This site is a resource for using Twine to teach multimodal writing and introduce students to new media production and procedural logic. It is a companion to my 2015 College Composition and Communication presentation “Tying Writing and Coding Together: Twine for Multimodal Writing,” presented 20 March 2015.
This presentation explores the possibilities of using interactive fiction program Twine for multimodal writing to make students producers, instead of merely players, of videogames. Although many scholars have considered coding as composition, the challenges of assigning code-based or multimodal writing without prior coding knowledge can prove difficult. This paper presents Twine as one possibility for integrating coding and procedural thinking into composition pedagogy. This beginner-friendly program, through its intuitive interface, code, and resources, eases students into coding to empower them as producers of their own multimodal texts.
In addition to its strong visual interface, one of the greatest ways Twine encourages students to code is by requiring no code at all. As a designer explains on the program’s website, “if you can type words and occasionally put brackets around some of those words, you can make a Twine game.” And because of the confidence Twine can provide, students easily transition from linking text units together to adding variables, conditional logic, HTML and CSS styles, and even scripts to make their games more complex. Twine, then, offers more than a tool for writing. It provides a conceptual model and procedural space that encourages and requires its users to write more than words; they must also learn to write procedures, which Ian Bogost has identified as a “core affordance” of computers. The great benefit of Twine is teaching procedural thinking without requiring students to learn a programming language, and after examining its interface and procedurality, this presentation will draw on student work and provide suggestions for using Twine in the composition classroom.