My Name is Tara Sue

“Your name is Tara Sue. You are 25 and you work in an office. Admittedly, your life could stand to get a little more interesting.”

After creating my own Twine that read as a stream of consciousness, I was curious about other ways Twine could be used. During peer reviews I experienced a text adventure that was based in Twine where the author had the choices displayed as links to new text boxes. Overall it felt like a user friendly Colossal Cave Adventure type piece which was a lot of fun because it took the guessing out of what moves you can make next (I’m sick of “I don’t recognize that command”). Much like that one, My Name is Tara Sue is also a text adventure written in Twine.

The overall layout is a series of text that builds as you continue to click links within the text itself. I found that if the links (highlighted in orange) were read out of context, they still describe the choices you have for continuing the journey.

 

TaraSue

One route leads you, Tara, through a normal work day when you click “work in an office“. Within that route, it leads you to leave work early because you vomit on the floor in your boss’s office, and *ooh* you take a taxi instead of the bus (the ” more interesting” life of Tara) if you make the right choices. However, if you take the more eccentric route, starting with the link “interesting“, and continuing to pick the routes that might lead to excitement, you end up in a mystery involving a hostage situation and your sister.

There are many outs from the adventure, so you can cop out and give up at most any time. My biggest pet peeve when testing out the work route was that there were NO choices at points at it felt like I had a lack of control over the game. However, when I began the interesting route, I found there were more choices, more forks, and more adventures. I think this is a great example of form marrying content, as seen in classic print literature. When you choose the mundane work story line you get a mundane, choice-less adventure and feel what the character is feeling. Once in the interesting story line, you can experience more and have more freedom to make decisions within the game, gaining control over the story as a reader/human/player.

  1 comment for “My Name is Tara Sue

  1. kmunnis
    April 18, 2014 at 6:18 am

    I’m working on my own Twine game for the final so this post really interested me. Before getting into the narrative, I thought the typography in My Name is Tara Sue is different and the yellow font adds emphasis and inspires me to take a different approach to my own story. The linear story line as you mentioned, when the user picks “work” is frustrating but in contrast to the more dynamic story line when he or she chooses “interesting” adds variety to the game; but this is the choice that the author intended for the user however there is an illusion of freedom.

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