Chris Crawford

is creating Le Morte D'Arthur

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About Chris Crawford

September 5th, 2017
After spending six months struggling with a serious problem in Siboot, I realized that every solution that I had cooked up either wouldn't work or would take years to get working. I therefore set aside Siboot. This really hurts, but the most important decision an artist must make is when to murder their creative children.
I decided to revive the storyworld I have been toying with for nearly 30 years: Le Morte D'Arthur, about the Arthurian legends. I launched the entire interactive storytelling project with this design, but way back then, before the Internet, the only way to publish was through an established publisher. One of them told me, "I really hope you find a publisher, because I want to play this, but I can't risk the company's money on something so radical." I have come back to the design several times, but I could never come up with a solution that was good enough. Perhaps I'm too demanding. 
So I set to work on Le Morte D'Arthur in June. I seriously considered shutting down this Patreon page, but my teammates urged me not to, and so I simply announced my intentions to the patrons and invited them to cancel their contributions if appropriate. 
My goal is to get a working prototype by January 1st, and I am pleased to write that I am well on the way to meeting this objective. It's a small subset of the main storyworld: the battle scene. This is a battle unlike anything you have ever seen. There are no maps, no 3D, no blood -- nothing you see in traditional games. Instead, the entire battle scene is a struggle with the morale of your subordinates. People start to panic under the stress of battle. The player must lead the group with due regard to their personalities. Some people respond to promises of rewards, others are more motivated by praise, and others by threats. You must manage your team as they fight the battle. If you manage them well, you will win the battle. If not, you will lose the battle. 

And it's all done in text! Talk about radical!

I'll keep you posted with reports at the end of each month.

Here is the original description of the project in 2015:

We aim to launch a revolution in game design by putting into the public domain an entire technology for interactive storytelling. This includes unique technologies for linguistic interaction, emotional facial display, a narrative engine, and a complete development environment for creating, editing, and fine-tuning storyworlds.

The first step in this process will be to complete Siboot, the 'proof-of-concept' demonstration of the power of the technology. Then, we'll go to work cleaning up the toolkit software, to make it accessible to non-programmers. We're going to finish this one way or the other, but your help will speed up our work.

On the 30th of each month we will release something indicative of our progress. We are still working out the details, but we have decided that we will release the Encounter Tester on July 30th. This is the software that allows us to test the Encounters used in the Siboot game. The editing is done in XML, but we are looking into the prospect of improving it so that you can edit directly. If so, that will be released later.

Follow our work at, and @sibootgame.
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