Narrative Improvisation: Simulating Game Master Choices

Strugnell, J, Berry, M and Zambetta, F 2018, 'Narrative Improvisation: Simulating Game Master Choices', in Interactive Storytelling: 11th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling, Dublin, Ireland, 5-8 December 2018, pp. 428-441.


Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Conference Papers

Title Narrative Improvisation: Simulating Game Master Choices
Author(s) Strugnell, J
Berry, M
Zambetta, F
Year 2018
Conference name ICIDS 2018
Conference location Dublin, Ireland
Conference dates 5-8 December 2018
Proceedings title Interactive Storytelling: 11th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling
Publisher Springer
Place of publication Cham, Switzerland
Start page 428
End page 441
Total pages 14
Abstract Any computer game with a strong story has difficulty balancing the tension between narrative and agency. Strong narrative usually results in weak agency, and strong agency can weaken narrative structure. Narrative improvisation, adapting the story based on player reactions, is a difficult task for a game designer. Narrative improvisation, however, is regularly practised by the human game masters (GMs) of tabletop roleplaying games. As the first stage of building a game master agent (GMA), this paper examines the moment in which GMs decide if and how to alter their storyline due to player action. GMs were interviewed to discover their reactions when players make unexpected choices. Ten themes emerged from analysis of the interviews, we examined these themes to determine the thought processes that took place in the GMs' minds, and we represented the processes as flow charts. These decision charts are a first step in the construction of a GMA that could assist in the development of more responsive interactive narrative in computer games.
Subjects Virtual Reality and Related Simulation
Computer Gaming and Animation
Interactive Media
DOI - identifier 10.1007/978-3-030-04028-4
Copyright notice © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018, corrected publication 2019
ISBN 9783030040277
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