Interactive narrative systems attempt to tell stories to players capable of changing the direction and/or outcome of the story. Despite the growing importance of multiplayer social experiences in games, little research has focused on multiplayer interactive narrative experiences. We performed a preliminary study to determine how human directors design and execute multiplayer interactive story experiences in online and real world environments. Based on our observations, we developed the Multiplayer Storytelling Engine that manages a story world at the individual and group levels. Our flexible story representation enables human authors to naturally model multiplayer narrative experiences. An intelligent execution algorithm detects when the author’s story representation fails to account for player behaviors and automatically generates a branch to restore the story to the authors’ original intent, thus balancing authorability against robust multiplayer execution.
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Robust and Authorable Multiplayer Storytelling Experiences
by Mark Riedl, Boyang Li, Hua Ai, Ashwin Ram
in Seventh International Conference on AI and Interactive Digital Entertainment (AIIDE-2011).
We apply case based reasoning techniques to build an intelligent authoring tool that can assist nontechnical users with authoring their own digital movies. In this paper, we focus on generating dialogue lines between two characters in a movie story. We use Darmok2, a case based planner, extended with a hierarchical plan adaptation module to generate movie characters’ dialogue acts with regard to their emotion changes. Then, we use an information state update approach to generate the actual content of each dialogue utterance. Our preliminary study shows that the extended planner can generate coherent dialogue lines which are consistent with user designed movie stories using a small case base authored by novice users. A preliminary user study shows that users like the overall quality of our system generated movie dialogue lines.
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A Case Base Planning Approach for Dialogue Generation in Digital Movie Design
by Sanjeet Hajarnis, Christina Leber, Hua Ai, Mark Riedl, Ashwin Ram
19th International Conference on Case-Based Reasoning (ICCBR-11), London.
A growing research community is working towards employing drama management components in story-based games. These components gently guide the story towards a narrative arc that improves the player’s gaming experience. In this paper we evaluate a novel drama management approach deployed in an interactive fiction game called Anchorhead. This approach uses player’s feedback as the basis for guiding the personalization of the interaction.
The results indicate that adding our Case-based Drama manaGer (C-DraGer) to the game guides the players through the interaction and provides a better overall player experience. Unlike previous approaches to drama management, this paper focuses on exhibiting the success of our approach by evaluating results using human players in a real game implementation. Based on this work, we report several insights on drama management which were possible only due to an evaluation with real players.
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Drama Management and Player Modeling for Interactive Fiction Games
by Manu Sharma, Santi Ontañón, Manish Mehta, Ashwin Ram
Computational Intelligence, 26(2):183-211, 2010.
Behavior authoring for computer games involves writing behaviors in a programming language. This method is cumbersome and requires a lot of programming effort to author the behavior sets. Further, this approach restricts the behavior set authoring to people who are experts in programming.
This paper describes our approach to design a system that allows a user to demonstrate behaviors to the system, which the system uses to learn behavior sets for a game domain. With learning from demonstration, we aim at removing the requirement that the user has to be an expert in programming, and only require him to be an expert in the game. The approach has been integrated in a easy-to-use visual interface and instantiated for two domains, a real-time strategy game and an interactive drama.
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Authoring Behaviors for Games using Learning from Demonstration
by Manish Mehta, Santiago Ontañón, Tom Amundsen, Ashwin Ram
ICCBR-09 Workshop on Case-Based Reasoning for Computer Games, Seattle, July 2009
The design of interactive experiences is increasingly important in our society. Examples include interactive media, computer games, and interactive portals. There is increasing interest in modes of interaction with virtual characters, as they represent a natural way for humans to interact. Creating such characters is a complex task, requiring both creative skills (to design personalities, emotions, gestures, behaviors) and programming skills (to code these in a scripting or programming language). There is little understanding of how the behavior authoring process can be simplified with easy-to-use authoring environments that can support the cognitive needs of everyday users and help them at every step to easily carry out this creative task.
Our research focuses on behavior authoring environments that not only make it easy for novices/everyday users to create characters but also provide them scaffolding in designing these interactive experiences. In this paper we present results from a user study with a paper prototype of an authoring environment that is aimed to allow everyday users to create virtual characters. The study aims at determining whether typical computer users are able to create character personalities in specific scenarios and think about characters’ mental states, and if so, then what kinds of user interfaces would be suitable for this authoring environment.
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Creating Behavior Authoring Environments for Everyday Users
by Manish Mehta, Christina Lacey, Iulian Radu, Abhishek Jain, Ashwin Ram
International Conference on Computer Games, Multimedia, and Allied Technologies (CGAT-09), Singapore, May 2009
A growing research community is working towards employing drama management components in interactive story-based games. These components gently guide the story towards a narrative arc that improves the player’s experience. In this paper we present our Drama Management architecture for real-time interactive story games that has been connected to a real graphical interactive story based on the Anchorhead game. We also report on the natural language understanding system that has been incorporated in the system and report on a user study with an implementation of our DM architecture.
Developing a Drama Management Architecture for Interactive Fiction Games
by Santi Ontañón, Abhishek Jain, Manish Mehta, Ashwin Ram
1st Joint International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS-08), Erfurt, Germany, November 2008