Monday, February 13, 2006

Chris Crawford's interactive storytelling tool website launched

Interactive storytelling, one of the most complex, intricate disciplines within electronic entertainment, is about the have its most anticipated release since Façade. Only this time it's not a single product we are talking about, but a tool for the creation of 'storyworlds'.

Storytron is the website of the company that is going to commercialize the tool designed by legendary Chris Crawford, who has been working on it for more than ten years. Crawford, author of the seminal The Art of Computer Game Design and one of the most respected and original game designers of all time, left the game business to focus almost exclusively on this project.

Late 2006 / 2007 could be the year of interactive storytelling, and there are already some projects going on. I hope I have the opportunity to mess around with the authoring tool and play some of the storyworlds to come.


pdugan said...

Snap, trackback for StS! Muchos gracias.

Its funny, I just took a break from writing an article about this. I'm both excited and frustrated about this technology, which I'm hoping to get across in the article. The authoring tool will be out in beta-form in April, possibly May. The engine will be up to allow play-testing in the summer. You should definetly play with it, I'm sure you could come up with an interesting demo storyworld.

I'm interested in seeing a spectrum of ludic to paidic storyworlds. Basically you've got three constraints, the constituents (people, places, things) of the storyworld are one, the player's personal goals are the other, and the influence of the drama manager is the third. I'm trying to come up with something that lets Fate be really subtle, but thats tricky idn't?

chico queiroz said...

It must be very hard to balance something such as Fate in interactive storytelling, since the reader / player could feel like it's taking the control of the narrative away from him. This is, of course, a ludic approach to the problem: Fate should more easily accepted in paidic environments.

I imagine there will be, for good or worse, a period of transition when interactive storytelling will be still heavily impregnated of more conventional (ludic) game design. Partly because they will share the same audience and even the same authors. Of course, that is just a guess

pdugan said...

Yeah, actually I think you're right about that. Try as we might to rapture a non-gamer audience, the early adopters are most likely going to be role-players and casual gamers.

Designing Fate's system is a challenge, and the game/story tightrope is something I'm trying to walk right now. StS is going to be more ludic than what might be possible, still more paidic than any RPG on the market, but the plot will have a number of bottlenecks and constraints. I'm hoping to design Fate so that early constraints enable a more interesting story, which will have more dynamism in the mid-episodes, and then settle into one of a few very different spaces in the last third of the series, where more contraints will come back in to bring the plot in for the kill.

Copyright, Chico Queiroz