Story Representation and Interactive Drama

Brian Magerko

When building a story-intensive game, there is always the question of how much freedom to give the player. Give the player too little, and he may feel constrained and disconnected from the character he is controlling. Give him too much freedom, and the progression of the story may lag or stop altogether. The field of interactive drama attempts to strike a balance between interaction and authorship. The story experienced in an interactive drama is dependent both on the plot content authored as well as the player’s choices in the story. Which story representation is appropriate for a particular approach to interactive drama and the relationship between that language and other elements of the architecture is a key factor in design. This paper introduces our interactive drama architecture, IDA, and addresses the requirements it has for a story representation. How those requirements are met by our representational choices is the focus of the rest of the paper.


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