The papers from each conference have been collected into a set of PDF (and physical) books. These are quite expensive to download, but working at a university means I have free access to them at the moment.
Topics include things unrelated to IF such as animation and virtual interfaces, but there are many subjects related to IF: narrative theory, story generation, agency, player emotions, drama management, autonomous characters, emergent narrative and natural language.
Here are the papers I’ve come across that are relevant to this blog, along with links where I could find them.
ICIDS was formed from two pre-existing conferences, the International Conference on Virtual Storytelling (ICVS) and Technologies for Interactive Digitial Storytelling and Entertainment (TIDSE).
Only a subset of the papers is listed below. If you are interested the in other papers too, click on one of the Springer LNCS links on the ICIDS home page for a conference’s table of contents, then search for a PDF version of a paper – most of them exist somewhere on the web. There is no Springer link for TIDSE 2003, but the contents is listed here.
Narratology for Interactive Storytelling: A Critical Introduction
(Marc Cavazza and David Piz, TIDSE 2006)
Overview of narrative theories that have been used in Interactive Drama research.
Interactive Narrative, Plot Types, and Interpersonal Relations
(Marie-Laure Ryan, ICIDS 2008)
Basic plot types (epic, epistemic and dramatic) and how they can be applied in an interactive setting; aesthetic goals of an interactive narrative; emotional immersion.
Bringing Interactivity into Campbell’s Hero’s Journey
(Guylain Delmas, Ronan Champagnat, and Michel Auger, ICVS 2007)
Story, Plot and Character Action: Narrative Experience as an Emotional Braid
(S. Nath, TIDSE 2003)
Developing a model for emergent narrative. The beginning is a bit wordy, but section 4 on the narrative experience has some thoughts about theme, emotion, mood, plot and character.
Metrics for Character Believability in Interactive Narrative
(Paulo Gomes, Ana Paiva, Carlos Martinho and Arnav Jhala, ICIDS 2013)
A study on what makes a character believable: behavior coherence, changing with experience, awareness, behaviour understandability, personality, emotional expressiveness, social relationships with other characters, visual impact, predictability.
Purposeful Authoring for Emergent Narrative
(Sandy Louchart, Ivo Swartjes, Michael Kriegel and Ruth Aylett, ICIDS 2008)
In EN we try to remove the need to think in terms of plot. To this end, an EN system models how characters come to make certain dramatic decisions, so that the author is then left to determine the content of the emergent narrative, which is raised to a more declarative level. This way, the author can think directly in terms of these interactions and what happens locally, rather than in terms of the plots that should occur.
We suggest that authoring for EN is a continuing process involving finding dead ends and resolving them by authoring new content for that situation.
Let’s Pretend I Had a Sword: Late Commitment in Emergent Narrative
(Ivo Swartjes, Edze Kruizinga, and Mariët Theune, ICIDS 2008)
Second, agents may create plans for their goals. If the captain has adopted a goal to find out whether the approaching ship is friend or foe, he can make a plan involving looking through binoculars. If the story world does not contain binoculars yet, they can be framed to be in the captain’s cabin, affording a plan for the captain to go to his cabin to get them.
Open Design Challenges for Interactive Emergent Narrative
(James Owen Ryan, Michael Mateas and Noah Wardrip-Fruin, ICIDS 2015)
The problems of modular content (independent and recombinable content), compositional representational strategies (ability to express internal processes), story recognition and story support.
What Makes a Successful Emergent Narrative: The Case of Crusader Kings II
(google books link)
(Bertrand Lucat and Mads Haahr, ICIDS 2015)
The depth, yet ultimate simplicity and transparency, of the trait system is essential to the player’s engagement with the game’s emergent narrative.
Story Planning with Vignettes: Toward Overcoming the Content Production Bottleneck
(Mark O. Riedl and Neha Sugandh, ICIDS 2008)
Vignettes are fragments of story structure. We use the minimal vignette rubric: a minimal vignette is one in which removing any one action from the vignette causes it to no longer be considered a good example of the situation and/or context it was meant to represent.
Schemas in Directed Emergent Drama
(Maria Arinbjarnar and Daniel Kudenko, ICIDS 2008)
The drama can not move between acts until the objectives of the acts have been adequately satisfied. As an example, the drama will not move from Act I to Act II until characters’ key characteristics have been exposed. If a character is to be intelligent, playful and curious then she needs to have played out actions that are intelligent for a value above a given threshold T, and the same for playfulness and curiosity.
Planning Formalisms and Authoring
in Interactive Storytelling
(Fred Charles, Miguel Lozano, Steven J. Mead, Alicia Fornes Bisquerra and Marc Cavazza, TIDSE 2003)
Traditional models in narratology describe a course of action quite incompatible with the smooth unfolding of the main character’s plan. This means that plan failure is an essential aspect of narrative interest. While the overall goal can be eventually achieved, dramatic interest can be obtained by “local” plan failure and subsequent re-planning or plan repair.
Believable Agents and Intelligent Story Adaptation for Interactive Storytelling
(Mark O. Riedl and Andrew Stern, TIDSE 2006)
Using planning structures to model scenarios is advantageous because a plan can be analyzed for points in which failure can occur. We analyze the causal structure of the scenario to determine all possible inconsistencies between plan and simulation state that can occur during the entire duration of the scenario. For every possible inconsistency that can arise that threatens a causal link in the plan, an alternative scenario plan is generated.
Controlling Narrative Generation with Planning Trajectories: The Role of Constraints
(Julie Porteous and Marc Cavazza, ICIDS 2009)
We can introduce conflict into the narrative by imposing constraints that draw the narrative in directions that set the goal of one of the central characters against the others.
Failing Believably: Toward Drama Management with
Autonomous Actors in Interactive Narratives
(Mark O. Riedl and Andrew Stern, TIDSE 2006)
Sometimes a believable agent is required to fail to achieve a goal, in the interest of preserving the drama manager’s plotline. We use a technique where a believable agent can (a) intelligently and believably avoid situations where the agent and drama manager come into conflict, and (b) enact a plausible and believable explanation for goal failure when conflict with the drama manager is unavoidable.
Developing a Drama Management Architecture for Interactive Fiction Games
(Santiago Ontañón, Abhishek Jain, Manish Mehta and Ashwin Ram, ICIDS 2008)
Adding a Drama Manager to the game Anchorhead by Michael S. Gentry.
In order to decide which DM actions to execute, the Drama Mangement Module performs a search in the space of possible stories. Such search is represented as a search tree with alternating DM actions and player actions. The DMM will select the DM action that maximizes interestingness.
Directorial Control in a Decision-Theoretic Framework for Interactive Narrative
(Mei Si, Stacy C. Marsella and David V. Pynadath, ICIDS 2009)
A director agent is designed to monitor the progress of the story, predict its future development and adjust the virtual characters’ behaviors and beliefs if necessary to prevent violations to directorial goals. Such goals are used by the author to indicate how they want the story to progress, such as when an action should happen or a character should change its beliefs about another character.
A Simple Intensity-Based Drama Manager
(Christopher Ramsley, Matthew Fugere, Randi Pawson, Charles Rich and Dean O’Donnell, ICIDS 2010)
PDF unavailable, but there is information about the Drama Manager component of the Wind’s End game here (2.4M PDF; see pages 38-41).
The basic idea of the Drama Manager is to enforce a rising arc of dramatic intensity. Each character goal is manually assigned an intensity from 0 (unimportant) to 5 (climactic). The Drama Manager allows at most one character to have the currently most intense goal at any moment in time, and incrementally ramps up the intensity of that highest goal.
Particular Aspects of Narrative
Adaptive Narrative: How Autonomous Agents, Hollywood, and Multiprocessing Operating Systems Can Live Happily Ever After
(Jay Douglas and Jonathan Gratch, ICVS 2001)
Foreshadowing in an interactive environment, and having background narratives that can be brought into the foreground.
A Use of Flashback and Foreshadowing for Surprise Arousal in Narrative Using a Plan-Based Approach
(Byung-Chull Bae and R. Michael Young, ICIDS 2008)
Narrative Generation for Suspense: Modeling and Evaluation
(Yun-Gyung Cheong and R. Michael Young, ICIDS 2008)
Suspenser takes three elements as input: a fabula (story world), a given point t in the story plan that corresponds to the point where the reader’s suspense is measured, and the story length desired by the system user. The system then determines the sjuzhet, the content of the discourse to be used to convey the story up to t to a reader, which enables the reader to infer a minimum number of complete plans for the protagonists’ goal, following the psychological research on suspense.
Backstory Authoring for Affective Agents
(google books link)
(Stefan Rank and Paolo Petta, ICIDS 2012)
Personality, Emotions and Autonomy
An Emotional Architecture for Virtual Characters
(Ricardo Imbert and Angélica de Antonio, ICVS 2005)
Cognitiva, a generic architecture for characters with emotional behavior.
Personality Templates and Social Hierarchies Using Stereotypes
(Robert Mosher and Brian Magerko, TIDSE 2006)
Defining characters using stereotypes; the Five Factor Model of personality; power relations within social hierarchies.
Revisiting Character-Based Affective Storytelling under a Narrative BDI Framework
(Federico Peinado, Marc Cavazza and David Pizzi, ICIDS 2008)
Using the Belief-Desire-Intention psychological framework to model characters; extensions to the BDI model in a narrative context.
Emotional Appraisal of Moral Dilemma in Characters
(google books link)
(Cristina Battaglino and Rossana Damiano, ICIDS 2012)
The aim is to create artificial characters who display the emotional range triggered by the occurrence of a moral dilemma, defined as mutually exclusive options that put different values at stake. Remorse is also part of the game, when the character, after deliberating and acting, is left alone with her conscience.
Freedom of Action
Player-Protagonist Motivation in First-Person Interactive Drama
(Jeff Rawlings and Joe Andrieu, TIDSE 2003)
Players may fail to notice a story opportunity, or fail to understand how to act on it. Alternately, the narrative system may incorrectly interpret the player’s actions. To counter both challenges, the PNA confirms the player’s intent by presenting multiple escalating hypotheses to the player. This escalation reiterates the consequences of the player’s chosen action, verifies his commitment to those consequences, and advances the story accordingly.
Adaptive Storytelling and Story Repair in a Dynamic Environment
(google books link)
(Richard Paul, Darryl Charles, Michael McNeill and David McSherry, ICIDS 2011)
We consider two alternative approaches to detecting invalid plan steps while a story is in progress. The first is simply to look one step ahead to check that the preconditions of the next plan step are satisfied. The second is to continuously check the preconditions of all future plan steps. This increases the chance of finding a consistent plan repair because it enables the story manager to avoid commitments being made by story characters close to the point of failure.
The repair method is to search for an alternative story plan that begins with the same steps as the original plan, up to and including the most recent step that has already been completed.
Natural Language Understanding in Façade: Surface-Text Processing
(Michael Mateas and Andrew Stern, TIDSE 2004)
Processing player input in the Façade game.
What Does Your Actor Remember? Towards Characters with a Full Episodic Memory
(Cyril Brom, Klára Pesková and Jiri Lukavsky, ICVS 2007)
Characters being able to summarise past events; modelling character memory; forgetting less emotionally important episodes.
Combinatorial Dialogue Authoring
(James Owen Ryan, Casey Barackman, Nicholas Kontje, Taylor Owen-Milner, Marilyn A. Walker, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin, ICIDS 2014)
For an overview of this topic, see Review of Ontology Based Storytelling Devices (pdf).
Formal Encoding of Drama Ontology
(Rossana Damiano, Vincenzo Lombardo, and Antonio Pizzo, ICVS 2005)
“Drammar” theory of drama, including an analysis of Hitchcock’s North by Northwest.
» Representing Dramatic Features of Stories through an Ontological Model
(Mario Cataldi, Rossana Damiano, Vincenzo Lombardo, and Antonio Pizzo, ICIDS 2011)
More on the Drammar theory of drama (in the context of story understanding, not generation).
Authoring Highly Generative Interactive Drama
(Nicolas Szilas, Olivier Marty and Jean-Hugues Réty, ICVS 2003)
The IDtension system.
» IDtension: A Narrative Engine for Interactive Drama
(Nicolas Szilas, TIDSE 2003)
More on the IDtension system, with some thoughts on the laws of narrative and modelling of obstacles.
Integrating Plot, Character and Natural Language Processing in the Interactive Drama Façade
(Michael Mateas and Andrew Stern, TIDSE 2003)
The Façade system. There is a more in depth paper here.
Character-Focused Narrative Generation for Execution in Virtual Worlds
(early draft pdf)
(Mark O. Riedl and R. Michael Young, ICVS 2003)
The Actor Conference (ACONF) system is explicitly designed to take advantage of the strengths of both the character-centric and author-centric techniques and thus achieve both strong plot coherence and strong character believability.
The Virtual Storyteller: Story Creation by Intelligent Agents
(Mariët Theune, Sander Faas, Anton Nijholt, and Dirk Heylen, TIDSE 2003)
A non-interactive story generation system.
Both characters (or “actors”) and director are implemented as intelligent agents, capable of reasoning within their own domain of knowledge. The characters can make plans to achieve their personal goals using story-world knowledge. The director is able to judge whether a character’s intended action ts into the plot structure, using both story world knowledge and general knowledge about what makes a “good” plot.
» A Fabula Model for Emergent Narrative
(Ivo Swartjes and Mariët Theune, TIDSE 2006)
More about Virtual Storyteller. Generating plot from fabula (causally connected elements of a story).