[MUD-Dev] not about telling stories

Freeman Freeman
Thu Nov 29 12:25:12 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

> From: Joe Andrieu
> Jeff Freeman wrote:

>> People don't want games to *tell* stories, they want games to *be*
>> stories.

> (probably quoting Dave Ricky)


> Yes!  But you reach the wrong conclusion.  Interactive stories are
> about BEING the hero in the story.  If you start with a definition
> where this is not the case, you are working with a flawed idea of
> what it means to experience an interactive story.

Perhaps.  But actually I'm fairly content to play my part in a role
other than The Hero.  Many, many players want to be the Villain.
Some few others are happy being spear-carriers, at least if the hero
is a friend of theirs.  :)

> So, what is true interactive story?

>   Is it sandbox-style games where context and tools are provided
>   and the players must craft stories post-facto?
>   Is it sport-style games where competition amongst teams is the
>   emotional rallying point and again, stories are crafted
>   post-facto?
>   Is it force-fed narrative where the player has no control over
>   their story actions other than solving puzzles and outwitting or
>   out shooting enemy NPCS?
>   Or is it Hamlet on the Holodeck where you ask the computer for a
>   Sherlock-Holmesian story in which Moriarity is capable of
>   defeating you, and a completely interactive simulation is
>   constructed in real-time that responds to your (and other
>   player's) actions and weaves it into a dramatic story arc?

> Only by understanding these questions can we hope to implement
> products that achieve the ultimate interactive
> entertainment. Stopping the conversation before it gets
> started--or blankly proclaiming that it cannot be done--is as bad
> as the Pope proclaiming that the earth is the center of the
> universe, which was official dogma well into the 20th century.

Very nice.

And before I come off as being any more "anti-narrative" than I
already have, it is the "force-fed narrative" (and ONLY that) to
which I am *strongly* opposed.

The three other types sound more like what we should be striving
for, away from the force-fed narrative model that we have now.
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