A common problem in creating interactive drama is the authoring bottleneck. If pre-authored stories are directly incorporated into an interactive virtual environment then there is a need to consider all possible interactions and story twists, which for a sizeable drama is infeasible. One proposed solution to this problem is to use search and planning algorithms along with narrative structures. This leads to a huge state space and planning becomes intractable for real-time solutions. A way to address this problem is to distribute the story planning to autonomous characters so that the drama emerges from their interactions. However without predefined structure or directives the drama is unlikely to emerge into the intended story or even the intended genre. We propose to divide the drama into narrative episodes which we call schemas. Schemas are used by a director and a set of actors to structure the drama so that it emerges into a fully developed drama. The schemas are pre-authored in an abstract way such that they can be deployed multiple times in the same drama, which removes the authoring bottleneck. In this article, we define the structure of the schemas and how the director and actors use schemas in Directed Emergent Drama (DED).
|Published - 2008