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How do I resolve a "complex data structure" save game error?

Hello, everyone. I'm writing a story in Twine 2 using Harlowe 1.2.2 and recently my story shows an error I've never before encountered using my current set of variables: "The game's variables contain a complex data structure; the game can no longer be saved.► I tried to save or load the game, but I couldn't do it."

I initialize most of the variables in a passage with the startup tag and thus far it has not caused any difficulties. I did just update to the latest versions of Twine 2. Hope somebody can tell me what to look for here.


  • You currently can't use the (savegame:) macro if you store a changer command in a variable. This is a limitation which I still have yet to fix.
  • Sorry to ask, but what's an example of that kind of command? Some of my variables, for instance, use (either: "x","y","z") to populate a variable at startup. Is that what I need to avoid?
  • I believe It is when you assign macros like (colour: "red") or (text-style: "shadow") to variables.
    (set: $effect to (colour: "red") + (text-style: "shadow"))
    $effect[This text should be red and have a shadow]
  • That's odd, as I haven't done that anywhere in the code. Are there any other causes for this particular error? I have only used the (set:) and (put:) macros to store variables, strings, booleans and arrays.
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