This is how I introduce students to Twine.
Go download and play Five Words Go Go Go by Big Shell Event. If you reach an ending, try again to reach a different ending. Discuss these questions with a partner:
- How is this like a story?
- How is this like a game?
I use Five Words Go Go Go as an introduction to Interactive Fiction for students because both the reading level and content are appropriate for ten to sixteen year olds. Additionally, the story centers diversity, which welcomes students for underrepresented groups. Moreover, creating something like this only uses basic syntax, so this story gives students an example that feels achieveable.
The questions I ask are aimed at understanding what "Interactive Fiction" is, and welcoming different types of creators into the classroom. You could also ask reading comprehension questions such as "What is the main theme of this piece? What details support that theme?" Digging deeper, you might ask "How does the interactive fiction format support the message of this piece?" or "Why do you think the author choose this format over a more traditional story or game?"
There are many more Twine games/stories out there. You can looking through these sources: Experience Play, Philome.la, Interactive Fiction Database. Here's a few of my favorites upper elementary and middle school appropriate examples.
- Felipe Femur: interactive version offers a easier reading level.
- Cat Petting Simulator 2014 is more game like and appeals to cat lovers.
- Xenobabysitter is a game with high reading level, but relatedable content.
- Cancel Cable or Die Trying is a puzzle. (Warning: music and flashing text)
- Seedship is a rich narrative game, which demonstrates what an experience Twine creator can make. (Warning: loss of the planet Earth)
Let's get started!