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

ApplePiMan at aol.com ApplePiMan at aol.com
Fri Oct 2 22:36:31 New Zealand Daylight Time 1998

At 10/2/98 8:54 AM Travis S. Casey (efindel at io.com) altered the fabric of 
reality by uttering:

>On Thu, 1 Oct 1998 ApplePiMan at aol.com wrote:
>> 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?
>Since someone else has already pointed out that "storytelling" also refers
>to White Wolf's games, I'd like to propose that we use the terms that
>rec.games.frp.advocacy uses for these two styles:  simulationist and

Sounds good to me. =) I don't much care what we call it as long as we 
know we're not talking at cross purposes.

>The difference is in how decisions are made:  a simulationist makes
>decisions on the basis of "how would it really work," while a dramatist
>makes decisions on the basis of "what will make a good story."

Good answer! That more concisely sums up the fundamental conflict between 
the two approaches than anything else I've seen on the subject.

So then, a fully hybrid approach would most likely, say, code for the 
simulationist approach (deterministic models are easier to build =) ) and 
then provide a mechanism for a Drama Manager to review and override the 
Simulation Manager's 'decisions', whenever it was necessary, for the sake 
of story. Hmmm.... might be an interesting thing to actually build (and 
not much different, in effect, from the approach my company is taking). =)

<snipped illustration of difference in systems>
>Lastly, note that good stories can happen either way -- the difference is
>that a dramatist consciously plans things to ensure a good story.  It's
>like the difference between a biography and a novel; many biographies make
>good stories, but the story is secondary.  A novel, on the other hand,
>should have a good story, and whether things would probably actually
>happen that way should be secondary.

Yes, but a biography of, say, my life would most likely put most people 
to sleep. <g> I think I'd rather take my chances with a novel... =)


Rick Buck, President and CEO  <mailto:rlb at big-i.com>
Beyond Infinity Games, Inc.
See you in The Metaverse! <http://www.big-i.com>

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