(Since this post was originally published, I’ve pushed back the deadline and the dates of the event. All other information is the same!)
I got into Twine because there was a lot of fuss about it and I wanted to see what all the hubbub was about; that I grew to love working in it was a little bit of a shock.
But one thing I’ve found about it, perhaps because of many of the controversies surrounding it, perhaps simply because it’s a new tool on the scene, a lot of people I know are somewhat reticent to play or write Twines. “Twine would be a great tool, but…” is the repeated refrain, and pick your ending: But I haven’t played any good games in it, but it’s so much less interesting than parser, but I hate purple text on a black background–again, pick your reason. Check out the current Interactive Fiction competition and some of the discussion surrounding it: There are a bunch of people, for better or for worse, that are resistant to hypertexts made in Twine.
I’m not interested in whether or not Twines are games, whether it truly does anything revolutionary, whether it’s just hypertext under a faux populist banner, any of that–I just like making and playing them. And in an effort to encourage some interesting Twines, and to divorce their reception from any hypertext vs. parser or other controversies, I have decided to curate what is, as far as I’ve seen and I’ll happily correct myself if you know of another one, the first Twine-only exhibition.
Fear of Twine will be an online exhibition held from February 14th to April 18th of 2014. I’m going to be soliciting and curating some works–I’m thinking about a dozen, although pending response I may increase that number–and displaying them on the website fearoftwine.com (which as of the time of this writing either does not work or redirects to my site; designing the site for it is the least of my worries right now but it’ll be separate eventually.) I’m looking to get a wide variety of contributions collected in an effort to showcase a wide range of talents.
I’m capping it largely because I’d like there to be a small enough number of works that the average person could maybe block out an hour or two and get through the whole exhibition, or maybe play through the entirety over a week at work. I don’t want anyone to be overlooked or anyone to be overshadowed; keeping it small is my way of encouraging people to read all of them.
I’ve asked some friends to create some works–nothing worse than an exhibition with no exhibits–but the whole point of this is to get some alternative voices, people who might not have made a Twine before or who aren’t already associated with the tool–since Twine is legitimately accessible to people with little programming experience, I’d love to get a bunch of writers, first-time designers, anyone really.
There are no restrictions as to theme, length, or anything–although let’s face it, short stories will do better than novels. The only thing I care about is that it’s made in Twine (latest version can be found here) and that it’s previously unreleased. Surprise us.
If you’d like to participate, great! I’d like everything to be submitted to me by January 15, 2014–that’ll give me time to put everything together. If you’re thinking of submitting, drop me a line at email@example.com so I can have an idea of what I can expect. I’ll probably ask for a couple-line bio and a short summary. I reserve the right to end the submission period early if there’s a huge response and things are getting too big–I’ll communicate that with a little leeway if that’s the case. (Another reason you should let me know if you’re intending to submit!)
As I mentioned, the exhibition is going to be temporary–these works will only be collected together for the two-month period! I’m going to ask that all authors allow me to host their works exclusively on fearoftwine.com for the exhibition period; once April 18 hits and everything’s taken down, they’ll be free to host them however they like.
Fear of Twine will of course be free, but I am going to look into putting up some sort of tip jar to cover the hosting fees; anything remaining will simply be divided among all of the authors. (If anyone reading this has some experience with this sort of thing and has any pointers on the best way to do this, please drop me a line–firstname.lastname@example.org–I’d appreciate any advice!)
And of course drop me a line or comment here if you have any questions or concerns–if there’s anything I’m leaving out I’ll update this post with some more information.
I’d love to see a lot of you participate–as an author, as a visitor, as someone giving us a buck, however! I’d appreciate any help to spread the word about this. I think if we get enough people together, we can all get over our collective Fear of Twine.
Thanks for reading!