The first piece of interactive fiction that I wrote (and continue to work on) puts far too many words into the mouth of Major Boulton. I need to make the conversation there far more natural – a menu system has been suggested, so I’m slowly learning how to implement that. The general idea of the piece is for it to be a one or two room rambling conversation, over the course of which, the player discovers truths about the Northwest Rebellion.
In the interests of overloading my work schedule, I’ve started working on a second piece, that isn’t quite so literal. In ‘Canadians on the Nile’, I’m taking my inspiration from the expedition to relieve General Gordon at Khartoum by using logdrivers and river men from the Ottawa Valley to Manitoba to navigate the Nile (living in the Ottawa Valley as I do, this is one of my favourite historical episodes). This one is less ‘faithful’ that the Northwest Rebellion, since I’m putting words into my characters’ mouths that they didn’t actually say… Right now, there are two non-player characters, in the opening scene which ends with the player’s enlistment. Ideally, there’d be several npcs for the player to interact with, learning the historical background, etc… and then self-contained episodes reflecting the real historical course of the expedition. Eventually.
Here‘s what I’ve got so far. (…the though occurs: I’m a Romanist, by training… why am I not trying Roman themes…?)
I have always had difficulty in building what I wanted to build in Second Life. Not only do I find it difficult to manipulate primitives etc, but I have to be online to do it. Some of us still live in rural areas to which the telecoms and cable companies are not interested in providing broadband service (I lurk outside the closest library with wireless to get my broadband). Anyway, various reports are emerging of a collaboration between Multiverse and Google, allowing models created in Sketchup AND terrain from Google Earth (!) to be imported into any online world hosted by multiverse. Couple that with Multiverse’s ability to allow the user to move from world to world, and I think we might just have a challenger to Second Life on our hands. ‘Doom’ might be too strong a word, but hey, makes for a great headline.
From an archaeological point of view, creating 3d representations of a site using Sketchup, and then moving that with the terrain into an online world, with the associated annotations etc could really be revolutionary – what immediately springs to mind is that this would make a far better way of publishing a site than a traditional monograph. Internet Archaeology (the journal) has been trying for just that kind of thing for a while. Maybe IA should host a world in Multiverse…?
From C-Net News:
“Get ready for online games set in your favorite Google Earth locations.
Virtual-worlds platform developer Multiverse Network is set to announce a partnership Tuesday that will allow anyone to create a new online interactive 3D environment with just about any model from Google’s online repository of 3D models, its 3D Warehouse, as well as terrain from Google Earth.
The idea is simple: Multiverse’s technology–which gives game developers tools to design custom virtual worlds–will let those designers pick and choose from most of the millions of 3D models created using Google’s 3D software tool SketchUp, and to import pieces of terrain, as defined by entering specific longitude and latitude data, from Google Earth.
If you want to build a virtual world centered on, say, downtown San Francisco, you could use the new technology to create the area itself and populate it with the digital versions of real-world buildings that have been created and uploaded to the 3D Warehouse.
“The goal is to grab things from the 3D Warehouse when looking at things in Google Earth and then make an instant multiverse world,” said Multiverse co-founder Corey Bridges. “What we’ve done is provide a more streamlined interface for using (Google’s technology) as a virtual-world production tool.”
Until now, incorporating this kind of information from Google has mostly been the province of fantasy. For some time, Multiverse has made it possible to upload some SketchUp models into a virtual world created using its platform. But the technology the company plans to announce Tuesday, informally called “Architectural Wonders,” brings the concept to much more well-rounded fruition, and answers what some people have been crying out for as obvious and necessary technology integration. MORE