Bringing Interactive Storytelling to Industry

Here are the slides for my talk at AIIDE 2009 this year, on doing Experience Management with AI in games.  Many thanks to all those who helped me put the paper together.  It will be published in the AIIDE 2009 proceedings:

Bringing Interactive Story to Industry – AIIDE 09 Final

Edit: Images Fixed.

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11 thoughts on “Bringing Interactive Storytelling to Industry

  1. Hey Dan,

    Great presentation, many thanks for posting it. I noticed some of the images are missing from the .ppt, like the ones showing the different combinations of Threads. It makes it a little harder to follow, but forces you to use your imagination :-)

  2. It works! Thank you so much! Can I ask a quick few question to quote you from?

    Would you say that your definition of an encounter manager is similar, if not the same as the definition of an experience manager for DarkSpore?

    And is the content of this slide AI Direction for the narrative?

    Would you say that pace and flow are one and the same thing, but pace is used more to describe a good narrative experience whereas flow describes a good gameplay experience?

    Have you seen this method of encounter management used in any current or past games?

    If you could answer any of them that would be great!

    Thanks! :)

    • Read the talk first, several of your questions are answered there.

      There’s a broader concept (experience management), and then specific pieces (encounter manager, drama manager, music manager, etc).

      Pace and flow are most definitely not the same thing. Pace has strong gameplay meaning as well. Pace is the rhythm of an experience, where as Flow is a mental state.

      • Awesome answers, thank you! I missed a few bits in the presentation, sorry about that. Just a few more questions if you don’t mind! :)

        Referring to Csíkszentmihályi’s theory of flow, would you say then that pace could be considered the rate at which challenge and skill is increased, and if you’ve seen a diagram of challenge over skill with a flow channel showing where this state is acheived, would pace be the gradient of the line within that?

        Also what would you say are the most basic components of an encounter manager?
        So far in my research I have come up with 1) a control parameter 2) states that control a games system and 3) the conditions for each state.

        Thank you very much again, you’re really helping my final year dissertation! :)

      • The “flow graph” that floats around, while demonstrative, is misleading. I wouldn’t try to derive mathematical relationships from it. These relationships are far more complex then you are treating it, and easily counter-exampled. Neither skill nor challenge is required for flow. Consider that books can put you into flow. See Richard’s GDC attention talk, and how you’re talking about at least 3 multiple axes of engagement on different time scales.

        Not quite sure what you mean by control parameter. But I’m pretty sure you just described every game or AI in existence. Not sure there’s much value there. What makes experience managers distinct is their goal, not their components. They manage the experience. Any system that does this reactively should use the same principles of experience management, and should be considered holistically with the other experience management systems.

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