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Entertaining AI: Using Rules from Improvisational Acting to Create Unscripted Emotional Impact
Price $5.95
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SKU GDC-05-123
Entertaining AI: Using Rules from Improvisational Acting to Create Unscripted Emotional Impact,

Game Design, Lecture

Brenda Bakker Harger
Professor of Entertainment Technology, Entertainment Technology Center
Creating compelling, unscripted stories that deliver both challenging interactions and emotional impact is difficult in the interactive medium of games. Traditional narrative techniques from film and literature are insufficient to deal with the issue of interactivity in game narratives. However, improvisational theater (improv) presents a model of on-the-fly story creation that takes place in an unscripted, interactive environment. The rules and structures that govern the emergence of stories in improv can be applied by game designers to define AI such that entertaining stories will emerge from a player’s actions rather than from a predetermined script. Once the connection between improv and game design is made, 3 techniques along with example implementations are discussed and shown. Based on research presented at Maxis in January 2004 and at the International Conference for Entertainment Computing in September 2004, this lecture approaches the issue of game-based narrative from the perspectives of research and application.

Attendees will take away concrete AI design tools derived from improvisational theater, as well as a general understanding of the framework for emergent story offered by improv.

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