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PremiseImproviso is an experiment in dialogue-based gameplay. The object of the game is to create the ultimate sci-fi B-movie with "cardboard" props and costumes. The game is played with two players: the Director and the Lead Actor. The Lead Actor plays as Ted, a reporter on the verge of his next big scoop about government conspiracies and alien invasions. The Director is in charge of just about everything else. He (or she) selects scenes, music to fit the tone of the scene, and special effects. He also controls every other character in the scene, which can include any or all of the following: government Agent Smith, scientist Dr. Stein, alien K-17, and little girl Katie.
At the beginning of each scene, the Director chooses the scenario that both he and the Lead Actor will enact through the length of the scene. The first scene almost always begins with Agent Smith discovering Ted tied up inside an alien spacecraft. From here both players begin to craft their tale by both engaging in dialogue and interacting with the props and set.
Gameplay The Director and the Lead Actor can move about the set and interact with props such as ray guns, pistols, syringes, phones, etc. All of the props are made out of "cardboard", so, if a character uses a prop on another character (i.e. Agent Smith attacks Ted with Pistol) the other character does not necessarily have to respond with the standard response to said object (Ted does not have to die unless he chooses to do so).
Players interact with the physical world of the game by left-clicking and choosing a prompt on the action wheel. These actions include: Pick-up, Drop, Mask (the characters can disguise themselves as other characters), Die, Revive, and Use (the prop the player is holding).
The core of the gameplay is dialogue. The main interaction the Director and Lead Actor have with one another is through speech. There are no limitations on what can be said, which means that the scenes can be taken in any direction possible. What starts out as a typical alien cover-up story can quickly turn into an absurdist comedy.
Each "film" consists of three scenes. Once the three scenes are completed, the Director and the Actor rate one another on atributes such as Thrilling, Accuracy (how closely the original scenario is followed), and Funny.
SetsThe game world consists of three joined sets: The alien spaceship, the government lab, and the outdoor campsite. Depending on the scenario or the current scene, some sets may be blocked off from one another or the scene may end if a character exits the set. The Director can activate special effects for specific sets. In the campsite, the director can change the weather, making it rainy or lightening. He can also summon tanks to storm the campsite and start bombarding the alien spacecraft with missiles.