[MUD-Dev] Storytelling vs. Simulationist (Was Re: Room descriptions)

ApplePiMan at aol.com ApplePiMan at aol.com
Thu Oct 1 01:43:31 New Zealand Daylight Time 1998


On Wed, 30 Sep 1998 Raph Koster wrote:

> Hmm, I really wonder whether an awareness of the "old way" 
> as a "way" was really present, if you know what I mean. 
> Meaning, how many decided to view the split between 
> simulationist and storytelling as an aesthetic choice, and 
> how many actually just made the hodgepodge because it was
> all they knew?

I believe I'm using "storytelling" in what follows in the same sense as 
Raph's post: not something, like quests, tacked onto a game world after 
the fact, but rather plots, sub-plots and intrigues hooked into the game 
world at such a low level that the world is, for all intents and 
purposes, inseparable from its stories. If that's not correct, I 
apologize for using the quote in an inappropriate context (but would 
still like to see answers to the questions I'm posing =) ).

Is the implication in the quote above that simulationist and storytelling 
worlds are at opposite ends of a continua? I don't see that they are, of 
necessity. Why can't a world's primary focus be storytelling, and yet 
have it still be simulationist?

Please note I understand the technical reasons why implementing one 
would, with the state of the art, limit the other. What I'm asking here 
is if there were some way to magically brush those technical reasons 
aside, is there some deeper level at which drama is so much at war with 
free will that, even if the story were not "fixed" and instead were 
allowed to drift toward a new destination determined by the players (but 
prodded and reacted to by a godlike storytelling Agency), you could never 
have a game world that was strongly storytelling and simulationist at the 
same time?

--Rick Buck.



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Rick Buck, President and CEO  <mailto:rlb at big-i.com>
Beyond Infinity Games, Inc.
3408 S. Rusk St.   |   Amarillo, TX 79109-4830
And you thought the Universe was BIG... (sm)

See you in The Metaverse! <http://www.big-i.com>
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