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David A Graves

Apr 3, 1992, 8:19:05 PM4/3/92
Rec.arts.int-fiction is a newsgroup for discussion of interactive fiction
(IF). We do talk about adventure games here, but the discussions are from the
viewpoint of "the advancement of Interactive Fiction". Discussions range from
Adventure games and Interactive Fantasy to Hypertext, with emphasis on the
development of IF as a new literary genre and/or a new form of computer-based

Please don't post questions about adventure game puzzles to this notes group,
as it was set up only for discussions of the development of the IF genre.
Please post your queries about specific Adventure game puzzles only to
rec.games.misc, where they are more likely to get a favorable response.
Discussions of MUDs (multi-user domains) belong on rec.games.mud.

Some recommended background reading on interactive fiction includes:

Laurel, Brenda. "Towards the Design of a Computer-based Interactive Fantasy
System" (Ohio State University 1986) See also her "Computers as Theatre"
(1991, Addison-Wesley Publishing Co, ISBN 0-201-51048-0). This book extends
the work that Laurel began in her PhD dissertation.

Meehan, James. "The Metanovel: Writing Stories by Computer" (Yale 1976)
Meehan used the natural language technology of Roger Schank's Yale group
to construct some primitive Aesop's fables.

Buckles, Mary Ann. "Interactive Fiction: the Computer Storygame
'Adventure'" (University of California at San Diego, 1985)

These three are PhD dissertations available for ~$50 each from University
Microfilms 800-521-0600. Inter-library loan might work, too.

The following are also recommended:

Lebowitz, Michael. "Creating Characters in a Story-Telling Universe"
Poetics, 13, 171-194. (1984)

Thurber, Macy & Pope. "The Book, the Computer and the Humanities"
(Aug '91 issue of T.H.E. Journal (Technology in Higher Education)
Discusses a project to foster critical thinking using a computer with
hypertext and interactive elements becomes a humanistic new medium.

Classics on the analysis of plots:

Polti, Georges. "The Thiry-Six Dramatic Situations" (1916). Boston: The
Writer, Inc. 617-423-3157. ~$10. This is really quite unique and brilliant,
identifying a truly interesting and challenging subset of story-outlines
useful in developing a plot knowledge base.

Propp, Vladimir. "Morphology of the Folk Tale" (1968). University of
Texas Press, Austin. Written about the same time as Polti's analysis.

Artcom (electronic) Magazine #43 and 44 were devoted to IF. These two
back issues are available by e-mail. Send requests to d...@cup.hp.com,
with Subject: ArtCom.

I have published a few papers on Interactive Fiction technology, which I make
available by e-mail. They are: "Second Generation Adventure Games" (which
focuses on the physical world model, parsing, text generation, and simple
agent planning), "Bringing Characters to Life" (which sumarizes the progress
in Artificial Personality over the last two decades), and "Plot Automation"
based on my presentation at the Computer Game Developer's Conference in spring
of '91. To receive all three papers, send mail to d...@cup.hp.com, with
Subject: Papers.

The Oz Project, directed by Joseph Bates at the Carnegie-Mellon School of
Computer Science is developing technology for high quality interactive
fiction. Their goal is to provide users with the experience of living in
a dramatically interesting simulated world that includes simulated people.
Their focus is on the simulations behind the interface, which they call
the deep structure of virtual reality.

If you are interested in Artificial Life you can subscribe to a separate
mailing list via: alife-...@cognet.ucla.edu

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