Don't know how to start

I want to make a simple fallout shelter-like game on Twine, but don’t know where to start/ can’t find good guides on how to start management games

A good way to start is by playing games!

See what you like! (See what you don’t like too.)

Start thinking critically about the reasons some management games are more fun than others, or how they even operate to begin with.

The next step would be practice with Twine. Decide what Twine engine you want to use (I would sugest Sugar Cube) and learn how it works. There are some great videos online and plenty of people willing to help when you get snagged.

There’s no one-size fits all way to make a game, but as long as you keep trying and learning you’ll be closer than the day before.

(And hey, you might even finish!)

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So, okay. I’monna break this down as fast and as quickly as possible. Certain people will recognize this advice, certain people may not, that’s fine. If you’ve heard this elsewhere, it’s for good reason - It’s solid advice. Okay? Okay.

There’s two modes of general advice for starting. We’ll start with the more literal. If that doesn’t work, defer to mode 2.

Mode 1:

Pick an engine, pick a concept, make a basic gameplay loop. This is management? Decide what they’re managing, and how, and bam done, good to go. Is it fun? No? Why? Not enough characters? Not enough interesting decisions? Add them. Done.

Games CAN be. Super rich and dense and complicated. But you’re one person presumably. So you pick the bare minimum things necessary to get the most out of your chosen game fantasy or gameplay loop and go from there. It’s not gonna be a magical Octuple A game with the best graphics known to man and a heartwrenching story from just one person. Do not go in expecting to make that. Long as you keep this all in your head? You’re good.

If this is not useful, we come to Mode 2.

Mode 2 advice:

You’re gonna have to uncomplicate it. You’re gonna have to accept there’s no magical grand plan or formula for you to do your thing. You’re gonna have to acknowledge that you start just by starting. You learn to code the interaction you want, a line at a time or word at a time, and go.

It may or may not be slow. It’s probably not even gonna be glamorous. It’s also not gonna be that much of a problem. Now, if you’re neurodivergent like me, you may need slightly more. I know that I hate not having feedback on stuff that makes it feel like I’m actually making progress. I hate feeling like I’m spinning my wheels and that’s all I’ll be doing forever.

I also have some pretty bad adhd, and I know I’m prone to looking for reasons to validate that feeling because my adhd came with executive dysfunction, and I’m physically unable to dedicate myself to tasks for long and sustained periods of times without it either a fitting into my routine, or B help from outside sources.

Still good advice even if you don’t have it though. Regardless. Just go, and the rest’ll sort itself. Rooting for you. Take everything a step at a time. Keep your goals brief, and focused.

“Learn how to code x interaction,”
“Learn how to transition days,”

And then as long as you met those goals. Bam successful day for game dev. Take it wherever your first step is. You have to go in order. You have to learn how to do all of the boring filler. If you stop, or wanna take a break that’s fine. Just go back to it when you go back to it. No, it’s not the end of the world or somehow a failure if you drop it for a day or week or month. No one’s paying you.

(Again, not assuming you need this advice, but hey. I have adhd could’ve stood to hear this ages ago.)

Anyways, hope that helps. Good luck.


the idea I got mostly for it is based on the things I liked in Fallout Shelter
that being the vault pop management

if you never play it the just is that you need to pair two dwellers with the same high stat to get a next-gen with the same stat or in rare lucky times, even higher stats

now I want to keep that but with a fat twist and what I came up with is that you (the overseer) and the rest of the vault will slowly gain weight over time but have a hard cap on it based on gens ( for example 1 gen dwellers can only get from 50 lbs to 100lbs)

the idea is that the longer you keep up, the more you can effectively make a vault of blobs. and there’s more but that’s the problem

the problem I stumbled into is that … is a lot for someone who never messed with coding and sucks at math. it felt simple at first but now, I feel way out of my league here. I tried looking at videos and ngl I understood nothing

idk I’m a visual learner " Do you want to make a character creation screen? Do this" type of learning and I feel like. I should just kept this to myself and never bother with it

Potential breeder + feeder content should always be shared. Unfortunately, as a fellow shit coder, I can offer you little help.

HOWEVER, I started another Twine experiment yesterday, so I’ll be monitoring this thread if you have any specific questions that I might be able to answer.

It sounds like your biggest problem, right now, is being overwhelmed about “where” and “how” to start. Jarender’s advice covers this. Just make something.

b-but if I just ‘make something’, then my Fallout: Shelter rip-off will be garbage!

Exactly. Make “something” which is not your big idea. If you try to make something good while having no idea what the fuck you’re doing, it’ll be shit, you’ll get burnt out, and then you’ll give up. Instead, play around a bit, have a web browser open with whatever Ask Jeeves results you like for “how to use twine”, and make “something” that is purely functional. Don’t bother about writing hot, slutty smut or engaging character arcs or balanced gameplay or whatever the fuck. Here’s the official Twine Cookbook, if your Ask Jeeves fingers are struggling to type: Twine Cookbook

For a management game, I’d recommend using a “Main” passage that connects to several “Menu” passages to make managerial decisions, plus an “Advance Time” passage that causes the effects of your current setup to be crunched. In addition, you’ll need something called a storyinit passage, which is a “hidden” passage in Twine that runs before everything else. Stuff all of your global variables in there.

b-but what’s a global variable?!

Like I said, read Ask Jeeves results you like, or watch GoogleTube videos on the subject you like, or just use the Twine Cookbook I linked above. But I will answer this freebie: it’s a stored variable that persists, as opposed to a local variable, which (I believe) only lasts for the passage it’s created. $globalVarTag, _localVarTag. You set up global variables in the storyinit passage with a default value so that you won’t have any bugs later when you try to call/change a variable that you technically never created.

b-but I’m bad at math! I failed algebra! What’s a “variable”?!

A thing that can change, and it does not have to be a number. $charName might be set to “Michael”, but later in the story, that character might get more friendly with the player, and their name might get changed to just “Mike” by changing $charName. You set up $charName = “Michael” in storyinit, then $charName = “Mike” in the “you just became buddies” passage.

Don’t give up. I’m kidding, I’ve given up every fucking time, and this bout of inspiration will go nowhere. “Don’t give up”, but like, figuratively. I mean it in a kind, supporting way, not in a “us freelancers with no experience are DEFINITELY going to make the interactive fiction of our dreams” kind of way.