Iurgel, Ido Aharon
An Authoring Framework for Interactive Narrative with Virtual Characters.
[Ph.D. Thesis], (2008)
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|Item Type:||Ph.D. Thesis|
|Title:||An Authoring Framework for Interactive Narrative with Virtual Characters|
Within the research area of “interactive narration”, the production process constitutes a decisive bottleneck. Currently this bottleneck constricts the progress of the field, since the peculiarities of the research area demand that applications must be actually built in order to concretize ideas and to test the technologies. Purely theoretical considerations are not sufficient, given that the requirements can only be clarified during the production process. Methods and software environments have been lacking that could be em-ployed to rapidly implement and to iteratively enhance applications related to interactive narration, so that this iterative process would encompass the authoring tools, the application design ideas, and the requisite technolo-gies. Taking this need as a point of departure, the work presented here demon-strates the first generic software framework for the creation of interactive narratives with virtual characters, with a strong focus on visual authoring methods. The framework consists of a complete functional software envi-ronment that has already proven its efficacy and generality within a variety of projects. As basis of this framework, a novel hybrid visual formalism was developed. It enables various ways of combining directed graphs and of algorithmic control methods. With this combination, the development team can employ the directed graph as a main formalism that can be put to use immediately, and add other control mechanisms partially and incrementally as required during the progressing implementation of the application ideas. Using the directed graph, which is fairly easy to manage, as the basic structure, it is possible to guarantee that the additional technologies employed respond precisely to the requirements of the application and of the content. In this way, the framework described here enables computer scientists, domain experts and content creators to work together to create novel, often experimental applications. It is particularly suited to systems which rely on a set of fixed elements or of fixed templates, and where the creation effort is centered on the question of how to determine the sequence of basic ele-ments. A series of novel design ideas for narrative applications is also presented in this dissertation, together with the basic patterns for employing the authoring framework to implement them; this demonstrates its aptness for the creation task, and also concretizes certain hypotheses that I have developed on why and how interactivity can be combined with narration. Further on, this dissertation presents a model of an authoring framework that shall allow for concrete authoring of applications that rely on autonom-ous virtual characters. No alternative models currently exist on how authors could control even the details of the behaviors of autonomous virtual characters. It is assumed that an autonomous virtual character can be at most parameterized abstractly. The model presented here shows how autonomous virtual characters can be precisely authored, in spite of their autonomy. It is based on the concept of a set of “endorsed stories”, and also contains components for learning algorithms.
|Uncontrolled Keywords:||Interactive Narrative, Virtual Characters, Authoring, Storytelling, Interactive Applications, Edutainment, Entertainment|
|Classification DDC:||600 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften > 620 Ingenieurwissenschaften
000 Allgemeines, Informatik, Informationswissenschaft > 004 Informatik
|Date Deposited:||17 Oct 2008 09:22|
|Last Modified:||09 Dec 2012 08:10|
|Referees:||Encarnação, Prof. Dr. José L. and Alexa, Prof. Dr. Marc and Marcos, Prof. Dr. Adérito|
|Refereed:||21 September 2007|
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