Thursday, January 19, 2006


If Michael Mateas and Andrew Stern really intend to build FAÇADE, then they will not only be revolutionaries in the digital world, but they will be millionaires as well (which is probably the real motivation). Their objective is to develop an interactive story that will follow Aristotelian (or neo-Aristotelian) dramatic structure. The story arc will allow the player to interact with AI on levels never before seen. As we learned from Perlin, other such interactive games/dramas have limits; they can only execute a certain number of actions – all pre-programmed. Mateas and Stern’s idea of combining revolutionary technologies with traditional dramatic structure is fairly extraordinary.

My big idea is simple: THE TECHNOLOGY SIMPLY IS NOT THERE YET. We can all scheme and dream about powerful interactive games (cyberdramas) that will include the user at levels never before seen, however computer science has simply not advanced to this level yet. My biggest problem with FAÇADE is that it is a theory based on undeveloped technologies. I do not like the formulation of plans and ideas that lack scientific foundation, especially if they are predicated on technology that has yet to be invented. (Remember we were suppose to have HAL 9000s five years ago - where are they, or him rather?).

I do like how the author pulls in conventional dramatic structure into the new medium. However, I really think the technology needs to be present before we can start building materials to go on it.


At 10:56 AM, Blogger Nick Geidner said...

I disagree full heartedly. I believe we should generate ideas by any means possible and more importantly without limitations. Idea generation and creative thinking should never be limited by what is currently possible, it's only limitation should be what currently exists.

At 11:32 AM, Blogger flook said...

Yes, I am not saying we should stifle or set limitations on creative thinking. I am just suggesting that perhaps we should not develop entire theories on as-yet unavailable technology.

At 12:01 PM, Blogger Yildiz said...

I dont even see any harm in developing theories. Atleast we formulate a vision, that might take time but might be produced in couple of more years to come.

At 12:16 PM, Blogger flook said...

You are both right. I just have trouble (and it is probably just me) of developing theories on principles other than factual science. On the left hand side of page 29, Mateas gives 6 points for the FACADE model. Three depend heavily on AI. Again, I don't believe there is anything wrong in thinking or writing this article, but to build a theory that relies so heavily on AI (with no scientific evidence) becomes science fiction. Perhaps I do not fully understand where AI is today.

At 2:06 PM, Blogger Mark said...

Techguy says:
You would be surprised how far AI has come and how pervasive it is now. This is not the old time red ghost chase yellow ball shape stuff. There is a fair amount of fake intelligence out there. Now I also have not read this article so I don’t know his points."

Software business guy says:
All software is developed with technology that doesn't exist yet. That is the beauty of it. To build a house you use existing materials and you can do this with software also but all software innovations come from starting with technology that can't do what is being asked yet. I work for a company that puts telephone calls over SIP lines. 6 years ago it was unheard of and when the company began people said it was impossible but today I make calls.


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