Chris discussed the possibility of open sourcing his Storytron technology during the “Why Has Phrontisterion Failed” webinar. His initial comments reminded me of the two patents that he holds pertaining to interactive storytelling – 5,604,855 and 5,805,784.
The storyline of a dynamically generated entertainment program, such as a video game, is generated using a matrix of reusable storyline fragments called substories. A set of characters that participate in the storyline is established and a set of reusable substories is defined. Each substory represents a “fragment of a story”, usually involving an action by a subject, where the subject is one of the characters.
Both patents are a unique piece of history. If you can only read one I recommend 5,805,784 since it builds on 5,604,855 (the first is a continuing patent application which pursues additional claims disclosed in the second). It’s interesting to see Chris’ initial stab at defining the components of interactive storytelling and how they’ve morphed into their present day equivalents as his thinking has evolved.
- storyline = storyworld
- substories = wordsocket verbs
- subject actions = events and plans