Mixing Story and Simulation in Interactive Narrative

Mark O. Riedl, Andrew Stern, Don Dini

Simulation is a common feature in computer entertainment. However, in computer games simulation and story are often kept distinct by interleaving interactive play and cut scenes. We describe a technique for an interactive narrative system that more closely integrates simulation and storyline. The technique uses a combination of semi-autonomous character agents and high-level story direction. The storyline is decomposed into directives to character agents to achieve particular world states. Otherwise, character agents are allowed to behave autonomously. When the player’s actions create inconsistency between the simulation state and storyline, the storyline is dynamically adapted and repaired to resolve any inconsistencies.

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