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Hey, who wants to hear a really dumb idea? - ... A collaborative game.

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Postby Sprite » Fri Jun 09, 2006 8:35 pm

I know we have a history, as a community, of these things not working out, but I had an idea a few months ago for a collaborative game that I think might be interesting.

It's a library. (An actual physical - well, nearly - library, a room with bookcases.) And every book is a mini-adventure, probably narrative-driven, all contributed by different Drifters.

I figured we've all had those little ideas that don't seem to be anything more than a short story, but you'd like them to see the light of day, right? So we could compile them into an adventure. Just wanted to test for a reaction...
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Postby AndrewF » Fri Jun 09, 2006 8:43 pm

Hmmmm... sounds like an interesting idea actually...
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Postby David Whyld » Fri Jun 09, 2006 9:46 pm

Nice idea, daughter of mine. I always said brains must run in the family. :)

I'd be willing to contribute an ickle mini game if the idea goes ahead.
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Postby Ren » Fri Jun 09, 2006 11:45 pm

Yes, though I'd imagine the smaller the game limit the higher the chance of success? Every time I think of putting a pc in a game I really want to create a mini-game for it.
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Postby The Bold Slasher » Sat Jun 10, 2006 5:33 pm

I'll definitely sign up.
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Postby Tangent » Sat Jun 10, 2006 5:51 pm

Count myself in also. :) Hmm...I seem to be commiting myself to a lot recently, but it is a good idea and that should be okay. :D
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Postby David Whyld » Sat Jun 10, 2006 5:52 pm

Ren wrote:Yes, though I'd imagine the smaller the game limit the higher the chance of success?

It could always be a perpetual work in progress, with the first version containing those games that are available at the time it comes out, and subsequent versions adding extra games - perhaps in a special section of the library called NEW RELEASES. That way, if several people sign up but don't manage to finish their games, the project could still go ahead as a whole.

Assuming it does go ahead, what size games are we talking about here?
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Postby rotter » Sat Jun 10, 2006 7:44 pm

Hey, this sounds a damn fine idea.

It probably falls into the category of 'why has it been suggested before......'
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Postby Sprite » Sat Jun 10, 2006 7:56 pm

Wow, I had a good idea?!

Thanks for the encouragement, y'all! What size limits would be reasonable? Could they be imported easily as modules?
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Postby David Whyld » Sat Jun 10, 2006 8:01 pm

I had the idea of a few mini-games about 10-15Kb, with maybe a few larger ones if people feel like it. Smaller would work as well, of course. Sometimes an idea just isn't worth stretching to 10Kb but it works fine at 5.

Importing ought to be okay (says someone who very, very rarely imports modules), but you'd probably be better off creating a copy of the game to test it out on so the original doesn't get corrupted or anything.
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Postby Sprite » Sat Jun 10, 2006 8:07 pm

Good idea. This one'll have to wait until after my exams I'm afraid, but get the ideas percolating...

Tangent, be careful not to over-stretch yourself, if you're anything like me you'll overcommit yourself :p but obviously this one takes priority! ;)
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Postby David Whyld » Sat Jun 10, 2006 8:07 pm

Getting into the nitty gritty stuff: how would the whole thing work?

I'm guessing a central area where you open up a book and get transported into the game within. But what happens at the end of the game? Transported back out ready to tackle another? There'd need to be some kind of task which runs when one adventure ends and gets rid of all the items you picked up during one game so you can't take them with you into another (otherwise you'd have your inventory filled up with items from earlier games that can't be used in any of the others).

Everyone who wrote a game would need to have a custom score for their game (assuming they have a score at all), otherwise the overall score for them all would be displayed in each individual game and you'd probably find people wondering how they achieve a score of 1621 in a 3 room game that takes 10 moves to finish.

What else? ALRs should probably come in a separate file so they could be easily copied and pasted into the master file. It might be an issue if different people use the same words in the ALR, so you would need to check for that and reword things if possible. Maybe it would be easier if everyone who writes a game has a special code in the ALR that would ensure the same words don't get used in more than one game, like:

dwcode0|Hello.
dwcode1|Goodbye.
dwpassword0|No.
dwpassword1|Yes.
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Postby Sprite » Sat Jun 10, 2006 8:13 pm

Hm, good points. I was thinking that if they were narrative-driven, or had only very simple tasks, the writing of them would be the main challenge, and playing would be more about the language than the tasks. In that case, ALRs wouldn't really be needed and neither would a score system.

I think each author could make an "as-new" task that would return the player to the default description and drop all items from that mini-game. Then all the person compiling it would need to do is edit the as-new task to put the player back in the library.

And some kind of superobjective would be useful, a task that must be accomplished, so suggestions for that would be welcomed too.
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Postby David Whyld » Sat Jun 10, 2006 8:18 pm

How do you mean a "superobjective"? Like in the sense that all the games are somehow linked to each other and completing them all effectively finishes the whole thing? Or something else?

Re the score issue: you could assign each completed game a score bonus (1 if you finish it, 0 if you die or fail in some other way) which could then be used as a general idea of how you're doing overall. If scores are used. Most of the time in games, you don't really need them.
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Postby Sprite » Sat Jun 10, 2006 8:27 pm

The score thing is a good idea, and yes that's what I meant by superobjective. Perhaps I could take some inspiration from (translation: rip off) Jasper Fforde. Perhaps you need to find someone who's hidden in one of the books. Maybe there's someone going through them and messing the spelling and punctuation up.

Ever seen quantum leap / sliders? Maybe you need to fix something before you're allowed to move on. Perhaps it's a sort of purgatory, and you need to get a happy ending for all of the stories before you can leave the library.
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