[Seattle IF: 270] Pax Panel Thoughts

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Apr 30, 2010, 8:15:59 PM4/30/10
to Seattle IF
I thought I'd post a couple of (overlapping and undeveloped)
categories of IF-related discussion topics. These may or may not work
on a panel. This is mainly just a regurgitation of stuff I've heard
about/read about before, but I thought I'd get a thread going with
some ideas.

IF as Medium
Strengths (Weaknesses) vs Graphical Games
Freedom in IF (freedom of action, freedom of author, freeness of
History of IF -> Current IF (The evolution of game style and player

IF Design
Rewarding the player - Score, Money, Plot Info, Understood Actions,
What makes a good story -> What makes a good story become good IF (or
a good game in general)
CYOA-Style vs Exploration-Style

IF Authoring
Available Tools (Ease of use - bridging the gap between author and
Ways to Author - Transcript, Map-based, Scene-based, Collaborative

IF Elements
PC - Stereotypes, Range of Action, PC/Player Information
NPCs - Interaction with, AI of, Role in the Story, What makes a good/
bad one -> Conversation in IF (menus, ask/tell, topics)
Settings - Overused/Underused, Suited to IF
Puzzles - What makes a good puzzle, incorporating them into the game,
Puzzle-less IF Pros and Cons

IF Games
Disection of a particular game: eg Alabaster(Dialogue-heavy
collaborative) / Curses (Puzzle-fest) / Violet (Depth vs Breadth)
The Best IF Games - Which and Why
Game archtypes

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George Oliver

May 1, 2010, 12:11:23 PM5/1/10
to seatt...@googlegroups.com
On 4/30/2010 5:15 PM, eddi wrote:
> IF as Medium
> Strengths (Weaknesses) vs Graphical Games
> What makes a good story -> What makes a good story become good IF (or
> a good game in general)

> IF Authoring
> Available Tools (Ease of use - bridging the gap between author and
> programmer)
> Ways to Author - Transcript, Map-based, Scene-based, Collaborative
> The Best IF Games - Which and Why

Good ideas Adrienne, summarizing the above, these are what I think would
fit best on a panel for PAX:

* IF vs. graphical games (maybe too blatant, but whatever)
* What makes a good story become a good game (good for Foolscap too --
I'm not wording that quite right though)
* Ways to author IF
* The Best iF Games -- which, why

Also the Boston PAX panel is a good starting point -- from IFwiki:


Storytelling in the world of interactive fiction
(Friday, March 26th, 5:30pm-6:30pm, Wyvern Theatre (312))

Text adventures have been quietly experimenting with narrative gaming
for thirty years. Five authors from the amateur interactive fiction
community discuss the design ideas in their games -- reordered
storylines, unreliable narrators, deeply responsive NPCs -- and how they
apply to other kinds of games. (J. Robinson Wheeler (mod.), Robb
Sherwin, Aaron Reed, Emily Short, Andrew Plotkin)"

Also a note about scheduling -- looking back at the Boston PAX, the IF
stuff was organized Nov-December, with panel ideas submitted in early
December. If we are to roughly parallel that we're on track to submit
panel ideas no later than June 1st, though earlier would be better,
since PAX Prime falls earlier in the month than PAX Boston did. The PAX
deadline is June 26th.

best, GO

Adrienne Mueller

Jun 1, 2010, 12:45:32 PM6/1/10
to seatt...@googlegroups.com
Potentially less IF-centric ideas:

Multi-path plots. (A lot of people seem to feel this is easier to do
in IF than in graphical games - which I'm not sure I believe.)

More generally - strengths/weaknesses of developing IF compared to
graphical games

The blank-slate PC - I've seen a lot of talk about this recently - in
blogs and in game-reviews. I think you find them both in IF and
elsewhere. Although in other games, at least RPGs, you get to
customise your characters stats, which gives them at least some
dimensionality. But I guess that could be independent of the PC's
personality. Speaking of RPGs, there's also the Chosen One archtype -
which you definitely see less of in IF. Probably because Chosen Ones
often have to fight bad guys and fighting could be hard to do well in
a story-based system. Anyway, this might lead on to...

Types of tales told in graphical games vs IF (It would be nice if I
could do something other than contrast, wouldn't it.)

I think the conversation thing is still valid here. Whether it's
spoken or written, generating interesting and immersive dialogue is a
challenge most games face.

General game design concepts: Pacing, Side-quests, Reward - these all
seem less interesting. Maybe pacing isn't - scenes vs levels,
plot-arcs, etc.

I think we're hoping to submit our panel ideas pretty soon, so the
more input the better O hive-mind...

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