Multiplayer CYOA design?

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Philipp Lenssen

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Jan 25, 2002, 7:27:46 AM1/25/02
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How do you think Choose-Your-Own-Adventure games could be combined with a
multiplayer environment?
Does it make sense?
What are the implications?
How could the game play work?

(I'm trying to think about this for QML at http://questml.com , but it seems
to be a very general question, independent of the technical implementation.)


Georgina Bensley

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Jan 25, 2002, 8:41:15 AM1/25/02
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I've been told that there were multiplayer CYOA *books* at some point,
although I never saw them myself... I forget the details, but someone in
here probably knows... some kind of RPG-exploration thing and when you
reached certain areas you exchanged codes with the other player to find
out if you were in the same place or not, and if you were, different
things happened...

It would seem to be much easier with a computer than with books!

__________________________________________________________________

Duke University Role-playing And Gaming Organization
http://www.duke.edu/web/DRAGO/

Stephen Bond

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Jan 25, 2002, 9:09:47 AM1/25/02
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Georgina Bensley wrote:

> I've been told that there were multiplayer CYOA *books* at some point,
> although I never saw them myself... I forget the details, but someone in
> here probably knows... some kind of RPG-exploration thing and when you
> reached certain areas you exchanged codes with the other player to find
> out if you were in the same place or not, and if you were, different
> things happened...

Puffin's Fighting Fantasy series had a multiplayer CYOA gamebook set
called 'Clash of the Princes'. There were two books in the set; one
for a wizard player, the other for a warrior. They worked
pretty much like ordinary gamebooks, except that every so often you
were asked to stop and compare your position with the other player.
Never played them myself so I'm not sure how well this idea worked in
practice, though I can imagine things got a bit boring for the faster
reader.

There was also a pair of multiplayer books from the publishers of
Lone Wolf. If I remember correctly, the books had no text and instead
every page had a picture of a different room in a dungeon. Sort of
like Quake in book form.

Stephen.
www.maths.tcd.ie/~bonds/

Dave Holland

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Jan 25, 2002, 9:19:54 AM1/25/02
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Stephen Bond <ste...@sonycom.com> wrote:
>Puffin's Fighting Fantasy series had a multiplayer CYOA gamebook set
>called 'Clash of the Princes'. [...] They worked
>pretty much like ordinary gamebooks, except that every so often you
>were asked to stop and compare your position with the other player.

I have a copy. The books save the game "state" by giving each player
codewords at various points. Then every so often, you get "if you have
codeword BANANA and the other player has codeword FISHCAKE, both turn to
page 499", etc. It works quite well, and you can choose to play
cooperatively or competitively, at least at the start. I think the
end-game was always competitive, but I haven't played them in a long
time.

>Never played them myself so I'm not sure how well this idea worked in
>practice, though I can imagine things got a bit boring for the faster
>reader.

Yes. Occasionally you have to wait for the other player to get to a
particular point in their book (and so get a particular codeword). An
ideal point to go and put the kettle on. :-)

Dave

Philipp Lenssen

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Jan 25, 2002, 9:53:15 AM1/25/02
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Just thinking about an alternative mode: a party of say up to 5 players is
assembled, who all share the position/ current station. Each new choice is
made by a democratic vote.
And maybe there's a group order; the higher in the hierarchy a player is
(like, a player is leading the group, taking up a front position), the more
his vote will count, but also the easier it is for him to be attacked in a
battle situation.

Could that be fun?


Philipp Lenssen

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Jan 25, 2002, 9:44:14 AM1/25/02
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"Dave Holland" <da...@biff.org.uk> wrote in message
news:eQd48.23022$ka7.3...@news6-win.server.ntlworld.com...

> Stephen Bond <ste...@sonycom.com> wrote:
> >Puffin's Fighting Fantasy series had a multiplayer CYOA gamebook set
> >called 'Clash of the Princes'. [...] They worked
> >pretty much like ordinary gamebooks, except that every so often you
> >were asked to stop and compare your position with the other player.
>
> I have a copy. The books save the game "state" by giving each player
> codewords at various points. Then every so often, you get "if you have
> codeword BANANA and the other player has codeword FISHCAKE, both turn to
> page 499", etc. It works quite well, and you can choose to play
> cooperatively or competitively, at least at the start. I think the
> end-game was always competitive, but I haven't played them in a long
> time.
>

Do you have one or more examples of what happens here, story-wise?
What happened, where is each player before, why do they get together, and
how do they part?
Do they exchange money or objects, are they supposed to chat (this seems to
be easier in a real-world/ book-based implementation!), do they battle?

I already realize that if both players would go through different stories
that just had some connection ponts, there'd be no problem of vanishing
object; e.g. oops, the unique ruby sword is taken by another player, you
won't be able to finish this game... or oops, there's an unlimited amount of
unique ruby swords here in the secret chamber...

(Related note: Since I'm thinking about a digital variant, all states/
position information would be handled in the background without the player
having to care about it.)


Tim Holt

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Jan 25, 2002, 11:34:58 AM1/25/02
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Question: are we talking online and networked players or are we talking
multiple players in the same room?

Supposing online, I can imagine several issues...
Communications between players
- Can they only talk if in the same room?
- Can you give them all "cell phones" and let them talk to
each other at any time? "Hey, it's Sarah. I'm in the
Hall of the Mountain King and need the bird, can someone
bring it here?"
Synchronization of events and items
- It would probably require a central "server" that maintains
the state of the game.
- Keeps track of who is where, who is carrying what, and what
the state of things is.
- Handles contention issues when two people are in the same
room and try to do the same event.
Cool puzzle ideas
- Activation of something at point A makes something happen at
point B. One player at each spot, and they coordinate their
actions.
- etc.
Cool story ideas
- You are a group trying to solve a crime in a town. You can
either travel together, or go out and investigate different
clues. Perhaps NPCs react differently depending on the number
of players. IE, suspects are more timid when all are present.
Suspects may attempt to run if confronted by only one player.
- One of you is the prey, and the rest of you are the hunters.
NPCs may (or may not) help either side. "Yea, I saw him. He
ran by here about 10 minutes ago!" or "Psst! Hide in here!"

Philipp Lenssen

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Jan 25, 2002, 1:35:48 PM1/25/02
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"Tim Holt" <ho...@nacse.org> wrote in message
news:3C518932...@nacse.org...

> Question: are we talking online and networked players or are we talking
> multiple players in the same room?
>

They are networked players. Additionally, they *could* be in the same room
(like a bar, where they all somehow have access to the online quest).

> Supposing online, I can imagine several issues...
> Communications between players
> - Can they only talk if in the same room?

If we talk about QML; it has only "stations", which can be a room, a
description of an event, etc.
It does make sense in QML to use grouped stations, like "tavern counter",
"tavern front door". (This way one can already script other characters using
station inclusions, like <include><in station="tavern*"></station>)

> - Can you give them all "cell phones" and let them talk to
> each other at any time? "Hey, it's Sarah. I'm in the
> Hall of the Mountain King and need the bird, can someone
> bring it here?"

Interesting; a seperate, independent chat system. I didn't think of that but
it'd be a lot easier to implement.

> Synchronization of events and items
> - It would probably require a central "server" that maintains
> the state of the game.

Yes, that'd be the case (if we're talking about a QML implementation).

> - Keeps track of who is where, who is carrying what, and what
> the state of things is.

Yes.

> - Handles contention issues when two people are in the same
> room and try to do the same event.

And here, trouble could start...

>..


> Cool story ideas
> - You are a group trying to solve a crime in a town. You can
> either travel together, or go out and investigate different
> clues.

So they could work with each other, instead of against each other.

> Perhaps NPCs react differently depending on the number
> of players. IE, suspects are more timid when all are present.
> Suspects may attempt to run if confronted by only one player.

Interesting... and relatively easy to implement, for both developer and
quest author.

Thanks for your thoughts!


Branko Collin

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Jan 25, 2002, 9:40:35 PM1/25/02
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"Philipp Lenssen" <ph...@mrinfo.de>, you wrote on Fri, 25 Jan 2002
13:27:46 +0100:

I can imagine a Scruples or Friends Game type of game, where you have
to predict the choice the other party is going to make. I am too
sleepy now to to imagine the type of reward you'd get, but if you had
a moral dilemma type of game, you could then explore more
questions/situations that are a logic extension of the previous
questions/situations, the answers predicted and the answers actually
given.

--
branko collin
Volk van San Theodoros, ik heb U begrepen.

Edan Harel

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Jan 25, 2002, 10:51:19 PM1/25/02
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Philipp Lenssen (ph...@mrinfo.de) wrote:
: How do you think Choose-Your-Own-Adventure games could be combined with a

: multiplayer environment?
: Does it make sense?
: What are the implications?
: How could the game play work?

There are at least 3 CYOA-like games I can think of that are multiplayer:

- There was a set of books that came in pairs that were CYOA/fighting fantasy
like (I think they were called Sorcery! or something). Two players would each
take one of the two books taking control of different characters. I managed
to find one of these books at a used book store (making it unplayable, but
interesting to examine).

- Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective (on which the pc games were based on)
allowed for any number of "detectives" to try and solve various mystery cases.
IIRC, players would go to various places through london (via a map with
different locations marked). Travelling to a site would send players to
reading passages (with choices on certain passages). Players could go together
in groups to the same place, or work seperately and share information when the
players are back at the same location.

-Star Saga and Star Saga 2. This was the first two of a computer game trilogy
(the third was never published, as far as I know). The game came with a
small computer program, about 1000+ page worths of manuals with CYOA
passages, and a large map of space (planets, stars, etc). Each player
played a different character (I think there were 6 (maybe 8?) possible
characters, so you could play with 1-6 players, each with a different
character. Each character would have their own set of goals [Say, trying to
smuggle something to a different planet, or finding your father, etc] (though
as the game wore on, the goals would converge towards the finale). Players
would travel from planet to planet in there own space ships doing
mini-adventures on each planet, along with trading, etc. the computer program
was only there to maintain the information,maintaining inventories, telling
players what section to read next. When players were in the same planet
system, they could talk and trade stuff from their inventories.

: (I'm trying to think about this for QML at http://questml.com , but it seems


: to be a very general question, independent of the technical implementation.)

--
-- Edan Harel

ems...@mindspring.com

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Jan 25, 2002, 11:14:44 PM1/25/02
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Georgina Bensley <ge...@duke.edu> wrote in message news:<Pine.GSO.4.44.020125...@teer10.acpub.duke.edu>...
> I've been told that there were multiplayer CYOA *books* at some point,
> although I never saw them myself... I forget the details, but someone in
> here probably knows... some kind of RPG-exploration thing and when you
> reached certain areas you exchanged codes with the other player to find
> out if you were in the same place or not, and if you were, different
> things happened...
>
> It would seem to be much easier with a computer than with books!

There was also a great flying-ace game called Ace of Aces, played with
two booklets. You turned to a page, which showed you the view from
your cockpit; you and your opponent simultaneously picked a maneuver,
looked up the combination on a chart, and turned to new pages that
reflected your new relative positions.

Pretty much purely graphical/locational, though, so the connection to
IF is perhaps slim.

ES

Franco

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Jan 26, 2002, 3:55:19 PM1/26/02
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Posting on top:

Someone mentioned in this thread that some of the Lone Wolf CYOA books
were multi-player.

There are some Lone Wolf books available online at this site:

http://www.lw-oasis.org/aon/view.htm

I have not checked if any of these are multi-player, but those
interested might want to have a look.


ed...@orac.cc.columbia.edu (Edan Harel) wrote in message news:<a2t93n$cnp$1...@newsmaster.cc.columbia.edu>...

Mark J. Tilford

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Jan 26, 2002, 9:50:32 PM1/26/02
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On 26 Jan 2002 03:51:19 GMT, Edan Harel <ed...@orac.cc.columbia.edu> wrote:
>Philipp Lenssen (ph...@mrinfo.de) wrote:
>: How do you think Choose-Your-Own-Adventure games could be combined with a
>: multiplayer environment?
>: Does it make sense?
>: What are the implications?
>: How could the game play work?
>
>There are at least 3 CYOA-like games I can think of that are multiplayer:
>
>- There was a set of books that came in pairs that were CYOA/fighting fantasy
>like (I think they were called Sorcery! or something). Two players would each
>take one of the two books taking control of different characters. I managed
>to find one of these books at a used book store (making it unplayable, but
>interesting to examine).
>

Sorcery! was a one player series. Are you thinking of 1-on-1? (See
http://www.netaxs.com/~katz/game/1on1list.htm )

>
>--
>-- Edan Harel


--
------------------------
Mark Jeffrey Tilford
til...@ugcs.caltech.edu

David Brain

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Jan 28, 2002, 8:24:00 AM1/28/02
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In article <a69830de.02012...@posting.google.com>,
ems...@mindspring.com (ems...@mindspring.com) wrote:

> > It would seem to be much easier with a computer than with books!
>
> There was also a great flying-ace game called Ace of Aces, played with
> two booklets. You turned to a page, which showed you the view from
> your cockpit; you and your opponent simultaneously picked a maneuver,
> looked up the combination on a chart, and turned to new pages that
> reflected your new relative positions.
>

I've got a cool one of those based on the Dragonriders of Pern (the
Macaffrey series).

--
David Brain
London, UK

Dave Holland

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Jan 28, 2002, 9:28:03 AM1/28/02
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Philipp Lenssen <ph...@mrinfo.de> wrote:
>Do you have one or more examples of what happens here, story-wise?
>What happened, where is each player before, why do they get together, and
>how do they part?

Unfortunately the books are either in a box in my junk room, or possibly
still at my parents' house, so I can't go and look it up. Sorry.

Dave

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