The Curse of Amnesia

The Curse of Amnesia is a serious problem in interactive narratives such as pen-and-paper campaigns. If you’re playing an older character who has lived her whole life in a particular city, it doesn’t make sense that you as a player don’t know your way around the city. We want to be able to create any type of character we wish, with any background.

  • Amnesia: How do we ensure that the player knows what the character is supposed to know?
  • Fourth Wall: How do we prevent the player from knowing what the character isn’t supposed to know, for the purpose of dramatic tension or surprise?
    • The character-player relationship in a game is different from the character-reader relationship in a book. In a book we can reveal who the bad guy is to the reader, because the character will still be in the dark, and the reader can only watch helplessly as the character stumbles into a trap. In Interactive Stories, we don’t have that luxury as storytellers.
  • Identity Crisis: How do we reconcile the personality differences between how the character would act, and how the player would (or perhaps can) act? Sometimes our acting ability does not do our characters justice, even if we have good intentions. 

If you have any thoughts, or even solutions, post them here.

Markedly,
-Machination

A server by any other name…

With Guild Wars 2’s new megaserver technology, and games like Star Citizen thinking about how to show only the players that are relevant or interesting to you, it’s a wonder we haven’t considered dynamically merging server types as well.

Most western MMOs release with multiple servers, designated either PvP, PvE, or RP. With megaserver or dynamic server technology, we don’t have to lock ourselves into one particular server type. Why not make it a menu setting?

Consider — if you have RP mode enabled, you would be instanced with other roleplayers. With PvP AND RP turned on, you would encounter only those who want to do both. And dealing with griefers? Well, if you get enough complaints/flags from other players while you have RP mode turned on, then you get RP mode disabled for a couple months.

It seems like a natural step for MMOs, don’t you think?

Maniacally,
-Machination