Friday, April 28, 2006

Chris on podcast

Christy Dena, an Australian media research, has interviewed me and prepared a podcast of the interview. You can download the podcast at:

Comments and criticisms of my wild claims made in the interview are welcome here.


Anonymous Joseph Limbaugh said...

So that's what Chris' voice sounds like. Great interview. I think your wild claims are not so wild as some would believe, but that's been my opinion for awhile.

1:09 PM  
Anonymous Anna H. said...

I heard one statement in this interview that made me wonder about something: "You [work] with this imaginary abstract character, who represents all possible characters."

In this case, Chris was referring to the author of the storyworld, but it raised the question (in my mind) of whether interactive storytelling could allow for a player to experience a storyworld in third person. Has this already been answered, and if so, is there functionality for it already implemented (or in the works)? I'm very curious about how it could be done...perhaps by allowing the player to make his or her choices as Fate?

Anyhow, just a thought, and please forgive me if it's a stupid one. I've been reading about this interactive storytelling stuff for a while, but I'm still not quite sure I understand all the concepts.

3:08 PM  
Blogger Chris Crawford said...

Anna, don't worry about your thought being stupid -- we're pioneers here: EVERYTHING we do is stupid! We make mistakes left and right, and slowly we get it better. If we tried to get everything perfect, we'd never make any progress.

As to your suggestion, there are two answers. The first answer is yes, it's possible to experience a storyworld in third person by not taking an active role. You just watch and see what all the other Actors do.

The second answer is, if you're actually playing as one of the Actors, then you really need to identify with that Actor, and so, no, you can't experience it in third person.

So there you have a clear answer: yes and no.

3:49 PM  
Blogger Patrick Dugan said...

Good recording, covers the basics well.

I'd like to suggest that we're not creating a new medium so much as a new form in a medium a few decades old. Games are another form, as are web pages, hypertext novels ect. The medium is the computer, right?

11:21 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Beyrak Lev said...

Patrick, my mind is running on emergency power, so I'm not responsible for anything I write. Assuming I have accessed the correct part of my brain, this is what I think on this issue:

I think there are two meanings for the word "medium". It seems you are using the word in the sense of a "channel of communication". A book is a channel of communication, a CD is a channel of communication, a television is a channel of communication, and a computer can also be a channel of communication. But I believe "medium" can also mean a "channel of artistic expression." For example, music is a channel of artistic expression. Music can be transmitted through a television, a CD, a computer, but it remains the same medium of ARTISTIC EXPRESSION, regardless of which medium of COMMUNICATION is used to transmit it.

I think the computer is not a medium of artistic expression. It is a technology which allows for the creation of several channels of artistic expression that are otherwise impossible to implement. Interactive storytelling is one of the latter. The computer is also the only channel of communication by which works in these mediums can be trasmitted, but the works are still distinct from the channel by which they are communicated, no?

12:02 PM  
Blogger Patrick Dugan said...

Sure, but I meant the latter. The artistic medium being interactivity. The communication medium could be a computer, a console, a cell phone, whatever, though they all have CPUs in common.

I've got a picture of the macro level design of Castlevania:Symphony of the Night on my desktop. I look at it and get inspuration from the seemingly trivial design of its rooms and doors. Its a masterwork of its form, even though its still only scratching the surface of the medium.

Lets not get pretentious about what we're doing, we're pioneering a new form or perhaps, a meta-genre, that may very well change the world, but we're working in an artistic medium thats already thirty years old. Designing inclination formulae and Fate's program involves storytelling skills, true, but greatly benifits from an application of game design theory in terms of craft and shortening the time involved in balancing. Writing reaction scripts is like designing a segment of the world of Metroid or Castlevania: SotN, but with the parameters having to do with social realtionality instead of spatial realtionality. If you can make the conceptual leap to the analogy, its really extremely useful.

3:51 PM  
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