Chris Crawford's 9 Breakthroughs

Games industry curmudgeon and interactive storytelling proponent Chris Crawford spoke at the Game Developers Exchange conference here in Atlanta yesterday. As a part of the talk he explained the "Nine Breakthroughs" that were important to his work on Storytron. I recorded them here...

Surprisingly, many of the ideas are about languages - either the programming languages used to program the games, or the language interfaces provided to users.

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Chris Crawford has been thinking about linguistic interfaces

for a long time, even before he made his abrupt career swerve into "interactive storytelling".

Some of his relevant essays (from 1995-ish):

Towards a Linguistic Approach to Game Design

Little Languages

How to Build an Inverse Parser

In the screenshots of his game "Trust and Betrayal", you can see the "inverse parser" that he refers to as one of his breakthroughs. The "sentences" are the chains of square icon-tiles, each of which represents a word.

On another topic: no discussion about DSLs for interactive storytelling would be complete without mentioning the wonderful Inform 7.