Conversation Methodologies

My latest Homer in Silicon column is a bit of a departure from the norm: instead of offering a critique of a game or set of games, I discuss conversation modeling methods, in an attempt to share some interactive fiction theory with a wider audience and to encourage more discussion about conversation modeling in general.

ETA: there is some further discussion of the ideas at TIGSource.

11 thoughts on “Conversation Methodologies”

  1. Speaking of which, Emily, has Alabaster been finished when I wasn’t looking? What’s the latest?

    Sorry if I’m missing a thread on the topic.. Couldn’t figure out how to search your blog.


    1. It’s basically done, but I’m holding off doing an official release until there’s a new Zoom available for the Mac, one capable of running Git and using the accelerations recently built into the veneer. Once that happens, I’ll bundle Alabaster up and announce it various places.

      (Also, there’s a search box on the right side, below the archives list.)

      1. I’m looking forward to seeing the source for the finished Alabaster, especially seeing how you finally implemented all that conversational chaos.

        (That is a much better place for the search box.)

      2. Yeah, I think so too. Back in the day when I started this up, the sidebar was (if I’m even remembering right) harder to customize, but the tools have since gotten better, so I was able to tweak it.

  2. Emily,

    I didn’t have the mental processing clicks to really get into this article before. Finally getting to it just today, I want to say, I find it very illuminating and informative. You really got the level of detail, the (pseudo)code, and the mix between theory and application. Very clear and substantive.

    More like that, please, as the opportunity presents itself. And thanks!


    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

      In practice, of course, not all of the column can be that sort of thing — I need to hit some kind of balance in the variety of games that I talk about, and it wasn’t pitched as a theory or development blog to start with. But one of the things I do want to do is share some aspects of design theory that come out of the IF community but might have a more broad application if they were better known.

      1. You have to be venue-appropriate; sure. Whether such works are found in your column or your blog, they’re very helpful.

        (I’ve actually been going through your blog lately for such stuff.)


        ps – crossthreading – thanks for the permalink to _Homer_.

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