One Small Step

I make one step forward and immediately encounter a brick wall. I’ve decided to initiate conversations with a ‘speak A about’, in which ‘A’ represents a positive or negative aura-emotion. So the next question is, how should a speaker respond to such a statement? The result is messy.

The most obvious response would be to counter with one’s own statement about A. For example, if the conversation is initiated with “Joe speaks power about John to Mary” (in other words, Joe says that he feels dominant over John), then Mary’s most likely response is to communicate her sense of power: greater or less than.

Or she could respond with a statement about one of the other aura-emotions: “Mary speaks ungood about John to Joe.” 

Or she could change the IndObject but stay with the aura-emotion: “Mary speaks power about Jane to Joe.” 

Or she could directly address Joe: “Mary speak power to Joe.” If so, should she confine herself to the same value of A?

Or she could get down to business by asking about one of John’s aura-counts. 

Lastly, she could terminate the conversation.

That adds up to fourteen possible responses. That’s too many. Not only will it require too much screen real estate, it is too wide a set of responses for the player.

I could reduce this readily by collapsing the ‘speak’ verbs such that their aura-values are objects rather than defining components of a verb. Thus, instead of six verbs:

speak power about [DirObject] [IndObject
speak unpower about [DirObject] [IndObject
speak good about [DirObject] [IndObject]
speak ungood about [DirObject] [IndObject]
speak truth about [DirObject] [IndObject]
speak untruth about [DirObject] [IndObject]

we’d have just one verb:

speak aura about [DirObject] [IndObject] [aura]

The same thing would happen with ‘speak power to’, etc. I very much like this idea, but I was deterred from it by some now-forgotten consideration. Here’s one possible snag: writing the Desirable script for the option ‘speak aura to’ would be especially tricking if we were considering changing the value of IndObject. How do we use the same verb for different values of IndObject? Sure, it can be done, but will it require a godawful script? 

I’ll fiddle around with it…

Now I’ve run into an even more frustrating problem: how do I handle negative auras as ActorTraits? I am working on the scripts for the Verb ‘greet’, in particular the Desirable script for 4ActorTrait, the aura with which the ReactingActor is to greet the visitor. There’s only one value recorded: the pAura value, which can be positive or negative. How will I express the negative value? If PGood[Actor1, Actor2]>0, then the sentence would be 'Actor1 greet Actor good’. But what if PGood[Actor1, Actor2]<0? Would the sentence not be the same? I need a way to replace ‘good’ with ‘ungood’. But that would require two separate words, one for each version, which in turn would require two separate ActorTraits. 

I could finesse the problem in text-Storyteller by a little clever text scripting, but what about SympolTalk Storyteller? Is this an issue that should be set aside for now and wait reprogramming of Storyteller when I get funding?