Larry Mellon's Reactions

My biggest takeaway was the need to address story structure. Having the author script out meaningful content for each potential story line followed by the participant is a highly limited approach. But without structure, where is the building tension, the release, the surprises that make stories exciting?

As an exercise, I de-constructed portions of a book I am re-reading: Barry B. Longyear’s "City of Baraboo". To support his story structure, a Drama Manager would need to support N PreCursors: a set of events that must have occurred prior to a Scene. One could imagine an author writing several PreCursors, each of which provides some context for a given Scene, using narrative, exposition or action to make a point. The Drama Manager would be responsible for ensuring the participant experiences enough PreCursors to make any given Scene meaningful before allowing the participant to begin that Scene.

The Drama Manager would also need to support chained Events: i.e., Event A must be experienced before Event B is meaningful and/or believable. One could imagine the act of a participant experiencing any given Scene toggling one or many Events, thus opening up new portions of the now "dramatically valid" story world.