Collaborative narrative generation in persistent virtual environments

Madden, Neil (2009) Collaborative narrative generation in persistent virtual environments. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This thesis describes a multi-agent approach to generating narrative based on the activities of participants in large-scale persistent virtual environments, such as massivelymultiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs). These environments provide diverse interactive experiences for large numbers of simultaneous participants. Involving such participants in an overarching narrative experience has presented challenges due to the difficulty of incorporating the individual actions of so many participants into a single coherent storyline. Various approaches have been adopted in an attempt to solve this problem, such as guiding players to follow pre-designed storylines, or giving them goals to achieve that advance the storyline, or by having developers (‘dungeon masters’) adapt the narrative to the real-time actions of players. However these solutions can be inflexible, and/or fail to take player interaction into account, or do so only at the collective level, for groups of players.

This thesis describes a different approach, in which embodied witness-narrator agents observe participants’ actions in a persistent virtual environment and generate narrative from reports of those actions. The generated narrative may be published to external audiences, e.g., via community websites, Internet chatrooms, or SMS text messages, or fed back into the environment in real-time to embellish and enhance the ongoing experience with new narrative elements derived from participants’ own achievements.

The design and implementation of this framework is described in detail, and compared to related work. Results of evaluating the framework, both technically, and through a live study, are presented and discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Logan, B.
Keywords: virtual environments, narrative generation, collaboration, computer games, mmorpgs, massively-muliplayer online role-playing games, storylines, witness-narrator agents
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA 75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Science > School of Computer Science
Item ID: 10802
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2010 12:26
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2017 15:01

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