Synopsis: Make a talking "game" out of the fairy tale. Assume that LRRH is a dream of a woman, Julie, and she is now seeking your advice to interpret it. Julie is a talking virtual character, a torso without hands, but with a very expressive face. You chat with Julie about the dream, and you have a persuasion task.
That is, I do not pretend to make the LRRH story interactive in any straightforward way. The Cyranus system is well adapted to chatting games, and I will exploit this faculty. The player talks to Julie about the story (as if it were a dream). The player has the task to lead the conversation to a certain goal. The goal is to persuade Julie that the dream is indeed meaningful, and that it is about sex. Many rounds of playing are likely to be necessary to achieve this aim of persuading Julie.
This interpretation is not my own and not new at all. Erich Fromm, for instance, has made a psychoanalytic interpretation of LRRH in this vain.
Is it possible to make an entertaining and elucidating game with these settings? How are the dialogues to be construed? How can Julie guide the dialogue, in spite of her (its) very limited “intellectual” faculties? How is the personality of Julie to be designed?
These are difficult questions that can hardly be answered without trying. This idea of “trying” is central to the Cyranus-framework: It is possible to start with some very simple structures, with directed graphs, and then to improve and adapt according to user feedback and the author’s intuition. The directed graphs can be replaced gradually, where appropriate, by rule based control strategies.
Here is the abstract of the LRRH-persuasion-game:
• You: Friend of Julie and hobby psychoanalyst
• Interpretation of the nightmare of Julie: (à la Erich Fromm):
Wolf = Man
Being eaten = Sex
consequence: Julie is fearing sex (and the player has to persuade Julie of this)
•Your task: Persuade Julie
–You win: Julie says “Oh, now I understand!”
–You lose: Julie says “Bullshit!”
Would this amount to the funny game that teaches also on persuasion strategies? I guess so, but I do not know for sure. For the workshop, I could only build a very few exemplary dialogues. It is difficult to estimate how much time would have to be invested until some experimental conclusion could be reached on whether this is the right path. I think that some weeks of intensive work by an individual would be necessary. However, some weeks of work would be an acceptable time, it seems to me. Thus, even with Cyranus, the results are not immediate, but it is an essential tool for such experiments.