H2O: A Drop in the Ocean – A Writer Artificial Intelligence for Interactive Storytelling

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By Brad Wind

I have a challenge for you.

Dear audiences who affirm interactive story spaces, I have a gift for you. I have a cool new framework for writer artificial intelligence (AI). I want you to sign up and play with it. I can guarantee just about anyone reading this on The Art of Autism will absolutely love it. For a limited time, you can sign up to download the work for free. Please visit the link below and give a name, whatever name you like as long as you remember it exactly as you typed it. You’ll need the name later to play.


What’s a writer AI? Writer artificial intelligence is a new technology that force multiplies possibilities authors write. The result for anyone interested in new ways of interacting with stories is: as you play your way through a story space, anything will seem possible. The cost for authors of this type of work: relatively small; “H2O: A Drop in the Ocean”, the world’s first writer AI set to release in May, I wrote myself, single-handedly!

H2O demonstrates to people everywhere water’s centrality to humans’ existence. As a person on the spectrum, I always found comfort in and around water. So, too, with one of the main characters in H2O. Adrian Fontaine can save the world using his singular knowledge of water! If you only give him the chance. You can save mine, this fictitious world I crafted for you over many years, if you give H2O a chance and play it. Go on, please visit Adrian and his friends. You can check it out now before we start charging a nominal price for downloading the browser-based software.


Success, creative or otherwise, is never so sweet as when it is shared.

Artists, scientists like me succeed only when we share our vision. When our work lets others glimpse precisely how we see the world. I believe we can better internalize the nature of consequences. We can become better decision makers. What we perceive as limitations can in fact enable undreamed of greatness. I believe we may make ourselves better at being human. With writer AI I tried to do my small part. We now have a better way to tell stories. A new way to make good realizations and make good on vital realizations at which we have arrived.

This new writer AI framework arrives with another feature. We now know H2O is a richly interactive story “more interactive” truly than any before it. Our five year old would say “more better.” It is also a platform for artistic hope.

In the published work, audience-supplied names appear beside mini-stories. This blockchain-like “own your choice” system gives independent authors a means of compensation. Built-in reverse commissioning of their writing becomes a reality.

Audiences, meanwhile, can show their support visibly where others can see. Cool is, anyone can play someone else’s story just by typing their registered name in the software. It’s a custom, personal experience lovingly crafted and made for sharing with friends. A built-in community around interactive art.

As an author, it is such a relief and so rewarding both to know I can self-publish like this. For independent creators, their supporters, and audiences alike, this is win-win-win. Especially for someone like me with all the communication difficulties that uniquely attend our particular disability. There’s simply nothing else like this out there. H2O is in every sense a game-changer! (Pun intended.) Crafted, as it were, to democratize storytelling and transform the digital entertainment industry.

I can already say, I feel connected to a community like never before in my life!

The March Kickstarter campaign reached its funding goal in just eight days. Our fifteen backers were so generous! Now I’m looking to bring in as many truly interested people excited to play as I possibly can. This work is about choices. I do hope you’ll make the choice to play.

Practically speaking, rarely was there much choice for someone like me. Or so it felt. In my own life’s interactive story, it has always felt like greatness… or nothing. For employers such as NCSA and NASA I have helped visualize and model galaxy formations, clouds, and the water cycle. My software has enabled scientific discoveries, educational outreach, and business efficiencies. In its own small way, of late it has even helped mitigate homelessness.

Most thankfully, I have a home, and a family, and now this gift, for you. My dear audience, I know you’re out there. Now I need your help. To realize the dream of my own artistic vision, of helping creators create, please help by participating in this cottage phenomenon that is now playing and sweeping the nation. Third time’s a charm:


This is so important to me, and I feel for the world, I cannot say enough. You will be so glad you participated if that is your choice.  Let’s show the world a special, powerful new art form. This is why I say

I have a challenge for you.

Thanks for reading. Now go ahead. Go forth and make good realizations!

Brad Wind


This is my story.  It is true that computers helped me tell it. The best reason to enlist computer aid in interactive storytelling, my life’s artistic pursuit, is this. To make possible that which isn’t without it.

Sometimes in all of the fervor over automation, AI, and such we forget. A computer is a tool not intended to replace its user wholesale. In too many stories HAL-like creations mean to become sentient. But what if, instead, the machine helps us realize our own best stories? What if computation presents brand new exciting possibilities never before considered? “What if”… isn’t this the hallmark of interactive fiction? Although computers haven’t really been used to generate interactive storytelling what-if’s, they can.

I should know. I spent my adult life programming them. I served such employers as NCSA where the graphical Internet began, and NASA.

Practically speaking, there was no other choice for someone just like me. In my own life’s adventure, it was greatness… or nothing.

I have helped visualize and model galaxy formations, clouds, and the water cycle. My software has enabled scientific discoveries, educational outreach, and business efficiencies. In its own small way, of late it has even helped mitigate homelessness.

All the while, homelessness felt possible as my equipment failed me. Me? Read other human beings in real-time? Impossible. All the while, beliefs humans must remain in the loop held firm. All the while since childhood, any leisure time I had went towards this computer-assisted dream. This real artistic conviction of mine, interactive fiction. Where choices abound. Where anything is possible. At times, I suffered from a violent case of the shouldn’ts while better than the would’ves or could’ves but didn’ts and not as contagious as the can’ts nor won’ts nor don’ts ultimately not as worthwhile as I will.

At others, I was a slave to my dreams. Because of the debt I owed them. Loyally by me they stood. No matter how hard the times. When to me they beckoned, I loyally calling came as though going home. And now? Now?

Even now they are why I am here.

From early childhood I played many, many branching books and adventure games. They supplied a salve for whenever video games weren’t on hand.

The Spectrum, meanwhile, stood between me and being a fantastic dungeon master. For sure, I collected and studied different boxed games, too. Any experience that held the promise of plot automation or assistance drew me. Clever people surely must already have invented structured algorithms to facilitate spinning yarns. I thought, naively, things already worked that way, by a kind of magic. Until I learned they didn’t. Then my calling seemed obvious. Things should work that way, so I’d help see to it they did.

Unfortunately, life wasn’t kind to my plans. Seven years saw many sleepless nights spent lovingly developing my instrument. A patent application failed. Beaten, I stopped. Just stopped. The conviction that I had really and truly had something went into hibernation. This bard’s tired dreams slept.

Exhausted but unaware just how fully I had succeeded already technologically, I rested. Setting aside my perfected but unused instrument, I honed other vital pursuits. Music and writing and computer programming called to me. A successful career. A loving wife and three loving children for me followed even. For ten years I set aside ideas deemed too expensive to keep.

Only to interactive fiction to return. Triumphantly, and much improved did I return. Considerably more equal to the task I rebooted, having gained invaluable experiences. Having lived my life, set myself on a new one, loved and evolved and made good realizations. Having made discoveries about myself to make myself someone who dreamt dreams again. I will. They are why I am here. I wrote prose brimming over with compulsive generosity. Prose that reveals and revels, itself, in good realizations. I realized, crucially, that this was what I was after all along.

I wrote H2O, which uses the reality editing machine borne of all those years of toil.

The audience makes decisions one at a time during play. The running timeline of resulting events serves as the recorded history. This recorded story is what has happened so far. The audience can review this timeline during play. By re-reading the events that have transpired. By listening to them. By sharing what has occurred during a particular run-through of the work. Unlike other branching productions, here the branches are computed to be loosely constrained. Resulting permutations are far less rigid, far more numerous, and far less predictable. I am so glad to have you play.

Like my life’s story, this too will be nothing quite like anything the world has ever seen.

Indie American tale lyricist, code demon, conduit for wonder, serious gamer, experimentalist, grounded optimist, citizen-parent, accomplished logician, wild dreamer, lover of life; so many parts to play, so many roles to portray, so many words could say who is Brad Wind. Twenty years ago, fresh out of college and just after conceptualizing the model for the present work, he moved East from Illinois to attain the wherewithal to begin this new life capable of bringing the present work to completion. Making good realizations is what he always wanted to do with the work of his life–a life like the life of so many, a big life; and he feels finally as though it’s happening! Helping him along his way to do so, so many extraordinary experiences living and working alongside the smartest, most gifted people he has known shaped him. In academia at the Universities of Illinois and Maryland, in government and in industry in the District and beyond the Beltway, at the space agency, and to be sure at home remarkable individuals have shaped the author in so many ways creatively and technically, there simply are not words enough to give thanks commensurate with his heartfelt gratitude for their influence on his journey. You know who you are to whom this dedication is owed; for you who made him, this.

Disclaimer: The Art of Autism nonprofit shares opportunities. We don’t endorse products. This is a blog from an autistic entrepreneur so we thought it worthwhile sharing.

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