The story grows…

I’ve updated the story map significantly, spending today pretty much working solidly on it. I’ve also done some more work on coding the site, which now exists in a prototype form – I’ll post more about that when it’s not midnight… For now, here’s the updated story map (which is also on the story page).

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New page – Story


I’ve put up a new page, to show the progression of the story, in mind map form. I’ll put new post up when I update it, but it’s there in an easy-to-reach form for when I want to check it. Here’s what I’ve got so far… The software has just deleted a load of the story (which is great), so there’s no science in there at the moment, but once I’ve re-typed it all there will be!

‘Clouds’ mean that that is the end of the storyline. There are quite a few ‘wrong’ choices at the beginning, which I don’t like, but I only have a finite amount of time for this!

New page – Science

I’ve put a new page up, with a table of the science I want to include, and ways to incorporate that into the story. I’ll post when I update it more.

Here’s what I’ve got so far…

Science Story
Alice and Bob are often used to explain different concepts in quantum theory, especially when talking about information transfer. They will be your companions in the virtual world, and at times you will see them in the distance, carrying out thought experiments.
The twins paradox – if you travel close to the speed of light, you age more slowly because time slows down. The ‘ending’ of one of the stories can be that you get on a very fast spaceship and return to find that everyone is long gone
Quantum tunnelling – alpha particles can escape the nucleus of an atom which they should be tightly bound into, due to the fact that there is a finite possibility that they are actually located outside it If the world was one where quantum effect were much more important, you might be able to run through walls. This might be a good use of a random number generator…
Schrodinger’s cat/wavefunction collapse – things exist in two states at once until someone observes them. So the cat is both alive and dead until you look at it, at which point the wavefunction collapses, and the cat is either dead or alive Your observation could change the way the story goes – there’s a choice to either look or not look, and looking might kill something/cause something undesirable

Design attempt

This is the first attempt at the layout – I like the idea of being able to choose which ‘bubble’ universe to enter, from the main bubble – the current universe. I made it from scratch in photoshop, and I quite like the ‘glowy’ effect.

My only problem with it is that I would have to use white/light text on a dark background – which I normally don’t like. I’ll have to see if I can find a way around this…

Handy notepad

Here is a handy tool for if I want users to have to remember anything. The notepad automatically saves the information to the user’s hard drive, so that if the site crashes, they still have the information. At early points in the story, the user could be given codes etc., which they can save in the notepad for later use. I really like this idea, and all the HTML code is put there for me!

Design thoughts

I quite like the idea of the story starting off in a regular, boring universe, and then stepping through a crack, or tear, in space-time into a parallel universe where all the quantum strangeness happens. This idea may have been pinched from xkcd. However, I think the idea of the background being ‘ripped’, with normal walls at the edge, and the ‘quantum universe’ in the middle might work.

However, I currently can’t decide whether this should be the way into the story, or whether the user should get ‘shrunk’. If this were the start, the ripped world wouldn’t be relevant (unless the ‘rips’ in spacetime are only visible to the very small person), so I need to think of a good image for the quantum universe.

There are a lot of representations of parallel universes as ‘bubble universes’, with multiple universes ‘bubbling off’ the old ones, so perhaps I could use this motif.

Bubbles!

Since it’s also about spacetime, perhaps the stereotypical ‘grid-curvature’ idea could work into this somehow – white bubbles on black backgrounds?

Curvy space

One thing I want to think about is the best layout for different screen sizes. I’m not sure how to do this – a liquid layout seems best.