Twine of 2015: Part 3

Previous segments: Part 1, Part 2

Beneath Floes (by Kevin Snow et al.)

Beneath Floes is both a story and an exploration of storytelling; a tale that's about you and not about you at the same time. It lets you inhabit a character for a while and that feels like a privilege rather than a natural right. Inuit folklore is told as part of an oral tradition that naturally changes to some degree with the telling. The relatively modern setting blends the old and new in an ongoing, living mythology.

Beautiful use of sound and images contribute to the experience. I'd have liked more work put into the text formatting but that's just nit-picking. There is careful pacing, sometimes an easy flow using timers, and sometimes agonisingly clicking each individual step towards danger.

Beneath Floes is mostly linear, with choice focused on small details. What does it mean to alter the colour of a monster's fingernails or the shape of her nose? Awful realities can't be avoided, and this particular story might be bent but never broken.

There's a lot packed into a few words here. As someone unfamiliar with Inuit culture and terminology I stopped to look up a few words, but no real meaning would have been lost if I'd just let them wash over me.

Stories are understood as "the echo of that which must be told", and aren't always pretty. Beneath Floes is an intense experience but there is some wiggle room, and definite beauty in the act of storytelling itself. It's a nice reminder about why any of this matters.

Cute Forest Bus Story (by Piratescarfy)

This was silly. I liked it. Some more work on the formatting would have been nice, particularly to avoid the similarity between blue quotes and blue links. But I don't have complaints about the content. It has android romance and simple puzzle solving.

This is the usual issue with wanting to write about small games. What more is there to write that wouldn't be better said by just playing the game? Hopefully it's not insulting if I say that playing games like this feels like getting to experience someone's learning process. The IFDB blurb admits it's their most complicated twine game, and suggests a bit of pride in getting that main puzzle to work. I feel some connection to that right now.

Drip (by PfQ)

The recent twiny jam invited people to make twine games in 300 words or less, leading to hundreds of small games. I have dubious impressions of some aspects of game jam culture but this is the side I can appreciate, where it really is designed to be approachable and encourage people, rather than pushing them to extremes.

Drip is a simple story with a default layout. But it's a surprisingly cute little thing and travels through a range of emotions. I could ask a lot of questions here about what this is really about but I'm not sure I need to.