Continuation of ideas bits from discussion at intelligent-artifice
Emergence is amazing, is delicious but we can't forget the drawbacks. I believe it'll evolve more and more, get used more and more in games and IS, but IMHO you'll need to have a story line to give them. You can't bet everything in the emergence.
In the end this comes to the mixing everyone was and still looking for: Sims + GTA III. San Andreas tried that a lot more with the character management within the game. However, if you had no missions at all, could the character really evolve his "respect" without doing some predefined missions, based in what? In the number of killings performed, number of robbed cars, number of insane car manoeuvres arbitrarily like in real life? What would be the goal for the player, live a virtual life of crime in a virtual copy of our world? With what purpose? What would be the fun of that? Would people really find any reward for playing it?
Storytelling goal is not to be life like, but to be a slice of life. Storytelling is not a window to life that you can try to enlarge through IS. I believe that IS is more like a bridge to that slice, something that can bring it closer to me, making me feeling it more intensely. Interacting with that slice is in IMHO the goal.
Storytelling is well cared event selections of the real world, expressively worked upon. Life is boring :-), stories are not boring it's not their goal :-). Sure a system like that can turn to be believable, but not in story like framing but in a life like framing. We should then change the name from Interactive Storytelling (IS) to Interactive Life-Like (ILL) :-)
My position regarding IS is more in consonance with
Andrew view at grandtextauto
"Without well-formed experiences - efficient pacing, filtering out the 'boring bits' - games may not breakthrough to a mass audience. Most people just don't have the time to spend hours and hours playing a game for a few moments of meaningful drama. Games will need to be as "efficient" as movies, TV and books in this regard."
Aubrey says: «"Edge Metaphor". It's a precievably logical reason why the player can't leave the designated world space. Understandable reasoning for limitations [..] like Halflife 2's [..] force fields [..] GTA3 [..] islands. It applies not just to world space, but to game system space [..] and story space."»
"Edge metaphor" can be translated into storytelling by the story-line. Like HL2 "you're never in a position to affect the overall invasion" :-). This sentence is our story edge metaphor. We can't break it, if we do the world will become uncontrollable, story will disappear, and it will only rest a playground to be used by players as they like, waiting for some emergent story that can never occur
I'm not trying to knock-out IS, on the contrary I'm also looking for it, however I don't agree or better I don't believe in all the paths to arrive there, firstly because I believe that we have already some types of IS, so we're not discovering the wheel. Also I'm not a believer for "branching", "intelligent automate story managers", "emergence only" or "build your own story". I'm looking for interactive mechanics transparency that can carry an authored story directly into the player "heart". Looking for interactive mechanics that can give the player a feeling of participation in the telling, of sharing and helping in the act of telling with the "storyteller", not sharing the act of story creation with the story writer or even to be the writer himself.