Ghost: Original Design Intent

This pair of paragraphs describing Ghost from the highest level was the germ that seized the imagination of all who came into contact with the design:

Before this design is pigeonholed, I should clarify that it is not so much a game as it is an experience. It is a real-time interactive story in which you, the user, assist events that transpire within your very screen. This product will have a fully developed character to it, something that the user can believe in as if it were absolutely real. It won't be anything goofy or assuming like a first-person perspective simulators or text adventure. The point of this program is that it is just that -- a PROGRAM, nothing more, nothing less. It isn't some sort of overblown remote control system for some fly-away spaceship. It is just a bunch of code that you install on your hard drive and activate like any other program. But unlike other software, this program will become self-aware and know its capabilities. It will communicate as your computer would, should it ever come to life and develop a personality. And that is precisely what it will seem to do. The user will not become Jack Hazard, Private Eye. They will remain themselves, reacting naturally to unnatural behavior from their once-familiar computer.

The strength and beauty of this program will be in its creative use of the medium's shortcomings to further the authenticity of the events. Many of the storyline specifics will be told in such a way that take advantage of all the computer's capabilities, the way you or I would communicate were we limited to pixels and a sound card. This product will have a fully fleshed out history with a complete record of what has gone before. The "Ghost" will have a totally dimensional personality, with character traits derived from a huge database of events and memories that will soon be shared with the user.

Of course, what made the design process of Ghost so tragic was how far the design had moved by the end of its life: from something unique and exciting to something indistinguishable from any other point-and-click adventure game.



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