Translated by me into Simplified Chinese edition in 2014, Chris Crawford‘s pioneering book explores the unknown territories of the Interactive Storytelling field:
As a game designer or new media storyteller, you know that the story is critical to the success of your project. Telling that story interactively is an even greater challenge, one that involves approaching the story from many angles. Here to help you navigate and open your mind to more creative ways of producing your stories is the authority on interactive design and a longtime game development guru, Chris Crawford. To help you in your quest for the truly interactive story, Crawford provides a solid sampling of what works and doesn’t work, and how to apply the lessons to your own storytelling projects. After laying out the fundamental ideas behind interactive storytelling and explaining some of the misconceptions that have crippled past efforts, the book delves into all the major systems that go into interactive storytelling: personality models, actors, props, stages, fate, verbs, history books, and more. Crawford also covers the Storytron technology he has been working on for several years, an engine that runs interactive electronic storyworlds, giving readers a first-hand look into practical storytelling methods.
Well, the official description above was clearly written with marketing in mind, but what Chris Crawford himself says is more to-the-point:
My objective in writing is not to impress you with my erudition, but to help you understand a difficult subject. I will goad you to think about the material by presenting ideas in their strongest, starkest terms. I will not waste your time with qualifiers and mush-mouthing nothingburger pap. You’re smart enough to fill in the exceptions for yourself. If you find yourself in agreement with everything in this book, you haven’t been reading closely enough.