Lt. Commander
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# 11
05-31-2012, 09:24 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leviathan99
[/Snip]
Sounds interesting Levy, it's kind of confusing, but i can sort of see how it would work. It certainly deserves further discussion.

EDIT: Now that I think deeper about it, it sounds almost like the TNG episodes "Gambit", and "The Most Toys". Is that sort of thing what you're trying to get at Levy?
Lt. Commander
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# 12
05-31-2012, 09:33 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leviathan99
I'll give you the broad overview since I mentioned it to Podcast UGC's hosts awhile back.

It is a story crafting system in which commodities are gathered from the game world. There are several categories of components, designed to be acquired in several ways. Professions will have the ability to create some of these and level determines how fast you can make them. This ecnourages having an alt of each profession or trading, adding a social dynamic.

You place one of each category of component into a window. An item pops out launches a mission.

The mission will send you on a scavenger hunt through social zones or create a wrapper mission to be completed via mission replay and/or objectives. The missions are worded so as to present theories about mysteries, conspiracies, loose ends from episodes, identity of Undine imposters, etc. The first stage is an investigation.

Some of these missions dead end and give a simple reward. Some go deeper than that. Some have a social component whereas some (while you CAN team on them) save the best reward for person who's doing the chain.

The system is designed so that once the UI and a few of the core hookups are there for setting up the crafting component drops, a single content dev could maintain it. Because it contains relative dead ends (some conclusions that are just a cutscene and a reward, some just a reward) and because it emphasizes engaging in mysteries, investigations, and problem solving rather than anything asset intensive, it should be fairly low cost.

An example: There's the question of whether there was more going on with the Azura in "Stranded in Space" that I've seen some players bring up. This system would have several chains devoted to exploring different aspects of that, for example, requiring you to do things like kill Orions in the Delta Volanis cluster. Or conduct questioning around ESD, with a possibility of failure and lower rewards or an aborted chain (requiring you to re-gather the materials and start over).
The commodity part of it reminds me Spiral Knights' system for dropping different colored crystals into drop boxes where a certain number of each crystal color would build the dungeon. Once the drop box was full, the dungeon was then created.
Lt. Commander
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# 13
05-31-2012, 09:52 PM
Copyright your document if you have any intentions of publishing it or sharing - even in samples - with a game company.
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# 14
05-31-2012, 09:53 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by centersolace
Sounds interesting Levy, it's kind of confusing, but i can sort of see how it would work. It certainly deserves further discussion.

EDIT: Now that I think deeper about it, it sounds almost like the TNG episodes "Gambit", and "The Most Toys". Is that sort of thing what you're trying to get at Levy?
My initial jumping off points were "The Voyager Conspiracy" and DS9's "Statistical Probabilities" although that evolved some in my design doc. "Gambit" and "The Most Toys" are perfect examples of the introductory gameplay for the system. TNG's "A Matter of Perspective" would be another and another still would be everything Spock did in "The Undiscovered Country."
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# 15
05-31-2012, 09:55 PM
It sounds like an interesting concept. The crux of Campbell's writings were the idea of a "monomyth" if I remember correctly. If you were to create a randomized story composed of interchageable arcs or modules his universal model might be a viable starting point or blueprint.

The notion of adopting the format isn't unprecedented. The appeal of many contemporary films and novels can be attributed to following the journey formula. I'm not a lawyer specializing in intellectual properties so I couldn't give you credible advice regarding disclosure but in the formative state I'm not certain of the right to proprietership over ideas that are the domain of Campbell's estate.

I think you would have to guard a development tool if you coded something that based it's decisions on his ideas but derivative speculation might not be seen as a valid/defensible intellectual property. Even introducing the kernel of such an idea in a public forum is risky and could potentially have already compromised it.

As stated before before; Your idea has piqued my interest and I am not a lawyer.
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# 16
05-31-2012, 10:16 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by horridperson
It sounds like an interesting concept. The crux of Campbell's writings were the idea of a "monomyth" if I remember correctly. If you were to create a randomized story composed of interchageable arcs or modules his universal model might be a viable starting point or blueprint.

The notion of adopting the format isn't unprecedented. The appeal of many contemporary films and novels can be attributed to following the journey formula. I'm not a lawyer specializing in intellectual properties so I couldn't give you credible advice regarding disclosure but in the formative state I'm not certain of the right to proprietership over ideas that are the domain of Campbell's estate.

I think you would have to guard a development tool if you coded something that based it's decisions on his ideas but derivative speculation might not be seen as a valid/defensible intellectual property. Even introducing the kernel of such an idea in a public forum is risky and could potentially have already compromised it.

As stated before before; Your idea has piqued my interest and I am not a lawyer.
The system itself isn't based on Campbell but I have a theoretical explanation for why it works, one that builds on Propp, some game design theorists. Basically, I am extremely frustrated with some of the rhetoric and I think it's built off of these limited perspectives on why things work. Bioware is nuts in one way. Folks like David Scott Jaffe are nuts in another.

The problem is this colonization of film studies into gaming which causes people to basically treat "interactive movie" and "story" interchangeably. So that people equate story in games as the player having no control and they equate GAMING as the story-less process that they either love or think should be skippable to get to the movie.

If you go back to Aristotle, he preached the idea of story as a SIMULATION of events. (That got butchered in older translations of the Poetics.) Film is one kind of simulation: one where the director is a god and the audience goes along for the ride. (Terry Gilliam and David Lynch and some others may be exceptions but they basically cheat at what a director does to encourage audiences to speculate wildly about what they just watched.) Tetris and poker and Guitar Hero are another kind of simulated activity although the symbolism is so abstract that you tend to be conscious of yourself in a room playing it with other people. I think they're all covered by Propp, Campbell, Jung, Aristotle, etc. but you have to understand what makes them different, which is what I'm making strides at developing models of.

I'm VERY staunchly aligned with Warren Spector. But I've taken it into WILD theory land. The design doc summarizes and tweaks some of my thinking on that in order to explain how and why this system works and to act as a manual for methods of balancing pride and flow in game design. So it could work as a story writing bible but is there in very simple terms to show how this system is tightly designed, underscores its value from a business perspective, and shows mechanically what this does and why. It's an appendix for people who have no use for that kind of thought.
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# 17
05-31-2012, 10:21 PM
Whoa, let's not get too philosophical. Let's get back to how we could make this work in STO, we can worry about the world later.
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# 18
05-31-2012, 10:27 PM
And I'm not telling people to ape Campbell or Syd Fields or any of the theorists. I mean, heck, you could probably do a lot worse than to ape them but I wouldn't say anybody has to.

I'm saying I looked at this and I figured out what things are best handled as abstract game mechanics and what things are best handled as immersion based story elements. There are good reasons for both. In fact, I argue there's something very pivotal to game design that you get by having both.

You can plug in your own steps. You don't need to wrestle with the "meeting with the goddess" or "stealing the elixir." There's a larger, more general circular arc that I think can be played with. I've been toying with dumbing it down from Dan Harmon's process for writing episodes of "Community."

The whole thing forms a practical workflow that I think a senior producer might appreciate and it creates a model of workflow for players.

I will shut up for now, though, because if I go any deeper, I'd technically need permission from Cryptic to deliver my own ideas at an academic conference I'm going to this fall because of the way forum rules work. (Ie. you post it here, they own it.)
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# 19
05-31-2012, 10:36 PM
Still a good idea though.
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# 20
05-31-2012, 10:54 PM
*scraches head* Ok, its 6:50 am here and my coffee have not yet shown effect, so have patience if the following I write is big BS:

The second part of that system; that when the crafted something sends you on a mission glued together of random elements sounds like what we already have with the exploration system.
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