Tale of Tales

(continued from The Endless Forest)

I have to admit, I still have not yet tried playing The Endless Forest. I will eventually. But I'm writing now to talk about the authors, a team called Tale of Tales.

The Endless Forest is not their only project. They have started several other very interesting game art interactive things that are on hold at the moment. One, Drama Princess, is more of a research project into how to make AI characters that interact to create interesting stories, rather than realistic simulations.

When I found out about Drama Princess, I was really excited (and still am) because what they are doing is quite in line with my thoughts and interest in interactive stories. Probably because of my history in calculator games, I really like the idea of simplifying a complicated model so it's practical to make, by taking advantage of the brain's tendency to fill in detail. Like with graphics. Why render a whole scene pixel-by-pixel when your brain only sees a little bit of it each frame? Most of that detail is ignored anyway. Stuff like that.

So with Drama Princess, here's a quote from the About page:
"Don’t build an A.I. system when randomness is just as good.
People want to believe. They want to make sense of what they see. They automatically make up stories. We want to use this inclination in order to avoid building complex systems that will always only half-work anyway. Richness in behaviour will add more to credibility than consistency in logic."

I forget where, but somewhere on the site I seem to remember reading that they were influenced by Aristotle or someone. Because I was just reading part of Brenda Laurel's book Computers as Theatre, where she applies Aristotle's framework for understanding drama to computer applications. And in it I found this quote:
"Computer-based agents, like dramatic characters, do not have to think (in fact, there are many ways in which they cannot); they simply have to provide a representation from which thought may be inferred."

That's a great quote. And it describes exactly what Tale of Tales is trying to do with Drama Princess. Or something like it anyway. :p

I am also looking forward to participating in their forums, particularly the game design forums. It looks more promising than the GameDev boards. :D Smaller, but a lot of interesting ideas. Here's a nice thread on interactive storytelling I just read. Cool!

And if you need something to read, you could check out their Realtime Art Manifesto. I haven't finished reading it yet, but it looks good so far.

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