It's only about a month now until the CIC staff and friends pack up and head down to Atlanta for our sixth annual DragonCon meet-up. Everyone is anxious to celebrate the Wing Commander franchise in person and represent our squadron in the famous parade. The crew is also picking out their WC CCG decks, tweaking their Armada strategies and exercising their thumbs. To extend the experience, some of the attendees will also be visiting the Origin Museum and Georgia Aquarium on the way down. New additions to DC's guest list include science fiction actors such as David Ankrum (Wedge Antilles) and Jason Carter (Babylon 5), and the convention has even added a number of real scientists to host panels on topics such as civilian commercial space flight. While most of us are out traveling, Kris will hold down the fort here, but stay tuned for daily updates from our Mobile CIC Headquarters once things get going. If you'll be near Atlanta during Labor Day weekend in the US, let us know!
Game Design writer Ernest Adams takes a long look at interactive storytelling in videogames for Next Generation and points to Wing Commander 3's branching storyline as a good example. Readers with an interest in game design or storytelling can find the lengthy article here.
"We don't own this place.. but we have an understanding with the people who do!" For any stragglers still out there, the Lancers Reactor is online again.
Branching stories. In these, the player's decisions, or sometimes his skill at overcoming challenges, determines how the plot line branches. The more frequently this occurs, and the more options he has at each branch point, the more material the designer has to create. The story can have multiple endings. The classic example was Wing Commander III, a large-granularity game whose plot lines branched depending on how well you did at the combat missions you flew.
Now that we present video using the game engine rather than filmed actors, dialog is inexpensive to create. If we continue to research things like facial expression animation and body language, we’ll be able to do this kind of thing quite well.