I’m not certain who coined the phrase ‘storyworld’ in the context of interactive storytelling, but I know Chris Crawford’s use of it sunk in for me. It stripped story of the prerequisite for a storyline and offered instead a world of possibilities whose common aim was to build one. It sounds vague, and it is. There are many ways to use interactivity to shape the actual stories but the point is the storyworld really shouldn’t adhere to the traditional way we’ve been creating them. Which leaves a lot of questions about how exactly it is done.
This section is about the Main World, where an interactive story takes place. It looks at how this world might behave and what goes into designing one. The main world can be any number of living, breathing ecosystems, all teeming with the potential for drama and the means for enacting it. Certainly there are technical questions about how to pull it off. But what’s most appealing about a storyworld’s design is the unique range of creative opportunities that extend beyond the visual aesthetics and the mechanics of interactivity. The ultimate driving force is drama, and everything is subservient to it. How to build on that is what makes the Main World a truly unusual and untapped canvas.