Just for the hell of it, since it seems like what the cool and hip people are doing, I downloaded Twine. And I have created a Twine “port” of City at the Top of the World.
No, you can’t play it yet, because I don’t have anywhere to put it right now and free wordpress doesn’t let you upload html files. You can play it here, but because of the upload type they use, you don’t get the full Twine experience of white text/black background/title frame on the left.
It took me a little under an hour, and I kinda half-assed some stuff (I didn’t fix hyphenations, for instance), and I’ve gotta say: I don’t think this qualifies as “Game Development”.
I feel like I did more coding when I manually built City in MS Word. I sure don’t feel like I “developed” anything. I mean, I didn’t even HTML. So yeah, I can totally see why people who do actual coding type stuff look down on Twine and don’t consider people who make stuff in it real developers.
That said, aside from the fact that it doesn’t export in a format that can be published on dead tree pulp, it’s a pretty nice and fun little program decent for making a choose your own adventure story.
I can also see why there is a schism over Twine in Interactive Fiction communities. I guess it depends on how you define interactive; if you define interactive as interacting with the text itself, sure, CYOA is interactive fiction. But by that logic, so is reading a regular book, assuming the invisible cue to turn the page when you’ve finished the page you’re on. If you define interactive as interacting with the environment and the fictional world in the piece, then most Twine games are pretty iffy. Heck, the “game” aspect is kind of iffy, too, since it’s more of a click to the end type thing in a lot of cases. I’m sure that there are ways that you could make something that’s far more “game”-like in Twine than a typical nodular fiction. But why not let it be what it is? A tool for writing branching fiction. Branching Fiction isn’t a game in itself, but it certainly has its own merits, so there’s no reason to bother fighting to get it recognized as such.
Whatever. I’m a double dev. Cuz I developed my game in MS Word and then I coded a port in Twine. Now I just gotta get Greenlit on Steam!
Or you could just buy the paperback from Lulu.