By Failbetter, December 14, 2012 · Failbetter Tagged with ,

If you’re a StoryNexus creator, you may have noticed the flood of new features slow to a gentle stream lately. This is partly because of a major project which I’ll call $NOT_FORMALLY_ANNOUNCED_PROJECT for now, and partly because of some complicated but exciting stuff in the storyline.

It’s a couple of posts worth of stuff. Let’s start with Messaging and Living Stories.

MESSAGING. Creators have asked us to make it easier to communicate with their players. We need to go carefully here, because we can’t patrol communications between creator and player… but we’re opening it up a lot further. From the CORRESPONDENCE release onwards, you’ll be able to message all your players. They’ll be able to mute worlds that message too aggressively, so don’t overdo it!

We also have a StoryNexus-level inbox feature coming, so that you’ll be able to see and manage messages from various worlds – including Fallen London – in one place.

LIVING STORIES. The ‘living stories’ feature in Fallen London – where you’re told something has happened, and it calls out to you later – has survived in an embryonic form for ages. It’s working tech, but it’s quite limited, and it’s ugly to use. We’ve smartened it up, made it more versatile, and we’ll be adding it to the creator tools.

A living story is a bundle of quality requirements and effects that comes with a message and runs on a timer. They can be applied whenever a player  passes through an event…or you can assign them arbitrarily to anyone in your world who matches particular quality requirements. And they can be chained together, or looped. When they run, they’ll contact the player – even if the player is currently offline. (Yes, players can opt out of being messaged.)

So the most obvious use for a living story is to have NPCs that message players and say ‘meet me by the well at midnight.’

But you can also, for instance, loop them to make a quality reduce or increase every x hours. A Hunted! menace that diminishes over time, for example; or a disease quality that increases over time until you find antibiotics.

Or you can use them to run special events that respond to player actions. Poll your world to find out how many people have the Sympathetic to the Heresy quality, and then subscribe them all to a unique story that allows them to make contact with heretic cells. Apply additional stories to players who make contact.

And we’re sure that as ever you’ll think of plenty of other uses that we haven’t.

(There are a couple of additional, rather tasty living story features we’re having to limit to $NOT_FORMALLY_ANNOUNCED_PROJECT for the foreseeable future – but this should be plenty for the time being.)

Next post – Linked storylets. Or, StoryNexus finally allows – with caution! – more than one level of branching…


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San (@_dchan) Jan 4, 7:46pm

Oooh. I have been toying around with the concept of trying to use the StoryNexus platform as a component in a day-long immersive event I'll be running, so the implementation of timed actions/qualities is potentially VERY useful. I will have to keep an eye on this!

CORRESPONDENCE, RUNAWAY and CONFESSION – part 1 « failbetter Jan 3, 4:55pm

[...] talked here about the first big tech update – the ability to message your players, automatically or [...]