Sunday, 26 February 2017

Let's add a million stories

The 20 year road map

I call this a game for a reason. I am painfully aware that right now it's just a couple of mediocre "choose your own adventure" books. But think ahead.

One day this will have so many stories, and so many links between stories, and editing them will be so easy, that it will feel more interactive than Call of Duty. because you can do anything you can imagine: if it can be expressed in words and/or pictures, you can do it.

This is how we will get there:

It's all about scale. 

I just added a page entitled "Help Us Add A Million Stories"  That's right. A million.

Right now the game has two stories. This week I will add a third. Next week I will add a fourth. I expect to average one story every three weeks - more if I do very simple stories, like Aesop's Fables for example. So on my own I will add around 17 stories per year. In two years that's 34 stories. Still not much, but enough so other people start to notice. I then expect others to add ideas. Remember, a story can be very simple - maybe just three pages. I expect to have 50 stories by the middle of 2019.

With more people contributing regularly, growth should be exponential. 100 stories by the end of 2020. By then I expect to have regular contributors, and moderators to help me handle the load.

I would also expect a medium size news site to mention it favourably. The focus then will be on getting user comfortable about adding stuff. I want people to add a story in the same way that they'd add a thread to Reddit. And drawing will not be a problem. This site is about the story, not the art. Anybody can go to and draw something (their HTML5 tool is really easy and responsive), then save it, upload it to Reddit, and add the URL.


The bottleneck will be human editing: checking that the stuff works and is above a minimum quality threshold. Nothing beats the human touch for stories. My feeling is that every moderator should have their own web space. They are then responsible for uploading game files to there. There is no javascript in this game, so there's nothing to stop it being spread over as many domains as you like. As long as each moderator is trusted. Those mods can then have their own section of the main site, and their own fans. Maybe specialise by genre? Or have their own picks? Make their name as editors, and monetise accordingly. Have ads, their own Patreon accounts, whatever they want.

Automated tools

At some point, maybe in 2022, we'll need to let people draw directly into the game.

That shouldn't be too hard for some tech minded mod to figure out. Heck, I even did it myself in a  previous game - using HTML5 canvas you can get people to draw onto the screen, then use forms to upload the results. Personally, I don't want to touch code any more. My view is that moderators would create their own code, run it at their own risk on their own domains. Their domains would scale, with hundreds then thousands then tens of thousands of stories, manages using wikis, wordpress, whatever. My own central hub would be for my own hand made stuff, and would only grow at one story per month. Let each moderator do things his own way, and reap the rewards.

How big can TEDAgame get?

Automated tools remove any barriers to growth. How big could we grow? The closest thing I know to TEDAgame is They began in 1998 and in under 20 years they had well over six million uploaded stories. So a goal of one million TEDAgame stories in a similar time (20 years) seems realistic.

The results of scale

With massive scale we can increase quality by having the best stories rise to the top. We can also have more and more links between stories, creating a fabulously rich single game world. Although it will be static pages, with so many choice it be just as interactive as anu computation-based game. More so because, as the name says, this is endless and you can literally do anything you can imagine. Though whether some mod sub-domains are allowed to be "R rated" is a question for another day. My own hub will always be family friendly. Or as family friendly as classic novels will allow.


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