Games, Interactive Entertainment and Drama





Games Reading Group

Prospective Graduate Students



Video clips




This section gives links to some of the most interesting games development websites.

  • GamaSutra, full of interesting articles, links, etc. More -->

  • A site with many interesting discussions and articles, with top researchers contributing regularly More -->

  • The Journal of Game Development. More -->

  • Game Studies: The international journal of computer game research. More -->

  • International Journal of Intelligent Games & Simulation More -->

Interesting Conferences

This section links to interesting and relevant past and upcoming conferences.

  • The British Artificial Intelligence and Simulated Behaviour conference, to be held in Aberdeen in 2008. Past conferences have included the Narrative AI and Games symposium which Heather attended in 2006 and the AI and Narrative Games for Education sympsium which both Heather and Rania presented at in 2007. More -->

  • The Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment conference includes a large number of invited speakers from industry and is a great event. Heather presented at the 2007 conference, and associated workshop, which Daniel also attended. More -->

  • The Intelligent Technologies for Interactive Entertainment conference was attended by both Maria and Heather (who also presented) in 2008. More -->

  • The Workshop on Integrating Technologies for Interactive Stories (which took place as part of INTETAIN08) was co-organised by Heather. Maria presented at this extremely succesful event. More -->

  • 1st Joint International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling The first joint conference of the two previous European conference series TIDSE (“Technologies for Interactive Digital Storytelling”) and ICVS (“Virtual Storytelling – Using Virtual Reality Technologies for Storytelling”). More -->

Interactive Narrative/Drama

This section gives some links to some of the main interactive narrative (otherwise known as interactive drama, interactive stories or interactive storytelling) research groups.

  • The Oz Project group created simple characters known as woggles. The user could give instructions to one of these characters and play with them. The characters interacted with each other in the game world. Where there was a story included, the directions of the user to one of the characters would determine which of the possible (overlapping) stories was experienced. More -->

  • Chris Crawford’s Storytron system presents the user with a number of action options, generally relating to specific speech acts. Once the user has made their choice, the system or a character therein responds appropriately until the story is finished. This is a text-based system. More -->

  • While in the DEFACO system the user becomes a character in an Ancient Greek world. They are able to specify their actions within that world and will then be shown graphically the story created. Until the graphical output is produced the user will not know the consequences of their actions. More -->

  • Users of the Virtual theatre project cybercafé system were able to give general directions to a character in a café. This character would be able to order drinks and flirt with others in the café. Although the group also worked on other systems, in those there was no guarantee that there would be a story in the user’s experience. More -->

  • The Mimesis system was created as part of the work of the Liquid Narrative Group. In this the user is apparently able to act freely. However, the system has goals which must be achieved in the story. If the user acts in a way which interferes with those goals then their action will be somehow prevented from occurring, such as a control device jamming. More -->

  • In IDtension the user is able to specify text-based actions for any characters within the story. There are certain goals which must be met by the story. The system will determine which actions the user avoids and manoeuvre them into situations where they have the choice of taking these actions or failing to achieve the objectives of the story. More -->

  • A user of the I-Storytelling system will see a graphically depicted story involving characters following individually pre-defined Hierarchal Task Networks (HTNs). They can make suggestions to characters which may or may not be followed. The user is also able to move certain key objects within the storyworld. This group’s more recent work aims to create a system for Mixed Reality Interactive Storytelling (MRIS). The story generation component of this system is as in I-Storytelling. More -->

  • In the Façade system the user becomes involved in a couple’s marital difficulties and battles. The user is able to speak to the other characters and what they say – as well as how and when they say it – will affect the story they experience. The user’s actions will determine the final state of the couple’s marriage. More -->

  • At the start of an experience with the Interactive Drama Architecture (IDA) system the user finds their own dead body. As a ghost they must find their murderer and subsequently manipulate another character into finding the body and also realising who committed this murder. More -->

  • SASCE, is an adapted TD-learning method for interactive narrative. This method determines, based on a user-defined evaluation function, the apparent best route for the story – depending on the actions the user is expected to take at each stage, and thus that which will lead to the highest overall score. More -->

  • The OPIATE system creates stories based on Propp’s general structures for fairy tales. This has been applied to a very simple cartoon-style world. The user’s actions are integrated into the Proppian structure where possible. For each storyworld one Propp-style story structure is used. Characters other than the user have flexible roles in the story. More -->

  • U-Director uses decision theoretic networks in order to hint to the user those actions which they should be taking, so that one of the possible narrative plans can be followed. This then enables achievement of the desired ending, which in the example case is solving a mystery. More -->

  • PaSSAGE (Player-Specific Stories via Automatically Generated Events) focuses on the adaptation of the story for the user. There are a number of possible ‘encounters’ which involve characters in interactions with one another. These follow a particular order depending on their type. The encounters chosen depends on which type of game player the user has been modelled to be, based on their choices in an introductory phase. More -->

  • The INTALE system is designed as a training system for soldiers. The user will find themselves in a scenario in which they could find themselves in the line of duty. They will be able to act as freely as they would in reality and their actions will determine whether or they are able to successfully diffuse the situation. The ending will adapt to ensure that the bad things happen no matter how they act. More -->