still writing chapter 4.1
the day’s work, including a limited rewrite of the day before’s work, plus things i want to work in as i can.
We think of the past as being fixed, and the future as not yet being determined. We believe that only the present moment exists, and (if we ever stop to think about it) that there’s only one present moment, shared by everyone in the universe at the same time. But the theory of Relativity has a problem with this, because every part of the universe can have a different present moment, depending on each observer’s position, and this would mean that the present is local rather than universal, relative rather than absolute – allowing for lots of NOWs at once. A good replacement theory is the idea that all moments are real, that we live in an unchanging four-dimensional universe measured in height, width, depth, and time. A block of eternal NOW, when the past is as real as the future, and whatever moment NOW is, has to do with the relative position of the observer. As if we lived on pages in a book.
Let’s flip a couple of pages forward in the block universe of our story, to find Josh, Anomia, and Fairy with their heads together, designing their video game. Actually, you’d never know they were working together, because they were always in different locations, but they were using realtime document editing on their computers, discussing everything in online chat windows, and talking to each other in their heads.
They planned the look and feel of the game while they were waiting for Kurt to build the game engine. Fairy got Josh and Anomia to retell their experience again and again until they were sick of it, using police techniques taught to her by a jealous cop boyfriend. Then she wrote everything down and organized it into a massively detailed world diagram, their game bible. Josh laid out the level diagram using Anomia’s map and Fairy’s list of assets and deciding where to put them and what traits to give them. Anomia worked up the design document, and created art assets – landscapes, sets and individual objects.
They started their game on the rocky shore of a huge, uninhabited continent, with nothing but the clothes on their backs and a few rudimentary tools. As they progressed thru each level, the environment was less-hostile and they had more resources. The landscape varied from glacial to mountains to alluvial valleys to vast plains and wetlands to the cities of the hinterlands, and finally a vast, futuristic megacity full of wonders, and beyond that, only the inaccessible mountains where they had their epic battle and death scene.
we went thru each level organizing and naming as we went. we chose places for settlements and arranged conditions and interfered in the management whenever it was called for. and then we moved on to the next level, with different parameters and initial conditions, and we built and organized and made sure everybody was happy, and moved on to the next level. i guess it boils down to technology. the basic conditions, the resources, the level of technology, the amount of people it could hold.
Anomia built up a huge folder of landscape images she could photoshop and apply to the framework
the boy creates the physical overlay. he researches climate, vegetation, geology; he determines the seasons, the rainfall, the water and wind currents. he decides where to start the desert and where to limit the glaciers, how much geologic rebound to plan for. passes all this to girl for art direction, who had already been proceeding with her own plan. they argue…Josh planned to have lots of easter eggs, all very well marked. – that means the alien vampire zombies are back in the game, with the hidden tunnels and the sidequests thru most levels. boy insists on pirates, draws up level diagrams (areas w/obstacles and skills), names rings.
fairy tracks assets in world diagram (locations, objects), suggests tarot card-based characters, pulls up examples. fairy designs npcs, textures, sounds, draws up a flowchart of possible actions for entire game. thinks of herself as fairy godmother. thinks she owns world diagram, flowchart, already sees how it’s supposed to go and trying to make it happen by controlling the lists. since snake isn’t around, she has no opposition; the girl and boy appreciate what she’s doing, she feels she’s the one holding it all together. wonders if she can copyright it for its own good. in the months it takes to design the game, fairy sleeps thru a bunch of boyfirends. fairy tracks assets in world diagram (locations, objects), suggests tarot card-based characters, pulls up examples. wants fantasy creature npcs. who suggests aliens? boy sketches out cut scenes, quests. fairy photoshops rider deck character sketches, lists preliminary npc functions. they discuss list of animations. fairy works on flowchart of possible actions for entire game. todo list. fairy has child account with radhu, she passes him things and chats with him, but he doesn’t have access to the others. she keeps world diagram to herself. what does radhu do?
expand This left tasks/scripts/npcs/avatar design, which Anomia originally made a stab at. But Fairy complained about everything from her drawing skills to her fashion sense, so they give it to Fairy, and she gave it to Radhu, whose avatars were more Bollywood, leaving Fairy to explain it away without taking credit for it (yet).
“Every item in the universe is referred to as an asset. This includes the shapes of the 3D objects known as primitives, the digital images referred to as textures that decorate primitives, digitized audio clips, avatar shape and appearance, avatar skin textures, LSL scripts, information written on notecards, and so on. Each asset is referenced with a universally unique identifier or UUID.”
ingame: economics and technology in each ring. need faucet-drain economy or will have infinite accumulation of wealth and unbalance in the game. ownership of houses, possessions, jobs, responsibility for things inside the game. item faucet; item sink; item converter; alternate career path; social glue; or some combination. “Each virtual citizen is accounted for in the simulation. They need a place to live, they may work somewhere or have their own business, they consume goods that they pay for with the money they earn. While doing so, they alter their environment, they produce pollution, crime, or just wear down existing utilities. They require services like hospitals, police and education. They have a will of their own, usually moving from one place to another looking for better jobs, better commerce, or avoiding adverse conditions like pollution, crime, or even people from a different social class.”
gm – general manager? gamemaster, they turn and say in unison.