Chris Crawford is still trying to drive interactive storytelling forward

As his latest attempt to crowdfund a storytelling game falters, Crawford says he's now more focused on inspiring a new generation of game makers than trying to revolutionize the industry himself.
I’m sure many people will look at [Siboot] and once they understand how it works they’ll say, ‘I can do better.' That’s the whole point and purpose of this project.”

- Game industry veteran Chris Crawford lays out his ambition for the storytelling game he's trying to crowdfund.

Chris Crawford has been an outspoken advocate of interactive storytelling in games for decades, but in a new interview with Rock, Paper, Shotgun about his most recent Kickstarter campaign, Crawford admits that he's now more focused on inspiring a new generation of game makers than trying to revolutionize the industry himself.

"I’m no longer interested in the money or the fame," Crawford tells RPS, noting that even if this Kickstarter fails he plans to finish the game, Siboot, and eventually release it and its interactive storytelling engine as open-source code, whereupon he "can retire with the sense that my life was not a waste.”

The iconoclastic developer's latest interview marks an interesting shift in tone when you compare it against Crawford's failed attempt to Kickstart another game project, Balance of Planet, back in 2012. 

At the time he told Gamasutra that he wasn't sure he'd ever use the platform again, due to its shift away from being "a semi-charitable operation in which people could assist worthy creative projects that might not make it commercially" in favor of being a marketing-driven platform for people to effectively pre-order games from indie developers, who Crawford once championed as game industry saviors.

"The indies are the best thing that have happened this industry in a long, long time," Crawford now tells RPS. "I can respect the way they took this classic architecture and rendered it for modern technology and modern capabilities, but deep down inside it’s still the classic design. That doesn’t make it bad. Shakespeare is still good today, even if Hamlet is using a machine gun instead of a sword.”

For more comments from Crawford that elucidate his perspective on the industry and his work on Siboot, check out the full interview over on RPS.

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