Trust & Betrayal: The Legacy of Crawford

Chris Crawford emailed me and two other people a proposal he has been working on regarding the next generation of software for interactive storytelling, asking for feedback. It sounds pretty similar to Storytron.


My reply.

There is already a community out there dedicated to interactive storytelling (I met many of the them two weeks ago at NarraScope). This group has created many tools over the years, tools that Storytron could learn from. The code for many of them is available. Some, like Twine, are already open source while others, like Inform 7, soon will be.

I have no faith in the waterfall, top-down approach that you are proposing, especially with you in charge. Your attitude of “I will write,” “I shall require,” and “I will not authorize” is the antithesis of open source (but it does not surprise me). You might attract a younger following based on past history and charisma, but setting yourself up as arbiter of what is right and what is wrong will drive away more people than you realize.

The six components you outline already exist in the open sourced Storytron software, however crude or complex their current implementation might be. Your efforts would be better spent helping us make this existing software better rather than fragmenting our efforts pursuing some boondoggle. If you can’t code anymore you could help with the wikis. Or you could submit some redesigns for the existing editors or designs for new editors to the Google Group. But any work would be as an individual contributor because, when it comes to the open sourced Storytron, you are not in charge.

Best of luck. I am going to focus my efforts on making better.

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