Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Additions to the Overview

I've finished writing two new articles for the overview. The first deals with Verb-based dramatic interaction, and the other gives an example of the storybuilding process. The latter was plagiarized from Chris, but I'm not afraid to get sued, mainly because no judge will fail to declare me not guilty by reason of mental defect.

I had two reasons for writing these articles - first of all, these are topics that weren't very clear to me when I was a rookie, and I think that made my learning curve steeper. Second, I presume many of you are intrigued by Storytronics, but right now we don't have much material to offer you. These articles might help satiate your curiosity.

I hope the articles will be up within a day or two. You'll find them in the Storyworld portion of the overview. Remember, they're here for you. Please let me know if something is not helpful, informative, interesting, clear or what have you. Also feel free to tell me if there's anything you'd like to know about that isn't covered.


Anonymous aevarsson said...

I read your article on Verb-based Dramatic Interaction and I am interested to know more about how verbs are use to tell a story. One thing I am wondering about is sound, can verbs have sounds associated with action in the story? In the "bar brawl" example, could there be sound associated with punching, or a bottle breaking?

10:05 AM  
Blogger Jonathan Beyrak Lev said...

Aevarsson, that's a very good question. It has a theoretical answer, a practical answer and an aesthetic answer.

The theoretical answer is, there's no technological reason why Verbs can't be represented with sound, as well as with graphics, movies, force feedback or scratch n' sniff cards.

The practical answer is that right now we're concentrating on the simplest representation - Deikto text, coupled with the face of the Actor who's performing the Verb. We might add additional components to the representaion later.

The aesthetic answer is that I, personally, am not sure how many bells and whistles we want to pile atop Deikto. Literature proves that we don't have to excite the senses to create an artistic experience of the highest quality. There are many downsides to adding more graphics and sounds. From a logistics standpoint, they cost a lot of money and require a team of many people. These contraints hinder the creative individual's artistic vision, and are one of the main reasons why we get less quality cinema than quality literature (which is also rare). But there are also special considerations when dealing with interactivity. For example, while in other art forms, more "speaking power" is always better, in interactive art, too much of it might discourage the player from speaking back. I think we should be careful not to ruin the interaction with "cool effects" like computer games often do.

6:00 AM  
Blogger Dave Walker said...

To build on Jonathan's post, adding animations, sound, and other features would make the Storytron less accessible to authors. While I forsee a day when there will be an Industrial strength version of Storyton (one that can be used by large teams of developers to create a more interactive movie-like experience), it would be a mistake to make that a goal of this Storytron. This Storytron will be for a format more akin to books. A single author should be able to create a storyworld, just as a single author can write a book. Just as books and movies are related at one level, but significantly different at another, so would be the products of this Storytron and of a hypothetical Industrial Storytron.

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