One of the neat things about the Great Canadian Mysteries series is how ‘doing history’ is constructed as ‘solving’ a mystery, by examining the primary historical documents. In the interactive fiction (IF) below – which is only an early *early* draft – I am trying to accomplish the same thing. Here, the ‘game’ will be to explore and construct and interpretation of the Northwest Rebellion, by interacting with the historical characters who were there… and who speak to you in their own words. Just about anything Major Charles Boulton says come from his own published historical reminisces. Now, an interactive fiction requires plot, pacing, a story arc, etc… or can it simply be as simple as ‘talking’ with a simulated person…? Right now, this IF just shows how such a writing of history could be accomplished. I need to program the non-player character of Major Boulton with a bit of artificial intelligence so that he can respond to a wide variety of interactions with the player. My model is Emily Short’s Galatea, which won the 2006 IF prize. I don’t want this work to be a simple kind of chatterbot.
So, here’s an early version of the Major Charles Boulton and the Northwest Rebellion Interactive Historical Fiction, by Shawn Graham.