Twine is creating some really interesting opportunities for fiction writers wanting to work in games. Whereas normal fiction would only present a single story, Twine is letting devs create huge, branching narratives that allow for dozens of decisions and endings. Like Choose-Your-Own-Adventure stories for adults, games like The Terror Aboard the Speedwell and You Were Made for Loneliness engage the player in ways traditional fiction can’t, asking the reader/player to take part in the decisions that lead the story. Case in point, The Right Side of Town, a story of a five-hundred-year-old android detective working near Mars.
Naomi, the android detective protagonist, has been passing as human for some time on Asphodel, a fancy city in Mars’ orbit. Like any good city filled with rich folks, there’s dirty dealings going on – the kind where someone ends up dead. Naomi and her partner have to pick up the pieces and solve the case, but doing so will mean a lot of trouble from the wrong kinds of people. It’s the kind of trouble that can mean big consequences for not only Naomi, but also the human race itself.
With five endings across forty-thousand words, there is lots of room for players to accidentally bring doom upon humanity through poor detective work and decision-making. Written/developed by Javy Gwaltney (The Terror Aboard the Speedwell) and Kitty Horrorshow (Dust City), it promises a winding narrative filled with dark themes (and some extra goodies, like a soundtrack, images, and some extra poetry from Kitty Horrorshow) upon its release on February 11.
The Right Side of Town will be available on Itch.io for $3.50 on February 11, but is available to preorder before launch for $2.50. For more information on its developers, you can follow Javy Gwaltney and Kitty Horrorshow on Twitter.