Question: Alternative to Twine for a Nascent Coder

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Good evening all,


I have a problem I hope you can help me with.  I've written a few things in Twine and it is a great tool, but I'm bumping up against it's limitations and it's rapidly becoming frustrating.  I'd like to do something more visually interesting than twine can handle.  I've played with the CSS a bit, but I'd like to work with something more robust.


I was a computer science minor in college (a million years ago), and I've done a bit of coding over the years, but nothing too extensive.  A handful of websites, a little PHP, Javascript, the occasional VB macro for Excel, like that.   So I'm comfortable with the concept of coding, but I'm essentially starting from scratch.  No knowledge of C#, never worked in any game engines.


I know the inkle ink scripting language went open source for Unity and I've tried to mess around with it but, Unity is a bit much for me to get my head around given my current level of skill.  


I've also experimented with Gamesalad which is fairly idiot proof, but it seems like writing IF with it is a square peg, round hole situation. 


Does anyone have any recommendations for game engines that can be adapted to interaction fiction (for a relative novice)?

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I don't know that they necessarily let you do anything that you couldn't do in Twine with some custom CSS/javascript, but as far as interactive fiction goes...


for visual novel type things:



other CYOA engines:






full parser stuff:




these (and others) are mentioned in this Emily Short blog post

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Tyranobuilder can be frustratingly wonky in some special cases, but I would totally recommend it if you want to make visual-novels and you are more comfortable with drag-and-drop visual scripting than text-based languages.

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