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Chris Crawford on Interactive Storytelling, Second Edition

Book Description

As a game designer or new media storyteller, you know that the story is critical to the success of your project. Telling that story interactively is an even greater challenge, one that involves approaching the story from many angles. Here to help you navigate and open your mind to more creative ways of producing your stories is the authority on interactive design and a longtime game development guru, Chris Crawford. To help you in your quest for the truly interactive story, Crawford provides a solid sampling of what works and doesn't work, and how to apply the lessons to your own storytelling projects. After laying out the fundamental ideas behind interactive storytelling and explaining some of the misconceptions that have crippled past efforts, the book delves into all the major systems that go into interactive storytelling: personality models, actors, props, stages, fate, verbs, history books, and more. Crawford also covers the Storytron technology he has been working on for several years, an engine that runs interactive electonic storyworlds, giving readers a first-hand look into practical storytelling methods.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Copyright Page
  3. Dedication Page
  4. Bio
  5. Table of Contents
  6. Introduction
    1. My Interactive Storytelling Journey
  7. Part I. The Basics
    1. Chapter 1. Storytelling
      1. The History of Storytelling
      2. Two Mechanisms of Thinking
      3. The Nature of Stories
      4. The Tyranny of the Visual
      5. Spatial Thinking
      6. Temporal Discontinuity
      7. Conclusions
    2. Chapter 2. Interactivity
      1. My Definition of Interactivity
      2. Second-Person Insight
      3. A Model for Human Understanding
      4. Ego Control
      5. Degrees of Interactivity
      6. So What?
      7. Conclusions
    3. Chapter 3. Interactive Storytelling
      1. Extrapolation from Games
      2. Interactivized Movies
      3. Plot vs. Interactivity
      4. Interactive Storytelling Is Unique
      5. Individuation
      6. What Can’t Be Part of Interactive Storytelling?
      7. Conclusions
  8. Part II. Mentalities
    1. Chapter 4. Abstraction
      1. Justice
      2. Science
      3. Finance
      4. The Moral of These Stories
      5. Playing God
      6. Translating Principle into Instance
      7. Conclusions
    2. Chapter 5. Verb Thinking
      1. Verb vs. Noun
      2. Case in Point: Multimedia
      3. Getting Started with Verb Thinking
      4. Conclusions
    3. Chapter 6. The Agony of Math
      1. Embracing Mathematics
      2. Causal Relationships
      3. Modeling as a Metaphor
      4. Conclusions
    4. Chapter 7. Two Cultures, No Hits, No Runs
      1. Neurophysiological Basis
      2. History of Games and Stories
      3. Exhortations and Prognostications
      4. Conclusions
  9. Part III. Evolutionary Strategies
    1. Chapter 8. Branching Trees
      1. Overall Game Structure
      2. The Solution: State Variables
      3. Conclusions
    2. Chapter 9. Interactive Fiction
      1. Text Adventures
      2. Graphic Adventures
      3. IF: Son of Text Adventure
      4. Puzzles
      5. A Real Example
      6. Under the Hood
      7. Is It Interactive Storytelling?
      8. The Future of IF
      9. Conclusion
    3. Chapter 10. Role-Playing Games
      1. The Verbs
      2. Little Room for Creativity
      3. The Dangers of Overspecialization: Koalas vs. Goats
      4. What About MMORPGs?
      5. The Audience
      6. Conclusions
    4. Chapter 11. Video Games
      1. Constipated Stories
      2. Multiple Endings
      3. Branching Trees
      4. Open-Ended Stories
      5. Fully Player-Driven Stories
      6. Cost vs. Storytelling
      7. Conclusions
  10. Part IV. Component Technologies
    1. Chapter 12. Modeling
      1. The Medium
      2. Basics
      3. Adding More Complexity
      4. Abstracting the Process
      5. Fine Points
      6. Conclusions
    2. Chapter 13. Bounded Numbers
      1. Overruns
      2. Bounded Numbers
      3. Bell Curves and People
      4. Technical Details
      5. The Blend Operator
      6. Boolean Calculations
      7. Conclusions
    3. Chapter 14. Personality Models
      1. Complete
      2. Concise
      3. Orthogonal
      4. Behaviorally Discriminating
      5. Overspecific
      6. Types of Personality Traits
      7. Expanding on the Three Core Personality Traits
      8. Physical Traits
      9. Moods
      10. Inclination Formulae
      11. Two Exercises
      12. Conclusions
    4. Chapter 15. Fate Makes the Storyworld Go ’Round
      1. Listen
      2. Think
      3. Speak
      4. Scoring
      5. Conclusion
    5. Chapter 16. Verbs and Events
      1. Verb Counts
      2. Generalized Verb Handling
      3. Sentence Structure
      4. Plans and Events
      5. HistoryBooks
      6. Conclusions
    6. Chapter 17. Languages
      1. Using Devices to Talk
      2. The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis
      3. Faking Real Language
      4. Creating a New Language
      5. Conclusions
    7. Chapter 18. Scripting Languages
      1. Desiderata
      2. Sample Script for Text Generation
      3. Conclusions
    8. Chapter 19. Engines
      1. Event-Based Engines
      2. Clock-Based Engines
      3. Plot-Based Engines
      4. Conclusions
    9. Chapter 20. High-Level Structures
      1. Plot Points
      2. Goals
      3. Anticipation
      4. Conclusions
  11. Part V. Wrapping Up
    1. Chapter 21. Academic Research
      1. Comme il Faut
      2. Prom Week
      3. Release the Kraken!
      4. The IRIS Project
      5. Conclusions
    2. Chapter 22. The Future
      1. It Will Be Big
      2. Negative Predictions
      3. Positive Predictions
      4. Conclusions
  12. For Further Reading
    1. Books
    2. Conference Proceedings
    3. Internet
  13. Index
  14. Ad Page