Here is the text of a document from the beginning of the summer titled "Research Goals." It is interesting to see where the teams often start with these projects.
July 8, 2009
Overall Research Question: What different interaction techniques are there for conversation in games besides dialogue trees?
This game fits in to Marleigh Norton's greater research into games based on conversations. This game will be one of a series which will hopefully illustrate a set of techniques game developers can use to represent conversation in games.
This specific game will look at the interplay of emotional state and conversation.
Rules to get there:
• The emotional states of the brothers will be represented by some sort of dynamic, interactive system.
• The system should reflect the personality types of the brothers.
• One brother's emotional state should be able to affect the other.
• Players should be able to make predictions on how the system works based on their personal experiences with communication. This doesn't mean all their predictions should always be correct, but most players who put in concerted effort should be able to figure it out eventually.
• As an additional goal, we will not be using a branching structure in which the word choice changes based on player input. In particular, we're trying to get around the assumption that the writer needs to write several versions of the story to make the conversation seem different and responsive to player input. Still allowed are multiple endings, including ending the game early. Also, the underlying logic of the game can have a branching structure as long as it does not result in the writer having to write unique text for each branch.
Come back tomorrow for more!