Adam Knowles

What subjects do you teach?

I teach How to Write Interactive Fiction: An Introduction to Twine.

How many years have you been teaching?

I’ve been designing and teaching a similar course for the University of Winchester since the start of 2020, and for a few years before that had been introducing other writers to the medium informally, typically as part of “game jams” (events where participants team up to produce a complete game within a tight time limit) or through one-off visits to colleges and universities.

What do you enjoy about teaching adults?

I enjoy teaching this subject because it gives writers an opportunity to produce work for themselves that many might assume would take an entire studio full of people to put together. It’s great to see people develop their skills and improve, but it’s particularly rewarding to know that I’ve helped them pick up something entirely new.

What got you into interactive fiction?

I was a huge fan of the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks growing up, and Twine offered me an opportunity to write something similar. I’d previously tried putting together something similar using BASIC, but I’m a writer, not a programmer.

What other passions do you have?

In addition to stories, I like to make physical objects and try a little bit of everything. I’ve had a go at various traditional crafts—woodworking, pewter casting, pottery—but am also interested in more modern things. I recently built my own 3D printer and am steadily learning how to sculpt items digitally.

Why should someone join your classes?

My class would be ideal if you want to pick up a new skill and see where it takes you. Beyond that, Twine is something of an industry standard when it comes to writing for videogames. It’s a common way for writers to build up a portfolio without the Catch-22 of needing experience to get a first job, so if that’s an area that you’re interested in then it could be particularly worthwhile. Mostly though, it’s a neat, new(ish) format that I think is a lot of fun.