Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Not Choose Your Own Adventure, Choose Your Own Hero And Heroine

Back in the day, I loved to watch The Wild, Wild West. My favorite character was not Robert Conrad's Jim West, but Ross Martin's Artemus Gordon. I wanted to see more of his guile and cunning, but that wasn't going to happen. West was the focus of the show and that was that.

In choose-your-own-adventure stories, you make decisions for the hero or heroine and the plot unfolds as you do. What if instead of choosing their actions, you had some way of signalling which character(s) you liked the best and the story followed them? Instead of a preselected hero ending up either dead or standing atop a pile of treasure at the end due to your decisions, the romance ended up with two people not originally intended as the focal points of the story?

As this would create a massive decision tree for the narrative arc, I don't think you could do this with a static set of scenes. Instead, I would do it procedurally, with a computer program pushing the story along according to your choices.


1 comment:

tim eisele said...

While it isn't quite up to what you had in mind, Ryan North's To Be or Not To Be does let you go through "Hamlet" as one of three characters (Hamlet, Ophelia, or Hamlet's father), and there are opportunities to switch characters on the fly to the one that you think might be more interesting.

There are also opportunities for completely going off the rails of Shakespeare's original plotline (and, surprisingly, some items that *seem* to be off the rails are actually explicitly part of Shakespeare's plot, with one that is just a massive expansion on something Shakespeare put in more or less as a throwaway line).

It's all good fun. But yes, it would be even cooler if you could jump in as *any* character, including Rosencrantz/Guildenstern, the gravediggers, the evil uncle, or even the band of wandering players.