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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2005 11:04 pm    Post subject: The City of IF Story Part V Reply with quote

Latest installment of the history of the City posted here.

Comments welcome, as always.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2005 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's funny, I thought I read over and over that it was going to be a five-parter. Someone needs to learn to pay better attention...

Writing is definitely a calling for me. I've been wanting to be a writer since before I could read. I just found my voice in September of last year, though, so I haven't done much yet. I can't promise regular posts, since I don't know when I'll be inspired or have the time. Once a week is a nice thought. I've decided to set Mondays aside for writing.

I like to draw, it's my main job at the moment. I can see making pictures, or more likely, pixel dolls of my characters but I really am not that interested in making backgrounds.

As for handing my stuff over to a director, it's a nice theory. I'm VERY protective of my work, although I don't know much about plot. I would really have to trust the director to go along with that. It would be good practice for those who want to write films. Very Happy

I look forward to participating in an interlocking storygame, and I really like your suggestions for a real-time storygame. I would definitely participate in the chat ones if all of those features were implemented. Otherwise, there are reasons I like message boards better than chatting. Chatting feels like throway words. Nothing sticks, and nothing matters. People don't take care with what they say because it'll be gone in a few seconds. But I like the idea of having the author's stuff seperate, the polls seperate. Makes it less chaotic.

I do believe that the player's choices add something that the author couldn't create themself. I've done custom graphics for a couple of years. A lot of times, not only is the custom stuff my best work, but it's something I wouldn't have thought myself. I like that suggestions or changes from what you would have done on your own, would lead to the author feeling out of control. It shakes the complacency of knowing what is going to happen. A lot of times I get stuck because I know what is going to happen and I wonder why I should bother writing it. But writing from suggestions keeps it fresh and surprisng, even to the author. Loose ends don't bother me in this case, it just keeps it more realistic. Real life rarely has nice neat ends to things.

I like your vision for the future of 2015. I wonder how many "Jacks" will want to come home and get to readin', but I would have loved it when I was in junior high or high school. I am a long-time book freak.

Is Hana real? I'm new here, so I don't know, but it sounds fascinating. I would totally sign up for that one. Very Happy

I really do dig your vision for the future, but I'm glad to be a part of it now, too. I read all the previous parts of the story last night, but I like this one the best. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome Merilly, Smile

Great chapter Key. I've been looking forward to this one since the series came out - although they have all been fascinating.

You have some fantastic plans for the future - the chat system with each of the important aspects broken out would work wonderfully - especially with a voting window - allowing quick votes where you could almost watch the bars rising with votes as the seconds pass.

The vision including Jack sounds stunning - it never occured to me the idea of premium storygames - more commitment from the author/director for a small fee.

I look forward to the next installment to see what niche I can slip into over the next 10 years. Very Happy

Happy Writing. Smile
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting vision you shared. I have had many of the same ideas cross my mind, since joining in the activities here at IF. I want to see the site grow, with not only new authors, but also enthusiastic readers and players. As Iíve said before, both writers and players are required to make the storygame work.

With the Honors section and the promotional titles based on numbers of posts, authors are recognized on the site for contributions. I wonder if there could be some sort of site Honor to recognize players, other than titles based on post count? Another Honor that would be nice (although once again recognizing authors) is an award for a storychat author. Those games are challenging to write, but Iím straying off topic here. (Since Iíve already went OT, might as well add in that a sub-forum in the Open forum or City Auditorium-if possible, or an Archive of the past storychats would be nice. Save those games for reference and continued enjoyment.)

Private chat would also be a great bonus, where authors could chat in real time about interlocking storygames, here on site. Communication between the three authors for BttE at this point must take place through PM, unless whatever is being discussed can be made public on the forums or in chat history.

Book spin-offs are a proven possibility with the publication of The Archerís Flight. Reworking the writing for publication seems prudent, but despite the dynamic nature of the plot I think most storygames that see completion eventually blend together the fluid storyline in a pleasing manner. Successful novels promoting the site will draw more members, especially those stories that might generate more than one book, like the stories set on the Wheel. Readers that enjoy the story, will be enticed by the prospect of contributing to the next book.

How would authors of premium storygames receive compensation? Would compensation be based on the numbers of readers that they attract, or based on a contractual obligation to write a certain amount at a certain standard? Just curious as to what you envision for that area.

*Once again peers warily around for signs of SchoolMarm! before quietly whipering to Key*

Technicalities:


Quote:
storygame play:The more players (need a space between play: and The)

More members means more authors (more members mean more authors)

with more than five to ten players it quickly becomes impossible for an author to (missing word)

player's votes (playersí votes- we have many players voting individually, not one player voting multiple times)

The genre, format, and frequency of play is shown next to each storygame (are shown)

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2005 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"It's so crazy, it just might work!"

Very nice installment, Key. I like that you're thinking big, and that you see it developing along the lines of other collaborative entertainments, movies and video games, as opposed to conventional books. I think that's right.

You put a nice face on the biggest obstacle ahead of you, but it's clear that you recognize it: the shelf-life problem. It's not obvious to me that the simple text of a completed storygame will even find much of a niche audience. Stripped of the decision-point discussion and context, I just don't see novelized storygames competing with books or movies created from a cohesive unified vision. There are plenty of conventional narratives with twisty plots and loose ends - I'm reading Infinite Jest and I just saw "I ♥ Huckabees" last night, to name two examples off the top of my head.

But then, why would the product of the future City of IF be a conventional bound book? Why wouldn't it be an electronic book with hyperlinks to the discussions and decisions that happened along the way? Take as your model the Talmud, where the commentaries and discussions are tremendously longer than the original text.

Merilly Dayzed wrote:
Is Hana real? I'm new here, so I don't know, but it sounds fascinating.


Key's coy (say that ten times fast), but I'm not. Smile 'Hana' is real, Merilly, but not part of the City: it was an RPG campaign that Key conceived and ran about 10 years ago. I was Gullixson. What's interesting (to me) about this example is that it points out a drawback (or 'dragon') of tabletop roleplaying, one that's related to Key's "dependency on players" dragon.

Key wrote:
...character-defining issues such as whether or not to leave the other soldiers and live among the plants and animals


In my experience, it's very rare for groups to splinter or separate in tabletop RPGs. It's a logistical problem: once they split up, the players are now in 2 different games that have to be run separately. They're not playing together anymore. When I made the (very much in-character) decision to leave the rest of the group, it caused Key in particular a lot of headaches: we had to meet separately from the rest of the group a couple of times, and we had to find a way to get the group reunited, a meta-goal that interfered with pure in-character roleplaying.

It's a problem that's solved by simulations, and it won't even come up in storygaming. But in tabletop RPGs, players have to bend over backwards to stay together, even if it doesn't make sense for their characters. I don't agree with Key about a number of the other dragons (see my response to Installment 1), but this is a big one.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2005 12:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fascinating.

- Shortest post ever Dept.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2005 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Key wrote:
...it's also easy to see how much better they can become...

Improving the Writing


Doctor Keavney, are you trying to seduce me? Shocked :wink:
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lots of great comments. Thanks for the feedback and discussion. Let me respond:

Merilly Dayzed wrote:
That's funny, I thought I read over and over that it was going to be a five-parter. Someone needs to learn to pay better attention...

Um, well, actually, I might have said over and over that it was going to be a five-parter.

Merilly Dayzed wrote:
Writing is definitely a calling for me. I've been wanting to be a writer since before I could read. I just found my voice in September of last year, though, so I haven't done much yet. I can't promise regular posts, since I don't know when I'll be inspired or have the time. Once a week is a nice thought. I've decided to set Mondays aside for writing.

I like to draw, it's my main job at the moment. I can see making pictures, or more likely, pixel dolls of my characters but I really am not that interested in making backgrounds.

That's great that you're into both writing and graphics. It will be good to see storygames that combine the two.

Merilly Dayzed wrote:
As for handing my stuff over to a director, it's a nice theory. I'm VERY protective of my work, although I don't know much about plot. I would really have to trust the director to go along with that. It would be good practice for those who want to write films. Very Happy

Well, I was just speculating; we might not have that division of responsibility. But even if we do, different roles don't necessarily mean different people. Even in film, there are writer-directors.

Merilly Dayzed wrote:
I would definitely participate in the chat ones if all of those features were implemented. Otherwise, there are reasons I like message boards better than chatting. Chatting feels like throway words. Nothing sticks, and nothing matters. People don't take care with what they say because it'll be gone in a few seconds.

I can see that chat storygaming has its own drawbacks as well as advantages. It may be that we have several viable storygame forms that appeal to different people.

Merilly Dayzed wrote:
I really do dig your vision for the future, but I'm glad to be a part of it now, too. I read all the previous parts of the story last night, but I like this one the best. Very Happy

Thanks. Welcome again to the City! Very Happy

Smee wrote:
The chat system with each of the important aspects broken out would work wonderfully - especially with a voting window - allowing quick votes where you could almost watch the bars rising with votes as the seconds pass.

Yes, exactly! Those kinds of real-time effects would make things exciting, and make people feel like they're part of a group.

ethereal_fauna wrote:
I wonder if there could be some sort of site Honor to recognize players, other than titles based on post count?

I think that's good if we can come up with something. Eventually I'd like to count votes, but the software doesn't do that now. Any other ideas?

ethereal_fauna wrote:
Another Honor that would be nice (although once again recognizing authors) is an award for a storychat author. Those games are challenging to write, but Iím straying off topic here. (Since Iíve already went OT, might as well add in that a sub-forum in the Open forum or City Auditorium-if possible, or an Archive of the past storychats would be nice. Save those games for reference and continued enjoyment.)

I think evilhomer is going to keep track of the storychats in the Auditorium from now on. As far as awarding honors for them, that's food for thought.

ethereal_fauna wrote:
Private chat would also be a great bonus, where authors could chat in real time about interlocking storygames, here on site. Communication between the three authors for BttE at this point must take place through PM, unless whatever is being discussed can be made public on the forums or in chat history.

You know, I never thought about the chat history problem. It's possible to create other chat rooms. I can't restrict access, but it would be effectively private if the URL was not widely shared. Private forums are easier, though. If you or anyone else wants a private forum, just PM me. I can restrict by group or by a set of named people.

ethereal_fauna wrote:
How would authors of premium storygames receive compensation? Would compensation be based on the numbers of readers that they attract, or based on a contractual obligation to write a certain amount at a certain standard? Just curious as to what you envision for that area.

Could be either way, I'm not set on anything. It might be different for different author; I'd imagine that an author who had spent a long time at the site might be more willing to take a risk and go for a share of revenues, while someone who was new to storygaming might prefer a set amount.

ethereal_fauna wrote:
Technicalities:

Thanks. Fixed everything except:

ethereal_fauna wrote:
More members means more authors (more members mean more authors)

I'm not sure about this one. It seems to me that the subject of "means" is not "members," but the unstated gerund, "having," which would take a singular verb.

SchoolMarm! wrote:
Key wrote:
...it's also easy to see how much better they can become...

Improving the Writing


Doctor Keavney, are you trying to seduce me? Shocked :wink:

No, I'm trying to put you out of a job. :wink: But that's not likely to happen anytime soon. You see how we still need your help: is it "More members means" or "More members mean?" (and should that question mark go inside or outside the quotes? I think you were about to teach us that in your last lesson :wink:)

The Powers That Be wrote:
You put a nice face on the biggest obstacle ahead of you, but it's clear that you recognize it: the shelf-life problem. It's not obvious to me that the simple text of a completed storygame will even find much of a niche audience. Stripped of the decision-point discussion and context, I just don't see novelized storygames competing with books or movies created from a cohesive unified vision. There are plenty of conventional narratives with twisty plots and loose ends - I'm reading Infinite Jest and I just saw "I ? Huckabees" last night, to name two examples off the top of my head.

Well, the spin-offs are an extra. If they work, then so much the better. If not, then they might still be worth doing to create interest in the storygames as Fauna suggests. But whether or not we put out books, the storygames will have to be the main thing.

The Powers That Be wrote:
But then, why would the product of the future City of IF be a conventional bound book? Why wouldn't it be an electronic book with hyperlinks to the discussions and decisions that happened along the way? Take as your model the Talmud, where the commentaries and discussions are tremendously longer than the original text.

Hmm...that's an interesting idea. I hadn't considered the possibility that the storygames might live on in that way even after they're done. That possibility puts a lot of pressure on the storygame creators, though, not just to create something that will work for the next chapter, but something that can stand the test of time.

The Powers That Be wrote:
Merilly Dayzed wrote:
Is Hana real? I'm new here, so I don't know, but it sounds fascinating.


Key's coy (say that ten times fast), but I'm not. 'Hana' is real, Merilly, but not part of the City: it was an RPG campaign that Key conceived and ran about 10 years ago.

Yes, it was the last campaign I ran, which I alluded to in the first part of the history. Here I'm just using it as an example, but depending on how the interlocking storygaming turns out, I might recreate Hana in storygame form. Its premise is well-suited to multiple stories going on at the same time.

The Powers That Be wrote:
In my experience, it's very rare for groups to splinter or separate in tabletop RPGs. It's a logistical problem: once they split up, the players are now in 2 different games that have to be run separately. ...It's a problem that's solved by simulations, and it won't even come up in storygaming. But in tabletop RPGs, players have to bend over backwards to stay together, even if it doesn't make sense for their characters.

True. Of course, interlocking storygames have the opposite problem: they get hard to run when the characters are together. Even having just two characters whose decisions depend on each other can slow things down (e.g. in recent chapters of The Ram and The Fish That Walked). Playing four or five characters in conversation, which happens all the time in rpgs, would be impossible in storygaming. So that imposes a limitation on the kinds of stories that can be told in an interlocking storygame.

But I actually don't think it's that big a deal. I think the situation in rpgs, with different characters travelling together all the time and collectively making decisions, is more artificial from a purely storytelling point of view than having the characters wander off on their own in the same world. Each major character really deserves his or her own story. And that may involve some interaction with the other characters, but there's no reason why it has to mean going on the same quest together as a "party."
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Last edited by Key on Thu Jul 07, 2005 11:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2005 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Key wrote:
Hmm...that's an interesting idea. I hadn't considered the possibility that the storygames might live on in that way even after they're done. That possibility puts a lot of pressure on the storygame creators, though, not just to create something that will work for the next chapter, but something that can stand the test of time.

Creating something that can 'stand the test of time' wouldn't be such a bad thing. I would adore having people continue to read my story even once the gaming aspect is completed.
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