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Perkplot and meta-engineered plotlines

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Ravuya

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Anyone who's interested in more complex and adaptive game plots should take a look at what Craig Perko has invented. It's an interesting system that's easily mappable to a strict system (perhaps a genetic algorithm) and can be upgraded in complexity by adding more challenges or constraints.

The challenge, as always, is working this into the game world and making it seem uniform without disrupting the flow of suspension of disbelief. But I think this is actually a really interesting approach to something that is never covered in game design topics: how to produce a plotline system that doesn't just operate on "left path or right path" decisions that end up in the same spot.
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I'm always interested in ideas for adaptive game plots! I've got plans of making one of these myself someday.

I've read the blog, and I've seen this idea before (even came up with it myself at one stage). Unless I missed something, it's pretty much the idea to encode a plot as a huge STRIPS planner. The tricky part is deciding exactly what to encode, ensuring it all fits together, and most importantly the plot doesn't feel too "computer generated" when it's actually run.

The bit I do like in that description (mostly because it's exactly how I plan to solve the problem [smile]) is the suggestion that you need a higher level concept of what makes a good plot rather than just running a simulation. It's like having a storyteller A.I. choosing outcomes that have the best dramatic potential. However I think that it's best to have a bit more planning in order to make a good plot. My idea would be to have the storyteller A.I. deliberately try to set things up to fit a proper drama arc. Something like planning to have a major conflict arise in the next fifteen minutes, so the system tries to engineer one by firing off proper scenes that could lead to such a conflict, then testing the player's choices to determine which is the most suitable.

I probably should stop rambling on now, because I've been trying to put all my dreams of interactive storytelling on hold until I've resurrected my programming and engineering skills. As I've alluded to, it's an insanely hard problem to get done right!

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