A Quick Refresher
The product I am designing and creating is a digital choose-your-own-adventure style narrative. It will follow the story of a quantum computer scientist who wishes to create a simulated human society, and his test subject, Mindy, who lives inside the simulation.
Martin Heidegger argues through his concept of “object-oriented ontology” that objects exist independently of their relationship to humans. It considers reality to be holistic, and not merely aggregations of complementary parts. This philosophy will build a strong framework for the structure of my game’s narrative. Although each page reveals more forks in the path and therefore more diverse story opportunities, I will need to consider each element as essential to the narrative, at an equal level, to ensure the consistency of the narrative world.
The philosophical carpentry of each page extends to the overall narrative microcosm through the creation of one holistic story, and beyond this, to question the future of humanity and potential for human simulation that has intrigued philosophers, conspirators and scientists alike for decades.
In a previous blog post, I discussed my initial prototype which I’m using as a rough skeleton. It’s basically a typed version which guides the story so far.
Because Simulation Mindy is being constructed via WordPress, the simplest method of constructing this game has proven to be publishing each page as I create it, and slowly build up the narrative. This has effectively created a working beta version of the end product, which I’ve been editing regularly as my ideas develop.
The working prototype allows me to continuously playtest the game myself. It has also provided me with the opportunity to ask others for feedback. This allows me to consistently improve the quality and user interface of this product as I create it. So far I am confident that the story mechanics physically work.
The feedback I have received thus far suggests that those with an interest in philosophy and the mechanics around simulation theory have been interested by the game more so than others. Although I appreciate and consider this feedback, I know I need this early story to very much reflect Bostrom’s ideas to create a strong foundation from which I can manufacture the protagonist’s story from within the simulation. This will have a much more fun and experimental attitude and I’m looking forward to developing it alongside consistent feedback. I have chosen to prioritise the ‘fun’ issue however; my new risk is that even once I’ve finished the game and the latter two-thirds of it is creative and fun, I still risk losing an audience who might not understand, or be excited about, the foundations of the story and not stick with the game. Therefore I’ll be making several changes to both make the foundation easy to understand and more engaging.