State Variables

January 5th, 2018

I just realized that there are no extra state variables in the system design. There are the variables that define each character’s personality and the variables representing the relationships among the characters. This posed what at first appeared to be a problem. If I use the battle scene from Le Morte D’Arthur, I will not be able to include variables for the military strength of the opposing forces, or any external factors. This seemed devastating to my plan at first, until I realized that, at the most fundamental level, any story is exclusively about characters and their relationships. Everything else is peripheral to the conflicts among the characters. Thus, the design of the system forces me to focus my attention on what really matters. For full-strength interactive storytelling, those other factors will play a role, but inasmuch as Sappho is intended to provide only the most basic, most fundamental of storytelling features, this is a positive development. 

I just realized a nasty problem with Prerequisites and Disqualifiers: do they AND-together or OR-together? For example, suppose that Encounter #27 has two Prerequisite Encounters: Encounter #13 and Encounter #19. Are BOTH #13 and #19 required to have happened to permit #27 to proceed, or does EITHER #13 or #19 happening permit #27 to proceed? 

Disqualifiers are a little easier to understand: ANY Disqualifier Encounter that has taken place will disqualify the Encounter in question. Thus, Disqualifer Encounters are OR-ed together. But that still leaves us with the problem of Prerequisite Encounters. Which approach would be more useful to the author? My gut says that I should OR them together. If ANY of the Prerequisite Encounters has taken place, then the subsequent encounter is enabled.

That change shouldn’t take long to implement.