A Tentative Plan, by Zach Tomaszewski
for ICS 699, Fall 2005, directed by Dr. Kim Binsted
Proposed Tasks (Order may change)
Dates are fictional (when things could or even should have happened).
- 29 Aug: Getting organized.
- 05 Sept: Grasbon and Braun: GEIST.
- 12 Sept, 19 Sept: V. Propp's Morphology of the Folktale
- 26 Sept: "Proppian" projects review
- 03 Oct, 10 Oct: J. Murray's Hamlet on the Holodeck
- 17 Oct: Project/Framework discussion.
- Oct 24: Joseph Bates, et al.: OZ Project
- Oct 31, Nov 7: Mateas and Stern: Facade.
- Nov 14: Chris Crawford: Erasmatron
- Nov 21: Nikitas Sgouros: DEFACTO project
- Nov 28: Nicolas Szilas: IDtension
- Dec 05: Synthesis
- Barbara Hayes-Roth. Improvisational puppets, world-models, AI.
- (P. Sengers. Narrative Intelligence)
- Fairclough and Cunningham's OPIATE project
- Modern game review
- Messing with narration rules--changing narrators (Illuminatus), or breaking expectations (3rd person story about wizard that never mentions gender until the end). Done well, requires the reader to back up or even completely reread to see how it was done, that there were no cheats.
- Idea: Starting with all the traditional features of a book, violate them. Traditional features include:
From this, interesting violations come to mind:
- words, sentences, paragraphs, chapters
- pages (usually numbered), fonts, margins
- footnotes, citations, appendices
- contents, index
- illustrations, (pop-ups)
- cover (including blurbs, summary, commentary, author bio, cover art)
- paper quality, weight, thickness, smell, condition/wear
- linear (start at page one, carry on from there)
- read once/static in time (when you read the same page again, it hasn't changed since the first time)
- Discourse can be paused (put the book down and come back later to the same story at same point)
Some of these have surely already been done (Choose Your Own Adventure, retelling of stories from different angles, admitting pluralities and possible story branches). But mostly only in stretching traditional boundaries and norms. With IN, we could perhaps actually break them, only hinting that we will follow traditional formats, but using the new medium to greater advantage.
- Minor details of past pages are no longer the same when flipping back. Probably brought to attention by current action refering to past events.
- Whole chapters have changed, including page numbers, etc. [Perhaps chapter-size functions have had their particular instantiating scenes swapped out.]
- Reading forward after flipping back may not take you down the same road again. [Reader bring hero to death by continuing to read rather than turning back to find alternate path.]
- Cover changes to reflect gradual changes in genre, etc. [Bodice-ripping couple's costumes slowly change; man grows more sinister, etc.]
- Style changes. More and more pictures, becomes graphic novel, becomes pop-up book.
- No guarantees the story won't end because you've still got half the book to go. That could change in an instant--book length fluctuates as highest potential outcome.
- Contingency planning. Story generation gives best/intended story, but user changes/interaction prompts contingency planning to determine alternative routes without compromising established context/history.
- Idea: A recalcitrant hero. Propp points out that the hero actually performs very few functions. Even E (responding to donor) can be done by helper. Leaves C (only for seeker heros) and W (which still is passive/reward). Perhaps hero is dragged along by force of story and other characters. Could be very fun if done right. Perhaps would fit with Kaveh's "fractured quest" ideas.
- Everything is Illuminated, Life of Pi -- playing with narration, unreliable narrators, extra-narrative details, changing genre (meta-narrative).
- Few women in improv because women tend to be more aware of their physical state/appearance at any given moment (greater filtering/blocking)?