[MUD-Dev] Continuity of experience in movies

shren shren at io.com
Wed Jun 19 06:42:23 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

On Tue, 18 Jun 2002, eric wrote:
> From: "Matt Mihaly" <the_logos at achaea.com>
>> I was just watching David Lynch's "The Straight Story" on DVD and
>> noticed there were no chapter stops in it. I hadn't noticed when
> That's just David Lynch calling you an idiot, incapable of piecing
> together the parts and forming a composite picture of what the
> movie was all about.  That, coupled with a hefty dose of ego. (ie
> play by my rules or I take the ball home.) Or it could just be a
> thinly veiled cover to hide the fact that he ran out of budget to
> properly produce the dvd content. I'd chalk that up with paint
> splatter art, is it art? Sure, is it relevant? Nope.

I agree here.  Maybe DVDs have chapter breaks because there's no way
to stop a DVD in the middle and restart in the same place if you
take the DVD out of the player!

> This is relevant to game development in many ways however, the
> immaturity of the participants and their ego, and controlling
> desires. Most games are linear because the designers are control
> freaks.

Couldn't disagree more.  Non-linear games are hard to design and
harder to test.  In addition, if you develop a game with three
paths, you're going to be spending either three times the amount on
level design or have a game that's 1/3 the length.

Deus Ex is hailed for it's somewhat-flexible plot, but it's really
just an hourglass plot - lots of choices in the beginning, some in
the end, but you get herded into a linear path in the middle.

For really flexible plot, check out The Way of the Samurai for the
PS2.  6 different endings to the same story, it's totally non-linear
in play.  Different events happen at different times, and no matter
which you go to or how you react to them, the game continues
forward.  You only get herded at the end, to set things up for one
of the 6 endings.

The game is far from perfect, but is definately interesting
thought-fodder for MUD designers.  It's also about 1 to 2 hours
long.  It might be 20+ hours wide (I've been playing it incessantly
for about a week), but beginning to end is 1 to 2 hours, and would
be shorter if you could fast forward through some conversations.

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