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Mnemoscene will be an engine for creating RPGs or with unusual narrative vitality. There are two aspects to this: a way to log player choices and events in a database structured around potential narrative meaning, and to present key events based on available story-elements rather than a branching tree structure. The first part is about systemic memory, and the second is about decentralizing the player and changing the approach to choice and input.

This is a very big concept, and so is expected to have at least three forms/stages:

  1. a card game testing the systemic memory and aspects of player choice (Card Shark)
    1. directly modeling Hamlet! in Card Shark to test the basic system (Hamlet)
    2. turning Hamlet! into a multiplayer game (Social Shark)
    3. modeling a new story, where player choice is further removed to abstract tarot-like choices (Tarot Colony)
  2. a basic digital version (the Mnemoscene Engine) around the content of one of those card games, or a new one like Sleep No More or Homestuck
  3. an AI for the Mnemoscene engine, basically so that a player can have inputs into the system, but does not determine it because they're 'playing with the AI'
  4. a digital RPG which chooses scenes like the player does, and which substitutes low-level (grind) actions for the player input. (Emergence)

I'm setting up a design log for this. It's also good to consider other engines as reference.

How the Final Game Might Play

When actions are taken in, say, a JRPG game, the database would log them. The log would focus on meaning for other players/actors. Events would be given special weight based on the circumstance: while the PC giving an NPC a potion would be recorded (as a giving event), if that was the last potion in the party’s supply or the PC was very low on health also, then the event might have greater weight. There will be many events, most seemingly inconsequential.

At frequent moments in the story, at the end of scenes (or battles, etc.), the recent log would be reviewed and character relationship networks updated. These would be nets of standard feelings, and when a connection was updated, the events that updated it would be linked. In this way, at the end of a scene, the engine would notice that the PC has given the last health potion to the NPC despite being very low on health; this has never happened before, so the NPC’s feelings toward the PC shift significantly, perhaps creating a feeling where there was none before.

Authors in the system would spell out Events that could happen: world Events, general character Events, and special/scripted character Events. Each would have conditions that might refer to previous Events, to a type of scene, location, characters, and/or to relationships with relevant characters. The engine would then pick (randomly?) from relevant Events whose conditions are satisfied: this character is dying, his nemesis is dead, and he loves the PC; the special/scripted character “dying triumphantly in his lovers’ arms” Event can occur.


This is a HUGE idea. It STARTS with a JRPG. So let's break it down as Mnemoscene Tarot. Then go through Mnemosyne Sleep No More or Homestuck in order to try out decentralizing the player character. Then on to this by making a short JRPG where the events are chosen By the game on these terms rather than by the player.

There's a design log here in the wiki.

mnemoscene/start.txt · Last modified: 2017/03/02 22:32 by sprice