Any thoughts on Storytron the interactive storytelling engine?
1 Jan 2011 - 4:13pm
3 years ago
The other day I came across Storytron by Chris Crawford a games industry legend. I was eager to check it out because I'm currently reading "The Art of Interactive Design", which he wrote. Unfortunately, I have mixed feelings about it, and was wondering if anyone from the community had any experience with it as well so we could compare notes.
I couldn't put my finger on it right away, but I realize now that the big problem is the use of text. Crawford eschews graphics because he's more interested in the story aspect, rather than the eye candy. I'm fine with that part, but he relies on a very simplified form of English called Deikto. If you've seen "True Grit" or read a very good book, you know how engrossing language can be. Deikto just doesn't live up to that, which is a shame for a text-based storytelling system.
The part where things did work was all the clicking. Crawford seems to have accidentally stumbled on one of the reasons Farmville and other Zynga games can be so addicting. Clicking a lot creates a kind of hypnotic effect. The problem is that I was doing it more or less randomly. I think this is a fault with interactive storytelling in general, though, not just Storytron. Traditional stories are powerful because you get this evolution of character or circumstance from beginning to end. With an interactive story, sometimes it just feels like you only doing stuff without any real evolution or trajectory. I'm not sure how that can be resolved.