Ron Newcomb's Member Blogs
Adaptable story frequently finds limited prose generation useful. While substituting one MacGuffin or character for another is pretty straightforward, verb conjugation, pronoun choice, and subject-verb agreement can get hairy. Especially on a cell phone.
PAX badge not cover all three days? Want to try something a little different after-hours? OK, how about free snacks? Visit the Seattle Interactive Fiction Group's freeplay room, in the Sheraton hotel.
A videogame satire goes awry, revealing...
Ensuring a correct simulation requires more than checking your math. Try checking your players' behavior.
Writers know that paragraphs have jobs to do -- develop characters, reinforce theme, etc. But for interactive environments, are there more?
Games controlled by a language interface -- interactive fiction, "Maniac Mansion", "Shadowgate" and many other adventure games -- traditionally choose imperatives as the only form of input. But this is button-centric thinking.
Ruleset design doesn't end with gameplay. Without certain needs met, some techniques of interactive plot become very difficult. Case in point: integrating psionics with the second edition of Dungeons and Dragons.
Technological constraints temporarily defined a "gamer" to mean a solitary individual, in defiance of the traditional norm. In the same fashion, another unique characteristic of the videogame medium, "sequels are better", is destined to fall.
An understanding of how the rules of gameplay differ from the rules of narrative -- and acknowledging that the latter exists -- may help us close the disconnect between the two.
The Penny Arcade Expo was held last weekend in Seattle. What's a washed-up gamer with no reflexes do? Watch the gamers, and consider the past and future.
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