Learning To Thrive In Twine

As some of you may have read in an earlier post ‘Learning To Share Your Work’, after completing my honours thesis last year on the evolution of accessibility of the book I had great difficulty with figuring out how best to publish it. In the end I created a PDF file as well as publishing a copy in Notational Velocity. However, I had always wanted to complete a Twine game representation of it somehow. I will happily admit that I had no idea of what that would look like at the time but I feel as though I have created something that represents the experience I went through that inspired my honours thesis in the first place.

It was thanks again to Dr Graham that I was given the opportunity to make this game for his Digital History class as my final assignment. The game is titled ‘Learning To Thrive’ and in it you are a disabled university student who is trying to find the right path that will allow you to successfully get through your degree. Going into it I had these wild and crazy thoughts going through my head that I would somehow allow the player to choose what type of disability they possessed and from there they could have different paths based on what disability they chose.

Of course just as I always do I overestimated how much time I would have in the semester to allocate towards putting this together. Therefore, I decided to shorten it and base the game on a student with a neuromuscular disorder using my experiences to help. While this game does not relate to the information in my thesis an individual who has experience with both can connect the two between discussions relating to the material book in both.

When first beginning this project it was the first time I had ever used Twine to a serious degree. I had learned about it from Dr Graham in years past but had never really used it to accomplish anything major such as this. With that in mind I knew that I would have to keep it simple, especially considering I did not know really (although I did do some research in the last couple days) how to change the background or make any special effects. The only real thing that I knew how to do was connect from one passage to another using double square brackets, [[like this]]. In the end though I decided to keep it simple as it was what I thought to be a good representation of what university should be like to the student, a simple experience.

For the most part I did not have too much trouble but when I was cleaning it up I changed the titles of a few of the passages which created new empty unneeded passages by accident. You can find out all about my other experiences while making it in my notes below. Overall I believe this experience was a great way to wrap up a semester full of lessons on digital programming that can and will make my academic life easier in the coming future. I am as always learning to thrive.

Learning To Thrive Twine Game

Outline

- Final project is a Twine game based on my post-secondary career as a disabled student

- it will have different options of accommodations to suit your needs as a disabled student but only one leads to a healthy and successful completion of a degree

- Different reasons behind each decision and they will be explained in the game itself

Game

Introduction

- Explains what the game is and how it works.

- Contains two links:

- Neuromuscular Disorder

- Begin

Neuromuscular Disorder

- The purpose of this box is to explain to the player what a neuromuscular disorder is and how it will impact their post-secondary career

- It does not have any options within it other than to return to the introduction box

Begin

- Contains two links

- Male

- Female

Male & Female

- The purpose of both these boxes is to establish in the mind of the player that gender is not important when it comes to your overall health as a disabled student

- Both of these boxes only contain one link

- Disability

Disability

- Point of this box is to reestablish in the mind of the player how important it is to make all of their decisions with their health as their number one concern

- Accomplishes this by using language like ‘naively’ to point out that you are making some decisions without any information

- Contains one link

- Health

Health

- Purpose of this link is to explain to the player how having a neuromuscular disorder impacts their health and therefore every decision they make in the game will affect how their body is feeling physically compared to the average person

- Contains one link

- Post-Secondary Career

Post-Secondary Career

- Purpose of this box is twofold:

1: Explain how when graduating from high school you are fully confident in your ability as a student academically but you are concerned about not having an Educational Assistant with you in class all the time

2: How because of this you are forced to make more decisions about your education strategy such as how will you take notes

- Contains two links

- EA (Educational Assistant)

- Notes

EA

- Purpose of this box is just to explain to any players what an EA is if they don’t know already

- Contains only one link

- Post-Secondary Career

Notes

- Only purpose of this link is to establish in the mind of the player that despite the fact that you are a disabled student you want to experience everything when it comes to the world of post-secondary studies

- So you don’t want to use your disability as a way of getting through your post-secondary career

- Contains one link

- The Easy Way Out

The Easy Way Out

- Purpose of this link is to show how you don’t think you are any different from other student despite the fact that you have a neuromuscular disorder

- Demonstrates how you realize that this is not the case thanks to your experiences in the library and being unable to reach the available knowledge that it provides.

- You grasp that accommodations is not necessarily a bad thing because the obstacles in the library were solved by Transcription Services

- Therefore in your mind your disability is not any reason to receive any special form of in class accommodation

- Contains one link

- Transcription Services

Transcription Services

- Explains what transcription services is and how the Transcription Services office in the library takes any physical book off of the shelf and transforms it into a format that suits your needs best

- Leaves you with  one option

- to return to The Easy Way Out

Accommodations

- This box is where the game truly has its beginnings as you are presented with a number of different possible paths to take in terms of in class accommodations

- These in class accommodations relate to what format of textbook you would like to read and how you would like to take your notes in class

- Each one will lead you to different obstacles and have different affects on your health

- Your options are as follows

- Paper format textbook and take your own notes

- Audiobook textbook and take your own notes

- PDF textbook and take your own notes

- Paper format textbook and a volunteer note taker

- audiobook textbook and volunteer notetaker

- PDF and volunteer note taker

- You Don’t Need Help

Paper Format Textbook and Take Your Own Notes

- This window begins by explaining a situation that you find yourself in during class when choosing this form of accommodation

- The situation is explained as not being able to keep up in class because you can’t access your paper form textbook while your laptop is on your tray

- It leads you with only one option

- Continue Paper Format Textbook and Take Your Own Notes

Continue Paper Format Textbook and Take Your Own Notes

- It explains how you try to compensate for the issue you had in class by doing extra reading at home

- It then states that you get physically tired from this activity very quickly and presents you with two options

- These options are as follows

- Keep Reading

- Put the Textbook Away

Keep Reading

- Discusses how you are beginning to feel the impact on your health and your studies

- leaves you with two options

- Accommodations

- open another textbook

Put the Textbook Away

- In this link you are forced to think about your options

- States that you are stressed from the rising amount of reading on your plate from other classes but realize that you are tired

- So you are presented with two options

- Go To Bed

- Open Another Textbook

Go To Bed

- This link explains how going to bed is the right choice to make for your health and your studies as continuing your readings in this fashion will catch up with you

- There is only one link to choose in this link and it is

- Accommodations

Open Another Textbook

- This link is basically about how by making this decision you think that your academics will benefit most

- In the end though you know that you are just denying the inevitable and you feel yourself getting sick which is your worst fear

- This screen contains one choice and it is

- Getting Sick

Getting Sick from continuing with paper format textbooks and taking your own notes

- Point of this window is to show the player how getting sick is really the worst possible outcome as it is bad for your health and your academics

- Leaves you with two options

- Accommodations

- Continue On With Paper Format Textbooks and Taking Your Own Notes

Continue On With Paper Format Textbooks and Taking Your Own Notes

- Purpose of this window is to demonstrate that making this choice is absolutely the worst possible thing you can do

- Continuing on this path after a couple months and you will find yourself unable to continue on with your studies

Audiobook & Take Your Own Notes

- Point of this window is to demonstrate how while audiobooks do help you keep up with readings, they are not so helpful when it comes to referring back to a specific point once you have passed it.

- Also points out that after a while you realize that you quickly get too tired from taking your own notes to keep up with a three hour lecture

- Leaves you with two choices

- Continue with Audiobook & Take Your Own Notes

- Accommodations

Continue with Audiobook & Take Your Own Notes

- Purpose is to demonstrate how great this choice is for keeping up with readings but how ultimately it is bad for your academic standing and health

- Also makes it difficult for you to cite your sources when writing your papers as you cannot refer to specific pages

- Leaves you with one choice

- Getting sick from continuing with audiobooks & taking your own notes

Getting sick from continuing with audiobooks & taking your own notes

- Point of this window is to show the player how getting sick is really the worst possible outcome as it is bad for your health and your academics

- Leaves you with two possible choices

- Trying Audiobooks & Taking Your Own Notes One Final Time

- Accommodations

Trying Audiobooks & Taking Your Own Notes One Final Time

- Point of this window is that despite being good for keeping up with your readings, continuing to try out audiobooks and taking your own notes is a bad choice for both your health and academics

- States that you will ultimately discover that you are unable to continue with your studies

PDFs and Taking Your Own Notes

- Explains why you realize that this is quite possibly the best format for your needs when you first start using PDFs for textbooks and research books

- Explains how you find the note taking to be tiresome but this may be the only down side

- Warns you to be wary of your decisions in the coming future

- Leaves you with two options

- Ebook

- How You React

Ebook

- Simply explains what an ebook is

- Leaves you with one option

- PDF and take your own notes

How You React

- Points out how that taking your own notes is becoming too strenuous to continue as you are finding that you don’t have the energy remaining to complete additional work, including readings

- Presents two options

- continue with pdfs and taking your own notes

- accommodations

Continue with pdfs and taking your own notes

- purpose of this window is to demonstrate to the player how pdfs are affecting your outlook on school as a whole including class and homework

- Leaves you with two options to choose from

- get some sleep

- try to finish your work

Get some Sleep

- Although it feels like the wrong choice at first, in the end  you know it is the right one because you know that you will have more energy for work after a good night sleep

- However this is really only a part time solution as after a couple weeks you find yourself in the same situation

- Leaves you with two options

- give PDFs and taking your own notes one last try

- Accommodations

Give PDFs and taking your own notes another try

- Explains why this decision is not good you

- Leaves you with one choice

- getting sick from the path you have chosen

Getting Sick from the path you have chosen

- Point of this window is to show the player how getting sick is really the worst possible outcome as it is bad for your health and your academics

- Leaves you with two options

- Give PDFs and taking your own notes one last try

- Accommodations

Give PDFs and taking your own notes one last try

- Point of this window is that despite being good for keeping up with your readings, continuing to try out audiobooks and taking your own notes is a bad choice for both your health and academics

- States that you will ultimately discover that you are unable to continue with your studies

Try to finish your work

- Point of this window is to show how great it feels to be on the same footing in the classroom and the library but you are at a crossroad because of your energy level.

- Leaves you with two options

- give PDFs and taking your own notes another try

- Accommodations

Paper Format Textbook & Volunteer Notetaker

- explains your reasoning behind making this choice

- potential problems that this decision may have such as maintaining energy

- leaves you with two options

- Accommodations

- Continue with paper format textbook & volunteer notetaker

Continue with paper format textbook & volunteer notetaker

- Explains how you chose this path because you enjoy having actual books in front of you

- Discusses issues such as energy and accessibility more in-depth

- leaves you with two options

- Accommodations

- asking for help getting books and asking for people to help you read

asking for help getting books and asking for people to help you read

- Window demonstrates why this idea and solutions appears to be the right one but in the end is not

- Leaves you with two options

- Fool Yourself

- Accommodations

Fool Yourself

- explains how you are fooling yourself by thinking that you are confident and open enough to ask strangers for help on a regular basis

- Also explains how this can be detrimental to your health and work load

- Leaves you with two options

- Getting sick from fooling yourself

- Accommodations

Getting sick from fooling yourself

- Point of this window is to show the player how getting sick is really the worst possible outcome as it is bad for your health and your academics

- Leaves you with two options

- Give paper format textbooks and volunteer note takers one last try

- Accommodations

Give paper format textbooks and volunteer note takers

- Point of this window is that despite being good for keeping up with your readings, continuing to try out Give paper format textbooks and volunteer note takers is a bad choice for both your health and academics

- States that you will ultimately discover that you are unable to continue with your studies

You Don’t Need Help

- Explains the positives and negatives about not accepting help (mainly arguing that there is more negative)

- What the repercussions could be if they were ignored

- Leaves you with two options

- continue to deny needing help

- Accommodations

Continue to deny needing help

- Explains how and why this is a detrimental mistake to your health as well as your academic studies

- Ultimately explains that if you do follow this path you will cause yourself too much harm to continue on in your academic endeavours

Audiobook & volunteer note taker

- Explains the benefits and negatives of having an audiobook and volunteer note taker

- Leaves you with two options

- continue with audiobooks & volunteer note takers

- accommodations

Continue with audiobooks & volunteer notetakers

- this section explains how as you continue down this path you begin to understand more and more that the audiobook is more useful for how it allows you to keep up with your readings in a relaxed way

- Explains the positives and negatives of continuing on with volunteer note takers

- Leaves you with two options

- try to learn how to cite your sources more efficiently with audiobooks

- accommodations

try to learn how to cite your sources more efficiently with audiobooks

- Express the difficulties between reading books through audio format and writing proper citations

- How as much as you try there really is no good connection

- Leaves you with two options

- Insist on continuing on with audiobooks and volunteer note takers

- Accommodations

Insist on continuing on with audiobooks and volunteer note takers

- points to why you would want to continue in this direction

- Explains why you think that this is not the right choice and why it does work

- Leaves you with two options

- Accommodations

- take the risk and trying audiobooks and volunteer note takers one last time

Take the risk and trying audiobooks and volunteer note takers one last time

- Explain why this is such a risk

- leaves you with only one option

- getting sick from audiobooks and volunteer note takers

getting sick from audiobooks and volunteer note takers

- Point of this window is to show the player how getting sick is really the worst possible outcome as it is bad for your health and your academics

- Leaves you with two possible choices

- Give Audiobooks & Volunteer Note Takers

- Accommodations

Give audiobooks & volunteer note takers one last try

- Give audiobooks and volunteer note takers one last try

- Point of this window is that despite being good for keeping up with your readings, continuing to try out audiobooks and having volunteer note takers is a bad choice for both your health and academics

- It does point out though that you begin to think that perhaps it was just the audiobooks that didn’t work as you found that being able to fully listen when attending your classes was dramatically improving your studies as well as your health

- States that you will ultimately discover that you are unable to continue with your studies

PDF & Volunteer Note Takers

- Explains how and why you feel that this is the perfect combination of all possible accommodations being offered to you

- Also explains that you are actually even able to consider some extra curricular activities thanks to the energy that these two options a leaving you with

- Leaves you with one necessary and one unnecessary options

- PDF/ebook (unnecessary)

- extracurricular activities

PDF/ebook

- Simply explains what an ebook is

- Leaves you with one option

- PDF and take your own notes

Extra-curricular activities

- demonstrates how this choice would lead to being in this situation

- Leaves you with two choices

- take advantage and do some in addition to schoolwork

- continue on education without participating in extracurriculars

continue on education without participating in extracurriculars

- Explains how there are both advantages and disadvantages to this

- More negatives though as your overall university experience becomes limited

- Leaves you with one option

- impact on your future

Impact on your future

- purpose of this is to argue that by focussing solely on your school work

- also that it will be limiting to your potential educational future

Take advantage and do some in addition to schoolwork

- this passage is meant to demonstrate how great it is that PDFs and volunteer note takers have been allowing you the extra time and energy to take on more in your life

- also though is quick to point out how you need to be careful when managing extracurriculars and your education as you can quickly lose control of your health, which will inevitably lead to your grades suffering as a result

- leaves you with two options

- finish your degree with minimal activities

- take on more

take on more

- explains why this is a very fine line to walk or ‘roll’ on

- ultimately though it will lead to a more negative outcome as despite you being able to accomplish more schoolwork thanks to PDFs and volunteer note takers, you become too focussed on the outside world and your grades suffer as a result

- leaves you with two options

- try to fix the problem by taking on less

- continuing to take on more

continuing to take on more

- argues that by following this path you will be at risk of getting sick because of lack of energy from taking on too much

- leaves you with one option

- getting sick from taking on too much

getting sick from taking on too much

- Point of this window is to show the player how getting sick is really the worst possible outcome as it is bad for your health and your academics

- leaves you with two options

- insist on trying to take on as much as possible one last time

- reducing the amount of extracurriculars

insist on trying to take on as much as possible one last time

- describes how over doing it with extracurricular activities spends more energy than the PDFs and volunteer note takers have allowed for

- also states that you will be unable to continue on to complete your education if as you will quickly spiral to a place that you can’t recover from both academically and medically

Reducing the amount of extracurriculars

- points out that by reducing the amount of extracurriculars you find yourself back in a place that that you feel confident in.

- your energy is back to a manageable level and you are still able to keep up with your readings and attend all lectures thanks to the PDFs and volunteer note takers

Finish your degree with minimal activities

- this passage is aimed to demonstrate how you as a disabled student with a neuromuscular disability have finally found a set of accommodations that suits you

- Not only that but you have figured out a way in which you can thrive, maintaining good health, keeping your grades high and participating in extra curricular activities

- congratulations you have successfully found the path to graduation and a potential to further education

Review

- decided to change the name of the game to Learning To Thrive

- made small changes to the introduction to drive home the point of this title

- decided to eliminate a couple passages related to choosing your gender and then telling the player that those passages didn’t matter

- made it a bit more dramatic as I do remember it being very dramatic personally, but i was hesitant to make it that way originally

- decided to change it though because it will also drive home my point better

- Made a few other changes to the body particularly passages that are similar to one another to make them as different as I can

- decided to keep it simple in appearance after reviewing other games as it’s simplicity sort of mirrors the appearance I would like to convey to the player of how university should be simple to thrive in

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