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Impossible

Generated Narratives and Dynamic Storys

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I was just wondering what peoples thoughts on generated stories were. As in what would be The Right Way™ to algorithmically build a plot for the characters to follow? Is a game like the Sims for example sufficiently complex enough to say that it generates storys? I''ve been thinking that the best way to go about this is to start with a few preset parameters (locations of places, character attributes and attitudes etc.)and start with a beginning event (that everyone experiences.) After that, depending on the player''s actions and other random or planned forces the game triggers various events. Events would be generic functions that can be applied to any location\character\object and any event would trigger other events. Generate a complex enough web of events and voila, you end up with a story (theoretically.) The problem with the is system is generating the details in a way that they don''t seem overused or generic. - Impossible badcontent.net

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*gasps in awe*

You, too, have recieved the message from the gods???? (j/k!!!)


quote:
Original post by Impossible

I was just wondering what peoples thoughts on generated stories were. As in what would be The Right Way™ to algorithmically build a plot for the characters to follow? Is a game like the Sims for example sufficiently complex enough to say that it generates storys?


I''ve been thinking about this in terms of the Sims or a strategy game where the characters are units persuing a goal. One thought is to combine the event driven approach with a strategy AI or Sims AI approach. Each game map is like a stage where the story will take place, and the events simply set the places, dispositions, and goals of the actors.

For this to work, the game world has to be broken up into strategically desirable elements. A character who lusts after the crown, for example, does so because it satisfies some need, not because he''s scripted to do so.

I''m currently trying to think of ways to make this more robust, however, so that the events that happen are only those that are the ones that should happen. Check out this post if you want details.

There''s a board where a bunch of us are working on this, btw. It seems to be down right now, but I''ll post the link asap.

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Just waiting for the mothership...

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Yeah seems like it will work well. But I''m still wondering about detail. Things like dialouge and other little things that make scripted events special. Is it possible to generate such "one time" effects and story elements without scripting anything at all?

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Been wanting to reply to this, but it took thought & I had no time...

I believe it''s possible to get a certain amount of detail in via rules and AI. The behavior that you see in the Sims isn’t scripted, yet is sometimes funny and interesting.

If you’re looking for highly specific events I think you’re going to need to build a fairly complicated system in order to avoid scripting. And this is just for those things, such as behavior and responses, that work well with a rules system. Since there’s a lot of complexity inherent in building such a system, expect that it’s going to be hard work.

The creation of art and dialog are probably going to need the attention of a content creator. You might be able to generate conversation, but you’d have to radically alter what you consider character talking: It’d have to be in text, use montage or reuse, and exposition. But you’d still be putting together chunks of sentences.

Art assets would most likley be very difficult, no matter the subject.

btw, I’m a fan of trying to get common elements to do the duty of many things in a game. If you take RPG actions, then, I’d be for one action meaning many different things (take equals steal, or hold / disarm, for example). This might let you get away with more of the game going on in the player’s head, which means less coding and art for you.


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Just waiting for the mothership...

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Personally, I think that the benefits of having your own custom scripting system is better on the whole than having to design a complex enough engine to cope with all the possibilities.

I am still working on the Non-Linear Event Web and it uses a minor scale scripting system... Basically, it can access objects that are created and modify them, it can create new objects and specify new functions (or events that are triggered to work like functions).

The events are linked together in a web and are either Automatically triggered, or triggered when an event occurs or if all preceeding events have occured... (or not occured in some cases).

It is a little difficult to explain in this short a spanse, but from doing this I could not see a justifiable way of removing scripting. It isn''t scripting intensive, but there is some small degree of scripting that is required.

-Chris Bennett of Dwarfsoft - The future of RPGs Thanks to all the goblins in the GDCorner niche

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Ketchaval playing (not so) Demonic Advocate:

What are the main benefits of such a system?

How would a dynamicaly generated story benefit the player and the experience? Is this to allow for the consequences of the player / enemies / allies actions to be worked out independently of the player? Would it be easier to work out a Fallout / Fallout 2 style system where the player had some important locations / actions which help drive the story along, but inbetween they write their own story by their deeds?

Is it to try and create non plot essential content that the player can then get involved in.. ie. the oscillations of a feud between two cities?

Edited by - Ketchaval on April 28, 2001 10:57:41 AM

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