I Made A Twine Game

Cipher Prime had a game jam Thursday night. The theme was “vacation.” I was a little distracted, but I took it as an opportunity to learn Twine, the super-accessible hyper-text adventure game creator that’s sweeping the indie nation.

I once tried to learn SCUBA diving on a vacation, so I made the game about that. In my mind this is the most realistic SCUBA diving simulator that has ever been created in video games. Well, not really: actually you should probably consider it a horror game and should not play it if you are sensitive to that kind of thing.

The game follows the form of most Twine games that I’ve seen and does nothing too special. I would’ve liked for the background colors to change depending on your position in the ocean, but I couldn’t figure that out. I ended up with a sort of low-contrast color scheme but it’s pretty legible to me. The only thing this game really does differently is that it’s not particularly linear.

Here is the game: Dive

Here’s a few spoilers you shouldn’t read if you want to try it:

In case you couldn’t figure it out by playing, I’m terrified of SCUBA diving. If this means I’m going back on my word about making biography games, well, that was fast. Still, this isn’t actually about a thing that happened to me. Quite the opposite really.

I am certain that some human at some point successfully completed a SCUBA dive. In fact, statistically, thousands of people. But not me. I passed all the safety course stuff, but I never made it out of the kiddy pool.

Some feedback I got was that I should add a shark attack. But I’m not really into it. That seems action-packed, like something in a movie. It has nothing to do with what’s scary about SCUBA diving, which is mostly mundane crap about water pressure or forgetting how to breathe.

I suppose that this is now a tradition for IF games that I create: there are no good endings, only varying degrees of bad ones.

3 thoughts on “I Made A Twine Game”

  1. Very nice, if not precisely indicative of my own SCUBA experiences (I’m not dead, for one) šŸ™‚

    Normally I’d try to convince you to give diving another shot, that it’s incredibly fun and liberating once you get the hang of it, but you clearly gave it the college try, so I’ll refrain. Instead, I’ll suggest how you can make the game even scarier. The thing about air embolisms is that your lungs don’t up and explode; you apparently don’t feel anything at all, so there’s this little killer bubble of air in your bloodstream and you don’t even know about it until you have a heart attack or stroke. So you could have the player emerge from the depths, feel fine, and then BAM get killed on the boat ride back, in true horror style.

  2. Wow! Thank you. I have clearly learned something.

    Honestly I got about to the point of “oh and if you hold your breath on the way up, your lungs explode so don’t do that šŸ˜€ :D” and was like “this is really not for me TBH”. I just had to imagine what that would be like.

    The answer: worse than I thought, yet 1000s of people do this all the time without any fear. Amazing.

  3. I experimented with a very similar idea for last week’s Twine story: Caved. Much in the same way, it was about going deeper and deeper — and there isn’t a happy ending.

    It’s been fascinating to me to see how people are using Twine and other programs to make personal games about their fears and relationships. I’m excited to see what this trend will produce going forward as many more become game developers for the first — or twelfth — time using these tools.

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