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Twinification Continues!

I'm slowly porting everything over--I've got all the newcomer quests in, Frogquest and all the various grind* quests from Moon-Stuffing Camp.

It takes awhile.

For one thing, the cards grow enormously upon import--one "card" in StoryNexus becomes at least two in Twine (which makes sense--cause, then effect!) but most of them become three or four (and in one epic case, twelve!)

The current arrangement is that when you're in Moon-Stuffing Camp, you'll get access to whatever quest lines are currently "live"--the Frog questline, for example, or talking to the Sorrowful Oryx or whatnot--and then you'll also have a random grind quest available. There's ten possibilities, one of which could come up at any given time. If you want to grind, you can, but you can also just ignore it in favor of something else, which will mean (hopefully!) less tedium than the StoryNexus version--you don't have to keep playing the same cards just to get them out of your hand and hope something more fun will come up.

There will also be a randomized merchant who will appear regularly but not every single time you visit. (Presumably Wool-tribe will be very similar, although I haven't started that section yet--working on Moon-Stuffing and Streamside at the moment.)

Kevin has very kindly built me a skill check function, which is awesome and saves on typing. Skills are probably going to build more slowly in this version (which is good, because they built comparatively fast in SN--a couple turns in Withyjack and you could max out Keen, for example) but since you will probably have unlimited turns, it should all work out. (There will be a lot of re-balancing in playtesting, I expect...)

Despite the fact that it's slow-going--on a good day, I can port maybe five or six cards, which, given there's 450+ in StoryNexus, means it'll be awhile!--there's a lot of cool stuff I'm able to do now. If I want someone's dialog to change based on your species, I can just DO it, not have to tediously set up six different nearly identical click-throughs. And with stuff like Frogquest, when you wander through camp, you actually get the Frog watching you and lurking and you see little wet footprints outside your yurt and things, even if you can't do anything about it until a little later. (Which I think is awesome, although the players may just go mad.)

I'm looking forward to actually getting to the storyline quests, rather than the grind stuff, although it's important to get those worked out, because that's where a lot of the important mechanics are, and if I break one of those, it's not nearly so crucial as if I break a major storyline.

(I am NOT looking forward to porting the Steppes section, although I've got some idea on how to do it--that's gonna require some revamping, and I expect it will take weeks to recreate properly. Oh well...)

*Used in the sense that you can do them repeatedly to build skills/make money, and they don't change significantly or advance the storyline.

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i need to be playing/playtesting this version :) i'm kind of a storynexus fan since Fallen London (and i threw a few NEX your way since i try to pay at least a little when i play), but this sounds really interesting. oh and "nestmate from another mother" made me roll off the couch laughing, so!

I've just started playing the StoryNexus version of your game and I love it SO MUCH. Thank you for doing all this work~!

Ursula, my dear, you are such an intense gaming fan. Actually, the doyenne of that community, as I can infer from all the savvy comments. I really admire the commitment -- if not the mental wellness -- of a lot of gamers I've met on-line (including SecondLife, a game of a most particular* sort) and in RL. I'm really impressed by this erudite discussion (while also wondering if it's not, in fact, a satire on the intense gaming scene -- as I wrote you once previously).

I know you write conventional books and do much else here, and I'm sorry I'm so unequal to the tech demands that would admit me to the whole scene.

Whelmed (aspiring to "over-" one of these days), Justine


* Mind you, I didn't actually join SL -- because the tech side of it utterly flummoxed me. Instead, I've met a lot of SL folks via their Flickr accounts, where quite a few find a refuge for their creations as "photos" (of a particular sort). I reblog some, with their authors' shot-by-shot permission, here on my LJ.

I'm STILL loving SN version.

Put me down for beta-testing Twine!

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I had asked about it, and there is no "clean" export for StoryNexus data. It would take longer to build the converter than to do it by hand.

What *I* need is help converting many of the storynexus "builtins" into the javascript needed for the conversion. For example, she can define a variable, but that variable isn't exposed directly to the underlying javascript, so getting the skill system to work has been interesting.

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Huzzah for Open Source. Code is at :


Nightly builds are at :


I'm going to import the newest round of changes from upstream tonight. And probably get back to the skill object system later this week.

Part of the problem is that the export isn't 1:1 -- I'm doing a lot of tweaking and rewriting along the way, to make it fit the engine, taking out some stuff that no longer has any utility and adding in other things to make it flow better, now that I don't need to set up weird workarounds. It's one of those things where I suspect I'd spend so long cleaning and tweaking what I imported that it's just easier to copy and paste in a controlled fashion.

I just finished playing through what exists of the SN version, and I loved it! I feel sort of like I did when I read Douglas Adams's unfinished "The Salmon of Doubt"--full of suspense at all of the dangling plot threads, but nevertheless very glad that I got to read/play as much of it as I did!

Now, off to replay the game on StoryNexus as a different species, just to see what happens…


The two species who get the most stuff, at the moment, are foxes and mice. That's one of the things I hope to tweak in Cryptic2.0

I have no idea what half of this means, never having taken up any sort of gaming myself, but I love reading about your enthusiasm for it! It sounds like it will be very entertaining when complete (whatever that means in this context).

Huh. I saw the subject line and wondered if you were undergoing mitosis.

I've been having a great time with the StoryNexus version, and am looking forward to 2.0.

I really appreciate all the work that went into StoryNexus and I'm looking forward to the new version when it's eventually finished. :D

Maybe you should get a Patreon account so we can support you monetarily for all the things, little and big, that we enjoy. I feel like you entertain me regularly enough that I should be sending money your way occasionally, and I already own many of your books and an original piece of your work and I don't (reasonably) have wall space for more art or shelf space for more books (seriously, there are books piled on books in front of books...).

A couple of thoughts on the grind quests that might be nice to include in later revisions: It feels odd that the game doesn't textually acknowledge that they are repetitions. I'm happy to do yet another round of chasing after weird lights in the cattails, but it feels a little strange that the game is presenting them as if I've never seen them before. If Twine lets you store a "seen this before" variable and adjust the text based on it, it might be nice to have it say something like "You see more flickering lights in the cattails. Go after them again?"

(I liked how this happened with the gathering plant leaves and the warning about over-harvesting, by the way!)

Also, using a bit of randomness in the rewards where appropriate would make it a little more interesting, especially with things with a pretty likely amount of success. It makes sense to always get paid the same amount of amber for some work, but less sense to always find exactly one amber every time I successfully chase a shiny thing in the creek.

But all this is ideas for later refinement, not stuff needed in the first draft! I am having lots of fun.

This is definitely the case--SN just didn't allow for that (there was no way to set a counter on a card, short of putting in an achievement or something, so you would have had about thirty extra achievements like "Reindeer Scraper!" and "Ladder Climber!" if I'd tried to do that, and it would rapidly have become unwieldy.)

In a couple of cases, I've switched the intro text once you've done the job already..."It's that time again!" on Appeasing the Spirits and so forth. I'll look into tweaking it further--that's actually a pretty minor thing in Twine, only requires one if/else, and might make it a little more immersive.

A note on the game. It would be lovely if we could check notes or something to see what our quests are. I played late last night, and now cannot remember what the Herb-Wife wanted me to find next, or even where to go look. I just got the herbs from the roof of my yurt, but cannot remember what's next.

Love the game. It has your perverse, wacky, and occasionally dark humor to it. The dancing mammoths were awesome!

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