Adapting your story to the limitations of the medium

This is the looming issue in game-design storytelling, yes. If you don’t allow the story and the game design to evolve in parallel, right from the beginning, you wind up shortchanging one or the other – at best.


Embarrassing moment: I’ve just accidentally deleted the original poster, while cleaning up spammer accounts - Sorry about that. I noticed he came in from an anonymous proxy service, but I hadn’t noticed he’d posted a sensible message.

(The mods on this forum are too powerful for their own good.)

Recently I’ve tried to write IF from an ideal-play transcript, but this method is unwieldy when it comes to interactive stories with heavy use of branching pathes and conditional content.

Now I’ve made her into a ghost so she doesn’t mess with the game world too much. She can still interact with it, but the limitations of the medium have now become internal to the story. A mute illiterate ghost. That’s what it takes to prevent the story colliding with the medium. It’s not as bad as it sounds though. I think in fact the story benefited from the changes. It forced me to be more definite about my protagonist. A whole lot of cool ideas followed from the changes. Now there’s an entire back story why she’s a mute illiterate ghost.

I’m just curious – if the player character is a mute illiterate ghost, what can she do? It doesn’t sound like the premise allows for much interactivity.

They can think for themselves, remember past events and most importantly influence their will upon other characters. Take Escape From Summerland.

One of the main characters is a ghost who is able to explore the surroundings based on their past memories.

I have a cousin with MBD. He can read alright but he doesn’t understand what he’s read. Sometimes he rips the pages out and stamps on them. It’s important not to yell at him and let him have his tantrums. I think it’s good to give disabled people responsibilities so they feel needed and appreciated. My cousin runs many errands. He’s very proud when he gets things right and when he doesn’t we don’t yell at him.

I’ve been playing Emily Short’s Galatea from 2000 to learn how to do conversations in interactive fiction. It’s an adaptation of Richard Power’s Galatea 2.2 from 1995 which I’m reading as I play the game. It’s educational to compare them and see what things work in what medium.

That’s only too true! In fact, there are some users with disabilities here on el forum.

DavidK, I suspect you can just go ahead and delete the account again, as this is surely Jacek Pudlo. (The Galatea joke gives it away.)

She can’t interact with living people directly. She interacts with other ghosts by waving at them. They understand she’s disabled and don’t yell at her. They ask her questions which are adapted to what is going on at the time, like Would you like to learn how to walk through walls? or Would you like to learn how to indirectly influence living people? It’s an internalized tutorial, kind of. She can also point at things and people and if there’s a ghost around it will tell her what it knows about the thing or person. As the game progresses she will learn how to influence the world around her.

I’m thinking about learning one of the informs. Which one is best?

It sort of depends on how you already know on programming and programming concepts. Inform 6 might be OK if you are an ace programmer, otherwise you’d best go for Inform 7. I’d personally suggest going with Inform 7 since you can use Inform 6 inside Inform 7 to get certain results if Inform 7 can’t do it on it’s own. However, this is quite uncommon for most situations. It’s just there if you need it.

Hope this helps.

Yeah, that and the posts from anonymous proxies.

I wouldn’t want to commit, but if anything struck me as Pudlo-esque at all in this person’s posts, it was the ridicule towards the mod, and the demeaning, patronising way it was done.

I think we are just overreacting to past scars. I knew it was going to happen. Just wait for some evidence.

On the subject: this is not about Inform limitations, as I read it. It’s like blaming literature for my deficit of English grammar. Inform can handle those mechanics quite well. It is you who don’t know how to. :slight_smile:

If this sounded harsh is because of literature limitations.

No really, I saw this happen far too often on RAIF – someone shows up talking apparently sensibly but a little off, you try to engage them in conversation, and then after a little bit the mask slips and you get the outright trolling. Usually with some kind of slam at Emily Short, though Adam Cadre and Andrew Plotkin and a few others can be targeted. And huzzah! you’ve wasted your time dealing with Jacek as though he were a human being.

It’s not really overreaction to past scars, it’s inference based on past evidence.

Well, this was the last thread he de-railed, hopefully, now that he can’t log in with anonymous proxies and has been banned. :slight_smile:

If he still manages to come back, we should seriously wonder what the heck is (further) wrong with him.

Am I missing something here?

climbingstars, while what he said about people with disorders is sensible out of context, in context it was a patronising criticism of the mods, in a writing style that is too close to Pudlo for comfort.

The Galatea thing I didn’t see so much. But I haven’t known Pudlo for as long as others.

Well, if you care to delve deep into Pudlology, you can start here. (Hint: this is not a good use of your time.)

The thing in this thread is that Emily Short’s Galatea is not an adaptation of Richard Powers’s Galatea 2.2, no one could possibly think so, anyone who says so is trolling, and the odds are pretty good that someone who shows up and starts trolling about Galatea is Pudlo.