Shark Links

Storyspace 3 extends the $Requirements mechanism by providing shark links. If a note’s requirements are satisfied, Storyspace additionally checks to see if any shark links lead away from the  note. If an outbound shark link exists and if it can be followed – if its guard field and its destination’s $Requirements are satisfied – then the shark link is followed immediately. 

Suppose that a character is to board a steamship, and that it is necessary that we actually see them purchasing a ticket. If they already have purchased a  ticket, they may proceed on board. If the reader’s trajectory has  no yet encompassed a scene in which the character obtains a ticket, a shark link may interpolate here a trip to the ticket office.  

The same effect could be obtained with multiple guarded links, but at the cost of added complexity.  

Storyspace 3 Mark Bernstein Eastgate Systems, Inc.


Timid & Eager Links

A number of early hypertext formalisms envisioned a multi-pane or multi-window collage of panes in which specified transitions  might occurs as soon as their preconditions were met. Tim Oren’s GUIDES, for example, embodied animated characters who could, through gesture or expression, indicate willingness to discuss a topic raised in the text [39], and the generalization of this formalism to encompass arguments among the guides  themselves was readily foreseen. “Conversations With Friends” distinguishes between eager links, which would lead a  character to speak up immediately when their preconditions were  satisfied, and timid links, which would simply lead the character  to seek attention. 


Storyspace 3 Mark Bernstein Eastgate Systems, Inc.



As a rule, interactive fictions use links to vary what
takes place in the narrative world, while hyperfiction more frequently uses links to vary the way underlying events are described: 

  • interactive fiction generally focuses on story while 
  • hyperfiction has predominantly focused on plot.

Storyspace 3 Mark Bernstein Eastgate Systems, Inc.