Sister Power Activate

Sister Power Activate is a Twine game about sisterhood and superheroes.

My friend Katie Welka and I made it at the iamagamer jam in Mountain View, California, in early July.

You can play it here.

Here are some things you should know about the game;

  • it has two endings. Also, you cannot “fail” out of the game, so don’t worry about that stuff.
  • The game tracks several variables! Your decisions throughout the game will contribute to the final ending!
  • It has sound! Sounds were provided by Philip Foster.
  • THE SOUND WILL BREAK IF YOU NAVIGATE BACKWARDS DURING THE STORY!*
  • We wrote this whole thing in 48 hours! it has 255 passages and 16,189 words! THAT’S INSANE!

No other game jam I’ve been to has required me to type so many words so quickly.

Immediately after finishing the iamagamer jam, I went home and started writing the first parts of my other story Swan Hill, which is why it took me so long to get off my ass and fix the sound cues in this game. I feel very bad about that. The version on the iamagamer website is identical to this one, except for those sound cues, which this new version uses more effectively.

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* Do not do this! DEFINITELY do not do this and then tell me the game is “broken”! No, it is YOU who are broken, cheater!

Swan Hill

swanhillSwan Hill is an interactive story about brothers who have grown apart. It has multiple endings.

You can play it here.

Thanks to all my many playtesters, who helped me turn this project around over the last few weeks.

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This story took me two months to write. It marks my first time using Leon Arnott’s Replace macro. I am now addicted to the Replace macro.

Swan Hill contains an image from the Getty Open Content Program. I highly recommend this program to people who are looking for images for use in Twine stories and other free interactive fiction projects on the web.

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If you are curious, here is the twine .tws file.

Here is a screenshot of the node map.

Some word things I have recently enjoyed

JAWS: The Text Adventure by Matt Round

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Is it a spoiler if I tell you that you PLAY THE SHARK in this game? Most of my friends seem to have not realized that they were the shark until they began eating people.

Anyway. It is the plot of Jaws. As a text adventure. Relive the exciting cinematic experience in grainy cyan and crimson.

Nested by Orteil

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The same masterful mind that brought us Cookie Clicker has created a text “simulation” of the entire known and unknown universe. This is one of the most gorgeous things I have seen in the past several months, period. You simply must see it for yourself.

At the risk of spoiling some content, here are a very very few questions you should solve for yourself before you stop playing with Nested:

  • Who says “ACK ACK ACK”?
  • What can you find inside music?
  • What do bacteria think about?
  • What can you find inside underwear?
  • Can you find a castle?
  • Can you find a cookie? How about A LOT OF COOKIES?

Utopia by Tom Flynn

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I am strangely attracted to this weird little picture-sound-poem.

That’s all I have to say on the matter.

Guilded Youth by Jim Munroe and Matt Hammill

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I got this game as part of the LA Game Space gamepack. However, it is also available on the internet at the link above. But if you have $15 to spare I recommend getting the game pack; it has a lot of neat and trippy stuff in it.

Guilded Youth is about kids exploring things they don’t understand. it gets weird and confusing at one point in exactly the way that youth is weird and confusing, and I was super impressed. Very short and easy play with great art.

My Favorite Molyjam 2013 Games

Of course, I haven’t played EVERY Molyjam game this year. But I have played a nonzero quantity, and among those, these were my favorites.

The Rogue Less Travelled

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It’s a randomized dungeon-crawler done IN TWINE. Very exciting! Far and away the most interesting-to-me submission in the entire jam. These guys were working directly behind me at the IGN office and I kept getting fascinating glances at their work whenever I got out of my chair. Definitely worth SEVERAL plays.

Haughty or Naughty

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Haughty or Naughty captured my imagination in the same way that Drawception once did. It’s a magnetic poetry game/website which provides you with a poetry title, then gives you a series of suggestive words themed to that title, along with a bunch of more-ordinary words common to every poem. You arrange them to make a four-line poem, which other users then rate as “haughty” or “naughty.” I love the way words are themed to the title. There’s some great stuff popping up on this site right now. It’s given me a lot of neat ideas!

Back to the First Date

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A comic about two time-travellers trying to fix the date they went on several weeks before. You click on the things they say, change them, and watch the changes propagate down through the panels of the comic. It’s a very cool way of presenting this kind of conversation gameplay! It reminded me a little bit of the memory remixing in Remember Me– but the comic layout makes it way easier to see all the changes and plan your decisions in this game. This is another one that gave me a lot of good ideas.

Molydog: Dogulus Rift

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I of course have not played this game on its intended platform, as I’m not a swank motherfucker who owns a Rift development kit. However, I watched a video of it, and it was awesome. I love the verbs the player uses and I love the idea of a game about embarrassing the in-game dog owner and the player, simultaneously.

Scarred

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Scarred is simple but sobering . This game used the same prompt that my Twine story did. The creator of Scarred, Leo Burke, took it way more literally than me, however– and did a great job. The environments seem crudely-constructed at first, but are actually very effective at communicating a specific mood. The mazelike corridors and passageways made me feel trapped and lost. The scripted events at the ending are also pretty good. Make sure you read the quote through before playing. I personally picked this quote because, out of context, it seemed so important and significant. The creator of Scarred managed to tease the significance out of this quote much more effectively than I did.

Hello World!

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Explore the environment and leave messages. There’s a lot of cool stuff to read here, and the environment is bright and appealing.

Loyal

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This game isn’t actually finished yet, but it was demoed at the SF location and I was super impressed by what they had to show so far. Great art, an interesting puzzle mechanic, and effective micro-storytelling. You play a dog growing up alongside a young girl. You must protect her and keep her safe. Every screen depicts a major life event; you get to choose three actions per screen, and watch the results play out. Special action combos result in interesting events.