Ownership Game (WorkingTitle)

This work-in-progress is a combination game and tool which seeks to assist users in creating and sharing their own works of narrative. In it, players place characters in a sequence of comic strip like panels to create a story. By leveraging the social physics of the Ensemble Engine (see below), actions taken between characters in earlier panels will have rippling consequences throughout the story. Since players have access to any panel at any time, changing earlier panels can render later panels incoherent. Rather than forbidding this behavior, the game encourages such experimentation, splitting the world into a parallel timeline, revealing ‘what might have been.’ which the user can then choose to work on simultaneously. In addition to creating stories, the game has hooks into the Ensemble Engine itself, allowing players to dynamically change the social rules of the system in real time, if they so choose. Drama Management capabilities detect the kind of story the user is creating, and offers suggestions based on what it determines to be most narratively satisfying. The goal for this tool is to give players the ability to create stories of which they are proud; it’s playful nature is meant to combat the ‘blank canvas’ problem that can make starting creative pursuits in the first place so difficult. A writing buddy who lives in your computer.