Archive for the ‘playdreamer’ Category

An Update About Playdreamer
December 15, 2007

On March this year at the Game Developers Conference, I gave a talk about the research I’ve been doing on 2006 on how to create interactive stories and showcased some tools that I’ve coded during that time. You can still see the complete session on google video.

Playdreamer was the name I gave to an ideal tool that I wanted to develop to create drama games. During this whole year, each time some interesting idea concerning interactive fiction popped in my mind, I would write it on a nice moleskine notebook that I bought for myself. Some of them are pretty wacky and delusional but anyhow, as ideas deserve to be free, I’m sharing some of those pages on my flickr.

Mockup of Playdreamer app

But Playdreamer wasn’t the only big idea on my mind. As some who are close to me know already, I’ve been working a lot on 2007 to start up a new company that aims to create an innovative piece of technology for the web called Popego. And, as the individual human being that I still am, I want to put all my energies (and passion) on that project. That’s why I’ll be 100% focused on Popego, and the Playdreamer project will have to be in the freezer until the time is right. If you’re curious on interactive fiction, you can still download the source code from my research and do something.

The exciting thing is that with Popego we are building an amazing project with a great team and the best possible partners you can get when it comes to talk about innovation and technology. I’ll be writing a new post to specifically talk about this idea in the future, and if you were interested on my Playdreamer research, I hope you understand the reasons that I’m giving to put it aside for a while. Quite probably, in the future I would like to find links between gaming and education with a tool like Playdreamer. We’ll see…

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Story + Game… + Music
May 3, 2007

Exceptional filmmakers of this era such as Wes Anderson, Sophia Coppola or Spike Jonze -just to name a few- have a very interesting thing in common: They use extraordinary musical scores in their films to spice up their stories. The ambientation and personality of their works owes significant credit to the list of songs they end up arranging in their original soundtracks.

And thinking about Drama Games, I’ve been wondering how music could be incorporated to the core of story playing.

 

Essentially, stories are about people. And when you play a role, when you act as someone else, you might want to have a deep understanding about how that character feels. A couple of years ago, I had an innocent approach to this issue: What if you could hear the thoughts of the character? Just like James Joyce‘s novel Ulysses, where through its narrative style it expresses a stream-of-consciousness from its main character.

Of course, constantly hearing voices as you play could be disturbing for the player after a while. Not to mention the design limitations of using large amounts of recorded voices or the technical imperfections of using voice synthesis. The solution, as you might have guessed, its simple and elegant: Music!

Music is not only capable of giving an atmosphere to a particular scene, but it can express precise feelings and moods. Electronic music in particular has a very interesting format for it to be applied to games: unlike traditional songs, its recordings are usually 1 hour sets that take the listener to a particular mindset. And of course, the digital nature also makes this kind of music very permeable to be remixed and modified in real time.

I wonder what kind of Drama Game is Sebastien Tellier inspiring me right now…

To Play is to Dream
March 27, 2007

That was the subject of a mail I received from Patrick Dugan asking anxiously about Playdreamer. And he wasn’t the only one. The excuse is simple: My arrival to Buenos Aires found me moving to a new home and starting up a new company. Yet, I got to made myself of some time and all the tools that where shown at the GDC are now officially available at Playdreamer.com.

Stage Designer

As promised, you will find the binaries for the prototypes and the source code of them as well. Please pay special attention to the text presented on the website prior to every download, important acclarations were made. Also, I want to make clear that Playdreamer is a new tool that will evolve from the research made with these prototypes and it’s a new development.

This new tool will be open source and with a wiki design so anyone can contribute to it. The goal is to find a path that permits us build games that go beyond scoring by killing and open the doors of pure play through Drama Games. If you want to keep yourself updated on how this project evolves, check the RSS feed of this blog or see all the posts with the tag Playdreamer.