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Thesis Proposal: Creating Satisfying Game Experiences with Coherent Emergent Stories

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Slides from my thesis proposal presentation.

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Thesis Proposal: Creating Satisfying Game Experiences with Coherent Emergent Stories

  1. 1. Creating Satisfying Game Experiences with Coherent Emergent Stories Gail Carmichael David Mould Graphics, Imaging, and Games Lab Carleton University
  2. 2. Improve interactive story experiences in open-world adventure and role-playing games. Goal
  3. 3. Techniques for creating more satisfying, coherent emergent stories. Proposed Solution
  4. 4. Techniques for creating more satisfying, coherent emergent stories. Proposed Solution
  5. 5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Kernels: the story’s backbone
  6. 6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Satellites: flesh out the kernels
  7. 7. Satellites : Kernels Traditional Media Satellites : Kernels Games
  8. 8. Techniques for creating more satisfying, coherent emergent stories. Proposed Solution
  9. 9. Causal connections Story element development Noticeable structure Meaning Every event and gameplay action has meaning Coherency
  10. 10. Contributions A design philosophy for emergent stories based on a low ratio of kernels to satellites. An algorithm to prioritize scenes outside of the core plot according to measures of story progression and gameplay history, leading to more satisfying stories. Techniques to automatically insert threads of commonality between scenes to enhance the coherence of emergent stories. An approach to visualizing the shape of a story from the perspective of the development of story elements such as theme, character, setting, and so on.
  11. 11. Contributions A design philosophy for emergent stories based on a low ratio of kernels to satellites. An algorithm to prioritize scenes outside of the core plot according to measures of story progression and gameplay history, leading to more satisfying stories. Techniques to automatically insert threads of commonality between scenes to enhance the coherence of emergent stories. An approach to visualizing the shape of a story from the perspective of the development of story elements such as theme, character, setting, and so on.
  12. 12. Planner-based Causal connections How to develop story elements? Difficult to author Transformationalist Real-world story structures Coherency from rigid structures Inconsistency in emergent structures Easier to arrange satellites for story development Structuralist
  13. 13. Planner-based Causal connections How to develop story elements? Difficult to author Transformationalist Real-world story structures Coherency from rigid structures Inconsistency in emergent structures Easier to arrange satellites for story development Structuralist
  14. 14. Kernels and satellites Authorial control over core plot Each satellite has a function in the story Structuralist
  15. 15. Contributions A design philosophy for emergent stories based on a low ratio of kernels to satellites. An algorithm to prioritize scenes outside of the core plot according to measures of story progression and gameplay history, leading to more satisfying stories. Techniques to automatically insert threads of commonality between scenes to enhance the coherence of emergent stories. An approach to visualizing the shape of a story from the perspective of the development of story elements such as theme, character, setting, and so on.
  16. 16. Story State Themes: Finding bravery: 6 Characters: Hero: 4 Enemy: 5 Tension: 7 Scene 1: Player volunteers to stop threat of a nearby enemy Themes: Finding bravery: 3 Scene 2: Learn that nobody has dared face this enemy before Prerequisite: Completed scene: 1 Characters: Enemy: 6 Scene 3: Hero previously acquired weapon and is scared to use it Characters: Hero: 6 Themes: Finding bravery: 5
  17. 17. Story State Themes: Finding bravery: 6 Characters: Hero: 4 Enemy: 5 Tension: 7 Scene 1: Player volunteers to stop threat of a nearby enemy Themes: Finding bravery: 3 Scene 2: Learn that nobody has dared face this enemy before Prerequisite: Completed scene: 1 Characters: Enemy: 6 Scene 3: Hero previously acquired weapon and is scared to use it Characters: Hero: 6 Themes: Finding bravery: 5 Quantifiable Story Elements (QSE)
  18. 18. Story State Themes: Finding bravery: 6 Characters: Hero: 4 Enemy: 5 Tension: 7 Scene 1: Player volunteers to stop threat of a nearby enemy Themes: Finding bravery: 3 Scene 2: Learn that nobody has dared face this enemy before Prerequisite: Completed scene: 1 Characters: Enemy: 6 Scene 3: Hero previously acquired weapon and is scared to use it Characters: Hero: 6 Themes: Finding bravery: 5 Story state: numerical values for each QSE
  19. 19. Story State Themes: Finding bravery: 6 Characters: Hero: 4 Enemy: 5 Tension: 7 Scene 1: Player volunteers to stop threat of a nearby enemy Themes: Finding bravery: 3 Scene 2: Learn that nobody has dared face this enemy before Prerequisite: Completed scene: 1 Characters: Enemy: 6 Scene 3: Hero previously acquired weapon and is scared to use it Characters: Hero: 6 Themes: Finding bravery: 5 Scene state: tag a scene node about how it functions in story
  20. 20. Story State Themes: Finding bravery: 6 Characters: Hero: 4 Enemy: 5 Tension: 7 Scene 1: Player volunteers to stop threat of a nearby enemy Themes: Finding bravery: 3 Scene 2: Learn that nobody has dared face this enemy before Prerequisite: Completed scene: 1 Characters: Enemy: 6 Scene 3: Hero previously acquired weapon and is scared to use it Characters: Hero: 6 Themes: Finding bravery: 5 Relevance values
  21. 21. Story State Themes: Finding bravery: 6 Characters: Hero: 4 Enemy: 5 Tension: 7 Scene 1: Player volunteers to stop threat of a nearby enemy Themes: Finding bravery: 3 Scene 2: Learn that nobody has dared face this enemy before Prerequisite: Completed scene: 1 Characters: Enemy: 6 Scene 3: Hero previously acquired weapon and is scared to use it Characters: Hero: 6 Themes: Finding bravery: 5 Desire values
  22. 22. Story State Themes: Finding bravery: 6 Characters: Hero: 4 Enemy: 5 Tension: 7 Scene 1: Player volunteers to stop threat of a nearby enemy Themes: Finding bravery: 3 Scene 2: Learn that nobody has dared face this enemy before Prerequisite: Completed scene: 1 Characters: Enemy: 6 Scene 3: Hero previously acquired weapon and is scared to use it Characters: Hero: 6 Themes: Finding bravery: 5 Controls scene availability
  23. 23. (1) Discard nodes that do not meet all prerequisites (2) Calculate priorities for remaining nodes using modifiers (3) Offer nodes with the highest priority to player (4) Present content of node chosen by player (5) Update the story state
  24. 24. Contributions A design philosophy for emergent stories based on a low ratio of kernels to satellites. An algorithm to prioritize scenes outside of the core plot according to measures of story progression and gameplay history, leading to more satisfying stories. Techniques to automatically insert threads of commonality between scenes to enhance the coherence of emergent stories. An approach to visualizing the shape of a story from the perspective of the development of story elements such as theme, character, setting, and so on.
  25. 25. 1 2 3 4 5 6
  26. 26. 1 2 3 4 5 6
  27. 27. 1 2 3 4 5 6
  28. 28. Dialog Lighting Motifs Making Connections Suggest possibilities through connections Ambiguity
  29. 29. Contributions A design philosophy for emergent stories based on a low ratio of kernels to satellites. An algorithm to prioritize scenes outside of the core plot according to measures of story progression and gameplay history, leading to more satisfying stories. Techniques to automatically insert threads of commonality between scenes to enhance the coherence of emergent stories. An approach to visualizing the shape of a story from the perspective of the development of story elements such as theme, character, setting, and so on.
  30. 30. Completed Work
  31. 31. Future Work • Winter 2015 • Evaluate Jason and the Golden Fleece prototype • Experiment with scoring mechanics and prerequisites • Develop content for informal user feedback • Summer 2015 • Design and develop a prototype game to explore ambiguity (10 weeks) • Begin development of visualization author support tools (3 weeks) • Conduct formal user studies on ambiguity game prototype (3 weeks) • Fall 2015 / Winter 2016 • Finish development of visualization author support tools • Wrap up user study and data analysis • Produce solutions for user interface issues • Summer 2016 • Write thesis (16 weeks)
  32. 32. Thank You!

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