Integration Interaction Collaboration Introduction

Work to have done: Submit final-for-now website, with source files, and reflection

Plan for the Day:

  1. Collaborative Unit goals (5-10 min)
  2. What is Twine? What kinds of things can we make with it? (15 min)
  3. Affordances of interactive storytelling (5-10 min)
  4. Behind the Scenes with Twine (20-30 min)
  5. HW preview
  6. Practice pitches

1. Collaborative Unit Goals (5-10 min)

Welcome to the unit of Collaborative Composing! We’ve spent the semester practicing this “version control” thing, in one form (git) or another (Box), but only working with files and folders we controlled individually. But if you think way back to the video series “Git and GitHub for Poets,” one reason to work with GitHub (as opposed to just git) is to share files, and communicate about what’s been changed, and when.

In this unit, you’ll need to share a repository with partners as you build something different than what any of you would have done on your own (and, ideally, even better).

The unit goals, then, are:

  1. to practice managing a complex project involving multiple team members
  2. to assess your own skills as a digital media composer, to find ways you in particular can best contribute to a joint project
  3. to integrate and consolidate the skills you’ve practiced across the semester

As I’ve been teasing all along, I think I know just the medium in which to work toward these goals.

2. Twine: Interactive Narrative

What is Twine? What kinds of things can we make with it? (15 min)

Choose-your-own-adventure fiction is one way to think about it. But it’s not always adventure, not always fiction… and not even always choice.

Let’s look at some examples!

  1. The Tiniest Room
  2. The Griffin and the Minor Canon
  3. Queers in Love at the End of the World
  4. the uncle who works for nintendo – this is a horror game; see trigger warning link on home screen.
  5. Conquering Cathy: A trial of fortitude & vitality at the University of Pittsburgh
  6. First College Party – trigger warnings: some endings involve ambulances or references to unwanted sexual encounters.

These are in pairs of shorter (odds) and longer (evens), more or less. Let’s count off, 1, 3, 5. As you finish, move on to the next one! (NB: You can spend more time with these later, if you want to get all the endings.)

3. Affordances of interactive storytelling (5-10 min)

What did you notice?

Any interesting similarities or contrasts among the games you played / stories you read?

Any new possibilities you hadn’t realized before?

4. Behind the Scenes with Twine (20-30 min)

So how is all this happening?

  • Let’s preview the Twine wiki
  • We’ll be using Twine 2, and the default language of Harlowe. It has its own detailed documentation
  • Twine can run in the browser, but if so it’s saving your files in the browser’s history: that means you can’t switch browsers (and if you delete cookies, you’re cooked). So I highly recommend installing the Twine app, and either way, export frequently to backup your work! (Gear menu > publish to file.)
    • And guess what: you can version control that exported file.
    • This is going to be essential for collaborating.
To start getting the hang of the basics, let's try making our own simple game. I'll drive, you give me directions.
  • One of the great things about Twine is that it exports standard html, css, and JavaScript, which means that you can save and import any published Twine game to see how it works. Sweet!
    • Let’s try hacking one of the games you played earlier.

5. HW preview

6. Practice pitches

Suppose you had to come up with a pitch for one of the games you played today. What might it sound like?

Homework for next time

  1. Skim through the Twine 2 wiki to get a sense of what’s possible.
  2. Recall that we’ve seen some brief proposals for collaborative projects already.
  3. Then, by 11:59pm on Sunday, March 31, write a brief project pitch: what would you like to create, bearing in mind we have only about two weeks, really, to work on it? Post this to the issue queue. As with previous project pitches, there is no minimum word count.
  4. Between Sunday and Tuesday, read through the project pitches, and come with a sense of your top three choices.