HypeDyn released!

We are pleased to announce the first public release of the HypeDyn hypertext fiction authoring tool: http://www.narrativeandplay.org/hypedyn.

HypeDyn screenshot

HypeDyn is a procedural hypertext fiction authoring tool for non-programmers who want to create text-based interactive stories that adapt to reader choice. HypeDyn is free to download and open source, and runs on Linux, MacOS and Windows. You can download HypeDyn from http://www.narrativeandplay.org/hypedyn/download.html.

HypeDyn was written in Kawa Scheme, http://www.gnu.org/software/kawa/.

As part of our ongoing research, we are interested in how people use HypeDyn. Please let us know at hypedyn@narrativeandplay.org if you are using HypeDyn and would like to tell us about your experiences, in particular if you have made any changes to the code.

We are also interested in having authors take part in a more detailed study. If you are interested in helping with this study, please read the details at http://www.narrativeandplay.org/hypedyn/study.html.

Note that downloading/using HypeDyn does not require participation in the study.

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playpod episode 2

After a long break over the summer, we restarted our playpod meetings this past Thursday. Joshua led the discussion, which focused on the issue of measuring “engagement” in games. We also brainstormed possible topics for this semester, and came up with the following tentative list:

  1. Engagement (19/08/2010)
  2. Traditional Asian games (Mahjong/麻將, mancala, etc.)
  3. Rereading in interactive stories
  4. Game design and movies
  5. invite Shao Han to give a talk
  6. ???

We also got side-tracked into discussing how to (eventually) change the playpod discussions into an “official” reading group, and the possibility of reviving the idea of bi-monthly movie screenings.

Hypertext stories shown at “Random Blends” exhibition

A selection of hypertext stories written in the HypeDyn hypertext authoring tool will be shown at the CNM “Random Blends” exhibition this coming week. Here are the details of the exhibition: http://www.fas.nus.edu.sg/cnm/news/random_blends.htm.

The description of the works is as follows:

FRAGMENTS: SELECTED STORIES FROM NM3222 INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING

“Closure is, as in any fiction, a suspect quality, although here it is made manifest. When the story no longer progresses, or when it cycles, or when you tire of the paths, the experience of reading ends… There is no simple way to say this.”
(Michael Joyce, afternoon: a story)

Fragments is a collection of short hypertext fictions written by students in NM3222 Interactive Storytelling. Created using the HypeDyn authoring tool, these works represent explorations of narrative, agency and play, investigating the nature of story and the role of the reader/writer in electronic literature.

– Stories –

  1. Kow Wei Man, “No Turning Back”
  2. Kua Yong Ern Shane, “Mirror, Mirror”
  3. Kua Yong Ern Shane, “The Emperor’s Guide to the Galactic Empire”
  4. Lye Zhi Le Gifford Justin, “Two Sides”
  5. Ong Yit Sin, “The Last Click”
  6. Rosmayati Tay Shieh Ting, “When one candle extinguishes”
  7. Sooty Heng Ee Wen, “Voyage”

– HypeDyn implementation –

Alex Mitchell, Ruchi Bajoria and Zeng Qiang

its been some time…

Just realized that its been several months since I bothered to post anything… doesn’t mean I haven’t been doing any work, quite the opposite in fact.

One recent interesting development: we’ve started a games/interactive storytelling “discussion group”, hidden away in the CNM Playpod. Hopefully there will be many more interesting discussions like this one

The Majesty of Colors

This is a very nice little interactive story/puzzle: http://armorgames.com/play/3314/the-majesty-of-colors. A coherent story that develops based on the player’s actions, and a good balance between a feeling of freedom, and what is actually a very limited set of choices.

Why am I blogging about this?

It reminds me of the issues that come up in Facade regarding the balance between making choices clearly available and giving players an illusion of complete freedom.

IF Writing Month

The IF Writing Month has finally got me motivated to actually write some interactive fiction (beyond just fiddling around and writing examples in SUDS for my students…). Coming up to the final week now. Submissions so far are here.

I’ve been working on a gradual refinement of a simple story idea. In week 1 I started with a simple setting (a bus station), then fleshed that out to include some puzzles and player details in week 2, and an NPC (the bus driver) in week 3. For week 4, I’ll be adding new verbs, and (hopefully) reimplementing the entire story in Inform 7.

Thanks to Nick for posting about this at Grand Text Auto.

Why am I blogging about this?

My thesis revolves around creating tools and theories to help people write good interactive stories. The GAMBIT-funded research that Nick, Clara and I are working on is also looking at the relationship between platform and story in IF. So getting more direct hands-on experience authoring works in Inform should help give me more insight into the issues related to authoring interactive stories. And its fun… 🙂