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This chapter is from the book

Creating a Maze

Mazes are a beloved and dreaded hallmark of interactive fiction. They have fallen out of vogue in contemporary interactive fiction because people find them fun to make but annoying to play. Still, they played a huge role in the early interactive fiction games, and, therefore, it’s a rite of passage to make your own.

In fact, Adventure, that interactive fiction game I mentioned at the beginning of this chapter, contains a “maze of twisty little passages, all alike.” What makes mazes interesting is that the path through them isn’t obvious, so players must pay attention and keep track of where they’ve been.

Some other common spatial tropes in interactive fiction are caves and tunnels. It’s good to know what commonly pops up in text adventure games so you can get creative and twist these elements into something new.

Map-based games are a great blank slate for exploring other aspects of Twine, including collecting objects or creating a points system for a traditional adventure-style role-playing game (RPG). As long as the exploration is meaningful and the players have a goal, they’ll keep coming back to your game to play it again and again.

You’ve only scratched the surface of using Twine. You may be worried that the tasks are going to get harder, but I have a secret to tell you: Without even realizing it, you’ve been using macros, hooks, and strings. In other words, you’ve already done a lot of computer programming! I’ll discuss those things further in the next chapter and teach you what macros are and how they work in Twine. Soon you’ll be able to do some pretty cool things in your stories.

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