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After the election, I began taking a break from Twitter on my personal account.It was just — a bit much, is the simplest way to put it. I still read and post on @twinethreads because apart from poor souls trying to get tech support in 140 characters and a few random ranters, it’s been a nice experience. Seeing photos like this makes my heart grow two sizes.

In the meantime, I’m trying to blog more. Blogs still make sense to me too. Obviously, this site has not exactly turned into a wellspring of posts, but I’m going to keep trying.

I initially left comments off when I started this blog because, as everyone knows, comments are evil. But since I have cut out the possibility of a social media conversation for now, I’m going to try them out.

Twine 2.1.0 beta 4

This was originally posted to my Patreon.

Well, I tempted fate by thinking that we were close to a relase. Beta 3 had a nasty bug that invisibly ate up hard drive space on the story list. If you used beta 3, follow these directions  to clean up the mess.

This fixes a few other bugs that were identified in beta 3, too.

You can get it from Bitbucket, and I’ve created a new forum thread  for discussion.

PS. This release is gratis — my policy is to only charge patrons once a month at most.

Twine 2.1.0 beta 3

This was originally posted to my Patreon.

Not quite there yet, but pretty close to a release. You can download it from the usual place.

The major update on this beta is that we’ve added multiple versions of Harlowe and SugarCube, two popular story formats — the things that run a published story in a browser.

In particular, Twine 2 has lagged pretty hard behind SugarCube releases, so this beta adds the ability for you to pick which version of SugarCube, 2.11.0 or 1.0.35, you’d like to use. Before, you had to install SugarCube 2 by hand, which was a bit of a hassle. Similarly, this lets you start using the Harlowe 2.0 release series (which I think is still in the finishing-touches phase), which brings many improvements over 1.0.

(The dialogs related to story formats have been overhauled, too, to make them a bit simpler to digest.)

If you have a free moment and the inclination to test this beta out, it would be especially helpful. The reason why is that this version tries its best to gracefully transition you to an appropriate story format version, even if you had previously installed SugarCube 2 by hand before. And I want to get that as tested as possible, since if it goes wrong it could mess up people’s workflows significantly.

Thoughts? I’ve posted a topic to the forum.

There ought to be a word for…

  • Thinking you are ahead of the popularity curve on a song, but subsequently hearing it played at a Chipotle
  • Pressing on a display in the belief that it’s a touchscreen, but it isn’t
  • The drop in room temperature that occurs when a public speaker says something uncomfortable but undisputably true

A Mind Forever Voyaging cover

Today, my mind turned to this game. I never understood its political background until I read Jimmy Maher’s coverage of it (here, here, and here). I was too young to witness Reagan’s rise; the first election I can remember is George H. W. Bush winning 1988. So the fear of what Reagan might be capable of was alien to me.

I’d like to think that the past can help us understand the present, but I am filled with uncertainty, every path my mind takes.

Twine 2.1.0 beta 1

This post originally appeared on my Patreon.

After a long gestation, I’ve put out a beta of Twine 2.1.0! This revamps the user interface quite a bit and speeds up a lot of tasks, particularly with larger stories. If you were used to waiting a few seconds for Twine to start up or load your story, this should make you happy.

There is a lot changed under the hood. I can’t really understate that. This is why I’m going to do several betas before a formal release. And right out of the gate, a couple big bugs have been identified.

So ultimately, consider this a preview of things to come, and if you use it, please keep careful backups of your work. I’ve spent a lot of time ensuring that the new data layer (which is why it’s a lot faster) is solid, but there are still doubts in my mind that won’t go away until it’s been rigorously tested. Which is hopefully where you come in!

I’ve put details for how to download it on the Twine forum.

grunt-entwine-quickstart

This post originally appeared on my Patreon.

I have something new for you to play with! I realize it’s been a while. It’s called grunt-entwine-quickstart, which probably sounds like nonsense if you don’t live in the JavaScript world. In short, it’s a set of utilities that will help people who are a bit more technically savvy, or who are building larger stories.

With it, you can:

  • Create a single story from several story files, like StoryIncludes in Twine 1
  • Write CSS and JavaScript outside Twine
  • Add Twee code to a Twine story, or build stories entirely from Twee code
  • Use Git or other source control systems in conjunction with Twine
  • Build desktop app versions of Twine stories

To get started, visit the project page and follow the instructions there. Although you’ll need to use a command prompt with this, I tried really hard to make it understandable for people who haven’t used it before. Please let me know if there are parts that are confusing about the instructions!

If you do live in the JavaScript universe, you may want to use the Grunt plugin as-is. Or you may want to use a plain old command line script, or play with it in JavaScript directly. You can totally do this! Install twine-utils instead and you’ll get a entwine command and associated Node module.

Keep in mind that this is the first public release, so there may be bugs lurking here. If you do run into problems, please add a bug report to the project page. There’s also room to grow here, too. I can see adding a Twine 1 -> Twine 2 converter to this project, and also adding a mobile app builder with PhoneGap/Cordova in the future.