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Comments on: 10 Years of Interactive Storytelling http://writerresponsetheory.org/wordpress/2006/06/22/10-years-of-interactive-storytelling/ a blog and podcast dedicated to discussing text arts forms Sun, 19 Nov 2017 01:06:38 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.0.2 en Writer Response Theory 2004-2005 wrt@writerresponsetheory.org (Writer Response Theory) wrt@writerresponsetheory.org Talk Radio Comment-cast: 10 Years of Interactive Storytelling Comment-cast: 10 Years of Interactive Storytelling Writer Response Theory Writer Response Theory wrt@writerresponsetheory.org http://writerresponsetheory.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/iTWRT.JPG WRT: Writer Response Theory http://writerresponsetheory.org/wordpress 144 144 by: Christy Dena http://writerresponsetheory.org/wordpress/2006/06/22/10-years-of-interactive-storytelling/#comment-11748 Fri, 14 Jul 2006 09:48:50 +0000 http://writerresponsetheory.org/wordpress/2006/06/22/10-years-of-interactive-storytelling/#comment-11748 And I'll ask one more question before I respond if I may?: what does the term "transmedia" mean to you? Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/writerresponse/writerresponsetheory.org/wordpress/wp-includes/functions-formatting.php on line 76

And I’ll ask one more question before I respond if I may?: what does the term “transmedia” mean to you?

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Christy Dena And I'll ask one more question before I respond if I may?: what does the term "transmedia" mean to you? And I'll ask one more question before I respond if I may?: what does the term "transmedia" mean to you?
by: Jeremy Douglass http://writerresponsetheory.org/wordpress/2006/06/22/10-years-of-interactive-storytelling/#comment-11732 Thu, 13 Jul 2006 18:38:48 +0000 http://writerresponsetheory.org/wordpress/2006/06/22/10-years-of-interactive-storytelling/#comment-11732 Christy, I was thinking of cross-media as "the publication of a single message, narrative (or more broadly storyworld) distributed across multiple media." So when Adams quotes Lindley's paper that <blockquote>"The reason for separating the story as a different level of meaning from the narratives that express it is the fact that the same story may be expressed in many different narratives, either within the same medium <strong>or across different media</strong>" [my emphasis]</blockquote> the implication that a unitary composition stage might proceed a distributed cross-media publication stage is an interesting one. Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/writerresponse/writerresponsetheory.org/wordpress/wp-includes/functions-formatting.php on line 76

Christy, I was thinking of cross-media as “the publication of a single message, narrative (or more broadly storyworld) distributed across multiple media.” So when Adams quotes Lindley’s paper that

“The reason for separating the story as a different level of meaning from the narratives that express it is the fact that the same story may be expressed in many different narratives, either within the same medium or across different media” [my emphasis]

the implication that a unitary composition stage might proceed a distributed cross-media publication stage is an interesting one.

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Jeremy Douglass Christy, I was thinking of cross-media as "the publication of a single message, narrative (or more broadly storyworld) distributed across ... Christy, I was thinking of cross-media as "the publication of a single message, narrative (or more broadly storyworld) distributed across ...
by: Christy Dena http://writerresponsetheory.org/wordpress/2006/06/22/10-years-of-interactive-storytelling/#comment-11723 Thu, 13 Jul 2006 02:03:40 +0000 http://writerresponsetheory.org/wordpress/2006/06/22/10-years-of-interactive-storytelling/#comment-11723 Jeremy, what does the term "cross-media" mean to you? I'm interested because it can be read in so many ways. Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/writerresponse/writerresponsetheory.org/wordpress/wp-includes/functions-formatting.php on line 76

Jeremy, what does the term “cross-media” mean to you? I’m interested because it can be read in so many ways.

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Christy Dena Jeremy, what does the term "cross-media" mean to you? I'm interested because it can be read in so many ways. Jeremy, what does the term "cross-media" mean to you? I'm interested because it can be read in so many ways.
by: Jeremy Douglass http://writerresponsetheory.org/wordpress/2006/06/22/10-years-of-interactive-storytelling/#comment-11641 Mon, 10 Jul 2006 21:30:32 +0000 http://writerresponsetheory.org/wordpress/2006/06/22/10-years-of-interactive-storytelling/#comment-11641 Summary: In his GDC 2005 talk "Interactive Narratives Revisited: Ten Years of Research", Ernest W. Adams reviews his description of "three problems for interactive storytellers" from GDC 1995 - internal consistency (choice v characterization), narrative flow (choice v pacing), and amnesia (player v character knowledge). At that time Adams rejected interactive narrative as an incoherent buzzword, calling instead for game developers to create "playgrounds for the mind." Now Adams surveys the emergence of narrative elements over the past ten years in game genres including rail shooters, action-adventure hybrids, and strategy games with hero units. Revisiting the problems, he suggests replacing amnesiac characters with carefully crafted introductions, and recognizes the partially-constrained hero as sufficient for internal consistency given that "players don't want to violate a character's essential nature anyway." Still, Adams sees these strategies along with the general "resurgence of linearity" as sidestepping key challenges in interactive narrative, and he blames lack of progress on both unproductive critical vocabulary (talk of conflict or dramatic tension ignores that gameplay tension allows repetition and randomness) and infighting in academia (ludology v narratology turf wars and postmodern politics). Criticizing over-reliance on Joseph Campbell or on the Aristotelian three-act structure, Adams also deplores trivial themes and emotions in games, and responds with ten quality guidelines whose bottom line is "interactivity is not an excuse for bad writing." On the more positive side, he covers Marc LeBlanc on emergent narrative (including caveats on quality) and MMOG storyworlds (including caveats on lack of roleplaying). He also credits productive academic researchers including Janet Murray, Henry Jenkins, Joseph Bates, and in particular Craig Lindley's paper on structural plot generation based on Proppian analysis. Adams concludes by listing research projects including the Erasmatron, Zoesis, Extempo, and Façade, describing his own vision of the future is an "AI dungeon master." Reaction: I enjoyed Adams' talk and its focus on the utility of theories from a developer's perspective. It was interesting to read Adams on amnesia as a narrative device, since this has interested me throughout my own work on IF (although I never considered it a problem so much as a solution). I was also unfamiliar with Extempo... and Lindley's paper, which contains several interesting resonances with our Benchmark Fiction initiatives in describing how "the same story may be expressed in many different narratives, either within the same medium or across different media." I like the attitude Adams takes towards utilitarian structuralism, and I generally enjoy his taste in sources and his enthusiasm for R&D projects (e.g. Façade). Given that he began by disclaiming that there was an explosion of research that he just hadn't read, however, his "Academia Earns a B-minus" evaluation was a bit strange. My only other nitpick was with odd slips that seem to lack historical perspective - talking about 1995 comments that "anticipate" emergent narrative, or dating Propp's work to the 1960s instead of the 1920s. If we want to talk seriously about what needs doing, it helps to be clear about what has already been done. Still, overall, Adams' talk delivers a great summary of the field and the time from a development perspective, and is well worth reading. Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/writerresponse/writerresponsetheory.org/wordpress/wp-includes/functions-formatting.php on line 76

Summary:

In his GDC 2005 talk “Interactive Narratives Revisited: Ten Years of Research”, Ernest W. Adams reviews his description of “three problems for interactive storytellers” from GDC 1995 - internal consistency (choice v characterization), narrative flow (choice v pacing), and amnesia (player v character knowledge). At that time Adams rejected interactive narrative as an incoherent buzzword, calling instead for game developers to create “playgrounds for the mind.” Now Adams surveys the emergence of narrative elements over the past ten years in game genres including rail shooters, action-adventure hybrids, and strategy games with hero units. Revisiting the problems, he suggests replacing amnesiac characters with carefully crafted introductions, and recognizes the partially-constrained hero as sufficient for internal consistency given that “players don’t want to violate a character’s essential nature anyway.” Still, Adams sees these strategies along with the general “resurgence of linearity” as sidestepping key challenges in interactive narrative, and he blames lack of progress on both unproductive critical vocabulary (talk of conflict or dramatic tension ignores that gameplay tension allows repetition and randomness) and infighting in academia (ludology v narratology turf wars and postmodern politics). Criticizing over-reliance on Joseph Campbell or on the Aristotelian three-act structure, Adams also deplores trivial themes and emotions in games, and responds with ten quality guidelines whose bottom line is “interactivity is not an excuse for bad writing.” On the more positive side, he covers Marc LeBlanc on emergent narrative (including caveats on quality) and MMOG storyworlds (including caveats on lack of roleplaying). He also credits productive academic researchers including Janet Murray, Henry Jenkins, Joseph Bates, and in particular Craig Lindley’s paper on structural plot generation based on Proppian analysis. Adams concludes by listing research projects including the Erasmatron, Zoesis, Extempo, and Façade, describing his own vision of the future is an “AI dungeon master.”

Reaction:

I enjoyed Adams’ talk and its focus on the utility of theories from a developer’s perspective. It was interesting to read Adams on amnesia as a narrative device, since this has interested me throughout my own work on IF (although I never considered it a problem so much as a solution). I was also unfamiliar with Extempo… and Lindley’s paper, which contains several interesting resonances with our Benchmark Fiction initiatives in describing how “the same story may be expressed in many different narratives, either within the same medium or across different media.”

I like the attitude Adams takes towards utilitarian structuralism, and I generally enjoy his taste in sources and his enthusiasm for R&D projects (e.g. Façade). Given that he began by disclaiming that there was an explosion of research that he just hadn’t read, however, his “Academia Earns a B-minus” evaluation was a bit strange. My only other nitpick was with odd slips that seem to lack historical perspective - talking about 1995 comments that “anticipate” emergent narrative, or dating Propp’s work to the 1960s instead of the 1920s. If we want to talk seriously about what needs doing, it helps to be clear about what has already been done. Still, overall, Adams’ talk delivers a great summary of the field and the time from a development perspective, and is well worth reading.

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Jeremy Douglass Summary: In his GDC 2005 talk "Interactive Narratives Revisited: Ten Years of Research", Ernest W. Adams reviews his description of "three ... Summary: In his GDC 2005 talk "Interactive Narratives Revisited: Ten Years of Research", Ernest W. Adams reviews his description of "three ...
by: Jeremy Douglass http://writerresponsetheory.org/wordpress/2006/06/22/10-years-of-interactive-storytelling/#comment-11640 Mon, 10 Jul 2006 21:24:31 +0000 http://writerresponsetheory.org/wordpress/2006/06/22/10-years-of-interactive-storytelling/#comment-11640 Thanks for turning me on to this Chisty - the discussion of Lindley's paper looks like it has cross-media applications. I just finished writing up a long abstract, and I thought I'd post and a couple comments below. Mark, are you familiar with Doug Church's Gamasutra article on "Formal Abstract Design Tools"? Adams cites it discussing sports and narrative, and it reminded me of an earlier conversation of ours. Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/writerresponse/writerresponsetheory.org/wordpress/wp-includes/functions-formatting.php on line 76

Thanks for turning me on to this Chisty - the discussion of Lindley’s paper looks like it has cross-media applications. I just finished writing up a long abstract, and I thought I’d post and a couple comments below.

Mark, are you familiar with Doug Church’s Gamasutra article on “Formal Abstract Design Tools”? Adams cites it discussing sports and narrative, and it reminded me of an earlier conversation of ours.

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Jeremy Douglass Thanks for turning me on to this Chisty - the discussion of Lindley's paper looks like it has cross-media applications. ... Thanks for turning me on to this Chisty - the discussion of Lindley's paper looks like it has cross-media applications. ...

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