A downloadable tool for Windows

Yarnspin is a simple story-telling engine, with its own built-in scripting language and graphics processing, turning hi res photos into palettized low res pixels.

Try the demo/tutorial game in your browser


There is a custom script language, which allows you to define dialogs with options, and set up locations with descriptions and images. It comes with a thousand portrait images, and you can of course add your own.

This is the first full release, and I would love to get feedback on it, to learn what should be changed to make it more useful. The source code is included and it is  all public domain.

The documentation is a little lacking still,  but what's there is in the README.md file. Also it comes with an example "game" which is also a tutorial explaining the key concepts. Check it out :)

The source code is available on github as well: https://github.com/mattiasgustavsson/yarnspin

StatusIn development
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(3 total ratings)
AuthorMattias Gustavsson


yarnspin_1_1.zip 80 MB


Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.

Is this related to yarnspinner (https://yarnspinner.dev/), or is it just a coincidence?


Yarnspin is not related to Yarn Spinner in any way, even though the names are a bit similar. Yarn Spinner is probably a lot more capable, mine is just a little hobby engine :)

is this like a visual novel / point n click focused engine?

yes, it makes games like visual novels or point n click. You can try it in your browser https://mattiasgustavsson.com/wasm/yarnspin

this is neat!

thank you! 🙂


Looks intriguing. The app badly needs sound support though. Even just midi would be something...

Can Yarspin play music files? What about video files as well? Any chance you can add .wav .ogg or .mp3 ability? For video, MPG or avi? 


I’ve been thinking about adding support for music - probably woul support WAV FLAC MP3 OGG MID MOD. But not sure when I’d get around to it.

Video is complicated. It requires big complex code libraries, and the whole idea with Yarnspin is to build something small and simble out of simple components. So I think it is very unlikely that I’d ever add video.

however, i am considering adding support for animated GIFs

Please look into SDL for sound, gif and music support for this as a priority.

no, I wouldn’t be using SDL, I have other ways to do those things, that are a better fit for the code. But I have no plans to do it in the near future, I don’t have the time for it unfortunately

Would Direct X api work?>

No no, it is not a matter of what low-level api to use. Everything needed to display graphics and play sound samples is already there. What is left to do is Yarnspin specific things - designing the features, expanding the scripting language to support them, processing and embedding the assets. And I will get to it at some point I am sure, but it is not currently a priority for me.

Hello Mattias! I've bumbling around looking for an engine for my story game project and ended up here.  My questions to you are:

Is there any way to disable "chr" so as to not show "you are alone"?

Can you set the executable's screensize or make it fullscreen by default?

Can you have just "txt" on screen and it being at the top of the screen?

Is there any way to have a menu or way to save the progress?

Sorry if those are stupid questions, I'm a complete noob at game dev.

Deleted 1 year ago

It’s all public domain, you can do whatever you want with it :)

hi!  can I (try to) sell a game made with this? can gifs be imported in future? will there be another engine like point and click? keep up nice work!

Of course it’s fine to sell a game you made with Yarnspin - and best of luck!

Adding support for animated gifs is a great idea, I think I might look at that at some point. Not sure when though...

i don’t have any plans to make a point and click engine - but who knows what might happen in the future! You might want to check out Adventure Game Studio (AGS), if you haven’t already

thanks for reply! glad you like the gif idea!Is there way to add music/i didnt see pdf instrux as its prolly not ready yet but this is exciting user friendly engine!

thanks :) i’m glad you like it! Yeah the pdf is not done yet, and there’s no music/sound support yet, but is something I would like to add some day...

How do I run this program ?

I extracted the downloadable content now the application doesn't run idk y

Go into the "runtime" folder and open yarnspin.exe  This will take you through the example game/tutorial. Afterwards, you can copy this folder and edit the contents to create your own game.

Bard , its working now

Thank you so much for your support fella 

its really nice to see, that this engine still has  support from people like you 

You're welcome! I'm really enjoying the engine so far. Looking forward to see what crazy things I can create. Be sure to post anything you end up making. :-)

Sure Bard ,

 I have never seen a game engine like this for real , its really creative 

it gives me the retro vibe ( videogames back in 90s )

Thanks to Bard for helping :) 

And thanks Golden Falcon Studio, I am glad you like it :)

I used it myself about a year ago to make a game for global game jam, and made a couple of improvements - you posts here reminded me that I should get that version posted here too! And the game as well.

The game I made turned out very dark and sad, but if anyone wants to check it out it's here: https://globalgamejam.org/2019/games/no-sunshine

Well! An engine that makes IF-like games that are actually choice-based! I have had an insanely hard time finding something that generates simple Pick-A-Path type gameplay, as opposed to traditional IF or RPG gamebooks. Nothing wrong with traditional IF; I dabble in that too, but for a first outing this looks to be more my style. Also, the old-school graphics make it sound even better:)

A couple of questions, though:

1. There is a .bat file in the folder. Does this mean the engine and/or games run in MS-DOS? That would be AWESOME!

2. Is it technically possible to make something with multiple endings with this? A nice bonus, but not necessary.

Thanks for the tool, and sorry about all the skipped lines that artificially lengthened this comment. Whenever I try to indent, Itch skips a line for some reason.

Umm, hello? One more question. I tried the software, and (apparently) it's 64-bit. Are there any plans to release a 32-bit version?

yeah, there's no reason to not make a 32-bit version - I'll try to do that when I get a chance.

Hi! Sorry for the late reply.

Thanks for your great comments :) The .bat file is a windows cmd batch file, and is used to build the c++ source code. Unfortunately no DOS support :(

Yes, it is definitely possible to make multiple endings - you use the command "act: exit" to end the program, and it can be called from anywhere you want to exit the game - "endings" would just be normal locations but have "act: exit" at the end.

This engine looks amazing!

Thank you :)

Great, now you've done and got me excited!

Looks very cool :-)


Thanks :)

i confused on how to open it