[MUD-Dev] A footnote to Procedural Storytelling

Hess Hess
Wed May 3 16:19:53 CEST 2000

Travis Nixon wrote:
>Actually, what I've been looking at trying to do so far is not so
> muchgenerate interesting "stories" so much as interesting things to
> see and do.Sort of a spinoff of D&D's random dungeon generator,
> but of course muchcooler, and having the capability of generating
> at least parts of storylinesor interesting information.As games grow
> more and more complex, there is a hurdle that is going to have to be
> overcome. You simply cannot create enough content quickly enough
> tokeep a large number of players interested for a significant amount
> of timewithout abstracting the creation process immensely, and
> automating as muchof it as possible.
      Automating the presentation of a variety of options seems to me only 
half the battle.  Unless the storytelling system itself is going to have a
heuristic/AI engine of some sort, I think that the only way to have the game
project an environment that is interesting to humans is to provide those
humans the tools and opportunity to shape the environment.
      The tools I would like to see (or be able to code myself someday...)
for player usage would involve a number of ways for players to affect the
basic shape and rules of the environment itself, as well as a number of
ways to interact negatively with another character without killing them.
      The latter point is one of the things I have seen done very well in
(live action role playing) games.  The usual mechanism used in such venues
is to build a balance between a large number of things your character can do
vs a large price attached to actually killing someone, including all NPC's
who appear as the player does (usually human).  A prime example of this
is White Wolfs Masquerade 2nd edition Beast Trait system.  
      The former point could be anything from a scripted player
government system with multiple forms available, to a system where players
can recruit/control/script npcs, to a magic system wherein character
skills/actions/background affect a sliding scale of how the world-physics
      Basically, I think the players need to be able to impact their
more clearly, especially with a system where they cannot do it alone.  Its
thing if a character needs another character to kill an orc.  Its quite
another if
the direct reward for player cooperation is the ability to define a
storyline for
everyone in the 'region' to experience.  It seems to mebe that with the
circumstances, at least three of the four Bartle-player-types could be
by such a system.

      Ian Hess
      "When all you've got is a hammer, 
       all your problems begin to look like nails." 
                      -- Baldrick	 

MUD-Dev mailing list
MUD-Dev at kanga.nu

More information about the mud-dev-archive mailing list