[MUD-Dev] Questing (was: Request for ideas)

Sellers Sellers
Fri Oct 5 16:26:16 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

Matt wrote:
> On Wed, 3 Oct 2001, Joe Andrieu wrote:
>> Check out Aristotle's _Poetics_ and Robert McKee's _Story_.  If
>> you see how reversals can drive a story from exposition to
>> complication to climax and denoument, then you can start
>> developing automated story generation in a MUD.
> I can concur on McKee's _Story_. I'm reading it currently, and
> it's an excellent, if sometimes over-generalized, text on
> storytelling.

But the generalizations are often what make it most interesting, and
most applicable across media other than linear story or film (as I'm
sure both Joe and Matt know!).  I think McKee's "negation of the
negation" might be a worthwhile focus for just about any automated
questing system (briefly: given a quality, you ask "what's the
negation of this?" So life -> death.  But what's *worse* than death?
Being undead, being spiritually dead, wasting your life, etc.,
depending on your story).

I'd highly recommend McKee's course as well, if you ever have the
chance to take it.  Don't be fooled by the high percentage of
tyrannosaurus-like screenwriters in there; just remember how the
small possum-like mammals felt. :) The course itself is largely a
recapitulation of his book, but with new light thrown on a lot of
the subjects he covers.  You'll definitely never look at Chinatown
or Casa Blanca the same way again!  (OTOH, a lot of more recent
movies become painful to watch as you see the story twists they
missed or weren't courageous enough to follow.)

Mike Sellers
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