The Snowflake: A Model for Stories with Branching Structures?

Today I was at the local bookstore. As I was looking for a copy of Homer’s Odysseia, I came accross a section dedicated to Orhan Pamuk, the Nobel-Prize winning turkish author. An illustration on the backcover of his book Kar (Snow, published in 2002) suddenly catched my attention. Here it is:

Illustration from the backcover of Orhan Pamuk's novel "Kar" (Snow, 2002)

Illustration from the backcover of Orhan Pamuk's novel Kar (Snow) dating back to the year 2002.

The cover artist combined a stylized snowflake with the names of characters and sections in the story. I don’t know wether it was Pamuk’s own idea. But suddenly I heard myself saying: “Stories are like snowflakes: They all look alike, but still each one of them is unique.”

More than that, I think a snowflake model could be useful for game writers that work on stories with “branching” structures.

Game Narrativity continued

I’m right now in a very fruitful process of writing and diagramming my thoughts on Game Narrativity. I don’t really know where it will carry me to, but I just feel somehow that something “programmed” in me knows the way. Whatever that thing is, it feels right and I feel I need to follow it.

 One of the diagrams I prepared this evening. Click to enlarge!

A diagram based on the completion levels concept in Barthes' structural analyses of narratives.

A diagram based on the concept of Completion Levels in Barthes' study on narrative.

There is a collection of little “theoretical tokens” and at some point I need to join them all together into a single framework. I don’t know yet when that moment will come…

Another theoretical token:

The three roles a game designer will have to construct while designing a game

The three roles a game designer will have to construct for the player of her game.

 And another one:

A classification system that enables the player to perform on all narrative levels

The Interface, a classification system that enables the player to perform on all narrative levels.

Oh my, I really need some feedback on all this!

The Actionary

Here is an example of a possible entry for the Actionary:
 1. n. the button aligned to the bottom of the right button panel of the DualShock Controller for the Sony Playstation. 2. v. graphic user interface. to confirm. 3. to continue (a sequence). 4. to skip or end (a sequence). 5. gameplay. to fire or send an object (ball) or projectile (bullets) into a often pre-determined direction. 6. to perform a basic attacking or defensive move against an enemy. 7. to activate or deactivate an object or process such as an elevator.
Genre specific uses might be treated like registers or professions.