Sunday, August 14, 2016

Ruining some magic...

So after listening to Narrativefirst's 12th Podcast Episode (starting at 6.5 minutes in) I did exactly what was advised not to do. I tried to figure out what lead to this specific situation described.
What kind of choices would lead to all story points (down to the progression) being determined, except for the Judgment? And after some testing, I figured it out.

Before I get into that, I want to explain why I even tried to figure this out. I like Interactive Fiction. And I've been trying to figure out how to use Dramatica to tell stories interactively. There's been a discussion on discuss.dramatica,com about it, but I wasn't satisfied with the idea of starting new storyforms with every outlying choice and such. But what if we could use one story form that makes one argument, and only leaves the personal judgment open? The thing about the current Theory is that it doesn't tell you how the relationship ends. Whether it's happy, sad, angry... Whether the relationship is already in place at the beginning or not... whether the relationship is over at the end or not... This means that it leaves all of that open to the author. In addition it doesn't tell you how the other characters feel about each other either. Using this and a story form with an open-to-interpretation judgment... what can you do with that?

A simple example: Imagine a romantic IF where you play a student (our MC). The objective story goal is to have a great school festival. While that is going on, our MC may or may not form relationships with other students. Using our prepared story form, the different paths to however-many endings could all make the same argument for how to succeed/fail in making that great school festival, while leaving the happiness of our MC and the relationships they make dependent on the player's choices.

With that out of the way, I will now tell you what choices will determine everything but the Judgment. If you don't want the magic ruined, do not read any further.

It turns out that a Steadfast and Holistic Main Character leads to such a case. I don't know what in the software leads to this, and honestly, I don't think it really matters. But it's interesting to think about this from the point of view of making a grand argument, or as the analogy of the human mind solving an inequity.

Why would does it not matter if the holistic Main Character resolves their personal angst as long as they remain steadfast?

I don't have an answer. But I'll think about it.


  1. Do you mean that for a Steadfast, Holistic MC, the choice of Judgment(Good vs. Bad) has no effect on any other story points?