While I spent a week of my paternity leave watching my little daughter, I managed to finally watch the initial season of Westworld.  I had pretty low expectations but everyone said to watch it.

I did enjoy the show, though like most movies and shows (Harry Potter, Avatar), I would have preferred to just experience the made-up world for a while, just watching some of the character interactions, before returning to the main storyline.

There’s a scene where you get to see the interface that lets the developers change the personality weightings of the characters — I was drawn to it.

This reddit thread pointed out that you can see in the UI a bunch of other characteristics that developers can edit behind the fore layer.  So in theory you can get pretty fine-grained with the personality development.  Though I’m not sure where the developers imprint a character’s backstory here, or if it can even be done via the UI.

What I love is the immediate feedback from editing a character’s personality (shades of Bret Victor’s talks about interactive code) and how the mixture of weighted traits form a baseline personality which guide, but not proscribe, all their behaviors.

This got me thinking about; I think I’m getting to a point where I’m ready to work on it some more.  The main thing for me in the last year has been severe time limitations with family as well as a ton of stuff to learn and think about while coding at work.  What that means is that in order for me to work on, I need to prioritize building a separate module for things so that I can work on them in isolation in a language and framework that requires the least complexity and time spent reasoning what the code should be doing.  As a result, I’ve spun out the MUD/text-based aspect of from the web application code, and I’m going to do the same with the character creator.

I’d like to get to the point where I can create random characters for fun while on the subway to work.  My previous strategy was to create essentially an MVP where everything is integrated.  But now, since this is primarily a labor of love and my life’s project, then I want to just stay with the bare metal so I can work on the components that enable me to play more.