Hello everyone! Madi Ballista here, diving into my very first game jam. This is not my first experience with Twine, though it will be my first finished game, and a solo effort at that!
overview & gameplay
"two truths and a..." is a psychological horror game built in Twine 1.4 with Sugarcube 2. The game chronicles the strange series of events that follow the mysterious appearance of wind turbines in a small New England town one summer, as perceived by the two main characters, best friends Rashida and Ivy. "two truths and a..." (2ta2, because I'm lazy) incorporates some of my favorite elements of psychological horror, such as missing time, reality and perception dissonance, unreliable narrators, unexplained suicides, and a whole host of other things. I've been binge watching horror movies for the last two weeks, so I am set.
Why wind turbines? I don't know, man. The sight of wind turbines on the horizon has always filled me with an inexplicable sense of dread, so I thought I'd try and convey that bizarre fear in the form of an interactive fiction game.
2ta2 is a pretty straightforward click-through interactive fiction game with branching story paths. The game can be played from the perspective of either Rashida or Ivy, chosen at game start, to explore the different series of events and the intersections of their experiences. The gameplay itself is simple, so the aim here is to convey that atmosphere of growing discomfort and dread and slowly build suspense for the player, and leave them constantly guessing as to what, exactly, is going on, and what they can really trust.
Also: numbers stations. Numbers stations are creepy as hell, so naturally they play a role in 2ta2's story.
1. Learn something new. I'm already fairly familiar with Twine, so my main goal for this project is to do something with it I've never done before: including sound, and using timed text. The majority of the sound assets in this game will be sound effects rather than music, meant to serve as very light jump scares or add to the suspense.
2. Create an effective atmosphere. Rather than just focusing on the content, I'm experimenting with the presentation of the content in order to achieve that chilling, spooky feeling. Time-delayed text is a big part of this experiment. In setting subsequent blocks of text to appear on timed delays in each passage, I hope to gradually build an air of suspense and helplessness that reflects the characters' mental states.
3. Multiple endings. Although I'm working to make a short, compact game that can be reasonably finished within the time frame, I'm also aiming to have five different endings the player can get in 2ta2.
The first two days of the jam were kind of a wash for me due to RL stuff, so I got a bit of a late start, but I am on track! So far I've got about ~15% of Ivy's route done, and I've been fine-tuning the timing on the text delays to get the right pace (as well as spending about half a day figuring out how to get the timed delays to work properly). I've collected a handful of sound assets, but I'll need to spend more time hunting down the right sound effects and implement them later this week.
There's nothing really interesting to screenshot since it's a text-only game, so in lieu of anything visually snazzy to show you, here's a piece of music that plays a thematic and narrative role in the game.
Looking forward to posting further updates!!