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About this book

This book constitutes the refereed proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling, ICIDS 2016, held in Los Angeles, CA, USA, in November 2016.

The 26 revised full papers and 8 short papers presented together with 9 posters, 4 workshop, and 3 demonstration papers were carefully reviewed and selected from 88 submissions. The papers are organized in topical sections on analyses and evaluation systems; brave new ideas; intelligent narrative technologies; theoretical foundations; and usage scenarios and applications.

Table of Contents

Frontmatter

Analyses and Evaluation of Systems

Frontmatter

IVRUX: A Tool for Analyzing Immersive Narratives in Virtual Reality

This paper describes IVRUX, a tool for the analysis of 360º Immersive Virtual Reality (IVR) story-driven experiences. Traditional cinema offers an immersive experience through surround sound technology and high definition screens. However, in 360º IVR the audience is in the middle of the action, everything is happening around them. The immersiveness and freedom of choice brings new challenges into narrative creation, hence the need for a tool to help the process of evaluating user experience. Starting from “The Old Pharmacy”, a 360º Virtual Reality scene, we developed IVRUX, a tool that records users’ experience while visualizing the narrative. In this way, we are able to reconstruct the user’s experience and understand where their attention is focused. In this paper, we present results from a study done using 32 participants and, through analyzing the results, provide insights that help creators to understand how to enhance 360º Immersive Virtual Reality story driven experiences.

Paulo Bala, Mara Dionisio, Valentina Nisi, Nuno Nunes

M2D: Monolog to Dialog Generation for Conversational Story Telling

Storytelling serves many different social functions, e.g. stories are used to persuade, share troubles, establish shared values, learn social behaviors, and entertain. Moreover, stories are often told conversationally through dialog, and previous work suggests that information provided dialogically is more engaging than when provided in monolog. In this paper, we present algorithms for converting a deep representation of a story into a dialogic storytelling, that can vary aspects of the telling, including the personality of the storytellers. We conduct several experiments to test whether dialogic storytellings are more engaging, and whether automatically generated variants in linguistic form that correspond to personality differences can be recognized in an extended storytelling dialog.

Kevin K. Bowden, Grace I. Lin, Lena I. Reed, Jean E. Fox Tree, Marilyn A. Walker

Exit 53: Physiological Data for Improving Non-player Character Interaction

Non-player characters (NPCs) in video games have very little information about the player’s current state. The usage of physiological data in games has been very limited, mainly to adjustments in difficulty based on stress levels. We assess the usefulness of physiological signals for rapport in interactions with story characters in a small role-playing game, Exit53. Measurements of electrodermal activity and facial muscle tension serves as estimate of player affect which is used to adjust the behavior of NPCs in so far as their dialogue acknowledges the player’s emotion. An experimental evaluation of the developed system demonstrates the viability of the approach and qualitative data shows a clear difference in the perception of the system’s use of physiological information.

Joseph Jalbert, Stefan Rank

Brave New Ideas

Frontmatter

Narrative Game Mechanics

This paper explores the notion of narrative game mechanics by apposing theories from the field of cognitive narratology with design theories on game mechanics. The paper aims to disclose how narrative game mechanics invite game agents, including the player, to perform actions that support the construction of engaging stories and fictional worlds in the embodied mind of the player. The theoretical argument is supported by three case studies. The paper discusses examples of games that employ mechanics and rules to create engaging story events, focusing on: building tension through spatial conflict, evoking empathy through characterization and creating moral dilemmas through player choices.

Teun Dubbelman

An Integrated and Iterative Research Direction for Interactive Digital Narrative

This paper outlines a roadmap for interactive narrative research that integrates disparate parts while focusing on identifying and experimentally verifying IDN design conventions and on developing a pedagogy to further the development of a professional discipline of IDN creators. This effort connects several key areas, in which the authors have worked before and which are now brought together. These include a specific theory, an approach towards interactive narrative design and its evaluation, an expanded understanding of the manifestations constituting the field, the pedagogy of educating creators of IDN artifacts and a perspective on the cultural significance of these creative expressions as tools to represent complexity.

Hartmut Koenitz, Teun Dubbelman, Noam Knoller, Christian Roth

The Narrative Quality of Game Mechanics

This paper will introduce and discuss a new model for understanding the relation between narrative and games, by looking at the narrative quality of game mechanics. First, a review of the terms “Narrative” and “Game Mechanics” is made, and defined in this context, before a literature review, based on both narratological and ludological sources. From this, a model is presented and described, which encompasses the previous research as well as defining a clear relation between mechanics, context, story, and narratives of games. This model is intended for both design and analysis of games, and has been developed to cover a lack of definition of how game mechanics create narrative through their own definitions and their relation to the context and storytelling of the game. This model, still in an infant stage, shows potential, but still requires rigorous testing in several areas.

Bjarke Alexander Larsen, Henrik Schoenau-Fog

Improvisational Computational Storytelling in Open Worlds

Improvisational storytelling involves one or more people interacting in real-time to create a story without advanced notice of topic or theme. Human improvisation occurs in an open-world that can be in any state and characters can perform any behaviors expressible through natural language. We propose the grand challenge of computational improvisational storytelling in open-world domains. The goal is to develop an intelligent agent that can sensibly co-create a story with one or more humans through natural language. We lay out some of the research challenges and propose two agent architectures that can provide the basis for exploring the research issues surrounding open-world human-agent interactions.

Lara J. Martin, Brent Harrison, Mark O. Riedl

GeoPoetry: Designing Location-Based Combinatorial Electronic Literature Soundtracks for Roadtrips

In this paper we present GeoPoetry, a location-based work of electronic literature that generates poetic language and dynamic soundtracks for road-trips that reflect the mood of people in the surrounding area. GeoPoetry takes recent nearby geotagged Twitter data and generates strings of combinatorial poetry from them using simple Markov-chain text generation. It also performs a sentiment analysis on the local Twitter traffic, which it uses to seed a playlist on Spotify, using a simple model of affect. The result is a sonic reflection of the social geography traversed by the user that responds to its situatedness in both space and time. GeoPoetry participates in a long tradition of public and locative artwork which has the potential to inspire exciting new works of interactive narrative.

Jordan Rickman, Joshua Tanenbaum

Media of Attraction: A Media Archeology Approach to Panoramas, Kinematography, Mixed Reality and Beyond

This paper presents a new concept for understanding contemporary interactive works created with emerging or new media, such as virtual and augmented reality, as part of a larger historically informed category called media of attraction. Inspired by scholarship in film history and media archaeology, the media of attraction concept connects contemporary digital experiments to earlier forms including cabinets of curiosity, 18th century panoramas, pre-filmic moving image technologies, vaudeville, early film or kinematography, and others. Foundational elements defining media of attraction are laid out and discussed. This new approach has profound implications for how work created today is valued and understood, how central debates in the field can be re-contextualized, and how notions of progress can be radically reframed.

Rebecca Rouse

Bad News: An Experiment in Computationally Assisted Performance

Dreams of the prospect of computational narrative suggest a future of deeply interactive and personalized fictional experiences that engage our empathy. But the gulf between our current moment and that future is vast. How do we begin to bridge that divide now, both for learning more specifics of these potentials and to create experiences today that can have some of their impact on audiences? We present Bad News, a combination of theatrical performance practices, computational support, and Wizard-of-Oz interaction techniques. These allow for rich, real-time interaction with a procedurally generated world. We believe our approach could enable other research groups to explore similar territory—and the resulting experience is engaging and affecting in ways that help strengthen the case for our envisioned futures and also makes the case for trying to field such experiences today (e.g., in experimental theater or location-based entertainment contexts). Bad News is a realized game enjoyed by players with varying degrees of performance experience, and won the Innovative Game Design track of the 2016 ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) Student Game Competition.

Ben Samuel, James Ryan, Adam J. Summerville, Michael Mateas, Noah Wardrip-Fruin

Intelligent Narrative Technologies

Frontmatter

A Formative Study Evaluating the Perception of Personality Traits for Planning-Based Narrative Generation

The presence of interesting and compelling characters is an essential component of effective narrative. Well-developed characters have features that enable them to significantly enhance the believability and quality of a story. We present an experiment designed to gauge an audience’s perception of specific aspects of character personality traits expressed through the characters’ choices for action. The experiment served as a formative evaluation for work on the development of the Mask system for the automatic generation of narratives that express character traits through choice. Results from our study evaluate the hypothesis that the relationship between choices and the actions they lead to can be used in narrative to produce the perception of specific personality traits in an audience.

Julio César Bahamón, R. Michael Young

Asking Hypothetical Questions About Stories Using QUEST

Many computational models of narrative include representations of possible worlds—events that never actually occur in the story but that are planned or perceived by the story’s characters. Psychological tools such as QUEST are often used to validate computational models of narrative, but they only represent events which are explicitly narrated in the story. In this paper, we demonstrate that audiences can and do reason about other possible worlds when experiencing a narrative, and that the QKSs for each possible world can be treated as a single data structure. Participants read a short text story and were asked hypothetical questions that prompted them to consider alternative endings. When asked about events that needed to change as a result of the hypothetical, they produced answers that were consistent with answers generated by QUEST from a different version of the story. When asked about unrelated events, their answers matched those generated by QUEST from the version of the story they read.

Rachelyn Farrell, Scott Robertson, Stephen G. Ware

Predicting User Choices in Interactive Narratives Using Indexter’s Pairwise Event Salience Hypothesis

Indexter is a plan-based model of narrative that incorporates cognitive scientific theories about the salience of narrative events. A pair of Indexter events can share up to five indices with one another: protagonist, time, space, causality, and intentionality. The pairwise event salience hypothesis states that when a past event shares one or more of these indices with the most recently narrated event, that past event is more salient, or easier to recall, than an event which shares none of them. In this study we demonstrate that we can predict user choices based on the salience of past events. Specifically, we investigate the hypothesis that when users are given a choice between two events in an interactive narrative, they are more likely to choose the one which makes the previous events in the story more salient according to this theory.

Rachelyn Farrell, Stephen G. Ware

An Active Analysis and Crowd Sourced Approach to Social Training

Interactive narrative (IN) has increasingly been used for social skill training. However, extensive content creation is needed to provide learners with flexibility to replay scenarios with sufficient variety to achieve proficiency. Such flexibility requires considerable content creation appropriate for social skills training. The goal of our work is to address these issues through developing a generative narrative approach that re-conceptualizes social training IN as an improvisation using Stanislavsky’s Active Analysis (AA), and utilizes AA to create a crowd sourcing content creation method. AA is a director guided rehearsal technique that promotes Theory of Mind skills critical to social interaction and decomposes a script into key events. In this paper, we discuss AA and the iterative crowd sourcing approach we developed to generate rich, coherent content that can be used to develop a generative model for interactive narrative.

Dan Feng, Elin Carstensdottir, Sharon Marie Carnicke, Magy Seif El-Nasr, Stacy Marsella

Generating Abstract Comics

We investigate a new approach to comic generation that explores the process of generating the contents of a panel given the contents of all previous panels. Our approach is based on leading discourse theories for comics by McCloud (panel transitions) and Cohn (narrative grammar), unified by cognitive theories of inference in visual language. We apply these theories to comics whose panel parameters are abstract geometric shapes and their positions, contributing a computational realization of McCloud’s and Cohn’s comics theories, as well as a modular algorithm that affords further experimentation and evaluation of visual discourse theories.

Chris Martens, Rogelio E. Cardona-Rivera

A Rules-Based System for Adapting and Transforming Existing Narratives

This paper describes a rules-based computational system that utilizes a semantic framework to produce transformations of an existing narrative. We describe how we can use a Rete rules system to transform a semantic representation of a narrative, as well as laying out groundwork for the types of rules that a system like this would consider. To provide an example of our system in action, we describe a semantic encoding of the Brothers Grimm version of Sleeping Beauty, and provide rules for transforming it to fit the style of Disney.

Jo Mazeika

Evaluating Accessible Graphical Interfaces for Building Story Worlds

In order to use computational intelligence to assist in narrative generation, domain knowledge of the story world must be defined, a task which is currently confined to experts. In an effort to democratize story world creation, we present an accessible graphical platform for content creators and end users to create a story world, populate it with smart characters and objects, and define narrative events that can be used to author digital stories. The system supports reuse to reduce the cost of content production and enables specification of semantics to enable computer assisted authoring. Additionally, we introduce an iterative, bi-directional workflow, which bridges the gap between story world building and story authoring. Users seamlessly transition between authoring stories and refining the story world definition to accommodate their current narrative. A user study demonstrates the efficacy of our system to support narrative generation.

Steven Poulakos, Mubbasir Kapadia, Guido M. Maiga, Fabio Zünd, Markus Gross, Robert W. Sumner

Reading Between the Lines: Using Plot Graphs to Draw Inferences from Stories

Intelligent agents designed to interact with humans need to be able to understand human narratives. Past attempts at creating story understanding systems are either computationally expensive or require a vast amount of hand-authored information to function. To combat these difficulties, we propose and evaluate a new story understanding system using plot graphs, which can be learned from crowdsourced data. Our system is able to generate story inferences much quicker than the baseline alternative without significant loss of accuracy.

Christopher Purdy, Mark O. Riedl

Using BDI to Model Players Behaviour in an Interactive Fiction Game

Player Modelling is one of the challenges in Interactive Narratives (INs), where a precise representation of the players mental state is needed to provide a personalised experience. However, how to represent the interaction of the player with the game to make the appropriate decision in the story is still an open question. In this paper, we aim to bridge this gap identifying the information needed to capture the behaviour of players in an IN using the Belief-Desire-Intention (BDI) model of agency. We present a BDI design method to mimic the interaction of players with a simplified version of the Interactive Fiction Anchorhead. Our preliminary results show that a BDI agent based on our player model is able to generate game traces more similar to humans than optimal traces.

Jessica Rivera-Villicana, Fabio Zambetta, James Harland, Marsha Berry

Expressionist: An Authoring Tool for In-Game Text Generation

We present Expressionist, an authoring tool for in-game text generation that combines the raw generative power of context-free grammars (CFGs) with the expressive power of free-text markup. Specifically, authors use the tool to define CFGs whose nonterminal symbols may be annotated using arbitrary author-defined tagsets. Any content generated by the CFG comes packaged with explicit metadata in the form of the markup attributed to all the symbols that were expanded to produce the content. Expressionist has already been utilized in two released games and it is currently being used in two ongoing projects. In this paper, we describe the tool and discuss these usage examples in a series of case studies. Expressionist is planned for release in late 2016.

James Ryan, Ethan Seither, Michael Mateas, Noah Wardrip-Fruin

Recognizing Coherent Narrative Blog Content

Interactive storytelling applications have at their disposal massive numbers of human-authored stories, in the form of narrative weblog posts, from which story content could be harvested and repurposed. Such repurposing is currently inhibited, however, in that many blog narratives are not sufficiently coherent for use in these applications. In a narrative that is not coherent, the order of the events in the narrative is not clear given the text of the story. We present the results of a study exploring automatic methods for estimating the coherence of narrative blog posts. In the end, our simplest model—one that only considers the degree to which story text is capitalized and punctuated—vastly outperformed a baseline model and, curiously, a series of more sophisticated models. Future work may use this simple model as a baseline, or may use it along with the classifier that it extends to automatically extract large numbers of narrative blog posts from the web for purposes such as interactive storytelling.

James Ryan, Reid Swanson

Intertwined Storylines with Anchor Points

Narrative and dialogue are effective ways for engaging people and helping people organize and memorize information. In this work, we present an automated narration system that takes structured information from the Internet and tailors the presentation to a user using storytelling techniques. It is aimed at presenting the information as an interesting and meaningful story by taking into consideration a combination of factors ranging from topic consistency and novelty to user interests. In particular, the designer of the agent can specify a number of anchor points for the presentation, and the agent will automatically decide its strategy for covering these anchor points and emphasizing them in its presentation using multiple intertwining storylines and contrasts.

Mei Si, Zev Battad, Craig Carlson

Delayed Roles with Authorable Continuity in Plan-Based Interactive Storytelling

We present a plan-based story generator that allows authors to ensure continuity over the entities in a story without committing to which entities will fulfill the story’s roles. By combining the ideas of authorable continuity and delayed role assignment in a plan-based storytelling context, our solution obtains benefits from both and mitigates some disadvantages. We introduce two notions of soundness for solutions that combine these ideas and then prove the soundness of our approach.

David Thue, Stephan Schiffel, Ragnar Adolf Árnason, Ingibergur Sindri Stefnisson, Birgir Steinarsson

Decomposing Drama Management in Educational Interactive Narrative: A Modular Reinforcement Learning Approach

Recent years have seen growing interest in data-driven approaches to personalized interactive narrative generation and drama management. Reinforcement learning (RL) shows particular promise for training policies to dynamically shape interactive narratives based on corpora of player-interaction data. An important open question is how to design reinforcement learning-based drama managers in order to make effective use of player interaction data, which is often expensive to gather and sparse relative to the vast state and action spaces required by drama management. We investigate an offline optimization framework for training modular reinforcement learning-based drama managers in an educational interactive narrative, Crystal Island. We leverage importance sampling to evaluate drama manager policies derived from different decompositional representations of the interactive narrative. Empirical results show significant improvements in drama manager quality from adopting an optimized modular RL decomposition compared to competing representations.

Pengcheng Wang, Jonathan Rowe, Bradford Mott, James Lester

Theoretical Foundations

Frontmatter

Bringing Authoritative Models to Computational Drama (Encoding Knebel’s Action Analysis)

Maria Knebel is one of the most influential scholars in the field of Drama Analysis. Her work with Stanislavsky has been foundational in the history of theatre: she devised the method of Action Analysis to read the play as a score of actions to be executed by the actors. This paper aims at encoding Knebel’s principles in a formal representation using a computational ontology (Drammar) to prove its expressiveness and to test its efficacy in a production point of view. As an example we use Knebel’s analysis of Pogodin’s Kremlin Chimes.

Giacomo Albert, Antonio Pizzo, Vincenzo Lombardo, Rossana Damiano, Carmi Terzulli

Strong Concepts for Designing Non-verbal Interactions in Mixed Reality Narratives

As next-generation augmented reality (AR) devices, referred to by companies like Microsoft as mixed reality (MR) headsets, enter the market non-verbal interaction paradigms for storytelling should be designed to take advantage of the new technical affordances. By ascertaining strong concepts, a model used in the HCI community to describe intermediate knowledge that sits between theory and practice for generating new interaction designs, a foundation for future work in MR, based on the existing technical affordances and interaction behaviors of AR and virtual reality (VR), can be developed. Strong concepts free interaction designers to explore potential interaction gestalts based on current behaviors and technologies. The framework is useful for speculating on effective non-verbal interactions in MR narratives as the platform is still being established. Interaction designers can use these foundational strong concepts as a starting point to develop a toolset for non-verbal interactions in future MR interactive digital stories.

Joshua A. Fisher

Can You Read Me that Story Again? The Role of the Transcript as Transitional Object in Interactive Storytelling for Children

With a special focus in designing interactive stories for children, this article considers transcripts, whether playscripts of interactive stories or recordings of video games, as transitional objects, not as crutch, but as a bridge between the open possibility space of games and the fixed linear realms of video and print. Through a series of examples, the authors argue that transcripts provide a stabilizing aid for reading and interacting in digital environs for users of all levels of experience. The transcript offers the player a means to fulfill and extend the creative collaboration of play by producing a record of their performance. Despite freezing interaction, transcripts provide a tracing, a linearization of experience that may prove to be central rather than secondary to gameplay. We argue that game designers should consider the central role of the transcript in player retention, comfort, and pleasure.

María Goicoechea, Mark C. Marino

The Character as Subjective Interface

This paper re-frames virtual interactive characters as “subjective interfaces” with the purpose of highlighting original affordances for interactive storytelling through conversation. This notion is theoretically unpacked in the perspectives of narratology, interaction design and game design. Existing and imagined scenarios are presented in which subjective interfaces are elevated as core interaction mechanics. Finally, technical challenges posed by this approach are reviewed alongside relevant existing research leads.

Jonathan Lessard, Dominic Arsenault

Right, Left, High, Low Narrative Strategies for Non–linear Storytelling

Based on studies of affect, and on theoretical works concerning spatial semantics by Yuri Lotman, Mikhail Bakhtin, Michel Foucault and others, spatial story design provides a seven step algorithm of story development for interactive audio-visual narrative. Following spatial semantics and its application in interactive storytelling, the author no longer creates the protagonist, his or her want or need, nor controls the story arc. Instead, spatial story design allows the author(s) to make the formative creative decisions by designing a narrative space, and spatial dynamics that then translate into user generated storylines. Spatial story design serves as a framework for interdisciplinary collaborations, and can be used to not only create interactive digital narrative but also screenplays, improvisational theatre, 360° films, and walk-in story world experiences for a number of users in either live or holographic virtual reality spaces. Spatial story design could inspire creators of interactive narrative, storytellers in time-based media, and possibly also technology developers for authoring tools.

Sylke Rene Meyer

Qualifying and Quantifying Interestingness in Dramatic Situations

Dramatic situations have long been studied in Drama Studies since they characterize tension and interestingness in a plot. In the field of Interactive Digital Storytelling (IDS), integrating knowledge about dramatic situations is of great relevance in order to design improved systems that dynamically generate more narratively-relevant events. However, current approaches to dramatic situations are descriptive and not directly applicable to the field of IDS. We introduce a computational model that fills that gap by both describing dramatic situations visually and providing a quantitative measure for the interestingness of a plot. Using a corpus of 20 Aesop’s fables, we compared the calculations resulting of the model with the assessments provided by 101 participants. Results suggest that our model works appropriately at least for stories characterized by a strong plot structure rather than their semantic content.

Nicolas Szilas, Sergio Estupiñán, Urs Richle

Usage Scenarios and Applications

Frontmatter

Transmedia Storytelling for Exposing Natural Capital and Promoting Ecotourism

Humanity benefits from natural ecosystems in a multitude of ways; collectively, these are known as ecosystem services. Our project investigates how storytelling, coupled with mobile interactive technologies, can be used to design interventions that bring awareness and engage people in understanding the benefits of ecosystems and their underlying biodiversity. “Fragments of Laura” a technology mediated transmedia story, reveals to its audience (mostly tourists) information related to the local natural capital and ecosystem services of a UNESCO-protected forest, and embodies many aspects of its history, culture and ecotourism potential. In this paper, we present the overall interaction and story design, together with the results from the “Fragments of Laura” experience prototype. We conclude with a description of the future work and how the results from the experience prototype will affect the final working prototype.

Mara Dionisio, Valentina Nisi, Nuno Nunes, Paulo Bala

Rough Draft: Towards a Framework for Metagaming Mechanics of Rewinding in Interactive Storytelling

Recently an increasing number of narrative games have incorporated the metagaming elements of rewinding as their core mechanics. Although there has been research on metagaming as a whole, there is little that focuses on interactive storytelling and on the act of rewinding to remake a choice. In this paper, we present two main contributions. First, we propose a theoretical framework on the structure of rewinding. Based on our survey of related games, we categorize common designs into Restricted Rewind, the Unrestricted Rewind and the External Rewind. Second, we created an rewind-based interactive story called Rough Draft and we report the design lessons we learned.

Erica Kleinman, Valerie Fox, Jichen Zhu

Beyond the Gutter

Interactivity and Closure in Comics

This paper examines the impact of the introduction of simple interactions to comic panels on the reader’s process of interpretation and narrative closure, perception of time, and experience of immersion and agency. We conducted two qualitative studies of reader response to interactive comics using semi-structured interviews. Our findings suggest that interactivity creates an additional level of interpretation, which may be seen as a second interpretive gap or ‘gutter’. The studies also identified some preliminary design criteria that allow interactivity to have a meaningful impact on the portrayal of time, story immersion and comprehension, and an increased sense of agency. These findings suggest new areas for research in the field of interactive comics and storytelling.

Tiffany Neo, Alex Mitchell

The Design of Writing Buddy: A Mixed-Initiative Approach Towards Computational Story Collaboration

The act of writing is often a difficult process; writing partners can be a way to test ideas, provide critiques, and overcome the difficulty of adding words to a blank page. Writing Buddy is an in-development prototype of a mixed-initiative playful tool, intended to serve the role of a digital writing partner by combining the authoring affordances of writing software with the natural curiosity inherent in playable media. In it, players create and arrange dramatic beats to achieve certain story goals. Those dramatic beats are then satisfied through assigning character actions to them. Finally, players pen prose and dialogue to bring those actions to life. Writing Buddy aims to ease the authoring process by offering suggestions based on character simulation and story structure.

Ben Samuel, Michael Mateas, Noah Wardrip-Fruin

Posters

Frontmatter

Towards Procedural Game Story Creation via Designing Story Cubes

This paper describes our ongoing effort to create game stories procedurally and collaboratively via designing story cubes. Our current work includes the following four phases. First, creating stories with the help of existing storytelling tools such as Story Cubes. Second, drawing relatable storyboards based on the created stories. Third, designing and making own story cubes based on the storyboards. Finally, re-creating stories based on the story cubes designed by others. Particularly in this paper we describe our team-based storytelling project that we have conducted as a part of college course in the classroom environment.

Byung-Chull Bae, Gapyuel Seo, Yun-Gyung Cheong

Phylactery: An Authoring Platform for Object Stories

In this work, we describe Phylactery, a hybrid physical/digital system for authoring interactive stories across collections of objects. Unlike many Interactive Digital Storytelling (IDS) systems, which are concerned with the representations of formal narrative structures within software, or with the simulation of high-fidelity narrative environments populated by humanlike agents, Phylactery is focused on the act of storytelling as it occurs among humans in the physical world. It is designed to connect personal narratives, memories, and rituals of storytelling with material containers by associating spoken stories with physical objects. Phylactery can be used to imbue the physical world with stories as both a formal authoring platform, and an informal and playful narrative technology. In this way, our system participates in older traditions of reminiscence, memory transmission, and heritage preservation through the collection of meaningful objects.

Charu Chaudhari, Joshua Tanenbaum

What is Shared? - A Pedagogical Perspective on Interactive Digital Narrative and Literary Narrative

This paper builds on our analysis of interactive digital narrative (IDN) and traditional literary narrative (LN) to address issues relevant to theory and pedagogy of narrative technologies. We discuss pedagogical problems with narrative design and introduce an interdisciplinary experimental course (in computer science and psychology) to increase understanding of complementing and conflicting qualities of IDN and LN. This perspective extends recent debates about protostory [1] elements, processes, and specific micro-structures unique to and possibly shared [2] across these forms. Our practice-based research addresses students’ development of narrative design skills and the question, “What is shared across narrative forms?”

Colette Daiute, Hartmut Koenitz

A Reflexive Approach in Learning Through Uchronia

This work in progress paper presents a story-based approach in a simulation-based learning environment in the context of crisis management. We offer a reflexive approach to learning for adults based on the uchronia. Our game design UCHRONIE offers two phases of simulation. During the scenario, the learner will explore several possible worlds. During the debriefing, he may view several possible alternatives to the scenario as a timeline.

Mélody Laurent, Nicolas Szilas, Domitile Lourdeaux, Serge Bouchardon

Interactive Chart of Story Characters’ Intentions

This paper presents a visualization of stories that aligns the hierarchy of story units and the hierarchy of characters’ intentions, respectively, with the story text, subdivided into chunks. The solution takes inspiration from the design introduced by the movie narrative charts, and presents an interactive tool.

Vincenzo Lombardo, Antonio Pizzo, Rossana Damiano, Carmi Terzulli, Giacomo Albert

Location Location Location: Experiences of Authoring an Interactive Location-Based Narrative

Location-based narratives are a form of digital interactive storytelling where a reader’s physical movement triggers narrative events. Unlike traditional hypertext the poetics of these narratives is poorly understood, meaning that it is difficult to build effective authoring tools or to train new writers. In this paper we present our experience of authoring an interactive location-based narratives, focused on the creation of a story ‘The Isle of Brine’ set on the island of Tiree. Our experience highlights the primacy of location in the authoring process, and both pragmatic and aesthetic considerations for the design of the narrative.

David E. Millard, Charlie Hargood

Using Theme to Author Hypertext Fiction

This paper explores the use of a “thematic linking” model to support the authoring of complex, emergent hypertext fiction. Initial observations suggest that while this approach is promising, as it allows authors and readers to discover unexpected connections within a work, it is also potentially overwhelming, due to the second-order nature of the writing process.

Alex Mitchell

Towards a Model-Learning Approach to Interactive Narrative Intelligence for Opportunistic Storytelling

Opportunistic storytelling is an approach to interactive narrative where game play is the ordinary activity that underlies notable story events, and the AI challenge is to tell a story about what the player is doing, that meets authorial goals. In this preliminary work, we describe a game and AI system that motivates the need for event prediction within the game world, and provides the opportunity for automated machine learning of such a predictive model. We report results showing how different feature models can be learned and compared in this context, towards automating model selection.

Emmett Tomai, Luis Lopez

Art-Bots: Toward Chat-Based Conversational Experiences in Museums

In this work we explore how a widely used conversational interface can be employed to offer engaging experiences in museums. “Art-bots” interact with visitors through chat and convey information about the museum artifacts in the form of short stories. The wide adoption of chat platforms such as Facebook messenger offers new ground to revisit approaches on avatars and virtual guides and build interactive dialogues to engage visitors. We take a practical approach based on a set of responses that are triggered by certain keywords and a curated story that guides visitors to a gamified information hunt.

Stavros Vassos, Eirini Malliaraki, Federica dal Falco, Jessica Di Maggio, Manlio Massimetti, Maria Giulia Nocentini, Angela Testa

Backmatter

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