From Abstraction to Reality: Integrating Drama Management into a Playable Game Experience

Anne Sullivan, Sherol Chen, Michael Mateas

Often, video game designers must choose between creating a restrictive, linear experience and designing an open world with many different story lines that fail to form a tightly crafted narra- tive arc. A drama manager (DM) can provide a solution to this dilemma. A DM monitors an interactive experience, such as a computer game, and intervenes to shape the global experience so that it satisfies the author's expressive goals without decreasing a player's interactive agency. Previous work with declarative op- timization-based drama management (DODM) has focused on simulated player studies in abstract game worlds. In this paper, we present the integration of DODM into a real-time adventure- style dungeon game called EMPath. We describe the game world as well as the modifications that had to be made to the DM as the result of integrating with a concrete, playable experience. These changes include the development of new story evaluation fea- tures, improving drama management move refiners and creating a new player model. We also describe the results of a play test comparing player experiences with the drama manager on and off.


This page is copyrighted by AAAI. All rights reserved. Your use of this site constitutes acceptance of all of AAAI's terms and conditions and privacy policy.