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MikiWiki is on GitHub

16 Oct

MikiWiki

We’ve been working on a programmable Mikiwiki for awhile, now it is on Github.

The code is still quite messy, but we hope you will find your way. At its simplest, Mikiwiki supports simple wiki pages organized in a tree structure. Wiki pages can also embed other pages as components called Nuggets. These nuggets can be programmed in javascript from within the Mikiwiki itself. All Mikiwiki pages have a FORMAT. The standard format is MIKI, but you can invent new formats. A page with a new format will contain JSON data and its format page will have format ‘javascript’ or ‘template’ and will know how to render the JSON data.

If you have trouble sleeping, you can read more in our IEEE, ACM papers and Springer book.

Feel free to post your questions. All feedback, tips and advice are appreciated.

The Big List of GM-less Games – Now as a Table

10 Sep

The Big List of GM-less games has now gone on Google Docs. I am trying an embed here. If it doesn’t visualize and you are reading via a feed reader, then click to the original post.

We have now got an incredible 230 games and I need advice on how to divide them up in taxonomies. The $$ column is ticked when a game has a commercial version.

Rotating GM between different sessions.

How do I define a session? It is a period of game-play that offers closure on a number of events. Therefore the GM has full control on the unfolding of those events and doesn’t have to negotiate them with other players.

  1. In a Wicked Age (GMs rotating between different chapters/story-arcs, commercial)
  2. Beowulf (In a Wicked Age hack, published, commercial)
  3. Labyrinth and Lycanthropes (commercial) [GMs rotating between different dungeon adventures] {Dungeon Crawling, Fantasy}
  4. Bliss Stage (commercial) [The group of player characters forms a resistance cell. The GM plays a central character in the cell: the authority figure, who issues orders and plans missions. If another character takes over that role, in any number of ways, then their player becomes the GM]

Suggested GM-less play

  1. Panty Explosion Perfect (commercial)
Board-Gamish GM-less play
  1. Traveller (commercial, suggested both Solo and GM-less style, but little advice given)
  2. Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition (commercial, See page 195: Playing without a DM —  This might seem to be strange advice for a Dungeon Master’s Guide, but it’s entirely possible to play D&D without a Dungeon Master. If all you’re looking for is fun and exciting combat, with no more than the barest hint of plot or purpose, a random dungeon with a random encounter deck is all you need. Someone needs to prepare the deck, and someone needs to run the monsters during the game. They doesn’t need to be the same person. All the players can decide together what the monsters do, and let the player who’s the target of an attack make that attack roll – or have the person to the left roll for the monsters. A random dungeon with no DM makes for a good way to spend a game session when your regular DM can’t play. It’s also a fun activity over a lunch hour, as long as your school or office is forgiving of a group of people rolling dice and shouting battle cries! — Pages 190-195 detail how to create random Dungeons and Encounters on the fly.)

The ultimate big list of GM-less games UPDATE

18 Aug

The big list of GM-less games grew up to an unbelievable 113 entries. You might wish to check it out.

Sleep is Death – an online story game

11 Jun

I just bought Sleep is Death, an awesome 2 player online story game. One player plays the GM role, while the other player is the protagonist. Every player has 30 seconds to interact and author his turn within the scene.

We are looking for more examples of online storytelling tools and we are hoping to learn from Sleep is Death and incorporate it as a tool in our MikiWiki..

Please let us know if you have any suggestions for more such games and tools!

Play by Wiki and Emergent Properties

9 Jun

I have been intrigued by the possibilities of wiki + story games for a long time.
Wikis can express powerful emergent properties that fit well with story games.

Does anybody know of any games that are played primarily by wiki and that are designed to explicitly leverage the nature of wikis? ‘Caravan’ by Emily Boss looks very promising, but I couldn’t find any real example of play.

We have also designed a wiki that can be programmed and evolved ‘from the inside’ by its users, so that as new mechanics get defined, they can be automated within the system, but I feel we need to learn more from actual play before releasing it to the community.

Any good pointer in this direction is highly appreciated!

Surprise by Complexity Principle

2 Apr

How can you surprise yourself in a solitaire story game? After all you are generating the adversity and you are solving it! Can the Czege principle be violated?

The Surprise by Complexity Principle claims that: when you create the adversity, you should not be sure you can solve it.  The act of attempted resolution should be complex enough to leave you with doubt about the outcome.  It should take time, reasoning and fiddling with your various game props and notes to find out how (and if) the adversity can be solved.  The act of finding a way by going through the complex activities, elicits surprise, happiness and fun!

I noticed this for the first time when I created a card-based solitaire story game. Every character and every scene had a number of Locks that could lead to some evolutions.  Every Lock could be triggered only by a specific Key, that could be related to a character, a scene, an item, etc.

The relationship map between Locks and Keys was associated to playing cards, randomly generated and quite complex.  I had to keep track of the meaning of the cards and the web of keys and locks on different pages of a notebook.  Sometimes a Key needed to solve a situation could be acquired only by Unlocking a certain character or situation, bringing to more adversity and negative consequences for some of the characters.

When a scene was generated it could carry some kind of adversity with it and only going through the web of characters, keys and locks could lead to a potential solution and when it did.. it felt like fun 🙂

More Ritual, More Drama Principle

31 Mar

More observations from solo games..

I noticed the Principle of Immersive Actions at work: doing something during the game (writing, rolling, sketching, etc..) anchors moments of fiction in your memory and your emotions.  If you don’t do it the experience feels somehow muddled.  You don’t recall the scene, you don’t care about it, and you feel generally detached from the fiction.

The More Ritual, More Drama Principle states: the more ritual actions and crunch you perform, the more the fiction becomes detailed, with twists and turns, despair, recovery and elation.

I noticed this several time.  If a conflict can be resolved with a single action, it gets done quickly and you associate it only to a short piece of fiction in your mind.  If the conflict is multi-roll and calls for some decision making in the middle (use hero points, change action type, escape, etc) then your mind will automatically start building a narrative around it.  I find this is interesting, as it is somehow counter-intuitive and goes against the trend in minimising the crunch in story-games.