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RangerWest

Great Books Games, Game Storytelling, Autumn Rangers: Feedback? Thanks!

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Firstly, take my words lightly since I'm no expert in web site design. I primarily looked at greatbooksgames.com but at a glance the other sites seemed to be similar but with other content. The first thing I noticed was that the theme colors and the menu background fits the classic storytelling content very well. Pretty nice genuine look I think.

The "Technology" side bar feels a little bit malplaced since it puts the Main menu out of focus, and "Main" is MAIN after all :), but that's just my opinion! I couldn't find a link to gamestorytelling.com, but thinks it would be nice with one when the two sites seems to be related? Maybe like the Autumn Rangers image link at the top of the page.

Although all the content isn't put up yet the different sections looks complete with intuitive types of lists. And language selection, polls, login box (do you have to be logged in to vote?)

Overall I think the site is very well made, it has a good-looking visual style and the content is often subjective but that makes it much more interesting to read (as long as it's well balanced of course).

\Jimmy H

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Thanks so much everyone!

The sites are just starting out, but I think storytelling is about to take off in video games, in movies, and in novels.

Both the publishing industry and Hollywood are hurting because they've forgotten story.

Games can immerse us meaningful stories.

I'm trying to unite all these themes at:

http://classicstorytelling.com.

Again, the final draft will be out in a few weeks, but feedback is always welcome! Thanks!

Ranger :)

[Edited by - RangerWest on June 25, 2005 5:07:26 AM]

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Great Books Games aims to develop gaming franchises centered about rich stories contained in the Great Books. Dante's Inferno, with it's descent through nine levels of Hell and ever-more-sinster demons leading to a three-headed Satan, is the obvious place to start.

By using a combination of Open Source and proprietary philosophies, Great Books Games will marry public domain art, music, stories, and architecture to cutting-edge, proprietary game engines such as Epic's Unreal 3 engine, which will include the Kismet Visual Scripting System that will empower storytellers as game developers.

GBG aims to create a public domain archive for art and architecture to support games based on classic stories, while also developing an Open Source content, collaboration, workflow, and community management system to support virtual game companies.

While EA says tomorrow's games will cost more, GBG believes tomorrow's games will cost less, thanks to new game development paradigms based on technology's inevitable march and Open Source philosophies:

1) Great Books Games will inspire enduring franchises: as the technology advances, the story will stay the same. Dante's Inferno can continue inspiring next-generation games for hundreds of years.
2) GBG games will have great educational value: as long as kids/teens are shooting/flying/racing, why not expose them to classical art and literature?
3) GBG will inspire cool, positive publicity, encouraging parents to purchase the games and schools and libraries to stock them.
4) The games will have long shelf-lives: even an older version of The Odyssey will retain its aesthetic and educational appeal.
5) GBG can take advantage of public domain art, architecture, and music: rich games can be made at a fraction of the cost, and classical content can be modded and integrated by a small team.
6) Various stories/books can be blended in a seamless world, so that a player can meet the famous philosophers and characters, descending into Dante's Inferno and then fighting the Battle of Troy, with Beethoven playing in the background.
7) In multi-player mode, players could enter a giant game world as classical characters, such as Hamlet, Dante, or Juliet, where they could play different levels, corresponding to the classics.
8) As Hollywood and gaming merge, and storytelling becomes more pervasive in games, Joseph Campbell's Hero with a Thousand Faces can be manifested time and again within GBG.
9) After Dante's Inferno and The Odyssey, GBG could explore developing gaming worlds for famous historical battles, ranging from The Iliad to the Civil War, or giving tours of the Sistine Chapel or Parthenon.
10) By using a cutting-edge game engine such as Epic's Unreal 3 Engine, a small team could become a first mover in creating a lasting brand.
11) By developing and providing a suite of Open Source community/content/collaboration/workflow tools to modders, artists, and storytellers all around the world, Great Books Games aims to help foster new paradigms in game development.

The first ten Great Books Games will be:

1. Dante's Inferno
2. The Iliad
3. The Odyssey
4. Shakespeare's Hamlet
5. Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet
6. The Red Badge of Courage (Civil War)
7. Moby Dick
8. Treasure Island
9. Bible Stories
10. The Aeneid

GBG games could take place in both classical and contemporary settings. For instance, Dante's Inferno could present a classical interpretation of hell exactly as Dante described it, and/or it could be modded to present a contemporary hell, complete with Grand Theft Auto-like characters, corrupt politicians, infamous lawyers, Wall Street hypesters, and other "sinners." An Open Source approach to content built upon a cutting-edge game engine would foster hybrid games.

Some graphics: http://greatbooksgames.com

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Quote:
Original post by RangerWest
10) By using a cutting-edge game engine such as Epic's Unreal 3 Engine, a small team could become a first mover in creating a lasting brand.


How are you gonna pay their (assumed) 350.000$ licence fee?


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Hello!

It could be fun to use the Dante's Inferno Game as a project for the Make Something Unreal competition.

Also, it could be fun to get some schools/universities to participate in the project.

Perhaps a foundation or a private entreprise would be interested in purchasing a license from Epic, so the game could be sold commercially, and/or given to educational or non-profit institutions.

There are many paths the project could follow.

What do you think? Should it be be open source, proprietary, or some sort of hybrid?

I'm betting that the hybrid model will make sense in the long run.

Thanks for the feedback!

Ranger

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Here's a sample writeup of the Dante's Inferno Game from http://greatbooksgames.com.

DANTE’S INFERNO GAME
Nine levels of hell. A three-headed Satan. One final duel.
ABANDON ALL HOPE, YE WHO ENTER

D A N T E ‘ S I N F E R N O G A M E
by Dr. Elliot McGucken

Dante’s Inferno is a first-person shooter that will be built with the Kismet Visual Scripting System™ included in the Unreal 3.0 Engine® that will be released with Unreal Tournament 2007®.

With its classic story, fierce demons, rich imagery, and a cornucopia of pre-existing classical art depicting a descent through nine levels of Hell on towards the three-headed Satan himself, The Inferno naturally implies a video game.

Gameplay: In the Great Books Game’s version, Dante must save the sinners from their demons—demons that have overtaken their bodies and transformed them into monsters. In each level of Hell, Dante battles the ever-more-sinister monsters, and upon defeating them, the original sinner is separated from the demon and allowed to escape to purgatory. Dante must separate the sinners from their sins to descend to the next level, en route to battling Satan.

Design Team: Great Books Games is currently recruiting artists and level designers to help realize a version of Dante’s Inferno that’s as close as possible to Dante’s original version. The official development will start in 2006, with the release of Unreal 2007.

Blending Public Domain & Proprietary: The game will utilize public domain art, music, art, and architecture, and it will release both educational and commercial versions of the game.

Design Philosophy: Modders may donate art and artwork utilizing Creative Commons licenses, or GBG may pay for the design/development of certain aspects of the game. GBG will develop an archive of artwork for Dante’s Inferno as well as other Great Books including the Iliad and Odyssey, both public domain and proprietary, allowing the artists to define their rights and the price of their work.

Soundtrack: As Beethoven wrote nine symphonies and the Inferno has nine levels, Beethoven’s symphonies will accompany Dante during his descent through Hell. Imagine battling Satan to Beethoven’s ninth!!!

Join Us! Come one, come all, to greatbooksgames.com and dantesinfernogame.com. Whether you’re a modder, gamer, teacher, or fan of classical literature, come join us on this Great Books Games journey!


Preliminary design blueprint:
Canto Region Sin People Punishments
Preface to the Journey
Canto 1 The dark wood Despair Dante; the three beasts; Virgil n/a
Canto 2 The descent Fear Dante, Virgil n/a
The Gate of Hell
Canto 3 Vestibule of Hell The neutral;
uncommitted Pope Celestine V;
Charon Stung by insects; running after banners
Canto 4 Circle 1 Virtuous pagans;
unbaptized infants Homer, Socrates, Plato and other great pagans Afflicted by melancholy; desire without hope
Canto 5 Circle 2 Judgment

The lustful Minos send the wicked to everlasting torment, the good to the Elysian Fields
Dido; Paulo and Francesca

Blown forever by
stormy winds
Canto 6 Circle 3 The gluttons Ciacco Lying in mud, besieged by snow, hail and filthy water.
Guarded by Cerebus
Canto 7 Circle 4

Circle 5 The avaricious, prodigal;
The angry Condemned to useless labor

Attacking one another
Canto 8 Circle 5 The sullen Submerged in Styx, sighs rippling the water.
Transition to Lower Hell
The Realm of Violence and Fraud
Canto 9 Circle 6 Wall of the City of Dis The Furies;
Heavenly Messenger
Canto 10
Canto 11 Circle 6 The heretics Cavalcanti, Farinata; tomb prepared for Pope Anastasius Confined in burning tombs
Canto 12 Circle 7
- Round 1 Violent against neighbors and fellow men: murderers, war makers, homicides Alexander the Great
Attila the Hun
Chiron & Nessus Submerged in hot blood
Guarded by centaurs, who shoot any soul which attempts to rise
Canto 13 - Round 2 Violent against Self (suicides) della Vigna Enclosed in new bodies, as trees and bushes in a black, tangled wood.
Canto 14 - Round 3 Violent against God:
blasphemers, sodomites, usurers - stretched on burning sand
- running on burning sand
- huddled on burning sand
Canto 15 Round 3 cont. Sodomite Brunetto Latini Running
Canto 16 - Circle 8 - MALEBOGE
The Realm of Simple Fraud
Canto 17 - Bolgia 1 Panders and seducers Whipped by devils
Canto 18 - Bolgia 2 Flatterers Jason and others Covered with filth
Canto 19 - Bolgia 3 Simonists (sell ecclesiastical favors) Pope Nicholas III Turned upside down; fire on feet
Canto 20 - Bolgia 4 Fortune Tellers;
diviners Tieresias and others Heads twisted; turned backwards
Canto 21
Canto 22 - Bolgia 5 Grafters Covered by boiling pitch; harassed by devils
Canto 23 - Bolgia 6 Hypocrites Caiaphas Clad in leaden mantles
Canto 24
Canto 25 - Bolgia 7 Thieves Vanni Fucci Trapped in snake pit; hands bound
Canto 26
Canto 27 - Bolgia 8 Evil counselors Ulysses, Diomede, Guido Concealed in flames
Canto 28 - Bolgia 9 Sowers of Discord Mahomet Wounded, mutilated
Canto 29 - Bolgia 10 Alchemists Diseased
Canto 30 - Bolgia 10 Impersonators, Counterfeiters, False Witnesses Sinon Abusing one another
Canto 31 Edge of Pit Elemental Natures Giants: Nimrod, Ephialtes, Briareus, Tityos, Typon, Anteaus Consigned to the depths of the earth
Canto 32 - Circle 9 - Cocytus - Realm of Compound Fraud
Treachery against those to whom sinners have special ties
Canto 32 Round 1
Caina Traitors to family Held in ice, heads bent forward
Canto 33 Round 2
Antenora Traitors to country Archbishop Ruggieri;
Ugolino Gripped by ice
Canto 33
cont. Round 3
Ptolemea Murderers of Guests Held in ice; heads bent backwards
Canto 34 Round 3
Judecca Traitors to lords and benefactors; those who set out to destroy the rightful God. Judas, Brutus, Cassius,
Lucifer At the center of the Earth, completely submerged in ice. The three ultimate traitors are held in Lucifer's three mouths. Lucifer's three wings send forth freezing blasts of impotence, ignorance and hatred.
Canto 34 Round 3
Judecca The Ultimate Destroyer Lucifer Lucifer's three wings send forth freezing blasts of impotence, ignorance and hatred.


ABANDON ALL HOPE, YE WHO ENTER
http://greatbooksgames.com

[Edited by - RangerWest on June 28, 2005 10:15:04 AM]

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Hi there. Nice look on the sites. I have to agree with Jimmy H about the Main menu being a bit out of place. Perhaps switching the two windows?

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