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Formats and Versions

I'm a Sci-Fi/Horror/Fantasy writer with an interest in using Twine to provide another way for my stories to be enjoyed.  I've done some research; compared it to Inform, looked at examples, read the wiki, etc but I'm still confused by two things.  One, what are the specific differences in the 3 story formats?  Is one just as capable as the other, with mainly cosmetic differences to distinguish them apart?  There is some information available, but it's either not specific enough or it's simply outdated (referring to 2 formats available instead of 3, for example).  And second, are there major differences between the online browser version and the stand alone version worth considering?  The numbering system is different, of course, but does that mean that it is an "older" version, with less features and support?  I prefer not to tie my story creation software into my browser, for numerous reasons, but if that's my only choice...

If responding, links are fine.  My E-mail address should be available as well for those who wish to respond at greater length.
Thanks again for considering my question, and if I've overlooked something obvious, please forgive me. 


  • There are two related parts:

    1. The Twine application, which is used to edit your story project's passages (text, javascript and CSS stylesheet).
    Twine 1.x is written in Python, it is the more mature product but it does require you to install it locally and only works on OS's that support python 2.7.
    Twine 2.x is written in HTML5 / Javascript, it is the less mature product but it can be ran in (most) modern browsers and works on tablets.

    2. The Story Format, which is used by the application to create your story HTML file.
    A story format defines the basic look of your story, the text markup language, the syntax / format of it's macro language and what core macros are available. It also defines the HTML / CSS structure of your story HTML file, the general features of the format's built-in javascript engine and whether that engine can be extended. (custom macros)

    Most of the story formats can only be used with a particular version of Twine, the exception is SugarCube which works in both Twine 1.x and 2.x
    a. Twine 2.x: Harlowe, Snowman 2, SugarCube
    b. Twine 1.x: Sugarcane, Jonah, Responsive, Snowman, SugarCube

    note: For those that like to use the command line interface, Twine 1.x comes with a tool named TWEE but this only supports Twine 1.x story formats.
  • Thank you Mr. greyelf for your prompt and informative response.  I will begin experimenting with the 1.x standalone version (as it is the more mature version, and because it is not bound to the browser) and the various formats available therein to find one that suits me.  I will also continue my research into the VAST amount of reference material available.  Kudos to all the people involved in and devoted to its compilation.   
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