Artists and Hackers

Art Tools: Designing Interactive Fiction with Twine

May 5, 2022

Chris Klimas is the original creator of Twine, a popular open source expanded toolset for creating branching narratives and interactive experimental stories and game. He talks about its creation, community and where it's going next.

episodes notes

Art Tools are our series of mini episodes with the creators of innovative and experimental software and hardware tools for creative expression.

Twine is a tool for creating branching narratives or what some people call "Choose Your Own Adventure"-style games. Originally created in 2009, Twine allows creators to make interactive stories, poems, text games or experimental prose. Twine is free and open source software that runs in a web browser or downloaded as an application, and while most Twine projects are text-only, some feature sound and images. At this point, there are tens of thousands of games, artworks and projects made with Twine, and these works are presented on websites, shared on the game distribution platform or even shown in museums like the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Over its 13 years of existence Twine’s been extended in many different directions, with themes and example code. And it’s really easy to get started. Where other interactive fiction software is created solely with text and code, Twine features a visual design tool that feels as easy as creating an email. We talked to Twine’s creator Chris Klimas to find out more about its history and current development and community.

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