Working Notes, by Zach Tomaszewski
for ICS 699, Fall 2005, directed by Dr. Kim Binsted
Chris Crawford's website: http://www.erasmatazz.com/
- Basic web stuff--personal pics, political comments, library of gaming articles, etc.
- Interest in social elements of games (related to "games for women")
- Includes Journal of Computer Game Design -> Interactive Entertainment Design articles (1987 - 1996).
- Erasmatron Design Documents (1995 - 1997)
- 2005 -- in active production (in Java).
- Built around Deikto, a Linguistic User Interface. (Looks like sentence diagrams.)
- Inverse parser (provides only those terms that make sense in the context)
- Includes a storytelling engine. Dictionary == story world.
Steele, Max. "A Conversation with Chris Crawford." The Escapist. <http://www.escapistmagazine.com/issue/12/4>
- Physics background. Worked with Atari in the mid-70s.
- Trust & Betrayal -- using AI personality as a major element of games
- Been working on interactive storytelling. Thought it'd take 2 years. It's been 12 years.
- Praises Facade, but as a small, narrowly-defined domain/experiment. But works, where "Erasmatron doesn't".
- Social interaction can't be built incrementally; need complete system. "I want to bring the whole set of human behaviors in at once, complete in a mathematical sense, covering all dramatically important activities. And the set must be closed, not open ended."
- "My first solution with Erasmatron was inadequate. I asked too much of storybuilders. The solution I have now is to create a language, 'Deikto.' It's a small language that has only around a thousand words, it's very skeletal. But it permits you to do anything, describe any human behavior."
Like a Wise Hermit--outside the system; madness or genius? More of a nitty-gritty, real-world, practical approach--in the long run, probably more useful to industry. Try his games, and read his books: Art of Computer Game Design (and the 2nd ed, Chris Crawford on Game Design), and, most important, CC on Interactive Storytelling (which seems to lay out the Erasmatron4 theoretical framework).