Short. Discusses the use of stats in choice-based games for defining PCs and gating content.

Development Notes

After playing the games in question, it’s worth checking out the IF Comp post-mortem threads by entrants about their development processes. Here’s the discussion forum for the 2016 Comp.

Interactive Fiction and How I Learned to Stop Grumbling and for God’s Sake Outline Once in a While – Max Gladstone. Development notes for Choice of the Deathless.

Creatures Such As We Development Notes – Lynnea Glasser.

The Sea Eternal Development Notes – Lynnea Glasser.

Choice of Games Design Guidelines

These articles focus on the interactive novels from Choice of Games, but the principles are transferable to other choice-based systems and types of work.

How We Judge A Good Game Part 1 – Inclusivity, length and coding efficiency, plot and setting.
How We Judge A Good Game Part 2 – Creative stats, balanced choices.
How We Judge A Good Game Part 3 – Original, interesting characters, prose styling.

7 Rules for Designing Great Stats – Dan Fabulich.

Length and Coding Efficiency – Adam Strong-Morse.

How To Write Intentional Choices – Rebecca Slitt. Making choices feel consequential and understandable.

End Game and Victory Design – Adam Strong-Morse. Discussion of large-scale structures to make game finales feel satisfying to players while being manageable for creators.