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Neoshaman

the binary DM >> universe generator

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hello it''s been a while i''m working in a binary DM like game, where the content is generated on the fly I have go as far as the sys could generate a story thematic structure and now i''m trying to add a layer of depth that it would generate also the content the universe rather than using the one provide by the author, in order to generate a full binary dm the idea come from an analysis of genre i have find once here it is: usually we use genre to classify piece of work in order to feel comfortable with the expectation that the work would provide when we expand genre into dimension we find that there is two major class : genre as impact on the audiance (comedy, horror etc...) and as conveying content (soap opera, heroic fantasy, etc...) as you can seen the most sensible for our project is genre as content what define content of a genre?? i have try exploding this into new dimension and find this genre dimension is: situation ( the way object are link together, the context) rule ( the way object react to each over or to special event) semantics (class of object within the universe) value ( the drive, the motive, goal, purpose and way to evaluate situation for each object) this can also help us to create content or even create a new set from scratch the idea behind that is that genre provide template in each of these dimension (for ex in heroic fantasy, dragon has a special place which don''t vary much or are get from as a variation from the norm of the genre) now the problem is how to find , build these template, how to classify them, how to write them down and how to code them to an extant these question as also ask >> if these dimension are good enough, is there any lack, did this all make sense to you thanks for replying >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> be good be evil but do it WELL >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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i have at least read some of them
i had participate some as well, but sometime i jeut get mad or bad at english seek for neoshaman in the ai forum and let me hear if you find something good

i have improve since the last time and everythings very clear now, i would say that it is more easy what we usually think, my model is based upon emotion and on the assumption that there is some cross between story and the way mind fct with emotion,

i beleive that emotion is was that dictate choice, most random generator use no emotion layer to generate information that we lack a sense of emotional reality

i beleive that could be done because as an artist, i know that something material such like a painting could convey emotion or not depending on how the artist express is art, then why not put this into an algorythm??

for now i''m just adressing technical and practical issue to enhance the model but the core of the emotion engine is based under a emotion syntax (thematic structure i call it) which is suppose to reflect our experiance as human and which has a large covering in art

hope this make sense
the next step after this binary dm is a binary dm which build is own meaning from his own experiance, >>> the binary creator which would express is own point of view, it''s a "promesse" i have made to kordova, timkin and bishop pass (i couldn''t find the english word right now, i put in french)

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
be good
be evil
but do it WELL
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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Interesting. What emotions are in your thematic structure and how are they related? Whose emotions are you modelling - the player''s? Each NPC''s?

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well actually i have came first with a general model of emotion for every system, emotion in his broadest and non romantical view, as define as a retroactive regulation of a system, a kind of appraisal which define what's good or not, because i was struggling defining emotion for the emotion engine the project was first, but thanks to this definition it's turn that (once a model of a mind lay down) human emotion was not only that but also the appraisal of these emotion and their representation, and this is where the emotion come tricky to define, because the representation we have and what we feel is engulf in a loop that make things complex, it's hard then at the back end to see what's from emotion, representation and appraisal since they tend to mix up, but's also this confusion which make human emotion so cool and beautiful

once i have lay down that story mimick the brain thought through narration in order to encode emotion, i have seek for the way story is create and focus on this point, this as lead to idea then theme

the idea behind the thematic structure is that there is a limited amount of theme behind story, firts i have thought that there is 36 dramatic thematic unit possible, theme encode basic bias and problem of human being, but when chatting with my narration of cinema teacher, she says that actually they derive from 7 fundamental theme coin by a theorist vonoy (well not sure of orthographe) which is suppose to encode all class of story
theme actually is very deep root in human psyche and drama are the reflect of this psyche, and are also root in metaphysical question, story represent the internal experiance of the world, they are a more abstract language use to share experiance between human, mind to mind, through symbol and identification, today story is mostly use for they escapist power (life by procuration what you can't) and (narrative) video games specially continue this duty to a higher degree by combining it with the game power (which as a game designer i have study to a degree beyond the simple mechanism just as story i have seek the mind relation to the need of game and it's meaning and fonction)

then to answer the question, i'm not modelling the emotion of the player nor the npc, i'm modelling the underlign structure of emotion of the mind
however i don't plane to do it in a fine resolution already

the other funny things behind problem with emotion is that everything is aleady lay down to do so, but we have a bias perspective which made us focus on wrong item that come second, just like the old tale of the blind man and the elephant, i have, as a blind man which know is nature of blind, get around the elephant to approximate best is true nature

EDIT:
maybe i have to be more specific about the emotion structure i use, first there is "alert" emotion like i call them, they are hardcode and fire automatically a signal according to need of the system they are instinct pression in the mind, but through time the human brain has build a top layer emotion call "reason" which is link to the representational part (which hold memory)
yes i my model, rational thought is an emotion since it work for appraisal and evaluation, but with the ability to inhibit strongly the low level emotion
every emotion help manage the representational part of the brain by inhibit or reinforce learning towards an efficient and useful model from a human sense, this is where meaning is store, through the relation of experiance and memory and their emotional weight,
emotion then depends of basic needs fired by the brain and body, and the representation they convey + the things which is appraise and the representation they convey and find a way to resolve problem (retroaction regulation or thought) which is also appraise and have a model build upon,
all these interaction create quickly a complex intricate pattern that is all the spice of human nature

thematic structure then could be a mix of metaphysical question and maslow ladder

did this make sense??
on the technical side this had create a model which cross frame and neural network with emotion as supervising system, emotion themselves which is trigger by basic need, but with emotion appraise at the entry of the system as well, all couple with the decision system wich create action

the problem with actual generator is that they are very very powerful but they don't have this emotion bias encode in them, because it's a process which is encode and decode internally by human, the author has to build a kind of "semantic net" which put emotional value on basic unit and build a emotion syntax base on his own experiance, since the computer has no experiance, in order of the system mimicking this emotion flow
then when the algorythm would run it would seek a emotional goal to acheive and build the content according to, for ex: build an agressive arena or a peaceful place would not lead to the selection of the same item

now the problem is indentifying all the basic unit of a generator from emotion side to practical side and the link between them

did this sounds good?


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
be good
be evil
but do it WELL
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

[edited by - neoshaman on March 18, 2004 8:43:09 AM]

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oups....

let''s put the gibber aside and let''s back to pratiocal issue

the purpose of the post is to find the underlying structure of genre that we could easily manipulate them and match them with pattern, some of these pattern are cliche, archetype and stereotype, the fact is that they hold each of them element of thematic structure which once discovered help us to take other creation in an elegant way

if we take language we see that we could combinate word in various way but when all these combination could respect rule there are not all interresting, to be interesting they must have an intention to capt our attention, story is the same, actual generator has no build in intention systeme then could generate a lot of correct combination but only a few interesting one, that''s way we need to find the thematic structure since he hold some intention in his interesting way
this would lead to generator that not only generate universe but also tales on death, love or everythings else

but now we have to find the practical syntax to generate universe
and after through analysis of how common pattern fold in, find the thematic unit involve behind

notice that the computer doesnot hold a things about thematic but what the author would put in and base on his emotion and experiance
the dimension of thematic structure is normally hold in the value and semantics part, but really is more a relationship between the four part i have coin for genre as a content

did this apeal to someone??

this would be a basis to analyse character as well whiel struggling in a thematic space (resolving is problematic >>> deal with need and desire)

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
be good
be evil
but do it WELL
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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I understand what you're aiming for (mostly ). You really need to read that thread that I linked to above and the threads linked to in it if you haven't yet, because I already answered some of these questions. It's all about transformational generative grammar, and the logical language SOAR, and genre plot formulae, and schemas, and I think there's a diagram of a person's 'emotional space' in there somewhere. I'm willing to try to help you make this engine if we can both get all the data and agree where to start.

Do you know how to program a chat bot? I think that would be a place to start if you haven't yet.

Do you want to make NPC AI that tries to solve problems (difficult) or do you want to make NPC AI that just reacts realistically to the character's actions (easier)?

Edit: Also, could you check the spelling of "Vonoy", I don't think that's right. I'd like to read about his themes so I understand your starting point.

[edited by - sunandshadow on March 18, 2004 11:44:50 PM]

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er... maybe i have stress to many point with the linguistic metaphore

i know how chatter bot work but for what i am lisp is best

i will check the link again
but i have read some of bishop pass, oluseyi and some other post about interpolated narratives and generated content

no i''m not focusing on character (this is a well study topic, i have only to go with my shoping list )

i''m dealing with character but universe, which is less view from an emotional structural space, but really it is!

lest me explain, i want to build an univers that convey meaning
to do so i have to find the static structure and then the dinamic structure, and by studying typologie of universe (genre) find the bond with thematic structure

is this more clear????

the key word is universe generator toward symbolic meaning!

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
be good
be evil
but do it WELL
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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A universe that conveys meaning - like having an AI writer arrange events so that they make a meaningful story? My idea was that the same engine that could model a writer or narrator could also model an NPC. The type of generation needed is actually the same, the use is only a little different.

Linguistic metaphor? You don''t think a literal linguistic approach would work? IMO it''s the _only_ think that would work if you have any intention of using your engine to generate actual sentences of story, whether they be narration or NPC dialogue or whatever.

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actually i have find that there is many connection between modelling an npc and modelling a binary dm, the only difference is that the binary dm would be an internal thinking when an npc would be more external orianted

the fact is that we know how structurally a character (npc) is model externally and internally, when i want to create a character i bring the psychological, sociological dimension cross with a physical and situational description, then i have to fill each sub dimension of these to create a character,
in order to create a special type of character, a thematic character (for ex the egoistic wonder woman), i would choose accordingly element to convey this (surely a red dress as example) the reason that thereis a direction to make these choice thanks to thematic interest, the interest build the constrain which restrain the choice by a kind of WHY question, mean WHY i would put this element rather this one? for ex for a binarydm he would choose character thematic according to the story thematic (for ex self interest vs generosity), he would choose possible act or anything according to (each character must have a story fct, for ex protagonist, sidekick, opponent, then would have to be define one in fct of the another)
the problem i have face is that we have well covered character and story theory, but the space and context where they are place is less well known, we do it instinctvely but would be hard to do computionnaly without a bit of analysis

that''s the purpose of this topic
the universe has is own structure towards the content of a story and affect it, as well it affect the way the story would fold and the action taken

has coin in my start post there is 4 major point to define
SITUATION (space and time)
RULE (what regulate event and action)
SEMANTICS (class of object and title within the universe, character type, object, place etc...)
VALUE (the way semantics hold meaning, the way they have been evaluate in the thematic fct)

well i suppose that they must have to be refine a little maybe i didn''t choose the best name for them

until we haven''t fully explore this we can''t made a competant binary dm

for ex let''s took a simple game which is a kind of universe orianted >>> GTA 3 >>> it''s clear that the overall theme would be crime, then all object, relation, action, rule is consistant towards that theme and we don''t feel cheat if we can''t became a doctor i astronomy and cure cancer because it''s irrelevent of the theme, the binary dm must hold first a structure to handle universe before putting theme in it, the HOW to do viable organisation even if not interested at all (just like we could make meaningless phrase but correct from a technical point) and after find WHY these element would fold together (thematic structure)

let''s think that the engine is not a complete engine and work by layer, the first layer provide the structure, the last layer would arrange them in phrase, there are different task, we could separate them, we are still in a hi level layer so we don''t have to care for low level module for the moment, better to focus on a single problem at each time, i''m not designing the whole engine rather than a specific problem

ok then any more comments??
we focus on the context where our character would be create an act, we must first find his structure, then his fct towards the general model and then find how to link it withe the thematic strucure

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
be good
be evil
but do it WELL
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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not enough clear?
too complex?
not interesting?

i''m sorry,
however i''m still checking the link that i did not see yet

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
be good
be evil
but do it WELL
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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Don''t worry, I just hadn''t gotten around to reading it yet! (Friday is my busiest day of the week because I do laundry, get groceries, etc.)

The space and context where the story takes place, hmm... I''m not quite sure what you mean by this. Do you want a list of the kinds of cultures in which a story can take place, and the attitudes/opinions/philosophy of each? I think it would help make the task manageable to try to make your dm capable of creating games in one specific setting, then add different data sets for other settings. And the more primitive the setting, the easier it would be to fully describe, so you might want to start with cavemen first, then medieval, etc.

If I misunderstood, then can you tell me what specifically you would like me to research/think about/work on to help you?

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well i'm starting to find good post (mostly from bishop pass as always from this subject) from the link you have put, i haven't read all yet, wait until i have, and i would lay down some conclusion

well before reading these post (those about situation creator)
and still now i was thinking about the role of universe in story and how we choose/organise them in it, since plot and character are foreground we have focus on them, the universe is the background, it set the mood and make the plot and the character in the perspective, imagine what would be LOTR without any description! the fact is that we now for ex that a character is a protagonist (the one who seek the goal) or an antagonist (the one who prevent the goal to be acheive) those who help are the sidekick etc.... these are fct of character, a character could disapear but the function must remain for the story still being a story, character could change fct but fct remain, plot is the same but what about universe????

actual template provide ready made structure, just like oop they have encapsulate fct the problem is that we don't have access to the internal code the protected variable, that lead to difficulty to manipulate the object (joke that's why lisp is king in top of C++ or any imperative OOP language /joke)

we know many genre content, the idea is to do some reverse engeneering in order to discover the internal anatomy of the content to create new one and then find how are they re fct in a story (what is the equivalent for place to protaginist??)

universe coding would (i suppose) better understanding how to code such storytelling rule such as substitution where an object is pout metaphorically instead of another to make the same fct but without replacing the actual object but to point towards it and inherit his caracteristique (hope that made sense)

maybe your idea would be a good start, now i just don't have a clue, my mind is at some blank state, but i sense that the solution is right in my front, and it's kidda frustrating, since it's kinda like this the missing link for true narrative interpolation

EDIT:
well imagine that the story took place in a familly setting
it must have the same underlying structure that if he would take place in a cosmic space scale story, i suspect that a universe is base on relationship (situation???) and balance (rule??) of force (value???) through a topology (semantics???)
hope this is not too cryptic, but the idea which strike my head right now

the problem is to define WHAT a universe (setting or whatelse...) is

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
be good
be evil
but do it WELL
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

[edited by - neoshaman on March 19, 2004 12:18:35 AM]

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Well, here are two thoughts I had:

Genre is a misleading term because it means two different things: genre can mean plot type such as mystery or romance, or genre can mean a set of tropes such as fantasy {unicorn, spell, magic wand} or science fiction {space ship, genetics, gun, matter transmitter}

When you talk about family you are talking about ''character dynamic''. Would a list of all possible character dynamics be helpful to you?

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well i had define genre a little in the origibal post like a bag of many things that hold interesting dimension to look at

genre (as content and not as impact on audiance) hold template of character dinamics as well as space dinamics and "tropes"(what does this really mean??) maybe we should begin with a list of each in some general genre to have an archetypal structure of universe??

for ex : heroic fantasy
character (or group as well) dinamics >>> (empire vs rebel, kingdom against kingdom, orc vs human, good vs evil, princess to rescue, dragon as guardian, well i don''t know how to make a good chart of that)

tropes (unicorn, magic wand etc...)

space dinamisc (village, wood of name it, etc...)

the fact is to have a template which would permit us to create a full and complete universe by filling item and reationship slot

it s more clear?

start with whatever you can we will see if it''s good or not


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
be good
be evil
but do it WELL
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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Okay, I guess I''ll ramble on about cavemen for a while for lack of any better ideas.

Things cavemen do:
-eat
-sleep
-hunt
-gather
-craft (make baskets, weapons, clothing, dinner)
-socialize (talk, fight, have sex, give presents, play, dance)
-teach and practice
-take care of babies/sick people/old people

Objects in a caveman world:
-rocks
-plants and plant products
-animals and animal products
-rivers/lakes
-caves
-artefacts made by people
-fire
-mud/sand/chalk/ocher

Events in a caveman life:
-birth
-coming of age
-marriage
-get injured/sick
-raid neighboring tribe
-feast/party/holiday
-have children
-get a position of authority (shaman, head man, elder)
-mourning another''s death
-own death

Relationships between cavemen:
parent-child
person-sibling/cousin
person-friend
person-fellow tribesman
person-stranger
authority figure - tribesman
person-rival
person-love object
person-self
person-spirit or god
person-enemy person or predator
person-prey animal
person-physical world (luck?)
person-raw materials for crafting
person-completed craft(of that person''s making)
person-trading partner
owner-slave
abuser-abusee

Caveman philosophy:
Well, this is more arguable, but from what I''ve read cavemen might have been matriarchal, probably did not understand the mechanics of fatherhood and conception, definitely did not grow plants or keep livestock, probably believed in animal and other nature spirits and made sacrifices to these, may have been divided into totem groups with associated taboos, probably thought in terms of social debts and obligations, bartered but probably did not have money, lived either in caves or in tents/huts built of wood/mud/animal products, and definitely decorated themselves and their posessions in symbolic ways.

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i have read them all, and things comme SUBconsciously clear, i feel my brain working hard and his frustrate that the whole is still internal, i have actually no conscious clue but hint will came this night

your theory on plat , wavinator and bishop pass have put great material yeah!!!

wait soon, i tgink i would come with a complete binary dm structure ready to be practically programming soon, and aside a theory of game/story making

quote:
While variations of separation-reunion and danger-rescue remain popular (e.g. obtaining and disaster), depravation-provision is no longer an issue, and authority, love, morality, mistakes, and sacrifice have become new basic scripts.



well i think you did it very well summurize possible candidate for thematic unit maybe we would add spiritual, and i guess that we could class them with the maslow ladder, however we would build a difference between goal and need, i suspect this where come the original tension which create meaning ( a meaning is supposed to be the relatioship between a mind and an object, meaning exist only in context), the imbalance of the need create a goal to balance it again, then with a recursive experiance it became for complexe because when a goal cannot be reach directly he create sub need and then subgoal >>> the origin of human complexity and the basic of thematic structure

back on topic, i would stress (for thought material) many things that is the same in an abstract sense in many thought domain
every human activity seems to have at least 4 major point which always come, this build strong relation between activity like philosophie, math and logic, story, martial art thought, game and programmation!! like they was a reflexion of the thought in a mirror
they all have a start condition...
philosophie (an idea)
math and logic (a problem)
story (the original conflict)
martial art (the focus)
programmation (a case)
game (gameplay)

then start data....
philosophie (observation)
math and logic (hypothesis)
story (exposition)
martial art (observation)
programmation (variable and fct declaration)
game (introduction)

a process...
philosophie (thought)
math and logic (demonstration)
story (developpement)
martial art (analysis)
programmation (processing)
game (play)

and an end
philosophie (conclusion)
math and logic (conclusion)
story (outcome)
martial art (action)
programmation (result)
game (game over)

this could be apply to any activity
actually is the process of jumping (process) from a start state to an end state (goal), whith a reason for seeking the end state (need) and whether this state or not is reach or not (end)

a story is a already past process while a game is a process occuring

this help us understand bridge from each other and help learn from each other how there are structured

notice also than language has similar base as reality, there is basic commponent (word or atom) which build higher form from their relationship (word or molecule) and which have higher relation too (phrase or element) etc....
it''s their RELATION that determine caracteristique (meaning)
their relation are build around structure (syntax)

now we can learn more about binary dm simply by looking around us

back on the subject there is some thought i have learn through the link, and the link of the link

we have full theory about character and plot, it would work well, but we have little in depth analysis on their structure that made them nearly impossible to make it practically
we do forget some aspect of story as well, just like i have coin, how the space is in the equation???

but at least i have some better definition

every story has a goal to reach
the goal is an reaction to an need in imbalance which create the conflict, the conflict lay in the thematic but is express through the SUBJECT

i have to coin this new element SUBJECT
i have made different from theme why??
we would take an example the subject is LOVE
ok but it doesn''t tell us what the conflict is!!!
love could fold with this:
danger-rescue (the love is in danger, PROBLEM come from: lack of communication? the evil has kidnapp? the parent oppose?)
obtaining (it''s about what we haven''t)
depravation-provision (actually i have no clue of the meaning of these word ^^

as seen i would not put as a thematic basic element while rescue and obtaining seems to fit it well, but still need for a PROBLEM
this lead to structure SUBJECT-THEMATIC ELEMENT-PROBLEM
PROBLEM is obvious it''s tha thing to resolve in order to achieve goal, the imbalance which create the need,

but can we arrive at a good practical definition of SUBJECT and THEMATIC ELEMENT (may be i should say ARGUMENT??)???

one thing about genre is that we can define that a genre is a template for generic character class and generic activity template (which was situation in the original post)

an activity is define by start condition, rule of process, and outcome, an activity is perform by character
i would stress that character could be divide in abstract character and concrete character, an abstract character would be something like race and group (or story argument bias) or whatelse, while concrete character would be the agent in the world, that help us classify and make and hierachical inheritance of data (caracteristic, possible state and behaviour)
(behaviour would be an internal activity)
character could be inanimate??
behaviour would hold need (for ex in a binary dm they would be scenaristic need or universe need)
can we define RULE as universe need??
value maybe the thematic argument???

after these rambling i would refine the genre template as:
SEMANTICS (hold class of object)
ACTIVITY (hold class of event)
THEMATIC ARGUMENT (hold class of fct? basically the WHY of each item (meaning to evaluate))
RELATION???

ex heroic fantasy
semantics (magic wand, elves, orc)
activity (start condition>> elve meet orc/process>> hate action/outcome >> fromaction taken)

it''s obvious that activity and object could be blend when object can have multiple inheritence leading to some interesting setting

imagine that the setting is creating with the subject:friendship/thematic: element danger/ problem (upper class) racism >> (lower class) morality
you got an orc friend with an elves and all problem that come with
now we would generate a story with the need>> rescue+world/protagonist: the orc/goal>> beat his friend
this mean that the elves friend hold the problem let''s generate it, something which endangered the world from the genre perspective >> thematic element: activity the seek of wealth >> the awakening of the great guardian of the treasure >> a legend predicts that''s is awakening would destroy the land
but we haven''t fill the need of the elves for the activity seek of wealth >>> mother ill and need an expensive cure
no matter what happen the story has a great conflict! and then would have to be ORGANIZE around all argument generate by the conflict
there is absolutly NO RANDMNESS and all is consistant simply by a serie of request when each element is create in order to have consistancy
but we haven''t yet the full organize model
the problem come also from BACGORUND ELEMENT such as space, we don''t have a clue on how to organize them even if we have a flesh out story

-------------------------------------

thanks to your list i have seen more clearly the problem
your list is too character centric and too randomness,
the problem since we try to focus on bnary dm is that we look at WHAT and HOW before WHY
we KNOW that there is someting wrong but couldn''t put the hand on it, the solution is to made a SHIFT OF PERSPECTIVE

for ex as you coin it WHY a caveman?? a caveman alone don''t express anything because it''s not the solution of any NEED (the source of the WHY which build relevence)

we need to look at the NEED of story and built upon this a generator which fulfill this need
you sucessfully fulfill an analysis in your plot theory

this is the missing link, binary dm is already today''s

hope i haven''t been to destructurate as i fell i was while writing the post ...

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
be good
be evil
but do it WELL
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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Well, I understood most of that. I think. My brain certainly gets exercised reading your posts

Okay first, "depravation/provision" - this is the most basic type of need and fullfillment of that need. "Depravation" means the person doesn''t have something they need; "provision" means the need is fulfilled. Examples: I am hungry -> I get some food and eat it. It''s kind of the same as "obtaining", actually.

Next, I''m glad those links have been helping you, I always hoped they would be put to a good use someday.

I agree that Maslow''s ladder (we call it Maslow''s Hierarchy) is a good way to classify needs. There is a small problem though, you also need to give each need a numerical intensity, because sometimes an intense need higher up the ladder can temporarily overwhelm a less intense need lower on the ladder. For example: people can get so lonely that they forget the need to eat, or even the need to live (they kill themselves).


This confused me: "we have full theory about character and plot, it would work well, but we have little in depth analysis on their structure that made them nearly impossible to make it practically
we do forget some aspect of story as well, just like i have coin, how the space is in the equation???" Does ''space'' here mean a slot for putting data into the equation, or does it mean physical space, where the characters and objects are in relation to each other? Or something else?


Hmm, maybe it would help if I describe how I (and theoretically also the binary dm) create a story? For one thing, you say there is no randomness, but I think there will need to be some randomness, because when I make a story I make some decisions randomly. The choice of a character''s name, for example.

Anyway, let me try to describe the process:

First, I decide I want to write a story. This is like turning on the binary dm. By the way, if you want a better name for your engine, I would call it the Teleology Engine. Because that''s what it does: takes a desired outcome (satisfactory resolution of the story) and works backwards to chose the right start condition and data to result in that desired outcome.

Now, there is what is called the "Circle of Six Story Elements":
characters - character dynamic - worldbuilding - theme - plot - atmosphere - then back to characters again. A human writer can start at any one of these 6 elements and work around the circle, but for your engine you might want to pick one to always start with. In my flowchart I suggest that the player have an opportunity to create a preference file where they can indicate which options for each element they do or don''t want the DM to use. For example: I would tell the engine to prefer Character Dynamic - Romantic Relationship, and to not use Atmosphere - Horror. Tell me if you want me to make some lists of what options there are for each element.

Anyway to get Plot we would start with a "Need" of one of the basic types. For example: Danger/Rescue. Something (Object) must be endangered by some change (this is the Initial Incident of the story), which may or may not be caused by a Villian, and the Object must be rescued by someone (the Player, usually). There must also be some Obstacle preventing the Player from immediately rescuing the Object.

So the Object in need of rescuing may be a Character, an Item, or an Abstract Idea. The choice of object would depend on the worldbuilding and theme. For example: if Worldbuilding==Cavemen, we wouldn''t be rescuing a stolen spaceship; and if one of the Themes (please note: most stories have more than one theme) ==Slavery then we might be rescuing a slave or some object which symbolized the difference between freedom and slavery, like citizenship papers or the key to a slave collar. If the Object is a Character and/or there is a Villian, Character Dynamic comes into play: what is the Player''s relationship to either of these, and their relationship to each other? Perhaps the Villian fell in love with a woman and made her his slave. The Player could want to rescue the woman because he also loves the woman (making the villian his rival). Or, the Player could want to rescue the woman because she is his sister, or he owes her a debt. Or maybe the player is in love with the villian and wants to free the woman because she is his rival.

Now the Obstacle - this is often where physical space comes into the story. The player can''t rescue the woman because there is a physical barrier (a locked door, a guard, a long distance). Or the obstacle could be more abstract (the woman doesn''t want to be rescued, the Player doesn''t know where the woman is, the law says the woman is supposed to be the villian''s slave...) Now, the DM has to think of one or more ways each obstacle might be overcome and provide the necessary means, and hopefully the Player will find a way and overcome the Obstacle. And then the DM has to be able to recognize a victory condition and provide the player with the story''s resolution, or a complication extending the story.


Well, that was a lot of rambling... Summing up: there are three problems for us to solve here: 1) Make lots of lists of what goes in each category necessary to make a story. 2) Figure out in what order and based on what principles the DM should choose from the lists. 3) Figure out how to turn this into gameplay including narration and dialogue. 3 should probably wait till later, so you tell me which end you want to attach the problem from, 1 or 2. I personally think 1 would be easier - it''s easy to make lots of lists, and the categories that emerge will suggest the formulas and guiding principles we will need to describe for 2.


Does that seem like a good plan? Or are you thinking of a different plan?

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i'm glad that someone take time with my "noodle" english
i'm moving to a video games school called supinfogame this years, then hope that idea to be implemented someday :D

when i wa talking about maslow ladder, it was because i think that there would be correspondance between tha ladder and the thematic element which output the LACK in the beginning of a story, but it's not ai it's story, i don't see the binary dm working with > theme element rescue level 3 :o!!
basically from maslow ladder we can have fear of loss or desire for obtaining in each level, the low level concern biological/survival need, then come security need, then relationan/sociologic need, then metaphysical/spiritual need
hm...
we need a thought around this, maybe the major class of theme is around obtaining or loss something (a state, an idea, an object, a satisfaction etc...)!

basically need hmay have some counterpart in story space

the SPACE is how to put data in the equation and the relation they have between them in this equation (hope that would make sense), physical space (as a data) however has little work about his fct in the equation, we need to learn more about both.
we know for ex what tied character to plot and plot to theme, we know that genre hold the template list, we know a lot of HOW but little WHY, hope this is more clear

i still think that there no randmness, however the lack of insight lead us to think that some aspect is andom become we cannot see the process which give the output
an example:
i have introduce my cousin to making game with rpgmk2000
since it's about rpg, he had to make a story (well in convention)
he start with a simple story but have trouble finding name and the kind, then we use a random name generator which has output list of name
the character of the story are all archetypal

good guy side:
klenn
gineo
hime
shah
kenko
bad guy side:
ossashaphal (soranae chaerussal)
shalak
phakaluma
nizor

you see?? there is clear bias while CHOOSING
i belief that subconsciuoly item has some value
i bet that your character would hardly have name like kolmogorov or leelaa parvarti shakti or worst ti fefene (creole taste)
we choose them with unconscious bias like the sound, the cultural taste, memorie or any other analogy,
we have built in bias from EXPERIANCE of life

for writing process i'm not going backward
but foreward, this is the process of hearing story and don't know what would happen next, then i'm surprise by my own imagination outcome, just like watching any exciting story
actually it's that experiance which leads me to binary dm

we should not focus on game play even in storytelling until we have raw material to feed them i think, we must narrow our focus on structure and how to attach data to this structure and the principle which lead to the choice

let's have a little resume about story theory
i beleive that story has a fct in the mind, a story purpose is to express something but WHY we need it to be express?
the idea is that story are like PATCH on our program (mind)
we feel lack of any kind and story provide JUSTIFICATION to support them by reducing tension from the push of the need, they did not resolve them but inhibit or reinforce them
that's why story must work by identification and turn around goal
because goal is the expression of the resolution of a need
wether the outcome is good or bad it's provide a satisfaction (which be a frustration) to the problem encounter, for ex i not pretty BECAUSE i'm not (ask any girl which underestimate herself)
by justification it's free the mind about thinking about it
then a story is like an EMOTIONAL demonstration of the conflict
(maybe we can predict the course of a story by finding structural equivalent in a mathematical demonstration, where is the argument, where is the operator, where is the end conditon which lead to a conclusion)
premise is no more than this, the conclusion of the demonstration
>>> love never fade through time or love is destructive are some of the outcome that the story will try to demonstrate (then must pass through any developpement which represent case)

isn't this cool??

resume: focus on structure and how the structure help the goal of a story (the why)

EDIT:
let's make a starting point to focus on one thing at the time
>i have made some mind testing of the process, i'm a visually person then my mind output an anime metaphor of the process
ok i lauch the binary dm, now processing
he randomly choose a thematic
from the thematic he output appopriate character and fit them into role in the story (they're caracteristic is choose according to their role (story fct) and their thematic fct)
the binary dm output the argument flow of the emotion demonstration and arrive at some conclusion according to initial state data of the thematic conflict
ok all that have been thinking as been implemented
i lauch the rendering
CRASH
oups my mind has a problem
the rendering as show the hero in a village....
hey where we have rendering this???
what the fct ?? what the purpose? why it is like this and not like this??

it's clear that we lack detail about physical space in the story space process

conclusion:
in order to begin let's fill the hole of the story structure
let's think about fct of physical material, like space and object
it's seems that our generator provide the mind aspect of the story but fail to link the abstract to the concrete (aka object different of character, body aspect of character is in the like too we only have the mind aspect of character)


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
be good
be evil
but do it WELL
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

[edited by - neoshaman on March 21, 2004 11:36:47 AM]

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maybe somewhere to start is to study cliche, they are piece of work that have prove their utility but was over use, we may find how the "mind" is reflect in the set

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
be good
be evil
but do it WELL
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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hello again

introduction
when i re read my own post i find them very confuse, even if i think someone could (hardly) understand where i want to go
however i have just realize that i shouldn''t thing all the time in a foreign language because this reduce the concept area since we are not exactly fluent in this language, then i have REstart to think in french, then things became more clear

then sunandshadow i think i could now clearly point at the problem
the problem is CONTEXT
things get meaning in context
when we generate a story from the thematic structure we have trouble to provide a CONTEXTE in order to blend it with the "physics" element and then the algorythm turn to be not as flexible as we expect and work for very little kind of story or genre (i have browse some academics reshearch about it recently) we fail to provide a general story generator
when we build "topology" engine (i use topology to coin engine that is not "meaning" (thematic) orianted) we could have deep interaction but these engine fail when it come to have an emotional structure (however strong emotion can still arise from them), they have a too high simulation feel to provide the story feel,

the problem is that in reality emotion come together with the "physics" and it''s hard to separte them, when we consider them as separate object we find in problem like the chicken or the egg come first,

the idea is to not considerate the two separately but the LINK (relation) between them

the problem is to blend a thematic orianted story structure with topology simulation (universe simulation)

hope this is more clear than before

actually i''m reading this to find is it''s relevent
>>> twelve dimension of context (find within the link of the link you send before, i have read ALL topic/page they where liked to)

http://xenia.media.mit.edu/~solan/society_of_mind/essay2.htm

friendly neoshaman

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
be good
be evil
but do it WELL
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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I''m sorry I haven''t been replying to this, but I''ve been sick yesterday and today and can''t think clearly enought to work on this problem.

Hmm, let me see if there''s anything useful I can say...

Randomness - I''m still certain you will need randomness. You say that there are subconscious patterns to the apparantly random choices writer''s make, and I agree; but the problem is, you can''t emulate a subconscious decisionmaking process because you don''t know how it works. The only way to analyze subconscious things is with a psychological study of lots of people. You could do that, but is it worth the effort? I suggest that you think of randomess as a placeholder - you can replace it with a decisionmaking tree in future versions of the DM if you figure out how.

Also, you might want to use randomness to account for the difference between multiple human writers, so that the DM has a larger range of stories to tell that a human writer.

Versions - With a problem as complex as this, it can be very helpful to design in versions. You should design a simple, rudimentary skeleton version of the DM first, then add subroutines and more data in future versions to make it work more realistically.

Telling stories backwards - I don''t know if you write fiction much, but I do, and I can tell you, professional writers DON''T start at the beginning and write to the end; professional writers think of the climax, the theme, and the primary character dynamic first, then start at the beginning by placing the elements necessary to achieve this desired climax. I think it would be simplest to design and have the most realistic results if your engine did things in this order too.

Mutually dependant decisions - when starting to plan a story, there are several choices that must be made all at once. This is a problem for real writers but even more so for your DM. And again we have the problem of trying to emulate an unconscious decisionmaking process. That is my big question for you: what order should the DM choose story elements (theme, character dynamic, characters, plot, atmosphere, and worldbuilding) in? We know the DM''s conclusion: a satisfying gaming experience for the player. We can guess approximately what the start data must be: story element options, context, and other rules. But what is the DM''s process? How and in what order does it create the story?


Hope this wasn''t too feverish.

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hello
no problem, we do have real life after all
hope you will going well and get health quickly

quote:
Randomness - I'm still certain you will need randomness. You say that there are subconscious patterns to the apparantly random choices writer's make, and I agree; but the problem is, you can't emulate a subconscious decisionmaking process because you don't know how it works. The only way to analyze subconscious things is with a psychological study of lots of people. You could do that, but is it worth the effort? I suggest that you think of randomess as a placeholder - you can replace it with a decisionmaking tree in future versions of the DM if you figure out how.

Also, you might want to use randomness to account for the difference between multiple human writers, so that the DM has a larger range of stories to tell that a human writer.



well i'm a fan of psychology, neurology and cognition, if i'm not an expert myself, i do inform myself and i often google for academics in these domain, they do all the hard job for me, and ofthen i have the distance than they could not have to see connection (i hope) among various topic, these time there is huge improvement which confirm my intuition about emotion in the process of the thought (i'm in a art school myself, i'm at the opposite trend), the entire thematic theory is build around these intuition which come from my own experiance as a creator but science inclined

quote:
Versions - With a problem as complex as this, it can be very helpful to design in versions. You should design a simple, rudimentary skeleton version of the DM first, then add subroutines and more data in future versions to make it work more realistically.


i'm always trying to narrow focus, but i start from the general and get down little by little to tedious problem, here i have a little shift more towards relation than structure as example

quote:
Telling stories backwards - I don't know if you write fiction much, but I do, and I can tell you, professional writers DON'T start at the beginning and write to the end; professional writers think of the climax, the theme, and the primary character dynamic first, then start at the beginning by placing the elements necessary to achieve this desired climax. I think it would be simplest to design and have the most realistic results if your engine did things in this order too.


well actually i don't beleive it, when i was young i was used to write story of my own where the story reveals itself on the run thatn even me i wouldn't know what would happen next, it's like the wavinator or most people beleive that a realistic simulation would construct a story, actually it's not wrong but it's not entire true, the reason is that in a story, character move themselves in an abstract story space which represent all the story possible among data, the difference is that, as some people say, story remove the mundane and retain the interesting fact, that mean that from any given possibility there is a few that are interesting in a story sense, those which follow the dramatic focus (the theme), it's true for every creation, whereas GTAIII don't have story action are consistant around the "crime life" theme, any action outside this area would be seen as irrelevent and would broke the immersion
the problem with gta is that the theme is encode SPATIALLY, rather than TEMPORALLY, this mean that there is no argument

now i have trouble writing story but i have no trouble designing universe for the same reason as gta, i think SPATIALLY, in no time i can output a huge background where several story can take place in but have hard time developping one, it's seems that you are a temporal thinker, the difference is that i focus on STATE and you on GOAL, rumiko takeushi (inuyasha) is good at never ending story because she is a spatial thinker, i use to be the like, but i have lose control of my ability, my universe is to broad and situation became diluate in the immensity

>gibberish(one of my universe (tamago, from many) as more than 2000 character whith name, story etc... and the setting took place in millenium scale with all sort of variation during time. The last setting i have had last week is set just after the energy crisis, which had put an end to the virtual pop era, which is a post cyberpunk society, and origin is root in our today ages, in this post virtual pop era, some of the virtuens (people which was living in half virtual world in rich society) had develop new philosophy and new ability, to handle the harshness of the life and brute change of style of living, built upon the leelaa hindu myth. their analysis ability had grew up by playing video game like world higly immersive, they are in minority among those which refuse the virtual pop living style, but beyond the majority descendant of poor country which had became mutant (not the ugly or super hero cliche), while the gap between rich and poor have deepening during time, to adapt them to harsh reality increasing up with pollution.... there is more about it, the set is called "dominant species" because the world has return in a kind of neo feudal age where each city as it's own organisation and battle of ideology is at his top) /gibberish

quote:
Mutually dependant decisions - when starting to plan a story, there are several choices that must be made all at once. This is a problem for real writers but even more so for your DM. And again we have the problem of trying to emulate an unconscious decisionmaking process. That is my big question for you: what order should the DM choose story elements (theme, character dynamic, characters, plot, atmosphere, and worldbuilding) in? We know the DM's conclusion: a satisfying gaming experience for the player. We can guess approximately what the start data must be: story element options, context, and other rules. But what is the DM's process? How and in what order does it create the story?


i beleive the process is similar to a system seeking equilibrum (the mind as the system)
what you say is exactly what ia have state in my last previous post but as a fan of kurt godel's theorem of imcompletness, each time i have a paradox or contradiction as an obstacle, i accept it as the solution and perform a perspective shift!
i have once meet this class of problem and i have call it the triforce dilemna (from zelda)
it's a little foolish to call it like that however, but consider the following image
-----
-/\--
/__\-
-----
-/\--
/__\-
-----
-/\--
/__\-
-----

how many triangle do you see??? answer:3

--------
---/\---
--/__\--
-/\--/\-
/__\/__--------

and now??? well western like answer would be 3 while eastern flavour would be 5
it's because western stress OBJECT and eastern stress RELATION

i know that even western would see 5 as well but it's just an illustration

in our culture we are raise to CLASS in OBJECT, divide to conquer, we see things SPATIALLY as a cultural bias but focus on GOAL, we have an objective orianted taste, we are drive by conflict and activity
while estern focus more on STATE then relation (yin and yang) and see things TEMPORALY, they are drive by immersion and passivity

i have said before that state orianted persone see thing spatially and vice versa, well i have to expand the thougt more, it's the tension between motive and appraisal, it could be confusing, goal is temporal while state is spatial, if the motive is in one kind the appraisal is in another
an example is to the difference between the two story telling in oriantal art and in occidental art, this the reason behind the different aproach of the painting in each culture (ukyo-e versus mimesis )

so the problem lie in the RELATION between the two layer of structure, now the goal is to DEFINE WHAT IS (AND HOW) this RELATION is ?


sounds a good program???


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
be good
be evil
but do it WELL
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


[edited by - neoshaman on March 22, 2004 11:05:07 PM]

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a little more about my theory of spatial vs temporal which is not complete ( i have to refine the term to avoid confusion)

spatial person are drive by state, they have no direction but a place

for ex i''m a spatial designer, i design FOR designing, i would be open mindness about design because design is more important that what you accomplish with, kind of the path is more enjoyable than the goal then they would avoid most problem or would focus on them but noy for resolving it but the joy of thinking about it, they also tend to wander and experiment according to their preference, they focus on decision and diversity

a temporal designer would seek a purpose, i would say a DREAM to be acheive, the path is not that important, they want efficiency, design is only a TOOL to acheive their GOAL, they rely on proved method and seek for that which has already work, if they encounter an obstacle they face it until one broke, they see things binary, that which help getting close to their goal (good) and the rest (evil), they are action driven which drive them towards ONE thing

of course as a spatial person i would say that reality is not that binary

as a conclusion
spatial person seek GOAL (temporal) to fulfill their need of state (drive by state)

while temporal (goal driven) person would seek a state (the goal)

mmmmm, i''m just realize that this is what make the difference between story and poesis

it''s seems that it could help classify relation between the dramatic structure (temporal) and the universe (spatial) :o!!

i think what i need after all as a spatial person is a catalyst

friendly me

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
be good
be evil
but do it WELL
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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Ah I see where the confusion is. I think of a story as something whose shape is 4-dimensional, defined by both state and temporality, BUT I would not describe state as ''spatial'' - that term was confusing me. If it is a physical space (setting) at all, physical is only one of the spatial dimensions, and the least important. Dimensions Y and Z would define ''conceptual'' or ''informational'' space - one would be the worldbuilding, and the other character I guess. At the beginning of the story all the dimensions would be compressed into one point - the main character in their immediate location - and as time passes (travel along the t axis) the ''space'' of the story widens like a cone as exposition about the worldbuilding is given and new characters are introduced. But to get a complete story you can''t let the space just keep getting bigger and bigger - as you say, the ''situation becomes dilute'', the dramatic tension isn''t strong enough to make a climax. There has to be some other t-dimensional force (teleology again) which keeps the story centered on the main character solving one problem.

This is also called "The Unities" (by Aristotle? I forget):
Plays should display unity of time (the story should take plae within 24 hours), unity of place (the story should take place in one city or castle and the surrounding countryside), unity of characters (characters should not appear once and then vanish, they should appear throughout the play, and there should be the least number of characters needed to tell the story), unity of emotion (it should not be a mix of genres like tragedy, comedy, action, mystery, romance, etc.) and unity of purpose (there should not be unrelated subplots).


So... is that what you meant by space?

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