The ODIN Project is an “open research” group trying to improve the quality of stories in games. Open Research means that anyone can contribute and join the discussion, and anyone is free to use our discoveries in their games. Among the top questions we’re trying to answer are:
- How can we create powerful, emotional stories in video games?
- How can we tell new and different kinds of stories in video games than have been seen before?
- How can we transform the games industry to improve stories across the board?
- How do we allow players to impact a story without sacrificing story quality?
- How can we have multiple players impacting the same story in a fair and enjoyable manner?
ODIN started out here as the concept of Scalable, Persistent, Interactive Narrative (SPIN). Yes, I do love my acronyms.
Scalable – the game is just as compelling to play alone or with a group, and can support a very large number of concurrent players.
Persistent – one shared game world stays online when you’re not around.
Interactive – real player impact on the world, story, and other goodness.
Narrative – a story, more importantly a good, cohesive story that inspires emotion and makes sense.
In order to accomplish such a thing, these posts illustrate the need for an “Artificial Intelligence Game Master”, especially for the Scalable part: Think of ODIN as the 1000-player campaign, or an MMO with a personalized author creating the story as you play.