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Digital Writing Genres Week V: Twine Games

This week we were focusing on Twine games. Now I guess many of you aren’t sure what a twine game is. I only learnt about this software recently and it is quite frankly a genius program. What twine does is it allows you to create a story that is both interactive and entertaining. The stories that you can create with twine are similar to that of electronic literature but there is a sense of these games not just telling the story but creating an interactive form of entertainment. In a twine narrative you can set up the story however you like. How this shall fit in with the story I have chosen will determine on whether or not I can make the story work.

There were also some major things we spoke about this week with regards to game theory and Agency and Immersion. We looked at a very interesting paper that spoke about a game creation model. It is called the MDA model, which means Mechanics, Dynamics, and Aesthetics. This model is the way in which game developers work, they work through the mechanics then the dynamics and the aesthetics, whereas a gamer looks at the aesthetics first before, the dynamics and mechanics. This paper also talks about how genres of games are very hard to define as there are so many games out there and they all share some characteristics but it is hard for us to lump a series of games into one category simply because it has similar aspects to other games. So what the paper outlines it 8 different characteristics that a game can have…

1. Sensation   Game as sense-pleasure

2. Fantasy   Game as make-believe

3. Narrative    Game as drama

4. Challenge   Game as obstacle course (not to be confused with difficulty)

 5. Fellowship   Game as social framework

6. Discovery   Game as uncharted territory

7. Expression   Game as self-discovery

8. Submission   Game as pastime

Another characteristic that can be added is Competition. This mostly applies to games that have more of a more online capacity. I am going to provide you with some examples, and I want to see if you can take a guess at what characteristics the following games have.

Credit: Mighty Ape
Credit: Gamespot

How did you go? If you think you have worked it out then write down your answers in the comments below.

Agency can be described as how much control a player has over their characters actions. Some games allow for some agency, especially if they are more of an open world game. Then of course you have games where there is little to no agency within your character and you are at the whim of creator and then some games turn this on their head by making the character believe they have agency and as it turns out later, you never did. This also factors into Immersion, where it is all about how you are focused on the game in question. Some games you can immerse yourself in and lose hours to it, and that is sometimes dependent of the game itself and how engaging it is for the player.

I am gonna be away for the next two weeks but I hope to see you all back here, I may put up a link to my twine game for you lucky people to give it a try. And leave a comment underneath it and let me know what you think…

One thought on “Digital Writing Genres Week V: Twine Games

  1. The only one of these I;ve played is SimCity, and I’ll say that it has Discovery and Self-Expression. Certainly my cities express my own ideas on city design, although the ungrateful population never seems too keen on my thoughts.
    I took the liberty of linking to your post in my post, because you’ve got a better idea of the MDA paradigm than I have. All I could add was that MDA mightn’t be a bad set of lenses to assess a narrative as well as a game. Or maybe even a pizza. The mechanics are the dough and toppings, the dynamics are me eating it and the aesthetics are the discovery and sensation. And the abnegation if I can find a bottle of vino to accompany it. Might try that tonight.

    Liked by 1 person

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