What’s the deal with Twine on Tap?
Tap is an app that is built to accept multiple mobile interactive fiction formats, including Twine! Twine is a very versatile format and there’s a lot you can do with it, and while we’ve found certain things work really well, we’ve also found that some things don’t work at all.
This FAQ is here to share what we’ve learned about Twine on Tap and help you tailor your story to fit the mobile format as well as answer any questions you may have about Tap in general.
Best Practices for Tap Twine Stories
Don’t want to read a whole guide? We totally get it! Your story awaits! If you only read one thing, read this: here’s what doesn’t work on Tap.
- Custom text fields
- NOTE: We will be adding this capability in future, but currently the app does not support text boxes and the addition of custom text
- External links
- Due to security regulations around the App Store, we are unable to allow links to external sources and sites (websites, email links, Patreon links, etc). Tap does allow these as plain text.
- Since Tap users are using their fingers, they cannot ‘mouseover’ any links or text.
- Bundled Twine
- We can enable images in all the standard ways, but cannot upload pre-bundled Twine stories from sources like ‘Grunt-entwine-quickstart’
- Intellectual Property
- You retain all rights to your story if you upload it to Tap!
Who are you and why do you want my story?
- Tap is a mobile user generated community for all forms of interactive stories: We are building an intimate and safe community of interactive storytelling folx who care about playing unique interactive stories and giving meaningful feedback.
- Our goals:
- Making your game more accessible to more people: By bringing it to mobile, your friends don’t have to download HTML files, or opening your laptop to play your game. We’ll also find folx from our Wattpad community that would love your story and help them discover it! Let’s get your story to the people who need to read or play it!
- Understand why and how people engage with your games: It’s always heartbreaking creating a work of passion, a story you want to share with the world, sending it out and....nothing - no feedback...are people even enjoying it? With our mobile app we want to help you capture the important info about your story - so you’ll finally know if people are reading and how many! While not available at launch, we’re committed to implementing this as we further develop our app.
- Commitment to meaningful inclusion For the beta, we’ll prioritized games and stories from trans, queer, black, indigenous, non-binary,, women of colour, people of colour creators in surfacing and giving them a voice.
Do I own the rights to my story? Do I retain my IP?
- Yes! You retain the rights to your intellectual property. We will not redistribute or republish your story without your permission, nor will we do anything with your story other than bring it to mobile without your express written consent. It’s your story and we respect both it and you and want to make sure you’re treated fairly.
How will you promote my story?
- We already have a community of people who love interactive fiction stories on Tap and we’ll also find folx from our 70 million Wattpad community who are your people that would love your story. We’ve seen early success with stories on Tap like Coming Out (which has 26k reads) and many other stories on Wattpad, like White Stag which has received 1.1 million reads to date. While we can’t guarantee what readers will or won’t like, we can guarantee that we’ll work hard to make sure we get your story in front of as many eyes as possible.
How long does my story need to stay on the platform?
- While we sincerely hope your story will find a great home on Tap, you can remove your story whenever you’d like (though you will lose any tracking data you’ve accumulated - such as total reads, etc - if you re-upload
Will my story be free?
- Yes! We’ll be looking into options for how best to give you the option to let users pay for the story (if you so choose) down the road, but for now all Twine content on Tap will be free!
Are you making money off my story?
- No! While we will be exploring monetization options in the future (we need to keep the lights on, too!), we will discuss any such action with you beforehand. We’ll be exploring various monetization opportunities for creators to find something that fits, including looking at models like those created for Wattpad, where that team has created a program that allows readers to reward writers directly. We’re going to learn more from Wattpad’s experiment in the coming weeks, and use those learnings to figure out how we would want to compensate creators on Tap.
How long can my story be?
- Currently there are no restrictions on length of story - we want you to tell your story the best way you can, whether that’s short or long, we want your story to be the length it needs to be!
What about other Interactive Fiction formats?
- Currently we are only accepting Twine games in Harlowe 2.x and SugarCube.
Can my Twine story use graphics and music?
- Yes! You can embed music and graphics as usual in Harlowe.
Does my work need to be Tap exclusive?
- Nope! Since you retain the intellectual property rights, you can post your story wherever you like.
What is Wattpad / Tap getting out of me uploading my story?
- Both Wattpad and Tap exist to create opportunities for stories to be told, read, and experienced - we think the future of storytelling isn’t in traditional publishing, but in understanding where and how people want to read and experience stories - and right now, that’s on mobile.
- That being said, the only way to build a community is to get people excited to become a part of it - and right now that means building the best experience for creators and readers from the ground-up.
- While we will eventually be looking into monetization options, our current priority is to build the community and help creators get their stories onto mobile.
Aren’t you a chat fiction app?
- We were! Tap began as an app dedicated to helping writers create Chat Fiction stories. While we told and read some great stories in that format, we ultimately realized it was too limiting for the imagination of our writers and so we moved on first to a script-based model and now to Twine integration!
- Storytelling is always changing and Tap is committed to following good stories wherever they lead!
How are you related to Wattpad?
- Wattpad is our parent company; we share many ideals, business practices, (and office space!) with them and are also dedicated to being the best place for stories to live...but our focus is on interactive fiction and new methods of storytelling.
- Tap operates as its own little unit within Wattpad - a start-up within the start-up. While we consult on Wattpad stuff from time-to-time, our primary focus is purely on Tap.
So...are you a story app or a games app?
- We know the line between story and game is a blurry one, when it comes to interactive fiction, and we’re happy for our creators and users to use whatever definition makes the most sense to them.
- For our part, Tap is a storytelling app - we’re interested in stories that excite, challenge, and engage readers, whether those stories are game-like or strictly linear.
Why post it here instead of my own site or another host like itch.io?
- Our goal is to bring your story to mobile, but we’re users of (and posters to!) itch.io as well! We want to make sure your story gets out to the audience who will love it and while we’ve got the mobile side covered, we’re happy to see your story wherever else you want to post it. Why not post it on both?
- We’re focused on the future of storytelling mostly, rather than games. Interactive Fiction is a blurry line between game and story but we’re focused mostly on the story ones.
- Our future goal is to build a safe interactive storytelling community on your phone. See our future plans here.
What is Tap Premium?
- Tap Premium on iOS was a subscription-based model for readers who LOVED Tap stories and wanted to play all of them: it provided users with unlimited passes and more free gems per day than the standard account. It will not have any integration with the Twine beta. We do not want to continue supporting this model moving forward and planning to make the app free in the next 6 months.
- Tap Premium on Android was an old legacy subscription model that limits the amount of Chat Fiction stories you can view and certain features based on whether you are subscribed or not. We do not want to continue supporting this model moving forward and planning to make the app free in the next 6 months.
How does Tap make money?
- Tap is currently funded by Wattpad, a venture capital backed start-up that has invested in Tap to continue its goal of becoming the home for all stories - this funding is currently supporting Tap.
- Tap has explored a variety of options for self-sufficiency, including In-App Purchases such as a subscription model, Gems and Passes (see above), however we’re still in exploration mode - until we’ve found the best possible solution for mobile storytelling our goal is not to make money but to build a community. We are currently on pause on developing any more revenue streams until we have time to properly co-design these solutions with creators and how they would also like to be paid in the future.
- We are now focused on building community. In the future, we will explore how to ensure that app remains financially sustainable, but until that time, we’re less concerned with making money and more concerned with perfecting mobile storytelling.
What’s the deal with Gems and Passes and Tap Premium?
- Gems and passes were used in a previous iteration of Tap; as we tried to figure out the best possible way to tell interactive stories on mobile, we tried both Chat Fiction and ScriptTV, both of which utilized gems and passes to unlock additional content, new episodes, and special in-game options. This was one strategy we were exploring to figure out how to compensate writers and continue to fund the app.
- However, we’ve come to the determination that we’d like to explore other options, leading us to our Twine beta. We don’t think we want to do this moving forward and will be discontinuing this method of payment in the next 6 months. Gems and passes will not be implemented in Twine stories.
- That said, we know many of our readers have invested in gems to read their favorite stories and in fairness to them (and stories built with this mechanic in mind), we are keeping the gems and passes available and active for now,, to make sure everyone can enjoy stories from throughout Tap’s journey however they’d like.
- To confirm: we will not be adding gems or passes to your Twine story.
Are there any content restrictions?
- Our full content guidelines are available here
- At Tap, we want to ensure that you can tell your stories any way you want, but we also recognize the need to monitor content and ensure that it meets the standards we’ve set for our community.
- We believe in freedom of thought, speech, and expression, however we have a responsibility to keep our community as safe as possible, which may lead to stories in violation of our terms being taken down.
- Hate speech will not be tolerated on Tap. While we believe in an individual’s right to have whatever opinion they like, Tap is being designed as a safe space, where everyone is free to tell their story. This will not be a space for language, behaviour, or attitudes that are racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, islamophobic, ableist, or classist. Sexual harassment will not be tolerated. Hate speech is an impediment to this goal and will not be tolerated.
- Comments expressing hate speech will be removed, as will users who do not respect this rule.
- Stories that are in violation of these guidelines will be taken down and the creator contacted. Stories can be put back up, at Tap’s discretion, if the material is changed.
What about pornography?
- Tap believes in sex positivity - stories featuring sexual content, explicit or otherwise, are allowed as long as the sexual scenes serve the plot. If the story is just sex, start-to-finish for the sole purpose of evoking arousal in a reader (without any story around it), the story qualifies as pornography and will not be permitted (we’re not anti-porn, we’re pro-story - and as a story-based app, if there isn’t story there, we aren’t being true to our mission). There are also restrictions based on company policy, Canadian law, and iOS and Android App store content restrictions that we must adhere to. Our full content policy is listed here.
- We know there is some grey area here and we want to make sure you’re supported in telling the story you want to tell: if you have any questions, you can always reach out to the team and we’ll review on a case-by-case basis.