Text Adventures: how Twine remade gaming
In the video game Howling Dogs, released in 2012, players wake up in a prison with few options: a shower, a nutrient dispenser, a garbage chute, and a recreation room with a virtual reality headset. For the first few clicks, all you can do is navigate the prison: getting your nutrient bar, cleaning up, examining a photograph by your bed. Then you put on the headset, and you’re thrown into a world of strange, vivid imagery. You live out a strange snapshot life before being thrown back to the same tiny room. You click through the same motions again and again, each time visiting a different world, as sparklingly strange as the prison is dull.
This was Porpentine Charity Heartscape’s Howling Dogs: a poem, a game, and many people’s first…