Twine Works for Cyberbards: Hamlet on the Holodeck

Twine is an easy-to-use tool for creating interactive, non-linear narratives (multimodal stories, poetry, essays, visual novels) and interactive narrative games (adventures, role-playing games, etc.), as well as interactive video and documentary film projects. It also supports creating experimental works and mixed genre works, as well as interactive research presentations, enabling designers to mix text with ambient sounds/digital soundworks, recorded music, images, and video. In other words, the Sky is the Limit…

Based on our workshop, this open-ended creative production asks you to design and develop a literary Twine (of any genre, including narrative games and interactive audio-visual fictions and ‘branching’ poems, or any kind of experimental hybrid).

Tip! As suggested by DMG, the downloadable version is much easier to use, and has extensive online support! Version 1.4.2 for Windows and OS X

Note that Twine supports several aims and purposes of the Ontario English curriculum.

Tip! Download DMG Twine ‘How-To’  Here is a general What’s Twine? article that offers models and ideas… Or do a google or youtube search on Twine + your questions and you should be able to find tech support.

Twine Tutorials: Introductory Video with a Set of Three Tutorials

To add Sound Macros to your twine (or explore further creative applications of CSS), visit Glorious Train Wrecks.

Adding sound and music is actually pretty easy. 1) Cut and paste this code into your Twine “script” passage (the brown box). 2) Make sure you title your script passage with the name of your audio file (e.g., soundfile.wav or soundfile.mp3). 3. Put the associated file in the same folder where you save your twine story. 4) Now, go to the story passage where you want your music to “appear” and paste in the appropriate the code (be exact). For example:

<<playsound "file.mp3" >>

Remember to write the name of your own file into that code, e.g., <<playsound "mysoundfile.wav" >>

Get free Creative Commons Music, Sound Effects, and Sound-Files at (re/save file names to make simple)… Better yet, compose your own music, ambient works, and foley-room  effects….  Click Adding Sound Macros for further tips on file types and possible modifications to code (fade in, fade out, stop, loop, etc)….

Tip: When scripting code, little ‘grammar’, punctuation, and lowercase/uppercase errors matter! There is no room for small errors in script – so attend to the small details (a good lesson for writing more generally).

See also: Using Youtube for Sound/Audio (Macros)

Hosting our Twine (see the DMG Twine ‘How-To’). Once you are finished with your Twine, there are plenty of free hosting options! Where to Host?

1) Send your twine file and audio files to me. I can host them on my server.

2) is a Twine hosting service (free) with a built in affinity group (J. Gee, H. Jenkins, et. al). If you wish, you can have your Twine tweeted out and players will come and play your Twine. Just sign in with a Twitter account and drop your HTML file into the box. You’re nationwide and beyond!

  • Dropbox
  • Google Drive
  • As noted above: (if you have problems with any of the above, I can host your twine. You will need to send me the HTML file (images are included within that file) and, if you have sound files associated with your twine, you will need to email me.
  • Hosting Twine HTML on your WordPress via Dropbox