Two Paths to Innovation

My notes from Chris’ talk on innovation in game design and development at Gamelab Barcelona 2015

Gunpowder vs. Atomic Bomb development (0:00)

  • Trial & Error vs. Deductive
  • Practical vs. Theoretical
  • Slow (1000 yrs) vs. Fast (45 yrs, 3 yrs)
  • Incremental vs. Quantum Leap
  • Evolutionary vs. Revolutionary

What science can we use to inspire games?

We play to learn

Mental Modules

  1. Motor
  2. Visual Spatial
  3. Cause & Effect
  4. Language
  5. Social Intelligence

Games today challenge mental modules 1-3. What about 4 and 5?

All of human entertainment is about social intelligence. Interactive storytelling focuses on social intelligence.

Interactive Storytelling’s 5 “Dragons”

When slaying each dragon lean towards art instead of science

  • Faces with emotions & feelings

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within vs. Shrek
– Ability to display expressions and micro-expressions

  • Personality modeling
  • Five Factor Model for real people
  • Open
  • Extraverted
  • Conscientious
  • Stable
  • Agreeable
  • Real people are boring, characters aren’t
  • Language
  • Mirrors reality
  • Use “toy” reality
  • Define simultaneously, wordalgorithm
  • Narrative engine
  • Interactive development environment

Slaying the Five Dragons (37:45)

  • Showed pieces of Storytron, SWAT, and Siboot
  • Chris’ preferred personality model – Good, Honest, Dominating
  • Deikto meta-language used to create language specific to reality. Showed iconic and textual manifestations
  • Scrolled through some narrative engine code (“This is really complicated stuff”)
  • Showed some SWAT editors – Verb, Actor, Scriptalizer
  • Siboot
  • Is not RPG, FPS, strategy wargame, text adventure, tower defense game, etc.
  • The difference is not in what it looks like but in what it does
  • Characters have feelings, they behave like they have feelins
  • Characters respond in dramatically plausible way

Questions & Answers (54:10)

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