What is the easiest format to use?

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asked Dec 26, 2017 by apo-mirtazapine (120 points)
I've recently started trying to use Twine (using Harlowe) but I'm not great at coding. I was wondering what everyone thought the easiest format to use was. I do have some basic experience with CSS and HTML. Thanks for any advice you can give!

1 Answer

0 votes
answered Dec 26, 2017 by Chapel (46,530 points)
It depends on what you're doing, as each format is designed to be (fairly) easy to use, though each is also designed for a certain audience or type of project.

Harlowe is generally easy to get started with, but it's hard to extend it's functionality. This can make it more user friendly initially, and I quite like it's syntax personally. But if you need features that aren't included, or if you need finer control over certain systems like the history system, it can be a pain.

SugarCube is also fairly easy to get started with, but has the added bonus of being easy to extend as well, and it gives the author a great deal of options for fine-tuning. SugarCube includes some features that might not make a lot of sense to new users, but these things can usually be ignored until you need them.

Snowman is mostly designed for web programmers or for people who are using Twine as a component of a larger work.

My personal recommendation is Harlowe for simpler works, and SugarCube for longer or more complex works.
commented Dec 26, 2017 by apo-mirtazapine (120 points)
I'm an author and I wanted to use it to create more of an interactive story. Most of the ways I've seen it used have been for games. The most important aspect is in making sure it's visually pleasing. A big issue I've found it hard to resolve is in using Harlowe to create timed delays in the text (and also some spacing issues that I think will be easier to resolve itself than I thought). Are there ways, for instance, to get text to fade onto and out of the screen?
commented Dec 26, 2017 by Chapel (46,530 points)
edited Dec 26, 2017 by Chapel

It's possible to do fades like this in pure CSS, or using jQuery in either Harlowe or SugarCube using something like this: 

<span class='fade-in'>Fade me in.</span>

And then, for Harlowe, place this under the above html in the same passage. 

<script>
$('.fade-in').hide().fadeIn(10000);
// change 10000 to whatever time you want, in milliseconds
</script>

In SugarCube, place this in story JavaScript: 

postdisplay['fade-in-text'] = function (taskName) {
    $('.fade-in').hide().fadeIn(10000);
    // change 10000 to whatever time you want, in milliseconds
};

In SugarCube, you can also use my custom fading macros

As far as making it look good, that's just down to CSS and html.

Edit. Typos. 

commented Dec 26, 2017 by greyelf (88,870 points)

I'm an author and I wanted to use it to create more of an interactive story..

Twine (1.x and 2.x) was originally designed to create Interactive Fiction (eg adaptive Text based stories with some artwork), and all three of the Twine 2 official story formats can be used to do this as they all support target-able links and the use of variables to store story state.

All three story formats also support basic programming constructs like the IF statement and such, and can be styled by using CSS.

As explained by @Chapel the real difference between the official Twine 2 story format is what advance functionality (like macros) comes built-in, how easy it is to extend the default functionality of the story format, and what programming languages you will need to use to do so.

Welcome to Twine Q&A, where you can ask questions and receive answers from other members of the community.

You can also find hints and information on Twine on the official wiki and the old forums archive.

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