[MUD-Dev] Geometric content generation

Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag@ifi.uio.no> Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag@ifi.uio.no>
Thu Oct 11 23:08:49 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001


Lee Sheldon wrote:
> Ola wrote (attribution errors fixed):

> First, my apologies for not replying to this sooner.

I've got lots of old MUD-Dev messages with "little red flags on",
threads to be resumed when I feel the inspiration come over me
:). p][34R M3!

> The fans interact with the players by shouting at them, and
> getting waves or various other hand gestures in return.  And
> everyone, even the players, create a drama-like storyline as the
> game progresses in the best tradition of emergent storytelling.

It certainly provides drama, but does it provide a good story? Is
the story the dominating aspect here?  (ack, I dismissed this goal
in class today, as involvement is more important than providing a
good story in MUDs, but forget that for a moment :) Can time-limited
sport games in general provide the kind of progress you would like
to have in a good story?  I guess some sports can, for instance,
running, biking, downhill skiing and so forth do provide some
opportunities for creating an interesting path to be
followed. Unfortunately there is probably more interaction and
freedom in (european) football, so... Well...

> Every time a standup comedian pauses for a laugh she is
> interacting with her audience, as well as ad-libbing in response
> to audience input, invited or not.  That interaction is a game
> played by

Hmm, but in this case the comedian does orchestrate/direct, even if
he does depend on the feedback to adjust the course and to immerse
himself.  (I don't know much about this field) This would be more
like a jazz concert in a small club?

> The point is that despite the fact that story and game are
> obviously different animals, and despite the fact that they may
> touch wholly different parts of our physical brains, nobody
> (except some game developers) seems particularly eager to reject
> one in favor of the other.  We accept both.  The problem arises
> when one is far superior to other in an entertainment that
> attempts to present both.

I haven't played many games lately, but the games that did provide
me with both a sense of a story and free interactivity was Deadline,
Suspended, Myst and a few others. With Deadline I think it had a lot
to do with the fact that the genre is so well known, so you cannot
avoid reading a story into what you see. With Suspended (which I
never got far with, not Deadline either btw) I believe it had
something to do with this feeling of being doomed and the feelings
that grew for that robot which you kinda adopted as your clue less
child.  I.e. the freeform interaction was more an illusion, which
was possible to some extent because you only controlled the agents
indirectly: disobedient agents or plausible mishaps made sure that
the storyline was followed. And Myst was perhaps closer to soap or
poetry than a narrative with a strong storyline *shrug*.

> Many storytellers or speakers tell riveting stories to rapt
> audiences without adapting anything.

Obviously, that's why TV and movies are at all possible.

> forged in the campfires of primitive man.  It is absolutely
> interactivity to adjust to audience prompts.  This is at the heart
> of computer-based entertainment that relies on a fixed story to
> allow players to feel they're affecting the story.  That isn't to
> say it doesn't have some significant drawbacks, particularly in
> multiplayer, but games continue to do it.

Yes... Not really sure where you want to go with that statement.

> Kids love lousy stories told by their heroes?  I'm not sure I buy
> that.  They may love their heroes, and forgive their heroes their
> stories, and enjoy the bonding experience -despite- the quality.

Well, yes, maybe. IF you can separate those two in that setting.  A
grandfather can play on familiarity and expectations, and go beyond
those. For instance, an otherwise serious person can achieve a lot
by telling incredibly silly stories and pretend to believe in them
while the kids protest eagerly.

> > So, what is the story and what is the surrounding context...? 
> And > where is the interactivity?  I've addressed this up above I
> think.

Hmm...

> > They probably miss the satisfaction of mastering the skill, but
> it > doesn't prevent them from making art.  No, but it may be an
> additional obstacle to getting a job as a graphic designer.
> Again, can you give me examples?

A norwegian one:

  http://www.evolutionzone.com/

--
Ola  -  http://folk.uio.no/olag/
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