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bishop_pass

A program to fabricate and articulate a plausible interlude

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Remember the other recent Lisp thread I started? I was thinking about that thread, and the thread I started in Game Design called 'Clean Slate' as well as the idea of Situation Creators (yet another thread) and I'm beginning to think that an excellent component of a game would be for a program to fabricate a small story as to what your character has done since you last played him, and give reasons as to why he is now in the situation that he is in. Basically, you play your character in realtime, doing something interesting or visceral or enlightening or engaging in suspensful activity, whatever, and then you stop playing for the night, assuming whatever you've done is basically done. You play again later, and the game has immersed your character into a new situation, possibly days later, maybe a month later, or thereabouts. Presumably, the game has generated an interesting situation once again for your character, and has taken into account your past, digging up old skeletons from your cloest. Now, the program must articulate or narrate the background to place you within the context of your new situation. This is similar to the other thread I created, where I suggested a program could manufacture fictional histories. So, imagine a one paragraph describing what has transpired for the last three days, or month, or whatever. [edited by - bishop_pass on October 21, 2003 12:52:04 AM]

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Seriously that''s a cool idea though. Imagine you''re mountain climbing and you suddenly have to leave the game. You come back, and your character is hanging about to fall to his death! Fascinating. However, I''d be a little pissed if it said:

"Sorry, your character died while you were away. Have a nice day!"

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Maybe if you don''t like what your character did, you could choose to play that section of his life?

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This idea gave me an idea for a game:

How about a game where your character lived an unhappy, horrible life, and died in some bad way. Now you are that guy, and you have been given the option to re-live some sections of your life. Basically the interface would be a "Lifeline" where you click to Time Travel into that point of your life. Then you change history, so to speak, and see what ramifications it has down the line. You win when you have changed your life into a good life.

This gives rise to interesting scenarios such as:
Your character once got robbed at gunpoint. You must replay that section of your life, avoiding the robber!

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No, I didn''t suggest that.

The program won''t move forward in time until your current episode is over with. If it is the case that you are amidst something intense, the game is saved at that moment.

Realtime, in this sense, only means that one second in gametime equals one second in realtime.

The point here, is for the program to narrate for you what your character has done between episodes, because, frankly, most computer RPG games suck, are childish, and want you to do boring mundane things, when in fact, a character should only be played during fascinating or life changing portions of his life, and all other moments should just be fabricated narrative, sort of like weekly serial TV episodes, where upon the start of a new episode, the narrator tells us how things have allowed the protagonist to now be where he is.

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Are you replying to this?

"Maybe if you don''t like what your character did, you could choose to play that section of his life?"

Well, I see what you mean now. So the "automatic player" would only come into action during the boring parts, while today''s RPGs force you to do the boring stuff like killing monsters and walking around. Now what kind of important life events do you have in mind? This is probably the hardest part.

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