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Text Based Games


Let's try some out!


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Twine (see a Twine Tutorial here)

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Ideas for Text-Based Games

Before you start writing your program or using an online tool, you need to think of an idea. You need to think of an idea that will make your game enjoyable and somewhat unique. This part you need to do on your own. You can think of any scenario, ranging from a dragon that has been dormant in an ancient swamp or a schoolboy who is scared of his new teacher and needs to get out of his class with the help of nearby objects and classmates. Since you won't need to animate it, the sky's the limit.

Once you have an idea, we can proceed to the next step.

Creating and Unfolding the Story of your Game

Your idea will be the foundation for your main plot. However amazing your idea and story might be, though, you still have to develop it in an organized way. Players should feel that you know what you are doing and not just throwing our random sentences and scenes.

There are two ways of going about your ‘creating and revealing’ process.

  1. Unfold all at once. Write down your entire story (including sub-plots, battles, monsters, traps, etc) and then reveal that story in a linear or parallel fashion in your game.
  2. Unfold while you create. In this method you let your imagination and creative juices flow at blazing speeds while you write down your story bit by bit, as it flows through your mind.

Whichever method you choose is completely up to you. You need to find out for yourself what suits your design style. Are you a more organized person who likes to plan everything out or someone who just likes to go with the flow and follow wherever your fancy takes you.

Elements of Text-Based Games

The whole point of a text-based game is to make the player interact with the text and thus, the game. But how do we interact with text? There are many ways you can do so, and the more ways you include, the more interesting the game becomes.

In the start there is a very simple interaction. The player simply responds to questions posed by the game, like, “I remember your face! What is your name?” or maybe something like “Open your eyes!” and then the player replies with "opening eyes", etc.