Posts Tagged ‘Twine’

Playing with the past in serious ways: Twine interactive history project guide, Part 1

February 18, 2018 5 comments

This is the third year I have incorporated a long-term (one quarter to one semester long) Twine interactive history project into my ninth-grade ancient world history and twelfth grade Roman Republic classes at Cincinnati Country Day School. I have written in the past about Twine, the benefits for students researching and designing Twine histories, and some of the methods I have employed (See Twine, Inform, and Designing Interactive History Texts and Creating Interactive Histories in History Class at Play the Past. Also see the YouTube video I prepared for the VALUE project). This post talks about my latest implementation-in-process this semester and some thoughts on the process and educational value of a Twine interactive history project. Included are the spec sheets and rubrics I have developed to help teachers launch their own Twine history projects.

Types of Choice-Based Interactive History Texts

Types of Twine histories

There are three fundamental approaches to choice-based interactive history texts one can design with Twine or similar tools (see: Crafting Interactive Histories: Twine and Choice-Based Interactive Historical Texts ) Every Person, Specific Agent, and Experimenting Deity. Each has a different sort of player agent that produces some differences in the research required for each and the handling of issues like counterfactual history that are inherent to most interactive histories. Read more…

The Problem of Historical Choices in Twine Game Design – A Response to Neville Morley

Neville Morley (@NevilleMorley)and I (@gamingthpast)have been exploring the ramifications of Twine for developing interactive historical texts. My main ongoing experiment is the Path of Honors project, an interactive text about a fictional Roman aristocrat going through the very historical process of pursuing an aristocratic career. I call this sort of interactive text an “every person” approach in that it focuses on a historical situation but has a protagonist that did not exist, in an authentic set of circumstances. Neville is working on Might and Right, an investigation of the Athenian treatment of the polis of Melos in the Peloponnesian War. Neville’s text is what I would characterize as a “specific agent” approach, in that the player takes the role of Cleomedes, an Athenian general who was, in fact, in a command position at Melos in 416.  A very quick bit of historical setup, quoted from Neville’s Twine:

The small island of Melos in the Cyclades, halfway between Athens and Crete, was originally a Spartan colony, and so had refused to join the Athenian alliance. Officially the Melians remain neutral, but in recent years their leaders have sided openly with Sparta. Now the Athenians have sent an expedition of 38 ships and 2,000 troops to demand the island’s unconditional surrender.

Neville has finished a version where the Athenian player, as Cleomedes, determines the fate of the Melians.

In a recent tweet I made a light-hearted, yet serious, attempt to propose a rule about historical game development in choice-based work that I jokingly titled, McCall’s Rule of Good Choices in a Historical Game: “The Designer must provide situations where there is more than one viable choice, and the historical choice cannot always be the only viable choice.” 

Read more…