ink-soaked (2018)

ink-soaked is a template for Twine-like hypertext using inkle’s ink scripting lanuage.

I absolutely adore ink — it’s a deceptively simple language for writing interactive fiction that has incredible layers of functionality — and I used to love working in Twine. Over a few years of working in Twine the workflow started to bother me — working in the GUI was buggy and not very conductive, and writing in plain text / Twee code and then compiling via a command-line was also arduous.

After Death Does Something Nice! I lost interest in writing interactive fiction, even as my love for it grew from reading work like Birdland by Brendan Patrick Hennessey or The Writer Will Do Something by Tom Bissell and Matthew S. Burns.

I wrote a project using ink for a school project that’d I’d rather not talk about, but only later found out that Inkle’s own IDE, inky, has a feature for spitting out a JavaScript-based port of your ink script. However, it added text additively, making longer stories into endlessly scrolling affairs that weren’t great to read and didn’t have the tactile, page-turning “feel” of a Twine.

So I made ink-soaked! It isn’t much — it’s essentially a CSS template and some minor additions to the JavaScript that allows for formatting, but it’s a tool I keep trying to improve so I can write a great interactive fiction piece with it someday. The lovely people at inkle have re-tweeted the project when I mention it, and I got my first feature request the other day, so someone likes it.

For transparency, I needed a cool icon for this project but I didn’t make it! It’s called “Drop” by Creative Stall via The Noun Project.