Oresteia Twine Game

Play fullscreen here

This was my first experiment with Twine and a choice-driven narrative.
Since it was a first try, I wanted to rewrite something that already existed in another medium (the Oresteia) and I thought Greek tragedy was a good candidate. In the best Greek tragedies (most notably Oedipus), you feel an oppressive sense that the characters have NO control, no choice that would save them. I thought this would be fun to try express in a medium that is all ABOUT choice!
Ancient Greek plays are famously unfair: the narrative rarely has any interest in showing why a character deserved their tragic fate (or, sometimes, our morals are so distant from the Ancient Greeks that the playwright’s attempt to do so backfires). I take this to be part of what makes Ancient Greek plays worth reading! In a modern world vibrant with moral black and whites, it’s startling to enter a story that is dismally, amorally, grey — there is no good or evil, just victims and witnesses. The characters suffer because that is just what it means to be human: to strive, make the best decisions we can, and still be haunted by them.
That pessimism is what I thought would really come to life in a game. I strove in this Twine game to give the player powerful choices, to really empower you to save Orestes (which it is possible to do! there is a “good ending”!), but to see those choices come, again and again, to naught. Not because you made the wrong choice, but because some situations lie beyond solution.
Let us hope we encounter them only in fiction.

In progress notes: This is v.1, so all the endings are live but the rest is still very much under construction. Right now, I’m planning on re-writing the dialogue to be more conversational and adding more dialogue choice to the middle of the game.

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