Siboot for Storytron

Based on my recent successes with SWAT and a reinvigorated enthusiasm for storyworld development, I plan on adapting Chris’ original “Trust & Betrayal: The Legacy of Siboot” to the Storytron platform as my first project.
The original game is set on the worlds of Kira and Lamina where acolytes from seven alien races vie for the much coveted Shepherdship, a position of power and influence over both worlds. Psychic combat will determine the victor. Alliances and treachery are the modus operandi. There can be only one winner.
If you’re not familiar with Trust & Betrayal you can read about it here – I consider the game to be the grandfather of Storytron interactive entertainment. (You can download pre-Windows PC and pre-OS X Macintosh versions here if you’re interested.)
I believe an adaptation would benefit both the platform and storyworld authors. I believe audiences turned off by first-person shooters, massively multiplayer online role-playing games, or other current computer game genres would be drawn in by the richer range of dramatic interaction offered by the Storytron platform. I believe the platform itself makes it possible to supersede the original game limitations imposed by the Macintosh 512k environment. And finally, I believe by providing extreme visibility into an absolute beginners storybuilding process via this forum, others may learn from my trials, my tribulations, and my successes.The first goal of such a project would be to get a storyworld based on the original 512k design up and running. After that, enhancements could be added in order to provide a richer dramatic environment for the reader.
  • An expanded set of verbs.
  • The ability to create a richer set of interpersonal interactions in a single location (the Macintosh version only allowed one-on-one dialogues between characters).
  • The possibility of alliances between two or more characters against another character or group.
  • The acquiring, trading, bartering, and possible theft of props.
  • The ability of props to affect the eventual outcome.
  • The possibility of actual violence between characters. (How this violence affects the perpetrator and perpetratee could be a deciding factor in the tanga, katsin, and shial battles.)
  • Interaction with non-main characters who provide information that either helps or hinders in various ways. A Raskolnkov-like character wanders the landscape, a living example of someone who went too far in pursuit of a goal. Feslym’s ghost visits Vetvel to offer advice and homilies (of course, Feslym was out of his mind at the end so who’s going to believe him, right?). Maybe Siboot himself puts in an appearance to perform a bit of deux-ex-machina.
  • Additional locations beyond the main character’s houses.
  • The possible influence of Kiran and Laminian factions on the main characters and the eventual outcome.
  • The ability of one or more of the main characters to drop out of running for the Shepherdship.

This is just a quick list based on my rereading of the Siboot game manual, my replaying of the original game, and my time spent noodling around with SWAT, the tutorials, and the ChitChat and BoP2k storyworlds. I’m sure other ideas will crop up once I start actual design and development. Of course, sometimes it’s what you don’t add that makes the most impact on the final product.

After months of vacillating over whether or not to invest the time and energy in creating a Storytron storyworld, I’ve decided it’s time take the plunge and see what this technology can and cannot do. This public announcement, despite the anxiety it engenders, will help me stay the course when confronted by the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.” I don’t know if I’ll reach my original goal, but I’m confident that I can get myself to someplace strange and wonderful.

Update: I suspended development on Siboot for Storytron on December 3rd, 2010.  The video below shows its status as of that date.

This entry was posted in Side Projects and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.