I’ve been meaning to get stuck into Twine for a while but had been putting it off until I had a real idea to work with. I’m a big fan of randomly-generated flavour text, and I’d been messing about with the theme of memory-hacking in my writing for years. In We’re All in this Together you play a “neuroscope” operator in a near-future London. There is a plague spreading which causes some sort of psychotic breakdown, and its your job to read the memories of your “patients” and quarantine those whose memories seem… iffy. The memory read-outs are presented to you as little stream-of-consciousness type poems, and if you are unsure you can “re-scan” a patient, at the expense of using up more of the day’s energy. The way it works is as follows. The game has one rather long list of phrases which represent “everyday happenings” in the city. If the “patient” is infected (based on a random 1-100% chance, depending on how well you’re doing) then an addition list of phrases gets added, which are the “tells”. They mostly relate to desperation, feelings of aggression, and icky black goop dripping off of everything (because I’m edgy, hell yes). When a patient is scanned with the neuroscope, four of these one-liners is delivered to the player. The tension lies in the fact that, because it’s shitty near-future London anyway, it can be hard to tell what is a hallucination. In the above image, the two passages are as follows: Not infected: “The Big Smoke crawls / Lo-teks around a garbage fire / Warm tea with friends / Spat gum into a passing drain” Infected: “Lingering smell of rotting fruit / Skin beneath fingernails / Incisor meets a shoulderblade / Dub bass from a window up high” In the infected example, the first three phrases are drawn from the pool of “infected” memories, whereas the last one is from the regular memory pool. Next task will be to make it more “gamey” by adding and tuning the resource-management elements, making those “memory pool” lists longer to avoid repetition, and possibly add conversations between days, and events that might change a few things in the memory pool (for example, a
riot breaking out, or the nature of the virus changing after a certain number of days). I’m thinking about dropping that to three phrases at a time. Might make it more poetic, and more challenging potentially? You can try it out here. Probably, unless I change the title and then this link will probably die.