Tuesday, July 25, 2006


I've written hundreds of essays and gotten few comments, so of course it's the really harsh one that brings in the comments.

Which, of course, means I must continue being a dick!

I'm kind of sick of it, so here is my summary of all the things I've tried to say. Feel free to argue or disagree:

Story is not gameplay. If you make a game about creating a story, you have to put an actual game in it with goals and limits, or else you're just making a story creation utility. Of course "goals" and "limits" don't have to be explicit, but they do have to exist. For example, including specific characters is "limits" and "goals" in and of itself.

Story is not computer generated. Computers cannot "wing it". Computers can, however, use the pieces and paths you provide them to give the player an experience customized to his play preferences. The computer can adapt the story you've programmed it with in order to be more appealing.

Story is not story. If you want to overdefine everything, great! Just remember that other people aren't using your definitions. Me, I lump it all together. So, when I say story, I might as well say "drama/narrative/experience".

Thank you, come again.


Duncan said...

Heh... Story is not story. There is no spoon, either.

But I do agree that story is not gameplay. Story is a reason to play, and a reward, and a whole lot of other things. It is not the elements of play itself. Nor can a computer generate it. Stories are complex, and subtle, and generally need some intelligence (however minute) in the creation process. Whether that is designer or player provided (or both) doesn't matter. The computer is just the book, it just provides the space and the language.

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GregT said...

You a bit over the whole Storytron/PerkPlot/Honeycomb thing too? 8-)

I don't really want to discuss generative narrative again until I see another game like Facade that tries something and gets it right or wrong, so that I have a concrete example to talk from. I'm dying for a playable prototype of something, because outside the realm of the text adventure, there just really isn't an "interactive fiction" genre right now, so the debate's a bit dry.

Unless I misunderstood your post. In which case... er... whoo, Perkplot! Yay! 8-)

Craig Perko said...

I don't have anything you haven't seen, although I'm working on something cute...

Chill said...

I'm sorry. This post is just too logical for this debate. I'm going ask you to take it down. :D

And did you just use the word 'cute' ???

Tide (Adam MacDonald) said...

Is that like hardcore cute or casual? Cause you know we're hardcore. Etc. Back to stories.