I’d like to see more IF that allows multiple people to enjoy the experience. Note that I’m not necessarily referring to true, real-time networking (i.e. MUDs)
I’m more referring to other ways in which someone might use currently existing IF tools to bring people together to share a story. And if this has been done before.
The first part of the topic is one idea I had was a story that involves multiple characters. Player 1 takes on the role of the first character and plays for a while. When he gets to the end of “Scene 1” or “Chapter 1” the game prompts him to send his saved game to Player 2 who plays another character in another part of the story. Eventually they begin to make decisions and action in the story that affects each other. It seems there are lots of little interactions and ways to play with this concept. What I’d like to explore are ways to make this kind of play possible with the tools already available and what kind of interesting interactions might be possible from this.
Although I’ll admit that this “sending the game to the next player” is very 1990sish and clunky. It’s like running PBEM games.
The second part of the topic is that with today’s asymmetrical gaming, I think there is possibility for multiple players to be able to work together one one IF story without needing to be connected to a MUD and cooperating in real-time. Maybe an extension to Inform 7 could be created to allow this somehow.
Here’s how I would imagine the extension:
Any of the players can sign into a game hosted on a website (the game “knows” that there are now 4 players and which characters they are being assigned to)
The game is paced by scenes or chapters, which can overlap in any way the author would like them to. Here is an example of how it would work:
Player 1 plays Captain Zeff who is conducting a search for one of his pilots on a wild planet. At the end of chapter 1, he receives a transmission and awaits his cryptography team to decode it. When Players 2 and 3 get to a certain part in their Chapter 1, this will trigger the cryptography team’s decoding of the transmission for Player 1.
Thus, Player 1 could stick around in the game and explore around some more, or he can go offline and come back on later to see if his cryptography team has decoded that transmission yet.
So this second thing I’d like to explore is if such an extension is feasible, or perhaps if there is already some other technology out there that does this, that isn’t Inform 7.