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Um… I Have a Book Coming Out

What was my resolution last year? To become a professional game-maker in 2015.

I know, not the most realistic goal since when I made it last December, I had no experience coding games. I mean, I could code a game, as in, I had the skills. But apparently people do not want to hire you and pay you real money if you have zero hours of professional work experience.

So I decided to tackle this goal a different way.

I pitched a book about teaching other people how to code a game, specifically people who have no coding experience.  It’s a game-making language that is central to leveling the programming playing field, making sure that people who have not traditionally had an open door into the computer world have a space to walk through into game-making.  Kids can grasp it.  Old ladies like me can grasp it.

And amazingly, a publisher bought the book and helped me shape it and gave it an awesome cover.  While it’s not out until spring, it’s up for presale on Amazon and Barnes and Noble et al.  So… introducing the newest member of my book family… Writing Interactive Fiction with Twine.

Writing Interactive Fiction with Twine

If you’ve played 80 Days or Lifeline or Device 6, you’ve played interactive fiction, which is an updated, computer-based version of the Choose Your Own Adventure stories from childhood.

To give you a taste of what you can do with it, I made a simple, kid-friendly game that you can play*: A Very Empty Basket.  So click that and play a round, and then come back here because I still have more to say about how this book relates to you.

Oh good, you’re back.

I guess I present this book to you not just because it has been a big part of my life for the last year but because I hope more people in the infertility community will start making their own games or simulation pieces in Twine.  People have been using Twine to give insight into living with depression or trauma or homelessness.  Why not infertility or adoption or loss?

Twine is a simple language to learn — you can pick up the basic tools for making a game in a matter of minutes.  It may take longer to build a complicated game with variables and datamaps, but a basic game: you could start building yours today.

So… I guess I set that as a 2016 challenge for anyone who wants to pick it up: make a game (and don’t get hung up on the word “game”) giving insight into the world of infertility or adoption or loss.  I want to champion that game and help you make it.

So now to come up with a new goal for 2016…

* There should be a prize for anyone who gets all 15 points.  Take a screenshot if you do and send it to me.


1 Jen { 12.16.15 at 8:27 am }


2 Catwoman73 { 12.16.15 at 8:37 am }

Congratulations on the book Mel! Awesome!
And I’m coming back to your game when my daughter gets home from school. She would love it!

3 Lori Lavender Luz { 12.16.15 at 9:08 am }

Way to shatter your goal, Girlfriend. Very proud of/happy for you.

I CAN’T GET TO 15!! Aaaaagh!

4 Noemi { 12.16.15 at 9:15 am }

Congratulations Mel! You are awesome!

5 35jupiterdrive { 12.16.15 at 9:28 am }

Your new book looks great! I hadn’t heard of Twine before, but I have some ideas around ways I’d like to use it, so thanks for this. Once the holidays are past (and I have a real address, which, you know, I don’t at the moment), I’ll definitely pre-order.

I tried the game, but I seem to be having a few difficulties with a certain store owner. Maybe later in the day when I’m more awake.

6 Turia { 12.16.15 at 9:50 am }

This is seriously cool. Congratulations! I’ve never heard of Twine, or these types of interactive fiction games. Neat!

7 Charlotte { 12.16.15 at 10:21 am }

Congratulations Mel! What an awesome accomplishment, and what a great way to fulfill your resolutions by finding a work around! Be proud of yourself!

I will check out your game later with my kids, as all of this stuff is way over my head!

8 jjiraffe { 12.16.15 at 10:27 am }

Truly impressive!! Congrats 🙂

9 a { 12.16.15 at 10:49 am }


10 SuzannaCatherine { 12.16.15 at 1:05 pm }

This sounds so super cool! Can’t wait to show it to my almost-eleven-year old grandson. He’s already way beyond me in computer skills. This will be great for us to “bond” over!

As soon as the holiday madness has abated a bit I will be pre-ordering your latest title! Yay!

You are such a Rock Star. ?Congratulations!

11 Ana { 12.16.15 at 2:20 pm }

Wow! I am so impressed! Good for you!! (I got devoured by a wolf pretty quickly)

12 Infertile Girl { 12.16.15 at 5:49 pm }

Bah, I’m stumped at 12 points! Will you share the secret of 15 points with us eventually?!

13 Manapan { 12.16.15 at 8:27 pm }

Please, please pretty please with a cherry on top tell us how to get to 15?

14 Katherine A { 12.17.15 at 8:32 am }

Congratulations on the new book!

I’m on at least my 3rd go-around with the game now…I’m hoping one of these times I’ll get the 15 point secret figured out :).

15 Kathy { 12.18.15 at 8:45 am }

Yay! So proud of and inspired by you, as always! xoxo

16 nonsequiturchica { 12.18.15 at 9:36 am }

Congrats! I have never heard of Twine before but it sounds cool!

17 Mali { 12.20.15 at 8:36 pm }

Your energy and determination put me to shame – or perhaps, you’re just an inspiration. This is awesome. Congratulations!

18 Tiara { 12.22.15 at 12:03 pm }

Congratulations!!! This is awesome!!!

19 Queenie { 12.28.15 at 11:57 pm }

I am just catching up on my reading…congrats!!! You have such an interesting range to your published work. and you’re inspiring me to come up with a really good 2016 goal.

On a slightly related note, you inspired me (in a really old post) to get my 5 year old Lego wedo for Christmas. It was a huge, huge hit. I think it’s insane that she understood it so quickly!

20 loribeth { 12.30.15 at 4:40 pm }

I have to admit I am not much into gaming. But I think it is so, so cool that you’ve done this — not only written a(nother) book, but one that will help others with this kind of stuff. Congratulations!!

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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