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Tools to Build Your Own Text Adventure Games. Presented by Saljack Enterprises. Gaming. Media & Entertainment.

Artificial intelligence, realistic graphics, low-latency multiplayer, next-level physics, and virtual reality these are the hallmarks of modern gaming. Some games have even started to push the limits of Photorealism! But even the most impressive games can’t match the tremendous creativity of human imagination. And that’s why text-based games still shine even now!

Known as interactive fiction, text-based games are a blend of the best two worlds: interactivity and books. These games are perfect for those who create interactive stories without pouring lots of money or time into art and sound assets.

  1. Twine: It is a desktop app that lets you create interactive stories and export them as web pages so that you can upload them and share them with the world when you’re done. You don’t need any coding experience for basic stories. If you want to probe into more complex narratives, Twine does support features like conditional and variable logic. It also supports CSS, JavaScript, and images if you want to portray up your story as more than just an interactive novel. It is straightforward to learn. The reference guide is quite informative. It has all the details on how you can publish your stories on the web for free. If you just want to hang out with your Twine friends, you should check out Twine forums. Here you can discuss and share your works-in-progress, and discover various new tips and tricks to help you become a better storyteller.
  2. Quest: You actually don’t require programming experience to do well with QUEST, but you’ll have to probably pick up the programming concepts along the way once you start using QUEST’s built-in scripting language for handling complex logic. With it, you can add images, videos, music and sound effects. QUEST games can be created with the desktop app or the web app, and all games can be exported and played online. You can even sell your QUEST games if you want to as there are no commercial restrictions. But QUEST’s best selling point is that it has one of the most powerful communities of all the text game engines that are currently available. Especially, the official QUEST forums have regular traffic and new posts on a daily basis. If you want to join a community, QUEST might be the best choice.
  3. ADRIFT: It is one of the oldest functioning options for creating your own text-based games. Its unique selling point is pretty clear: absolutely no programming experience needed, even if you want to create non-trivial narratives. The beauty of ADRIFT is that everything is driven by the GUI, meaning drag-and-drop selections, folder navigation, drop-down menus, etc. All characters, events, objects, variables, etc. are click-to-set-up, making ADRIFT one of the easiest systems to use. The only downside is that ADRIFT games can only be played through the ADRIFT Runner application. The good news is that ADRIFT is cross-platform, and you can even create games through a web interface, so it’s not too much of an inconvenience.

Which text game engine attracts you the most? Are any good alternatives being missed? Do you have any story in your mind that’s begging to be written? Share with us in the comments section!




17 thoughts on “Tools to Build Your Own Text Adventure Games

  1. Dennis N. says:

    . I’ve read about Twine in your post last year and it’s in the back of my mind to check it out.

  2. Al says:

    Building a text adventure game seems really fun. However since I am not good at coding, I guess I will need to use Twine for now.

  3. Grant says:

    My 8-year old niece is very adept at using Adrift! She’s very imaginative and sometimes I wonder where she gets all those ideas.Very educational, I must say.

  4. Marla says:

    I’m a Comm Arts major…can I play with these tools to develop a script? I have some basic coding knowledge so maybe I’ll give this a try. Probably Twine.

  5. Maisie says:

    I’ve downloaded the Twine app recently and so far, I love it. I can see why it’s very popular. It’s a cool app that’s very user-friendly.

  6. mark says:

    okay, since i somehow need to at least know basic programming and coding, i can’t work with any of these engines. i just wished there are engines like these with step by step tutorial and at the same time enables you to make your own games.

  7. alphie says:

    i have certainly no idea about programming and coding. I wonder how QUEST makes it easier for people like me but wants to make their own game?

  8. Darren says:

    I don’t know much about coding or programming, so Quest sounds more appealing to me. Not only can I create interactive stories, but games too! And sell them! How cool is that?

  9. Britney says:

    You featured Twine last year, yeah? Now I’m reading about it again, I’m gonna give it a try! Nancy Drew was my high school heroine and I’d love to do a detective story just like her adventures!

  10. kdj2017 says:

    This is such a cool concept! I would love to look into the Twine app, since I don’t have any programming or coding experience. I’ve never heard of this before, very interesting.

  11. Maury Cheskes says:

    Alrighty, looks like good programs for aspiring writers and game devolopers. I’m game. It sounds like the reader gets the opportunity to really participate in the story compared to reading regular novels.

  12. Hailey says:

    I enjoy reading stories on Twine. I plan to publish my own story on Twine someday. I think it’s perfect for aspiring writers like me since it’s very easy to use and has lots of great features.

  13. Rebi says:

    Looks fun. I’ll probably try using this soon.

  14. Kiara Leslie says:

    Wow…a million thanks to your post. My daughter has start writing a story and now I know how to help her unleash that potential with those tools which will make it fun and great result. Can’t wait to start..

  15. Mau says:

    I’ve read about Twine in your post last year and it’s in the back of my mind to check it out. I still plan to and it’s a goal for this year– to create my own interactive story!

  16. Celine says:

    Adrift sounds fun! Is it for free?

  17. Margaux says:

    This one reminds me of my favorite books when I was in elementary school — Choose Your Own Adventure! It was very fun to read… and exciting too! I almost always end up either dead or not solving the case! I haven’t tried any of these software but I think it’s worth the try!

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