Text Adventure Games

Last year I found out about Github’s Game Off, where developers write games in a theme in the month of November. Last year I tried to write a game interface and the story to go with it, but that sorta died out.

This year I’m going to take a different approach. I have an outline for a story, and I’m considering turning it into a text adventure sort of game. Choose your character, and you follow them through the story and you help them make decisions. A sort of Choose your own adventure type story.

BUT we’ll see. I’m in the middle of editing and depending on how well that’s going I might not stop to do this. But it’s one of many plans for being a rebel this year.


What language/system are you planning to write it in? Or are you just doing the script, not the full-blown game?

I used to dabble in IF a lot, but haven’t for a long time, so I’m probably way out of the loop on what people even use these days…

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I’m working on my own javascript engine but that’s what bogged me down last year, so this year I think I’m just going to do straight up html or rather markdown using hyperlinks. No fancy language just writing rooms and navigation etc. description dialog options I can easily throw in javascript on the fly if I need to.

I’ve looked at Quest and Squiffy? Squippy? and there is another one Twine I’ve looked at. But I didn’t sit down and play too much

I do a lot of interactive novels for NaNo. Last year was one of those years, and my most successful.

I use Twine. It’s pretty easy and user-friendly, even for those with less coding experience, but it’s open to more advanced users as well, if you’re interested in the nitty-gritty internal aspects. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Ink by Inklewriter Studios is another option I tried that you may want to look into. I do like it, but I couldn’t learn it in a short enough time before NaNo last year, so I ended up going back to Twine. Never did go back to learn it.

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Last year I worked on a text adventure game, along with some other things. Life happened so I didn’t actually manage to finish it after NaNo, so I’m likely going to continue working on it this November. Unless another plotbunny starts nagging me in the meantime.

I’m not entirely certain yet which system I’ll be using for it eventually. I’m making it for a friend so it is kind of important that it’s a working game instead of just a script. I’m currently eyeing Renpy. It’s the only system I’m familiar with from the player side of things and I do like how it functions. Of course that would mean I’ll have to decide whether to include images or not. So that’s a bit tricky.
I’ll have to have a look around for what other systems are out there and if anything would work better for my needs.

As always my mind did its usual spiel of, why do something simple if we can go way overboard? This is my first attempt at a text adventure game, but I have paths and meaningful choices and chapters and different endings and all that stuff in mind. So yeah. Why crawl if you can run, right?


I’m not rebelling this year, but when I do eventually, it’ll almost certainly be a text adventure. I love the format and always have, and I have several non-finished projects, most of them in Twine. I find Twine to be one of the most intuitive programs to write for, because I rarely get bogged down with finding the code I want/need, and if I do, I can just mark that thing and keep writing and quickly look it up when I’m not in the zone. I have Quest and Squiffy as well, but I haven’t used them much for writing, mainly because they’re more in the realm of command prompt bar text adventures, which requires a significantly larger amount of coding and objects/characters/actions to keep track of, while Twine operates on a click-the-word/link/choice-to-proceed level, which lets you control the narrative much more as a writer.

I’ll probably experiment more with Quest and Squiffy because I do love the command prompt type of IF too, but if I ever do a text adventure as a NaNoWriMo project, I’m for sure going to be using Twine unless something even better pops up. It’s by far my favourite option for crafting text adventures that feel like stories. The only other option I’ve really considered along the same lines is the ChoiceScript from Choice of Games - it looks pretty intuitive too, from what I’ve seen, though with much less of a visual element to it. Might help people who prefer to just focus on writing the script and code, might be less helpful for visual learners who like being able to drag pages around the “corkboard” to see their story map (like me).

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I love Choice of Games! I got into them a long time ago when I had a crappy phone and their apps were basically the only things that would run. They made me realize I could actually write the types of stories I enjoyed reading, but not for little kids. lol I haven’t messed with ChoiceScript yet, but I want to poke around with it to see what I can come up with. It looks simple enough at a glance.

I never thought I was much of a visual person, but with these types of games/fiction, it really does help to see all the potential plotlines and options mapped out on a board. It’s why I stick with Twine.

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Might have to give twine another whirl before nano see if it will do what I’m envisioning for the intermediate. But I like the command prompt idea too but that’s a lot more complication than what I want for a nano project. That I only have a month for since I’m in edit mode and need to stay in it too.