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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2018 11:29 am 
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Hey all,

I'm new to this forum, but have always been a fan of IF, story-based games, and writing poetry/stories. I've also read up on cryptocurrencies and blockchain use-cases on the side, and have been bouncing around an idea where IF and facets of cryptocurrencies could intersect and hopefully make some neat stuff.

IMO, one of the neatest things about IF is how a person is able to make choices, and how those choices are reflected further down the narrative. With one of the cryptocurrencies called Ethereum, there's another thing called a non-fungible token (NFT), where you can make a token and give it specific characteristics that reflect either deliberate actions or random variables. One (silly but neat) example is the app called CryptoKitties, where you are able to buy, sell, and breed cats. While it's one company that's issued the CryptoKitties, there are other groups of people building on top of it, in that they're writing games/applications that give additional assets (hats, racing, combat stats for Pokemon-esque battles) to the CryptoKitties. Since blockchains are supposed to be immutable, decentralized, censorship-resistant ledgers, there are some risks but interesting rewards if things line up.

While I recognize that a lot of use cases for cryptocurrencies are arguably vaporware, I'm really interested in trying to suss out if immutable tokens reflecting player-made choices would suit IF.

With these non-fungible tokens, one could make it so that the data on the token isn't random, and instead reflects things like player-made choices. So I see them as having the potential to act as a memory card on a blockchain How I've been seeing this working out is as follows:

- Author writes a narrative, with branching storylines
- Players go through the narrative, making choices and solidifying the choices at the end of a section with the minting of an NFT that reflects those choices
- Players don't have to pay to play through the narrative, but since minting an NFT that reflects specific choices costs money on a blockchain, the Author would have the ability to make a version that's free to navigate through, and one where you pay so that you can offset the cost of generating the NFT
- When the Author makes another installment, the Author writes the narrative such that the choices are carried over from one installment to another
- Since the choices are reflected on a blockchain that other programs/applications can read, other Authors can check to see if a specific Player has a token tied to another story, and build off of those choices as well (this is the main reason why I think this could be neat!)

With the ability to see choices that other players have made (without seeing who exactly the player is) is made available, Authors could potentially do things like chart/document how many people are making certain decisions, build out their narrative to adjust/play into that, and hopefully write stories that people love more as a result. Past that, things like voting and other forms of interactive story-telling could be built off of this.

Since I've done none of the work to make this possible, I'd love to hear if this idea is useful/valuable, or if anyone else is already doing it!
I'm not trying to sell a token for this, so I'm trying to gain feedback and some direction so that I can build this out, write a cool narrative that people enjoy, and give this project its own two feet to stand on.

[Thread Subject clarified by Mod]


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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2018 7:15 am 
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Since the main function of a blockchain is to ensure security and to thwart tampering and denial-of-service, I'm not sure what IF can get from it.

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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2018 9:38 am 
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Good points.

To be fair, if there were other ways that people could signal participation in unrelated stories and build off of those signals, I'd like that too.

While blockchains do add a cost and finality to projects, my primary line of logic was that since with wallet addresses, one can build out a program that reads your address, sees that you have a token reflecting going through other stories/games/activities, and surface more within the story based on it. Since a lot of people are already building non-fungible tokens from other games/art/media, I'd like to be able to make a call/reference to that and make the narrative feel that much more engaging!


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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2018 12:22 pm 
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So, let us imagine someone sets up an ordinary database, on a web site, where authors can register games. As you're playing a game, it interacts with the database to update your game state and the state of your items (or whatever). This is trivial to set up once you've figured out the data model you want.

The blockchain version of this behaves exactly the same way, except there's no central database or web site. But that's not an interesting difference from the game-design point of view.

So, from the game-design point of view, is this interesting? Sure. MUDs were a primitive implementation of this: many authors building IF-style areas adjacent to each other, and you could (at minimum) carry items between areas. The Eamon system (on Apple 2) was another example.

However, designing *interesting* interactions between areas requires some thought. Lugging the Elvish sword into the Dunbar mansion is just a gimmick -- the mansion is a murder-mystery scenario, there's no monsters to kill. If there *were* monsters, you'd immediately run into the munchkin problem: "*My* sword is plus one million to hit!" Sure kid.

I'd say that collaborative game mechanics only work when the authors are, in fact, collaborating. That is, when the authors get together behind the scenes and decide how their stuff will interact. Or when one author invents a system and then delimits how other authors will interact with it. The shared database (whether traditional or blockchainy) is just a way to facilitate this.

I thought about these issues a bit with Seltani, and set up an opt-in sharing model between "worlds"; an author can decide which data attributes in their world are readable or writable by other authors. (Or particular other authors.) I was imagining, perhaps, a trophy cabinet that fills up with trophies as you solve puzzles in other people's worlds. I don't think anybody ever used that feature, though.


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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 8:41 pm 
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zarf wrote:
The Eamon system (on Apple 2) was another example.


Speaking of Eamon, I found out it's still alive and kicking. There are modern versions of it that run on Linux, Mac, and Windows as well O.O Crazy.

http://www.eamonag.org/pages/Play_today.htm

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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 2:01 am 
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It's an intriguing idea, but there are definitely easier ways of getting anonymised metrics for what choices people make. You just need to host your game on a website or get the game to communicate back to a server and have some kind of tracker. Even the IFComp website does (did?) this.


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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 1:37 pm 
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I thought this video had some interesting things to say about blockchain in gaming: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywvTIM_eOVI

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:21 am 
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Thanks for the recommendation!

While I recognize there may be easier ways, I'm interested/hopeful that I can learn more about what people value through executing this project, and if creating prose/poetry around other tokens is something that people are interested in. At the end of the day, it seems as though the people consuming/taking the content in the form of the token dictate the value; OTOH I'm definitely trying to steer clear of shoehorning a coin into this in order to fund a speculative cash grab. From there, I'm trying to explore whether or not IF has any net-positive effects if one weaves it into a blockchain.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:23 am 
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Thanks for the recommendation!

While I recognize there may be easier ways, I'm interested/hopeful that I can learn more about what people value through executing this project, and if creating prose/poetry around other tokens is something that people are interested in. At the end of the day, it seems as though the people consuming/taking the content in the form of the token dictate the value; OTOH I'm definitely trying to steer clear of shoehorning a coin into this in order to fund a speculative cash grab. From there, I'm trying to explore whether or not IF has any net-positive effects if one weaves it into a blockchain.


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